Right now my small woodshop is in my basement, which is constantly
humid, despite the dehumidifier. (Fortunately, it's also constantly
cool, so it's a nice place to work in this heat!)
Anyway, I'm wondering if anyone has a great secret for how to protect
router bits, drill bits, and chisels from rust. I know Boeshield T-9
is sold just for this purpose, but I've heard mixed reviews of that.
Also, do you have to wipe T-9 off before using the bits? Is Topcote
good for these implements, or more for tablesaw tops? I'd like
something that is easy to spray on, and ideally, that doesn't have to
be wiped off before use. If I'm going to be wiping something off
anyway, why not just coat the metal surfaces with some good old grease?
I know it could mess with wood, but what if it was wiped off
carefully? What about spraying WD-40 on bits after use?
My other (very different approach) idea is to buy or build a box that
is somewhat airtight and put a silca gel dessicator (or equivalent) in
the box, then store bits and chisels in there. How well would the box
need to seal to make this effective? I've seen little dessicator boxes
for use in gun cabinets that are fairly cheap and can be 'recharged' in
Any advice, opinions, or shared experience would be much appreciated,
I don't have any expert advice since I live in a low humidity area, but
I can tell you WD-40 is worthless for preventing rust. I use T-9 on
metal parts that don't come in contact with workpieces. I tried T-9 on
router bit shafts until I saw how badly the stuff congeals if sprayed on
heavily and placed in a router case with plastic inserts. When it
dries, it locks the bits into place in the holders. I finally took out
all the bits and wiped them with mineral spirits to remove the crusty T-9.
Have you tried spraying T-9 w/o putting into the plastic router case.
I've never noticed any buildup on my saw blades, router bits, or table
tops. This stuff does eat away rust though. Got some on my arm and it
burned. You may be melting the plastic case.
I wondered about the plastic/T-9 reaction myself. Not sure if the
residue is a reaction between the two, or because I didn't wipe off the
excess. Rust's not a problem in my shop, so I've stopped putting it on
I did get around to placing o-rings on most of my bits to keep them from
dropping too far into the chuck. That makes swapping bits go faster.
I have had good luck with VCI materials. They have the advantage of
penetrating the nooks and crannies, as well as leaving no residue.
cast iron tools - wax
routers - make them out of carbide
drill bits - use them
chisels - keep them in a cupboard or drawer with a dessicator. Silica
gel isn't enough - it has minimal ability to "dry out" a space that's
regularly opened to the air. Instead use calcium chloride, the
"flowerpot" dessicators that gradually fill up a bowl of liquid. Because
they're spillable, these dessicators should be given dedicated shelf
space at the _bottom_ of your cupboard.
If you're in England (damp winters and overnight condensation), then an
anti-condensation heater is worth having inside the cupboard. Just a
degree or two is usually enough to avoid the dew point.
Camellia oil (any decent woodwork supplier) is a good treatment for any
tool after sharpening, or as a lubricant when using it. Unlike WD40, it
doesn't stain the timber or interfere with finishes. Many people keep
an "oil pot" on the bench, a wooden box or pot (mine is a length of
bamboo) stuffed tightly full of cotton scrim and soaked in camellia oil.
Back when I used to smoke, they sold these little humidor pellets that
you could put in a can of loose tobacco to regulate the moisture. If
it was too dry, you could soak the things in water and it would raise
the humidity- if it was too moist (and this it the bit that it on
topic) you could put a dry "button" in the can, and it would soak up
the excess moisture. IIRC, they were called pouch buttons, and they
were extremely inexpensive. They were little aluminum things about
the size of a quarter with a bunch of small holes in them and a clay
pellet in the center. Might work for you, if you put them in a sealed
container with the bits. I'm sure they're very similar to the ones
you mentioned for gun cabinets, but they may be a more reasonable size
for your drill bits. Most tobacconists carry them.
Then again, I just give them a little squirt of WD-40 every now and
again, and it works fine for me.
Store in a draw or anthing reasonably air tight and use a VPI (vapor
phase inhibitor like they use in gun cases) to keep the rust under
control You can find VPI products in most gun stores or at the
Brownell's website. Highly recommended as this does work. Obviously,
if the drawer/container is opened frequently the VPI product needs to
be replaced more often, but often you can find the VPI impregnated
cardboard squares (approx 3/4 in on a side) and zip lock baggies and
get 1yr or longer protection
Brownells has Rust Blox Vapor tabs, $5.69 for 12 (part #
084-058-012), $40.23 for 100 of them. Each BLOX protects "...up to
300cu.in. for at least 1yr"
On Sat, 11 Jun 2005 05:41:31 -0500, Prometheus
One of my kids used to sell and ship electronic stuff... he gave me a bag of
those "don't be stupid enough to eat this, lug nut" packets that absorb
they seem to work for a long time... I change them every year or so when I see
them, but I've gone into a drawer for a seldom used tool and found it dry after
the same bag for 2+ years..
Please remove splinters before emailing
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