Storing Cutters and Stuff

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seal killer
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Storing Cutters and Stuff

Post by seal killer » Sat Feb 23, 2008 11:12 pm

All--

I try to treat my cutters, collets, and other mill tooling like I do my firearms; in a humidity controlled environment and with enough protectant--especially on the ones I do not use all the time--to prevent even a hint of rust.

The firearms are easier since I keep them in a safe with plenty of moisture absorber. The mill and its tools are in the garage. Although I have a dehumidifier in the garage specifically for the mill, I keep the machine clean and all the bare iron surfaces sprayed with a protectant called "SlipIt."

I thought and thought about the tools and how to keep them rust free. I finally hit on this idea; it is cheap and easy, plus it adds a lot of organization to my little shop . . .

Image

These plastic structures filled with little drawers each have a mill or collet or something in them. Each one is covered with 40 weight motor oil. The big stuff, like my drill chuck, face mill and some other items get their own container. I think you can see that they are not filled with oil, but have a paper shop rag folded over the tool. The edges of the shop rag are in the oil and the rag wicks the oil over the tool.

Russ, this one's for you . . .

Image

This idea works for just about everything. I keep other things under gun oil wipes, such as setup stuff and my vise. I always keep a rag handy when I take a tool out of the oil.

These things are sitting in one of the middle shelves of my "lifting structure" that I turned into a BIG tool cabinent . . .

Image

How do you keep your stuff from rusting?

--Bill
You are what you write.

Jose Rivera
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Keeping rust out

Post by Jose Rivera » Sat Feb 23, 2008 11:30 pm

LPS 3, the ones that applies liquid (spray can) then dries out into a nice waxy consistency that completely seal the surfaces. Easy to clean up when needed.

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MikeC
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Post by MikeC » Sat Feb 23, 2008 11:47 pm

I just insulated the shop and installed a little window unit heat pump in the wall this year. Now I don't have any rusting problems anymore. I was dousing everything with WD-40 every few days. This worked very well and was not as messy as many of the more long term rust preventatives. I could wipe with a rag and go to work. Spray everything down after I finished. Now, i just go out and work.

My biggest concern was my instruments, micrometers, calipers and such, my lathe tool holders, chucks, my mill tooling and my very expensive ER-40 collets. I used an old welder's trick. The solution was an unused old small fridge.

A friend gave me a little 50 watt Chromalloy heating element. Looks like an incandescent light bulb, but with a 4"x1"daim metal tube instead of a bulb. I found an old ceramic and brass light bulb socket in some junk,mounted it in a metal box and hooked it up with heavy guage wire to an old extension cord. I then mounted the box to one of the lowest shelves, ran the cord out through a gap in the seal on the fridge. Even with temps in the teens in the shop, the little fridge stayed about 75 degrees and the tooling stayed dry.

Large, heavy objects like lathe chucks went down near the heater. They would not be damaged by higher temps and would act as thermal flywheels, storing the heat and regulating the temp more evenly. Sensitive stuff like my mics and all went in the freezer section up at the top (not a separate freezer compartment, just a box with an interior door). This protected them from direct heat rising from the heat element.

Had plenty of shelving and the door racks were good for long narrow objects. Best part was the built in ER-40 collet holder.... egg rack in the door fit them perfectly.
18x72 L&S, Fosdick 3ft radial, Van Norman 2G bridgemill, Van Norman #12, K. O. Lee T&C grinder, Steptoe-Western 12X universal HS shaper, 16spd benchtop DP, Grob band filer, South Bend 10L

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mechanicalmagic
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Post by mechanicalmagic » Sun Feb 24, 2008 12:08 am

Bill,
Like Jose, I'm a fan of LPS products. In NorCal rust is not a big problem. I use LPS2 for general coverage on tools used monthly. On stock, drill rod, or less used tooling, LPS3.

I pick LPS because it's easy to get. I buy from MSC, they are close.

Endmills live in their original tubes. Drills in the index boxes, without protection (other than the cutting oil, which has been wiped off).

Oh, and there is the dehumidifier that's on 24/7.

