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Cleaning up tools

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by auen1, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. auen1

    auen1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2016
    Messages:
    59
    Location:
    USA
    I probably have a 500+ pounds of hand tools.
    They all have rust, from light to severe
    I've been cleaning them up with steel wool,
    which works great, but time consuming.
    Now I have access to a bench grinder with a wire wheel,
    which is much faster and does a better job.

    How should I treat the tools after they are cleaned to prevent rusting in the future?
    I'm basically a field mechanic, (really a parts changer, not a real mechanic, lol).

    My tools now live in semi-water-proof hand boxes, but here in Alaska there is a lot of snow and rain.
    The tools even get frosty, in the box, frost turns to water, rust.
    Other times, while working, it starts to snow and the toolbox is open, oops.

    As a luber at work right now, I have access to tons of different oils.

    I know that they will get rusty again, but I'd like to hold it off as long as possible.

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
  2. Seabass

    Seabass Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2011
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Canada
    A wipe down with wd-40 works for me.
     
  3. auen1

    auen1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2016
    Messages:
    59
    Location:
    USA
    Just wondering,
    do you do a lot of outside work and do you wipe down every tool, every time you use it?

    I doubt I could do that every time....

    Kinda hoping for a soak solution.
    IDK, Maybe, medium preheat tools with a weed burner and dump in some kind of oil?

    Really don't know, that is why I'm asking.

    Thanks, Seabass for the reply. I'll WILL hit them with WD-40 when I can.
    I know that will help and work.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
  4. JS300

    JS300 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2015
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    455
    Occupation:
    Power Plant and Cattle
    Location:
    Texas
    I think most tools have some sort of protective coating on them to prevent rust. It could be chrome or some other form of rust protection, once this coating is worn off they seem to rust quickly. We have a few chemicals at work that will make tools rust quickly and I would think wire brushing a new tool would make it rust quicker as well. I have never thought about being in an extreme environment like Alaska and trying to protect tools from rust but it sounds like an interesting topic. Only thing comes to mind off hand is some sort of a small heater or silica packs to soak up moisture. We don't really have this problem in Texas.
     
  5. auen1

    auen1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2016
    Messages:
    59
    Location:
    USA

    Exactly what I was thinking.


    That's why I was asking how to re-treat the tools to prevent rust.

    New tools seem to have a magical coating that resists rust for a little while.


    Thanks JS300.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
  6. Jonas302

    Jonas302 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2015
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    1,051
    Location:
    mn
    Keep them oily any spray oil will help I just spray down the tool box when I think of it If you wipe off after use do it with an oil rag when you get cat parts line your boxes with the VCI paper that parts are wrapped in you can also get some zerust capsules to stick in your box
    I try to leave the boxes open when the sun is shining to let the moisture out
    Even with all that your still going to get rust
     
  7. Old Doug

    Old Doug Senior Member

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    Mo
    I have alot of my tools in a van trailer it needs some kind of vent system because it sweats in there some times and other times frost is a problem. But the biggest deal at first was mice. I wasnt around the trailer alot the first 4 years and by then it was heart breaking i used a wire wheel on a grinder then brake cleaner and wd40. It dosent matter what brand or how good the chrome is they will rust.I am thinking about geting towels and soaking it in a light oil and covering them up. I cleaned up a farm and a truck shop that had been owned buy the same guy. He got sick and after being ill for a long time died. The roofs on most of buildings started leaking the tool boxes draws were rusted shut and the contint was unrecogniable.
     
  8. JS300

    JS300 Senior Member

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    Occupation:
    Power Plant and Cattle
    Location:
    Texas
    Something as simple as spray paint would probably work for a good while. If you could get your hands on a cad plating system that would work too. I remember seeing some inexpensive cad plating techniques awhile back ......it was a long while back though. Cad plated bolts : / chains usually resist rusting for a good while.
     
  9. hetkind

    hetkind Senior Member

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    Nov 3, 2015
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    Location:
    Unicoi, TN
    It is a multipronged approach...VENT the trailer and keep the moisture down, when you get done using the tools for the day, put the in a basket and dunk them in bucket of kerosene or diesel fuel to give a coating of oil daily. I only solved my tool rust issue with a well vented stove and 1000 feet of buried drain line around the shop area.

    Howard
     
  10. Former Wrench

    Former Wrench Senior Member

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    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Montesano, WA
    CRC used to (and maybe still does) make a coating spray that came in a green can. I think the red was 3-56 and the green was 5-56. Could be off with the numbers but the product worked as good as anything I've used to displace and protect metal from H2O.
     
  11. John C.

    John C. Senior Member

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    Occupation:
    Machinery & Equipment Appraiser
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    I just leave everything dirty and oily. Oily dirt seems to stick better on the steel. In my experience it was just a condition of the occupation.
     
  12. DIYDAVE

    DIYDAVE Senior Member

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    Location:
    MD
    Sheathe gun lube works pretty good, It has new name, now which crs prevents me from revealing, now...:D
     
  13. Willie B

    Willie B Senior Member

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    Occupation:
    Electrician
    Location:
    Mount Tabor VT
    Have sons. You'll never own a tool long enough to see rust, and if you have the tool in any condition, you'll be so appreciative you won't mind rust. When a very large tractor disappears, with no explanation, you know that truly you are a father.

    Willie
     
  14. repowerguy

    repowerguy Senior Member

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    Occupation:
    mixer truck mechanic
    Location:
    United States southern Ohio
    Toss em in a small concrete mixer with oily floor dry and let them tumble a while, polished up and oiled up!
     
  15. hosspuller

    hosspuller Senior Member

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  16. rubberfish

    rubberfish Member

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    Location:
    Langley B.C.
    Hi there auen1.

    I've never had positive lasting results with wire brushing my tools.
    They look great for a while but we end up scratching the heck out of them and the
    rust seems to now come back with a vengeance. I learned that as well with the chrome
    bumper on my work truck. It had a bit of rust so I thought I'd brighten it up with one of those
    green plastic scrubber things from the kitchen. Wow. I'll never ever do that again. For your work environment?
    I'd keep a light coating of oil on them, whether it's WD40 or even just a wipe down with a dirty oily rag.

    Just my .02 worth.
    Which converted from Canadian funds means my opinion ain't worth squat.
     
  17. Clguest

    Clguest Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2016
    Messages:
    105
    Location:
    USA
    I use WD40 then a rag. WD40 penetrates, cleans the dirt, oils and greases which is what I like as I wear canvas gloves when using the tools.

    I like RePowerGuy's solution if you have lots of tools that need cleaning / rust removal - floor sweep compound and a small cement mixer...assuming the mixing blades inside the barrel will not be badly damaged by the tools and visa versa.
     
  18. RBMcCloskey

    RBMcCloskey Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2011
    Messages:
    387
    Occupation:
    Heavy Construction Contractor
    Location:
    New Jersey
    May I suggest placing them in a large container, say a plastic mortar mixing box, the long one, and filling it to cover the tools with white vinegar, about $1.00 a gallon after 2 days you will be pretty much rust free. The black oxidation on the tools comes off with soda bicarb or diesel fuel.
    Non-toxic and will not burn you.
     
    mikebramel and LDK like this.