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Rust in the workshop

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The Restorer

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This is picked up from another thread re-LN chisels.

For a long time i suffered with the dreaded rust in the workshop (also didn't help having a leak in the roof that wasn't spotted and happened to be right over the jointers lovely cast iron bed (you can imagine the mess) beautiful woodturning chucks used to rust whether still mounted to the lathe or put away in the cabinet. Something had to be done!

Went on a cabinetmaking course and found the answer - The Dehumidifier- i have two workshops (one for finishing) and both are equiped with dehumidifiers (one £149 with heater from Screwfix, the other £89.99 from the same place). The workshops are also equipped with humidity guages (bought from garden centres, B&Q etc about £5) that monitor the humidity. I tend to keep the workshop around the 65% mark (it used to be nearer to 90%)and have no problems with rust.
The answer seems to be a reasonable level of humidity (65%) with background heating (the main workshop is linked to the house central heating system) This means no rust and warm pleasant working conditions (no more i'd like to go make something but by time i get out there and get the place warm it'll be time to come in).
The other big advantage is that if you place one of these humidity meters in your house or wherever you are making furniture for you will be able to alter your workshop conditions to match and so make furniture that will last without shrinkage or expansion problems. Also if you happen to restore anything that's warped and twisted due to being to near to the radiator, you can reverse this a suprising amount by covering in kitchen towels, damping down and wrapping in cling film (surface finish tends to be wrecked though) monitor how it goes back to shape and the dry it out slowly by decreasing the humidity in your workshop! You can also condition your timber in this way by in effect kilning it by building a dehumidification chamber within the workshop!
Sorry for the long spiel but to summarise;

Humidity 65% + low background heat = NO RUST ON YOUR TOOLS
 

devonwoody

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To the restorer

I went looking for the humidity gauge you mention but was unsuccessful, in fact looking around the web they seem to cost big bucks!$500!!

Any further info on this item appreciated.
 

Michel

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DW,

they stock them at my local B&Q can't find them on the website though :roll: .

In my local store they were hung up right by the dehumidifiers.

Hope this helps

Michel
 

PitBull

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I'll second the use of dehumidifers...

My basement in Switzerland contains all my WWing gear, plus the clothes washer and spin drier. When the washer or (worse) the drier were in operation, the humidity rocketed. Bear in mind the basement is next to the heating cellar so is usually around 20-22 degrees, so cold is not a problem, and it's a properly insulated room etc.

I now have a dehumidifier which has a rotating dial for selecting the humidity level, and I also bought a combo thermometer/humidity gauge (by "Oregon Scientiific" - bought it in the local Coop Bau+Hobby which is a local version of B&Q). This gauge shows me that the dialable dehumidifier setting is about 15% out (high), so I adjust to compensate. I now have about 50% stable humidity, which pretty much matches the rest of the house.
 
A

Anonymous

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i had the same problem with rust.

as mentioned a dehumidifier solved the problem

A selection of hygrometers HERE


Edit: Incidently, many hygrometers will need calibrating. Even if your one is supposed to be calibrated it is worth checking

There is a guide HERE
 

Alf

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The Restorer":35e0m41h said:
Humidity 65% + low background heat = NO RUST ON YOUR TOOLS
No, no, no. Humidity 65% + low background heat = unobtainable paradise.
I know the theory; I just can't afford to put it into practice. Those of you with small workshops won't belive me, but having a reasonably sized w'shop can actually have drawbacks; insulating and heating them is one.

Cheers, Alf
 

dedee

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I would be interested to know what you consider to be "background heat".

I have been using an ebac dehumdifier to control humidity and a small heater just to keep the temperature above freezing ie about 5 to 8 degrees (the ebac will not work below 5 dgrees) The max-min hygrometer averages at about 50%.

Heating a large workshop to 15-20 degrees may well be expensive but running a dehumdifier 24hrs a day certainly is not (at least I have not noticed a rise in the electricity bill) and keeping the temp just above freezing should not be too costly.

Andy
 

ike

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running a dehumdifier 24hrs a day certainly is not (at least I have not noticed a rise in the electricity bill)
My God!, that's incredible! - have you checked that it is actually working? :wink:
 

dedee

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Ike, sorry. Of course it is only "on" when the humidistat kicks in. I have no idea for how long it is actually dehumdifying for during the day.
In the past 9 months that I have been using it I really have not noticed a an increase in the amoount of electrikery used.

Andy
 

ike

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Ike, sorry.
What for? - I was just being facetious. Interested to hear it's so cheap to run though as I'm hoping to get one soon as my ultra-mega cheap special inside source comes up trumps - (hopefully around £20 squid new :wink:)
 

dedee

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Ike, sorry for giving you the opportunity, I should have explained myself better.
Anyway I bit more background.

I originaly bought the ebac as at the time we had no room for a tumble dryer. IIRC the Ebac when full on would only use about 300w as opposed to a tumble dryer that would use 3kw. It may have taken about 4 hours to dry the clothes but at a considerable saving compared with the dryer.

I can only guess that using the slowest fan speed on about halfway on the humidistat it uses considerably less that 300w - which I think I would notice on the bill.

Andy
 

ike

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Hey up Andy,

Power consumption won't vary hugely with fan speed as the refridgerant compressor will absorb the greater part. I don't know what the duty cycle would be at minimum humidistat setting but for the sake of argument if it averaged 25% over the year then the annual cost for continuous automatic operation would be in the order of £40 (pretty much as for a fridge or smallish freezer with similar gubbins).

cheers

Ike
 

The Restorer

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Humidity guages in my local B&Q in garden section next to greenhouse heaters and soil testers.
The larger of the De-humidifiers i have is designed to work within a 5 bedroom house - thats a pretty big area and surely enough for your workshop Alf? Dry air is actually cheaper to heat than damp air so saving there as well! Smaller De-humidifier designed for 3 bed house. It takes a few weeks for them to initially bring the humidity down but once it's there it' copes with doors left open etc. quickly. Power consumption is negligible, the bigger one is only 370W.
I use the old fashioned glue pots so have boiling water on the go and hence steam quite often and it brings that back down within a few hours.
Background heat = 10 - 15 degrees C.

How do you pick up the quotes on replies?

Steve
 

Adam

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How do you pick up the quotes on replies?
Steve
At the top of each message, on the right hand side, is a little icon "Qoute" - this then brings the message up - and you can either leave it all in, or edit out to the relevant line like I've done. You can also change the name :oops:

Adam (in cheeky mode!)

PS: The "Edit" button is pretty explanatory, and the "X" allows you to delete a post, handy if you double post sometimes.
 

Alf

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The Restorer":hq22fuam said:
The larger of the De-humidifiers i have is designed to work within a 5 bedroom house - thats a pretty big area and surely enough for your workshop Alf?
Gosh, yes. I'm more concerned about the reservoir of damp in the thick walls really; I think clearing them of moisture may be rather like painting the Forth Bridge.
Never mind, Axminster have rushed me the anti-rust supplies today (via the Midlands apparently
) and I'm hoping to get to B&Q to have a gander at their dehumidifier some time... Might have to sell a few tools to fund it though.
*

Cheers, Alf

*I know; stop crying, you're making the place damp...
 

Chris Knight

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Alf":1u7qqsrp said:
Might have to sell a few tools to fund it though.
Yes but then you will have more room in your workshop for

1) stuff you actually use
2) stuff you really need
3) assembly of more fine furniture
4) all the review freebies you are collecting

etc.
 
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