Millhand

Condensation...

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I've never had this much moisture in any of my shops before.  It's been a warm damp winter but this is ridiculous!  

I tried linseed oil first it didn't stop the rust.  So Monday I coated everything in good motor oil.  Water is literally running off my anvils and such.

 Closed up uninsulated pole barn. Should I insulate and heat it? Big dehumidifier? 

Worked 6 hours on this girl last night. Come home from work and it's rusty. Gotta love living in the swamp I guess lol 

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Yes, happens to me too in the spring when a warm humid day comes along and hits the cold steel.  As far as I know the only solutions are to keep the humidity out, or keep the steel warm. Hard to do in your situation...  -- Dave

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Having a fan running can help in some situations but the *BEST* cure would be to ship everything down here for the winter!  Humidty forecasted to be in the teens tomorrow...

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4 hours ago, swedefiddle said:

Good Morning,

Are your Roof or Walls metal?

Neil

Yes roof, walls and ceiling are metal. 

4 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

Having a fan running can help in some situations but the *BEST* cure would be to ship everything down here for the winter!  Humidty forecasted to be in the teens tomorrow...

Hahaa, I can arrange that as long as there is room for me a wife and two young ones :)

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Try wiping the anvil with ATF (Automatic Transmission Fluid) every time you leave. It will not interfere with the next forge session and will provide a barrier to make the water run off.

There are some shops that collect water when the weather changes. Others do not. As mentioned a small fan may help.

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My anvil is outside under a metal shed.  When I finish working, I wipe it off with a rag, give the face and horn a light spray of WD-40 and cover it with a large plastic storage container.  It can sit as long as a couple of weeks if I'm on vacation and when I remove the top, no rust.  Wipe it off again, and go to work!  It's been outside like that for 4 years using the WD-40 and the face has no rust.

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WD-40 is the trademark name of a penetrating oil and water-displacing spray. The spray is manufactured by the San Diego, California–based WD-40 Company. WD-40 was developed in 1953 by Norman Larsen, founder of the Rocket Chemical Company, in San Diego, California. "WD-40" is abbreviated from the term "Water Displacement, 40th formula", suggesting it was the result of Larsen's 40th attempt to create the product. The spray, composed of various hydrocarbons, was originally designed to be used by Convair to protect the outer skin and, more importantly, the paper-thin balloon tanks of the Atlas missile from rust and corrosion. These stainless steel fuel tanks were so fragile that when empty they had to be kept inflated with nitrogen to prevent them from collapsing.

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Nice thing about using the WD-40 is that it doesn't leave a thick, oily residue like regular oil and it's cheap.  Easy to wipe clean off the face.  A can lasts me several weeks.  I've never tried the ATF...might have to give it a test run. ;)

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Automotive grades of motor oil contain detergents: good for keeping an engine clean that gets run long enough and hot enough to boil off any trapped moisture every few days. Bad for engines in long term storage and when used as a tool wipe in damp conditions. It will actually trap moisture and promote rust.

Better to use a Non-Detergent motor oil made for outdoor power equipment, the type that typically sees long intervals between uses, like mowers and snow blowers.

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13 hours ago, marcusb said:

Put a blanket on it, I use an old sweat shirt, keeps it from rusting

I use an old towel soaked with auto transmission fluid not dripping, but well absorbed over the anvil. for the lathe and other machinery i spray with duck oil or 3 in1on the slides etc

 

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I do have the problems sometimes when there is a weather change. I do not worry about the anvil.  If the weatherforecast says there will be a quick change from cold dry to warmer humid/rainy I spray it with a can of what I can buy here. The lathe is a different thing. I keep a blanket over it and an electric heater under the bench so it is always a little warmer than the surroundings. Other bits and pieces are less of a problem. They do not have the heat capacity to remain cold when the temperature goes up so there is next to no condensation. Of course this is in my climate and in my shop. 

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LPS 3 is designed to block rust formation and leave a thin wax film to prevent water or air contact, it's a strong penetrant and it smells good IF you like wintergreen. ATF is good too it's a penetrant and has rust inhibitors and leaves a film.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Fluid Film is another product like LPS 3 designed to block rust.  Are there any louvers in your shop walls and/or ridge vent in your roof to keep a little air movement in the shop?  In many cases condensation can be controlled with simply adding louvers in each end of the shop.  Also, adding an exhaust fan in one of the louvers can help.   

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I am afraid that it is a mistake to believe that ventilation is always beneficial. If your shop is cold and maybe thermally heavy (concrete walls or basement location or...) the more air you get in from the outside the more water you bring in. If the dew point of the air outside is higher than the temperature on something in your shop, outside air will precipitate condensation on that something. On the other hand, if the dew point outside is lower than the temperatures in your shop, the outside air will have a drying effect. Google 'dewpoint' I have not time to explain more in detail. 

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Thank you all for the great informative replies!  Good stuff! 

Gave the atf a try and it works great! I'm bringing my lathe home tomorrow and have some other new toys coming soon.  This information will come in very handy.  

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Millhand,

I used to live in Michigan.  One evening I sanded a part of my car's fender to prep it for painting.  Everything was smooth, shiny and clean.  I realized I'd left the paint in the house so I went in to get it and came right back.  By the time I returned, the sanded spot was already rusting!

I know a guy who puts a corded incandescent mechanics "trouble light" on his anvil during the winter to keep it warm enough to evaporate water.

Make sure you don't have anything in the shop that's giving off corrosive fumes.  Old batteries, leaky bottles of cleaning supplies, that sort of thing.  Stump remover, swimming pool chlorine, and drain cleaner are particularly caustic.  All of that acts like a rust accelerator.  I've seen shops where everything in a given radius from a chemical storage rack was rusted way worse than the rest of the place.

Petroleum Jelly's pretty easy to apply and it wipes off quickly.  It's not water soluble, doesn't dry out, and you can tell where it was applied.  Being non-toxic is a plus since anything left on the anvil is likely to get vaporized.  Porsche even recommends it for use on their wheels to protect them from corrosion.  I'm told it's also good for chapped lips, skin care, and other non-metalworking uses.

Just be sure to go for the unscented type unless you want an anvil that smells like baby powder!

 

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I would heat up the shop to be above the outside temperature, let it soak until the tools are warm and then ventilate, the warm air will carry the water out and the humidity from the outside won´t condensate on your tools. 

If you go the dehumidifier route still heat up the shop to increase efficiency

I have a hand broom for the power hammer, naturally it is oily. Everywhere I spot rust I give it a brush with that broom

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I just learned to live with the surface rust. Doesn't seem to hurt anything. Besides that most of my muzzle loading rifles the barrel's are rust browned so I'm used to it. My moving machinery gets wd-40 + oil/transmission fluid rub down.

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