Niel

How to keep tools from rusting?

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Morning guys,

I'm totally new to blacksmithing, and so happy to have found this forum. Can someone advise me and I know you may think it is a stupid question, but how do I keep my newly forged tools from rusting? The same with axes and kitchen utensils that I have forged.

Thanks in advance.

Neil de Beer 

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Welcome aboard. First you should probably post the question in the correct forum. If you go to the home page there's a list of the forums and subforums. This one should probably be located in the finishes for metals forum. 

Utensils need a food grade oil finish put on at a black heat. They need refinishing periodically. For tools I use boiled linseed oil mixed with beeswax and turpentine also put on at a black heat and a coating of WD-40 occasionally.  Glad to have you and remember it's supposed to be fun.

Pnut

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Using the tool will keep it from rusting. Otherwise keep a barrier or coating on the metal to keep the oxygen from getting to it.

BLO boiled Linseed Oil,  a wipe with a rag and transmission fluid, warm wax thinned with mineral spirits or terpentine,  or protective sprays from a can work.  Long term, paint has protected metal from the elements for years.

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As for kitchen utensils. and specificly knives - over use and time (few weeks), the metal will get a layer of "patina" - sort of oxidation that will protect it from the "bad oxidation" - red rust. At first it looks like dark and unsightly spots. Dont rub them off. Wash the knife gently and oil between uses. the darkness will grow (hehe...) and you"ll get a protective layer, so you dont need the oil any more.

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Perhaps you would tell us the environment you are in as that plays the largest amount in how a tool needs to be protected.

For example, here in the desert it seems to work well to oil my tools at least once a decade. Where I once lived it was more like once a month.

For my hammers: every time I do a new handle or reset an old one I place them head down in a shallow tray of boiled linseed oil usually for a week and then wipe them down with a rag doing both the head and the handle with any residual BLO---and then I burn the rag in the forge!

For tools like punches and drifts and dividers I like to apply plain paraffin wax to them when warm so a thin coating melts  and spreads on them and then wipe them down.

As mentioned: tools that get used a lot don't need much as use polishes them.  (Unless you are in a hot wet region near the shore, then moving out here will work the best to keep your tools from rusting...)

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Some machinists use camphor blocks in their tool drawers and tool chests as a rust inhibitor.  If you keep your chisels, punches, etc. in an enclosed space that might help.     (also sometimes works as an insect repellent).  Hmmm....might keep mosquitoes out of your tools as well...!!

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Folks,

I use an old gardeners' trick for keeping rust off small tools such as punches, drifts, etc.

I place the tool into a coffee can filled with silica sand and oil. (Or another container of a suitable size).

All that needs to be done, is to wipe the oil off the tool,  and I am good to go.

SLAG.

 

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