Keeping my tools rust free


So I looked around the archives some, and didn't find an answer to this, sorry if I missed something obvious.
I am planning to transition all my nice hand tools into a series of wall cabinets with glass doors, and am trying to find a good way to keep the inside of the cases dry. I like in Portland, Or and work in a basement location, that gets really humid sometimes. I am tried of reaching for an odd plane or chisel only to find surface rust on it.
I come from a science background, and am used to using a compound called Drierite. I looked into ordering it for home use, it's cheap and easy to order. Basically I would place a container of it at the base of each cabinet, and it would soak up moisture. It has to be recharged every "so often" but is relatively easy to do. Has anyone used this product for this purpose? Is there something easier, cheaper, or better I should look into.
Thanks in advance for the help
Andrew
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On Thu, 13 Oct 2005 11:44:27 -0700, Tattooed and Dusty wrote:

Lee Valley gardening catalog has pretty much the same stuff. Go with Drierite.
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If the cabinet isn't sealed, the silica gel won't do you much good. It won't bring the overall humidity of the whole shop down and won't have a localized effect in an unsealed cabinet.
Tattooed and Dusty wrote:

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How sealed is sealed? I am currently using packets of desiccant that came with the last large power tool I purchased, and they seem to be working. There is a gap (1/8") entirely around each of the two doors?
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On Thu, 13 Oct 2005 15:35:32 -0700, Tattooed and Dusty wrote:

Yes, dessicant works best in a sealed environment. OP probably used it in bell or vacuum jars. I did. As to exchange between the closed case and the general shop atmosphere, that's a basic rate calculation. pV=nRT and all that. If the OP has a lab background, he'll be tickled pink (or blue) to run the experiment for us. My guess is that yes, it won't work as well as a sealed chamber, and yes, it'll help his rust problem. As long as the dessicant isn't yet saturated, it'll maintain the low humidity.
--
"Keep your ass behind you"
vladimir a t mad scientist com
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Tattooed and Dusty wrote:

How about a dehumidifier? -- Sir Benjamin Middlethwaite
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I have a fireproof safe that was genrating mold on the papers stored in there. I fixed it using tidy-cat crystals in one of SWMBO's knee-his. Works great!
http://www.tidycats.com/GetPage.aspx?ContentID 5
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Drierite, at least the redry type, is not something you can dispose of easily. Additionally, it works best in closed containers. Unless the cabinet is sealed pretty well and is seldom opened, you will be regenerating the drierite often.
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I have great success using small camphor blocks in the drawers of my four roll-around chests. They protect my hand tools and corded tools. My playpen is a garage. In Florida.
I get the Humco Camphor Gum Blocks (made in China) from a local pharmacy. They are not inexpensive. But they work.
The key is to stay ahead of the rust. I use Top Saver and Slip-It on the machined surfaces of my stationary tools. I keep Boeshield T-9, Rust Off, Rust Free and Navel Jelly around and use them occasionally. I had used an adjustable crescent wrench a while back and sprayed it with Boeshield. When I went to use it yesterday, I could not adjust it because it was "frozen." A few minutes with WD-40 freed it up. (I put the Boeshield in the back of the cabinet shelf.) My next project, that keeps getting delayed, is to experiment using electrolysis to remove rust from some small tools and parts.
Jack Jacksonville, Florida
-- I've never learned anything from someone who agreed with me.

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On 13 Oct 2005 11:44:27 -0700, "Tattooed and Dusty"

I have kept watches and other small items in a dessicator. It works well. But for a tool cabinet, I'd think your idea would work with some maintenance (ie, drying the tubs in an oven). If you can keep the inside of the cabinet warmer than the surrounding area, that will help keep it dry. You could put a piano dryer inside each cabinet. These are devices used when pianos are put into storage and provide a little heat. You could probably get the same result with a 3 watt light bulb in each cabinet. It also helps to wipe each tool with a rag dampened with kerosene--be sure to dispose of the rag properly.
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As the OP it's kinda funny to me the course this thread has taken. If at all possible I would like to find a solution that's really simple, and doesn't involve ongoing energy expendetures. I suppose that's not possible. I guess I should have really phrased the question something more like, does anyone know of a better desiccant than Drierite? Or something like that. I am looking for simple and largely effective, not a solution to keep my tools pristine for a decade of neglect. I use them daily, just want a way to slow down the effects of humidity.
Ahh, sorry if I am babbling. Thanks for the comments either way, I guess I should just order some Drierite and let you guys know how it works.
Andrew
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Tattooed and Dusty wrote:

Well if you don't mind having the blades hidden? how about a polystyrene rack whereby the blades sit in a tight fit sheath.
-- Sir Benjamin Middlethwaite
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Go to a arts and craft store, buy about 20pounds of the silica pellets they use for burying and drying flowers, same basic stuff you get in the little pouches in electronics cartons
Put in the new screw top ziplock containers with a gracious plenty of holes drilled/poked thru the top of the lid and put inside the case. Every few months pull out, put in a 200degree over to re-dry the pellets and put back in
And on top of that, go to Brownells and buy the VPI rust blocker tabs and toss a few into each case
John
On 13 Oct 2005 11:44:27 -0700, "Tattooed and Dusty"

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