Apart from the damage to your precious tools it's best to keep wet and
snow-covered cars out of a garage for their own sake - it accelerates
rust on the car because every time you bring them in the snow melts
and the salt starts to work on the metal.
Letting a fan run constantly in your garage is a good way to minimize
rust as it keeps the air moving wicking up moisture and it only costs
a few cents a day for electricity.
I have such an arrangement. My comment? No problem. The humidity levels
in any workshop are not stable, anyway. In other words, when it rains,
(unless the shop is air conditioned), the humidity level inside the garage
will match that outside, which is probably close to 100 percent. In other
words, as long as the car isn't dripping directly on the tools, the only
tools that would be affected would probably already rusted.
And, I have the solution. Johnson's Paste Wax.
My experience is pretty much the same. I have a two car garage where I normally
park one car. If I wash the car, I dry it before I park it. If it's raining,
so be it... it goes in wet. I've had very little rusting of my tools in the
garage. In fact, the last time I had to clean rust off the table saw's top, it
was because I had dripped sweat on it.
I use Johnson's paste wax on my tools too.
FWIW, I live in North Carolina where there is plenty of heat and humidity. As I
write this, I've got an HVAC crew installing a new heat pump for my house and
they're going to add a register in the garage for me to help cool it. Film at
I cant fit my vehicles in my 2 1/2 car garage (Full size pickup and a
suburban). I live outside of philly as well. I find my biggest issue is with
my table saw top but only when I leave something else metal on top. If its
left there for a while it sometimes leaves a mark. It cleans up easily
though. I guess I'm not using my tools enough!
Not exactly on point, but a few years ago I was building a deck around
my pool. It started to rain, so I threw all of the tools I was using
into my wheelbarrow and rolled it into the shed. The tool only had a
few drips on them. The next day, sunny, I went out to continue, opened
the shed and every piece of steel was rusted like crazy. Note to self:
don't store tools around Chlorine. It was a hell of a mess.
I don't have a garage. I have a shop that is attached to my house.
There are double doors that lead to the back yard and a very large door
in the front that rolls up into the rafters when I press a button. On
the other side of the large door is a concrete slab about 16' wide that
leads to the street. I park my cars on that slab.
I live in St. Louis and get all types of weather. I don't have a
problem with rust on my power tools but I wax fairly often to keep the
wood running smoothly. The only place I see much rust is on the soles
of my planes. I wax them too, but it wears off pretty easily.
I simply do not allow cars in the garage/worlshop. I leave em out in
the driveway as it should be! lol... automobiles are much too messy to
be in the shop. and just to solidify this i parked a unisaw in front
of one door and a very large and heavy work bench in front of the
I live in good ole Humid Houston and my wife brings her rained on car into
the garage all the time. Rust is not a problem. I use TopCote on the
machined surfaces of the large tools.
Condensation will be your biggest rust problem. If you have no condensation
on your tools you should have little to no rust. Condensation will occur
when you have a fast temperature change. Don't let the temperature change
quickly and you should not have any condensation.
Had to negotiate with SWMBO when we moved into our current house. I got to
take over the two-car garage, er.. workshop. And had a carport built right
in front of the garage to cover the vehicles, N Texas is famous for its hail
storms. I added windows AC and some IR Radiant heaters and now the roll up
doors only open during perfect weather or to move wood/ projects in and out.
I just finished kicking my dad's junk out of the garage and no way will
the car ever go in there! I have had a few problems with rust though,
but once I was aware of them I just got used to spraying WD-40 on every
tool whenever I finished using it. The biggest problem was on hand
plane irons and soles. I have had to box up all my hand tools a couple
of times, and once I took out the old #4 bench plane and ended up
sanding the rust off it, there was so much of it. The biggest rust
problem right now is the skyscraper model I have sitting in the
backyard right now...
Have similar rust problems that have been discussed in threard. Anyone
have ideas re: removing the rust from cast iron saw tops, jointers
etc. Also I find it on most of my planes and hand tools. Some are
pitted and I would like to find a cure-all rust remover and preventer,
if such a fantasy exists.
Would welcome any suggestions.
000 or 0000 steel wool, elbow grease, followed by a liberal coat of
Johnson's Paste wax. Reapply the paste wax at regular intervals.
Some, from time to time, have suggested some exotic blends, like the wax
used on bowling lanes and some of the silicone formulas. While I haven't
tried them, I'd guess we're really talking about length of time between
re-applications, and not overall performance. Johnson's paste wax is
relatively cheap and it works.
WD-40 certainly has it uses, but it's been my experience that WD-40 will
eventually dry out and leave a "varnish" on tools. (For some tool, this
might be desirable, if the tool is used in a greasy environment and the
varnish actually helps with the grip, but I have my doubts)
For me, I've been known to run greasy handtools through the dishwasher,
using plain old dishwashing soap, then immediately coating them using a
slightly oily rag. The machine and the soap are specifically designed to
remove food grease, it works just as well on petroleum grease. BTW, this
should be a very, very light coating of oil, practically invisible to the
naked eye. It should not leave a significant stain when laid on a sheet of
Needless to say, this procedure is NEVER accomplished while SWMBO is in
Top end tools, like Snap-on, etc, have such a heavy chromium coat, it's been
my experience that they won't rust during a life time of non-Trade
(mechanic) usage. Older Craftsman-level tools, do require attention from
time to time. It's my opinion, that Craftsman-level tools are the best
value for the non-professional, but for a serviceable lifetime, must be
addressed from time to time.
Older, non-chromium plated hand tools can be brought back by removing all
rust, (steel wood or a wire wheel, if necessary) and then using the
dishwasher method to remove grime. By the way, I would add a second step,
here. After a through cleaning, I've found that navel jelly can be used in
some instances, to return the tool to the darker surface, that is
commonplace on the old tools. Again, the jelly must be thoroughly removed,
and the oil rag used to prevent future rust.
I would, also, caution about such anal-retentive measures on any tool with
rubber grips. Hard water stains can be virtually eliminated by adding Jet
Dry and a touch of Lime Away. (If you're stupid enough to use this on
electrical tools, please remove yourself from the gene pool, immediately).
Sometimes, it depends on other factors. I am cheap. I will willing pay for
commercial level tools, but I like to keep them in as pristine condition as
possible. So, a new tool, (if appropriate), say an electric drill, will
receive a coat of Armor-all, especially on the plastic surface, immediately
on purchase. Armor-all (and there are other such products) more or less
repels dirt and grease.
Hand planes are completely different kettle of fish. For working planes (as
opposed to display planes), break them down to their individual components,
removing the handles completely. Remove the planes from the washer, before
the drying cycle and hand dry each component, with a clean soft rag.
THOROUGHLY dry each component. Then, coat each component, individually with
the wax. The process will remove any dirt and grime (from the smallest
crevasses) that may have accumulated over time. It will closely resemble a
plane. If you fail to thoroughly dry the item, it will closely resemble a
mass of rust. (Of course, this method will remove most of the patina highly
prized by collectors, and is a great way to take an expensive collectable
plane and reduce it's value significantly).
One "old-timer" has taught me a valuable lesson for garden tools. His
ancient shovels and hoes are in magnificent condition. He thoroughly cleans
them after every use, (no matter how minor), and again uses an oily rag. At
least once a year, every wooden handle is re-coated with linseed oil. BTW,
his tools are very slowly disappearing. He sharpens his shovels and hoes
just as any craftsman would sharpen a saw. There is a small, but
perceptible ease when using his tools, as compared to blunt tools most use.
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