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Recommended lathe outside protection?

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choochoo_baloo19/12/2017 10:39:37
269 forum posts
57 photos

I’m soon to receive a Colchester lathe that must be stored outside on a pallet, well wrapped under a tarpaulin (I have no choice but to leave it outside till the spring sadly).

Please can others advise on the best way to protect the lathe during the coming months? As a minimum I was going to liberally smear this Myford storage oil on all bright steel **LINK**

I will bring all the accessories inside too.

Thanks in advance.

pgk pgk19/12/2017 10:49:19
2321 forum posts
293 photos

I have no personal experience but would have thought one of the spray on corrosion prevention waxes such as this: **LINK**

Brian Wood19/12/2017 10:57:36
2452 forum posts
37 photos

I stored a complete workshop in a damp unheated shed through two winters for 18 months after a house move with all the vulnerable surfaces greased and then covered in cling film.

It was not quite as severe a test as outdoor storage but other than a little staining here and there where the greasing was thin, everything survived the experience.

Pay special attention to the underside of surfaces, the damp air will attack from below and out of sight.


Lambton19/12/2017 11:14:58
694 forum posts
2 photos

I suggest that you first remove any easily removable parts such as chucks, tailstock, tool post, etc. and store them inside somewhere dry.

Make sure the lathe is stored off the ground on bricks or slabs but not wood.

Ensure that vital areas such as the bed, spindle (nose and inside), top and cross slide etc. are well greased with a thick coat all over. "Paint" on your chosen rest prevention oil e.g. the Myford product that you have quoted.. Alternatively spray on one of the Ambersil corrosion products or Finnegans Waxoil (AKA Hammerite)

A suggested by Brian make sure you deal with the underside of everything and inside the cabinet.

Inspect the lathe whenever there is a nice dry day and deal immediately with any corrosion found.


John C19/12/2017 12:19:46
267 forum posts
93 photos

I have found this to be very effective: Hallet Oils Rustpro 410, available from Hallet Steam Oils. No connection etc.


peak419/12/2017 13:13:26
1499 forum posts
162 photos

No experience of storing machine tools outdoors, just machines with two wheels.

The current favourite of motorcyclists seems to be ACF-50 available as a spray.

As well as chucks, tailstock etc, try and do something to keep the damp out of the motor windings, even if it means bringing that indoors too.



Chris Trice19/12/2017 14:53:28
1362 forum posts
9 photos

All these sorts of products are similar but the one considered the best for car rust/corrosion protection by most motoring sources is Waxoyl. It can be taken off with white spirit and as they name implies, it leaves a layer of oily wax on bare metal which also self heals if scuffed. I've used it for years and can't fault it. It'll be more than up to the job even if left without a tarpaulin over it.

jimmy b19/12/2017 14:56:42
739 forum posts
42 photos
+1 for ACF50.

I've not used anything as good.

Martin 10019/12/2017 15:15:30
274 forum posts
6 photos

As good as ACF50 is (and it is very good) for such a large object I would steer towards something like this

Dintrol 4941 black underbody wax (coverage is obvious)


or Dinitrol underbody wax clear (less easy to see where you have sprayed)


or Rocol Moisture Guard


Warm cans (10 mins in bucket of hot water) and a thin film are all that is required.

Edited By Martin 100 on 19/12/2017 15:17:01

David Standing 119/12/2017 15:37:47
1296 forum posts
50 photos

Before I went spraying Dinitrol 4941 all over my nice shiny newly acquired Colchester lathe, I might be giving some thought as to how I was going to get it all off again afterwards.............

Martin 10019/12/2017 16:22:45
274 forum posts
6 photos

Cleaning it off? Use just about any 'industrial degreaser' or car 'tar remover' or a non caustic cleaner like G101

Spray on, wipe off . No rust, no paint falling off. It's not a problem.

john carruthers20/12/2017 08:04:09
611 forum posts
180 photos

In tropical humid conditions we used RIG (rust inhibiting grease) on weapons and vehicles, good thick tacky jollop that lasts ages. Try a local shooting supplier.

Curtis Rutter20/12/2017 08:37:59
132 forum posts
14 photos

Where about a are you? I have some left over aircraft grade Anti corrosive that I used on my ML7 for 4 months in a damp unheated garage whilst it was being stored. Will require a clean down after application but not a single bit of rust appeared in the time, I also covered in a dust sheet.

John McNamara20/12/2017 10:48:41
1314 forum posts
113 photos

I have recently emptied a damp (with a lot of Roof leaks) shed of stored machinery. It also contained a couple of pallets of individually double wrapped rolled high end UK furnishing fabrics.

