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Lathe rusting

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petro1head21/03/2015 16:41:08
749 forum posts
143 photos

Any advice on how to stop my lathe from rusting? I oil it but it still rusts

Its in a garden workshop made of wood. Should I concider something to keep the place dry?

Bob Brown 121/03/2015 16:46:41
1021 forum posts
127 photos

My first question would be "what are you oiling it with?"

petro1head21/03/2015 16:56:41
749 forum posts
143 photos


Thor 🇳🇴21/03/2015 16:57:36
1411 forum posts
41 photos

Do you heat the shed or run a dehumidifier? If temperature in the shed varies you may cross the dewpoint and humidity in the air condenses. I use a thick oil, not WD40.


Edited By Thor on 21/03/2015 16:58:14

petro1head21/03/2015 17:00:59
749 forum posts
143 photos

Heater only when I am in it.

I did think about a dehumidifier, the shet is 500qs ft


What about duck oil?

Edited By petro1head on 21/03/2015 17:01:21

Thor 🇳🇴21/03/2015 17:06:06
1411 forum posts
41 photos

A friend of mine is running a dehumidifier in his workshop, there is also a heating setting on the switch so he has mainly used the dehumidifier for heating the workshop. His workshop is insulated (50mm mineral wool), this means he avoids large temperature variations, he have had no problems with rust this winter.


Jim Guthrie21/03/2015 17:09:12
102 forum posts
5 photos

I keep my workshop ambient temperature above the dew point using a small electric convertor heater. It keeps the shop above 45F and only really gets used in wintertime. My present workshop, in the back of my garage, has had this setup for more than twenty years and I have had no rust problems on my lathe and milling machine, and all the tools. I insulated the workshop section of the garage so that the heating doesn't cost me a fortune in winter. smiley

A good knock on of this system is that the heavy iron in the workshop stays at around the temperature in winter and you don't have the discomfort of working a lathe or milling machine with its parts close to freezing point. smiley


petro1head21/03/2015 17:19:36
749 forum posts
143 photos

So, if going the heater route what size convector would I need and the same re dehumidifier

Bob Brown 121/03/2015 17:20:03
1021 forum posts
127 photos

WD40 is not that good at rust protection, I just oil the slides and bed with slide way oil (Mobil Vactra 2) and wipe any other surfaces with the good old oily rag. Not sure a dehumidifier in a timber shed will be the answer as the dehumidifier will be working hard to dry out an atmosphere that is always going to have a high humidity. Adding some insulation and a vapour barrier is probably going to do more.


IanT21/03/2015 17:49:14
1895 forum posts
184 photos

Been discussed here many times and there are various solutions from the simple (and cheap) - to the not so simple (and not always cheap). My machines are generally old (and not pristine) and so I guess I don't worry quite so much as someone who has paid a small fortune for them..However, I still try to take care of them

In 'Shed' terms - my situation sounds very similar to yours (unheated, uninsulated & slightly draughty) and I also suffer from rust if not careful - especially on a warm morning come the Springtime. I don't want to insulate (various reasons) and cannot afford to heat the Shed (or the machines themselves) either.

My solution is to wipe machinery over with an oily rag before and after use, paint any 'non-reference' surface and cover machines (lathe beds, milling tables, exposed metal generally) with a plastic sheet, topped off with an old blanket when not in use. I keep my best tooling indoors and anything else is usually kept wrapped in cling film (or plastic bags) and/or stored in recycled plastic biscuit boxes. Again - everything is kept well oiled.

It's not perfect but generally this works quite well (when compared to when I did none of the above). You may find a better solution eventually - but this will be a quick (and cheap) solution for now. It takes a little extra time and you have to get into the habit of doing it but it does make a difference.

As all my machines need oiling before use (and there's usually some to mop up - ever used a Myford Oil Gun?) - the oily rags tend to occur naturally but I guess any clean machine oil would do and in fact I purchased some "no-name" SAE30 recently (1 litre for about £2-£3 or so in Lidls) that seems perfectly usable and would be a good bit less expensive than WD40 over time and I suspect more effective.

Anyway - that's cheap and simple covered... smiley



Chris Trice21/03/2015 18:07:18
1362 forum posts
9 photos

Way back in my impoverished "still living with mum and dad' days, I staple gunned large bubble shrink wrap all over the inside of the garden shed I was using including the windows. It made a huge difference. It reduced the changes of temperature in both winter and summer, kept any dampness or precipitation that got through the wood out of the environment and greatly reduced the cold damp air that usually whistled around your ankles. It felt a bit like being in a Dr Who set but there's no denying it did much to help the problem.

Chris Trice21/03/2015 18:08:21
1362 forum posts
9 photos

An old bit of Lino on the floor helps too for the same reason.

Bruce Edney21/03/2015 19:07:48
161 forum posts
53 photos

I use Inox spray that is designed for fishing reels and that seems to work pretty well Not sure if it is available outside of NZ and Australia.


Oompa Lumpa21/03/2015 19:35:26
888 forum posts
36 photos
Posted by petro1head on 21/03/2015 16:56:41:


WD40 IS NOT OIL. I have seen quite a few posts the last couple of weeks where people are surprised that after using the magical and almost mystical contents of Water Dispersant40 - they have a rust problem.

WD 40 was developed during the Space Program to disperse water from the Rockets: WD stands for Water Dispersant for those that haven't quite picked up on that yet. The other great property of WD40 is that if there is a little water about it will actually absorb the water in order to dissipate it. WD40 is hygroscopic, it attracts water. It is terrific stuff if you own a Morris Oxford and you left it outside on a cold night/frosty morning and the HT leads are damp. Spray a load of WD40 about in the engine compartment and Hey Presto! All working.

I don't have any sort of rust problems, at all, ever. I don't own a can of WD40 either. I use either GT85 if I must spray stuff about (Brunox is good too) otherwise I have a couple of genuine, not yet patented, oily rags.

WD40 has no place in an Engineers workshop. Well, none that I can think of anyway.


mechman4821/03/2015 19:48:44
2933 forum posts
460 photos

I use WD40 for drilling/tapping aluminium or on the bandsaw for lubrication when been cutting aluminium... so it does have its uses in the workshop... for me.


Neil Wyatt21/03/2015 19:53:28
18776 forum posts
733 photos
80 articles

WD40 is like Bradex Easy-Start. you feel guilty every time you use it, but you do...


Bob Brown 121/03/2015 20:00:48
1021 forum posts
127 photos

Bradex Easy Start should be banned it can and does destroy engines, every time I see a can I cringe!

Bends con rods which is why some engines become addicted to the stuff.


Brian Rice 121/03/2015 20:17:50
82 forum posts
11 photos

I think I posted before a couple of Tilley lamps and plenty of insulation on thr floor I had palettes with carpet on top

KWIL21/03/2015 20:24:57
3422 forum posts
66 photos

Tilley lamps burn a hydrocarbon fuel and the products of combustion include water, just what you do not wantcrying

Mike Poole21/03/2015 20:59:07
3071 forum posts
72 photos

500 sqft is quite a large space to heat or dehumidify, I think a cover to try and minimise changes in temp and humidity would help, and there are oils specially formulated to inhibit corrosion a check of the forum advertisers will turn up some suitable products.


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