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Thread: Hand tool storage in a basement shop

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Central Ohio

    Hand tool storage in a basement shop

    Iím in the process of setting up my basement workshop after having it in storage in the basement for the last year. Most of my tools survived pretty well except for my one Lie-Nielsen plane. Itís the rabbeting block plane and there is slight rust on the sole, sides, and blade. Iíve got a few questions on this subject.

    1. What is the best way to remove the rust from the plane? It doesnít appear to have any pitting so Iím thinking something like a scotchbrite and oil lubricant may be enough but Iíd like to get some recommendations from the experts here.

    2. What do you recommend to prevent this from happening again in the future? I think the majority of the rust may have occurred during my move cross country as some of my hand planes which were transported at a later date donít show any signs of rust.

    3. This has made me decide to build a rolling tool chest to store my planes in and I was thinking about using pegboard for the drawer bottoms and then just having an extra large desiccant pack in one of the drawers. My thinking is the perforated bottoms would allow air/moisture circulation between drawers.

    Thanks in advance.
    Wes Billups

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Central NY State
    My experience is that in a heated shop, rust is a minimal issue. In the winter, the shop is kept at about 50 F, unless I'm out there. My previous shop had only an intermittently run woodstove, and rust was a constant fight.

    Wes, interesting idea about the pegboard drawer bottoms. I wonder if a low wattage bulb running constantly would keep your tools warm and dry.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    More than one person has mentioned that they keep a small 'continuous duty' fan going year round to keep air moving and therefor moisture evaporating better. I'm sure the effectiveness of this is based on humidity in your environment.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    For humidity control a dehumidifier. Expensive and must run constantly but they are fairly effective. To just protect surfaces, Johnson's Paste Wax is great. For long term storage, look in gunsmithing catalogs for rust preventatives. They put a waxy coat on things but it is very effective.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Floydada, Tx
    Yes a light bulb will keep the mositure under control. I uesd to use on in a box for my welding rod when it was keeped in a unheated shop.

    A dehumidifier is needed in the summer month to keep the mositure down. In the winter keep the shop atleast 50, 60 is better.

  6. #6
    combining the fan and the low wattage globe is the go. Some folks just use a computer case fan which works well to circulate the air in the case thus keeping the air evenly warm and allowing the contents of the box to warm also. i suppose that way one avoids the cold iron surface upon which the droplets of moisture precipitate out on to the metal surface.

    The addition of the dessicant sounds like a good idea - it's better to wear belt AND braces, don't you think? (Figuratively speaking).

    (Incidently, the globe/fan/box combination is great for drying out pen blanks, if you are a woodturner).

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