The Shop > Finishing

Stopping the dreaded rust!

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Hi guys, I'm just getting back into the new workshop after moving house and getting the shop in shape. I've just finished making a nice big arbour for 1" bore gear cutters. I'm pleased with it, my machining is improving - it looks good and does the job. However, like the other arbours and bits I've made over the last few years, I know it'll get used infrequently and like the others will start to rust up. It seems a shame. Do you guys do anything to stop this? I presume since the diameter of both the holding end and the cutter end are so critical, any surface finish on these will effect the fit. Is it just a case of boxing and oiling? What options are out there?

Look forward to your replies.


Plastic drainpipe to make a long container. Wrap rust inhibitor paper round it (Chronos) but renew periodically. Beeswax furniture polish rubbed over is nicer to handle than oil. Ditto Vaseline. Clear Waxoyle diluted with white spirits can be painted on and dries to a wax finish. Camphor balls (moth balls) are sometimes used in sealed containers too. There are some other products too available to protect inside containers.


There is an (almost) joke here in western Washington State that, We don't tan, we rust!  A piece of CRS merchant steel left on a shelf around here will have all exposed surfaces evenly rusted in about a month.  My solution is to rub down all my bright iron or steel with carnuba based wooden floor wax.  I pulled a piece of CRS bar stock out of my rack a couple of days ago.  It had been purchased in 2007.  No rust.

Treewax is the most common brand here in the western U.S.  If I need to plate something after it has been waxed, a wipe-down with acetone does the trick.

Any regularly used spanners, mill/ lathe tools,  etc. go in drawers and boxes. With an occasional, wintertime fuff of WD40.

Any other tooling. All chucks, MT/ R8 tooling, mill vices, angle plates, magnetic bases with clocks. Go into Tesco zipped sandwich bags. With a fuff of WD40.

The mini lathe is draped in 1/2 a shower curtain. After a fuff of WD40.

The mini mill is covered by a wheelie bin liner. After a fuff of WD40.

No rusting, after some 11 years.

I like WD40. It's cheap, and it works.......  :thumbup:

David D

If condensation is a problem I can recomend a fridge with a light at the bottem for chucks and fixtures , I also use waxoil as its not greasy .


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