Errors I have made:
For a while I was using a water soluable cutting lube, supposedly a rust preventitave, no rust, but did stain everything in time.
I have a soluable oil in the bandsaw, it evaporates faster than water, leaving me with a rust making solution.
Mixing WD-40 with motor oil, in the long term leaves brown gunk.
(Among many other non-rust preventions.)
Dave
Every day I ask myself, "What's the most fun thing to do today."
9x48 BP clone, 12x36 lathe, TIG, MIG, Gas, 3 in 1 sheetmetal.

thomas harris
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Post by thomas harris » Sun Feb 24, 2008 12:18 am

One thing to consider on moisture and tools. If you heat "as needed" in cold climates with unvented fossil fuel heaters, you risk something else in additon to carbon monoxide poisoning. They produce large amounts of water vapor when burned. This is really bad on iron parts, especially when the cold shop tools are suddenly exposed to warm, moisture laden air. Condenses on them causing serious rust. The cycle can be created over and over when the shop is allowed to cool down to conserve heat. Most people use vented heaters, but for some reason they still sell and use a few types of nonvented ones.

Greg_S
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Post by Greg_S » Sun Feb 24, 2008 12:31 am

Bill,
While I live in the 'rust belt' and have given in to the fact that I can't always fight nature and win, I don't have any other added advice to offer about rust prevention.

What I did want to say was that I appreciate you sharing the photos of your shop set up. After reading many of your post here, it helps me visualize what your working conditions are and just makes it more 'real' to me (and others I'm sure). Now I can have a picture in my mind of you there working on what ever it is that you are prototyping.

Too bad that tinkering/inventing like yours isn't encouraged and popular any longer in this great country of ours! Keep it up and motivate others to do the same, like we share ideas here on this board.

Greg

Carm
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Post by Carm » Sun Feb 24, 2008 8:24 am

That is admirable storage & organisation.
A product is available in the form of treated paper that works well to protect steel from corrosion, http://www.corrosion.us/vci-barrier-paper.htm being one example.
It has been effective for several years in my usage.No need to wipe anything off.

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seal killer
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Post by seal killer » Sun Feb 24, 2008 11:01 am

All--

I thought this topic might stir up some great ideas . . . I kept each of them.

In reality, my "method" evolved from ignorance of the subject and my huge success in keeping my firearms rust-free. However, I have no empirical proof that what I am doing will actually work, long term.

I SEEMS like a good idea, though. :)

Thank you, Greg.

Carm, the rack is less than a third full. Well less. Almost everything you see--except the shelf that holds the cutters and the very bottom shelf that holds the compresor and dehumidifier--sits near the front edge of its shelf. There is a LOT of space left over. The shelf itself evolved out of the thing I built to get the mill off its shipping pallet.

That treated paper idea sounds great, as does Jose's and Dave's recommendations of LPS products, which I have read them recommend previously.

I am going to watch what I am doing very closely to see if it REALLY works. However, it is hard to imagine something immersed in oil rusting.

--Bill
PS Dave, speaking of errors I have made: I learned about water soluable stuff when I started using some water soluable cleaner on my 10", 50 caliber Desert Eagle. Of course, I always wiped it down thoroughly because I KNEW the problem with water-based products and steel. Well, why didn't I take the grips OFF and clean and dry beneath THEM??? That cost me a pretty penny to "fix." I performed the fix by going from black oxide to black chrome. It is beautiful.
You are what you write.

PeteH
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Post by PeteH » Sun Feb 24, 2008 12:15 pm

Thanks for that link to the VCI paper source. Now if only they'd sell the stuff in more reasonable quantities... some of that 1000 sheets is likely to still be around when they plant me in the orchard.
Pete in NJ

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JimGlass
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Post by JimGlass » Tue Feb 26, 2008 11:36 am

Endmill storage. As you can see my system is not that much different than what Bill is doing.
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I went a step further and used this corner of my shop for storage which is not normally accessable. I used by-pass closet door tracks to make the storage shelf itself moveable.
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The place I retired from was junking out this set of drawers. I figured up how many additional square feet of storage this added to my shop
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This looks a little messy but shows R8 collets and boring heads stored in a work bench drawer. This is how I learned collets are better stored away from chips, dust and moisture.
Image

An old file cabinet and special box for storing 5C collets.
Image

Jim
Tool & Die Maker/Electrician, Retired 2007

So much to learn and so little time.

www.outbackmachineshop.com

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seal killer
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Post by seal killer » Tue Feb 26, 2008 5:00 pm

Jim--

It looks great and you have more stuff than me! :(

I gotta break out a catalog or ten!

--Bill
You are what you write.

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JimGlass
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Post by JimGlass » Tue Feb 26, 2008 7:02 pm

Bill;

I was going to mention, be careful allowing oil to contact certain plastics because it will deteriorate them. The drawers will break and fall apart.
Polystyrene plastic (I think) does not like oil.

Jim
Tool & Die Maker/Electrician, Retired 2007

So much to learn and so little time.

www.outbackmachineshop.com

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