All the steel items were oiled then wrapped in two layers of heavy 200um polyethylene concrete slab underlay, No Oil for the textiles! Each layer was carefully and separately sealed on every fold and edge with silver duct tape, the type used by contractors, not the packaging tape you find on parcels. this created two layers of sealing. Finally a layer was used as a tarp over the pallets, making sure it was not holed. It is available in rolls (Folded) up to 4mt wide. The Items were stored for about 5 years.

There were only a couple of parcels that had been damaged by holing. The rest were fine. even the textiles were free of mildew. Holes are the enemy. 200um polly is quite strong.

The polythene is readily available from building supplies outlets together with the tape.

All I can say is it worked for me.


JohnF20/12/2017 11:12:49
1099 forum posts
183 photos

Choochoo another plus 1 for waxoil we stored a Bridgeport and a Smart & Brown for a year or so over winter in a shed without any problem. As Dave says consider removal of the protection material, with waxoil just use parrafin or white spirit then re-lube before use.


P S you can buy it in airosols now or if the standard stuff you can make it more liquid by heat ing in a container of very hot water. I would use the clear and not the black version 

Edited By JohnF on 20/12/2017 11:15:41

Vic20/12/2017 11:50:12
2919 forum posts
8 photos
Posted by john carruthers on 20/12/2017 08:04:09:

In tropical humid conditions we used RIG (rust inhibiting grease) on weapons and vehicles, good thick tacky jollop that lasts ages. Try a local shooting supplier.

Sounds like the stuff the Chinese put on their machines smiley is it red?

David Standing 120/12/2017 12:01:26
1296 forum posts
50 photos
Posted by Vic on 20/12/2017 11:50:12:
Posted by john carruthers on 20/12/2017 08:04:09:

In tropical humid conditions we used RIG (rust inhibiting grease) on weapons and vehicles, good thick tacky jollop that lasts ages. Try a local shooting supplier.

Sounds like the stuff the Chinese put on their machines smiley is it red?


Traditionally the rust preventative for long stored military firearms has been Cosmoline.


Edited By David Standing 1 on 20/12/2017 12:01:45

martin perman20/12/2017 12:14:01
2009 forum posts
83 photos

Several years ago a Lucas company I worked for closed a fuel injector manufacturing plant down in Ipswich, its mirror copy was now up and running in the USA.

All of the machine manufacturers came in and cleaned and prepared all of the machines by changing the oils and greasing all bare services, they were then shipped to Gloucester to another company site where they were stored in a unheated hanger, I had the job of finishing the machines ready for storage, I placed a large sheet of polythene on the floor and then put thick pads of felt packing on the sheet to protect the sheet from being punctured, all sharp edges were padded out and the machine was then covered with the plastic sheet and the open edges were heat welded together. Before it was completely sealed bags of silicon were placed inside and the bag was then sealed to a hole the size of a vacuum hose when all the air was sucked out and the hole then sealed.

I did this work for 12 months and regularly checked the earlier machines for leaks etc, how the machines fared over long time storage but after I left my job I found out all of the machines where sold on.


Martin P

Edited By martin perman on 20/12/2017 12:14:48

Edited By martin perman on 20/12/2017 12:16:55

Howard Lewis20/12/2017 15:39:51
5328 forum posts
13 photos

Another Waxoyl enthusiast!

My bandsaw lives outside, but is regularly sprayed with clean oil. It is covered by a "box" made of the heavy grade material used to make the curtainsides for vehicles.

The bottom is left open, so that any damp air can escape. (Occasionally a snail will shelter under there on the legs!)

Any water that falls on the metal, as the cover is removed, is wiped off.

Almost no rusting has been seen in many years. Any has been so light that a rub with a cloth or a green nylon pad has removed it.

Obviously this is not long term storage, with the machine being uncovered, from time to time, for use.

For longer term storage, I would advocate a heavier oil/wax/grease, applied heavily and completely. If it needs saying, where it is not protected from moist air, corrosion will take place.

Water, in any form, plus air equals corrosion.

As Martin says, if completely sealed, dessicant is needed as well as protective coating.


choochoo_baloo07/08/2021 20:29:08
269 forum posts
57 photos

Dear all, after a long hiatus I'm finally getting ready to clean the "Dinitrol Metallic" off of my Colchester Master Mk1.

Whilst the Dinitrol data sheet says cleaning using "petroleum spirit", with usual caveat of being an inexperienced metalworker, can one of you chaps confirm that:

liberal use of neat petrol won't harm the original lathe paintwork in any way? Be it the painted information plates plates or the main cast body work.

Thanks in advance.

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