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Protecting cast iron machines

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Hudson Carpentry

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Hello

What is the best method to protect your cast iron machines overnight from the cold.

Last year the freezing cold conditions rusted a few bits and this year Im trying to avoid it. I have been leaving the oil rad on over night. On low, but after putting £30 into the electric meter over 10 days im looking for other ways to protect. I wax the tables currently but I know this don't protect much.
 

custard

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Just putting a dust sheet over cast iron tables will go a long, long way to protecting them from rust. The horizontal surfaces seem to suffer worst, I imagine because the moisture in the air condenses out and then stays longer on the horizontal surfaces, a simple dust sheet really helps a lot.

And I disagree about waxing not being effective, it doesn't offer perfect protection (nothing does) but it certainly helps. Try waxing half a chisel and leaving it on a bench, partially covered with a rag. After a week or two I bet you'll see the unwaxed and uncovered section has fared worst, while the waxed and covered section looks a lot better.
 

OPJ

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How is your workshop for ventilation? That's also said to be important, allowing fresh air to circulate.
 

woodbloke

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My 'shop is fairly well sealed and fully insulated all round with a suspended floor. I run a dehumidifier 24/7 and thus far I've had no rust problems on any cast iron surface, though I will be waxing them shortly - Rob
 

Lord Kitchener

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woodbloke":3os1s2rs said:
My 'shop is fairly well sealed and fully insulated all round with a suspended floor. I run a dehumidifier 24/7 and thus far I've had no rust problems on any cast iron surface, though I will be waxing them shortly - Rob

This is the way to do it. Sealing and a dehumidifier. If you don't know what the relative humidity in the workshop is, then invest in a hygrometer, or a few sheets of newspaper. If the newspaper feels soft, then you've got a humidity problem, and it won't be doing your wood any good as well as being bad for exposed iron surfaces.
 

Hudson Carpentry

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There is no real ventilation in mine, not for fresh air, the only vent has insulation stuffed into it for some reason. The wood is all stored in a wood store. All the walls are insulated as is the ceiling. Its all double glazed plus most of the shop has other rooms the otherside of the walls. The only window thats directly to the outside has 100mm kingspan on it. Its a high ceiling (Apex roof, ceiling follows the trusts). There don't seem to be a lot of humidity but ill take the snakes humidity meter in there for a few hours see what it says. Im sure he will not mind.

Thanks all. Ill think ill keep waxing and use Bobs method for heating of the tables and cover the sliding table (thats only on the TS now and again) covered with a dust sheet.
 

myturn

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I run a dehumidifier 2 hours on 2 hours off all year round in my workshop/garage and I have no need of any other protection of bare metal, that keeps it all rust-free.
 

Melektro

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Having recently purchased a 2nd hand Record planer/thicknesser I'd really like to reduce the chances of rust appearing over the winter months, particularly as where it's situated is regrettably prone to leaking and has little insulation (basically, it's a leaking garage). Record obviously recommend their silcone spray for the beds, I've read that camellia oil works well, but it's expensive, I like Bob '9fingers' suggestion (I'm clueless about electrics, but I'll look into it) and andersonec's suggestion seems to be the cheapest option. Can anyone suggest any other/better ideas to beat the winter weather?

Many thanks.
 

marcros

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be careful of using silicone on anything- can cause many problems if it gets onto timber that you want to apply a finish to.
 

wardroom

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Last winter I placed some containers of table salt around the workshop and you could feel the moisture in the containers so I just placed in microwave for a minute and it dried out ready for the next time.
Also had no problems with rust on tools.
 

woodbloke

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wardroom":3181ghoq said:
Last winter I placed some containers of table salt around the workshop and you could feel the moisture in the containers.
Rice would probably work as well. I keep all my biscuits in old coffee jars with a few grains of rice in each...keeps them nice and dry - Rob
 

Hudson Carpentry

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After looking around the shop at how much cast iron I have and how a resistor wouldn't be attachable on some, I think Bobs solution isn't for me. Take the T/P, 4 cast iron parts, none joined and all move.

Think ill do the salt pot and dust sheet option, wax I do regardless to restrict friction.
 

MickCheese

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I use this stuff on my motorbikes. I know it's only anecdotal but riding a bike through winter takes its toll but using this really appears to work.

http://www.acf-50.co.uk/

It does not leave a residue on the metal so may be good for machinery, maybe I will give something a squirt and see if there is any staining of wood that is dragged across it once dry.

Mick
 

Mark A

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woodbloke":q5bnzen6 said:
Rice would probably work as well.
I would have thought that leaving bowls of rice around the workshop would encourage vermin to move in?

I've put out a saucer of salt tonight to see how effective it is. Last year I first tried cement though it didn't really do much, then I bought one of those mini dehumidifier containers with a large dishwasher-tablet-shaped block of some salt-substance which was quite good, and lasted for months.
 

beech1948

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I had a small rust attack last winter on my Felder Combi in a sealed and heavily insulated workshop. This year I bought a small greenhouse tubular heater...2ft long and placed in the bottom of the unit. So far so good. Will need to see what happens during the rest of the winter.

Hand tools are in a tool cabinet that has a 40w incandescent light bulb in the base and 1/2 way up. Seems to work well also.

Al
 

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