View Full Version : Popular Mechanics Tip for preventing Rusting Tools


BigDawgDavao
02-20-2011, 10:56 PM
Anyone use this tip? Just noticed it in a recent Popular Mechanics article

How To Prevent Rusting Tools
Your tools are an investment, and you need to protect them from damaging elements, especially moisture. Keep tools in your toolbox rust free by storing a few pieces of blackboard chalk in each compartment that contains metal tools or other hardware

ImportTuner
02-20-2011, 11:00 PM
Anyone use this tip? Just noticed it in a recent Popular Mechanics article

How To Prevent Rusting Tools
Your tools are an investment, and you need to protect them from damaging elements, especially moisture. Keep tools in your toolbox rust free by storing a few pieces of blackboard chalk in each compartment that contains metal tools or other hardware

Has anybody tried this? Does it work? It's the first time I've heard of this.

stricht8
02-20-2011, 11:00 PM
That's a new one for me. I did hear of using charcoal briquettes the same way.

pipsters
02-20-2011, 11:10 PM
Some chalk is/was composed of Camphor, which discourages rust when it evaporates and emits a vapr. A better solution is just to buy blocks of camphor, they are fairly cheap, either online or at your local drug store.

http://www.amazon.com/DEER-Refined-CAMPHOR-Tablets-Blocks/dp/B003YXQUAE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=hpc&qid=1298261569&sr=8-1

Also from my understanding camphor is the main ingredient in vicks vapor rub.

spongerich
02-20-2011, 11:15 PM
That's a new one for me. I did hear of using charcoal briquettes the same way.

Wouldn't that make your tools get really hot? :bounce:

ZRX61
02-20-2011, 11:18 PM
I fnd that living in the Mojave Desert pretty much stops any rust on tools, or any other metal..

BigDawgDavao
02-20-2011, 11:24 PM
http://www.amazon.com/DEER-Refined-CAMPHOR-Tablets-Blocks/dp/B003YXQUAE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=hpc&qid=1298261569&sr=8-1


Thanks for the link. May have to get some to try as I noted they are also useful for pests. Maybe the wife can also use for the closets as for some reason we got these pesky little bugs that are eating some of her clothes so she has resorted to sticking in moth balls of which I hate the smell.

Ray-CA
02-20-2011, 11:28 PM
Thanks for the link. May have to get some to try as I noted they are also useful for pests. Maybe the wife can also use for the closets as for some reason we got these pesky little bugs that are eating some of her clothes so she has resorted to sticking in moth balls of which I hate the smell.

Moth balls are camphor. You won't like the smell in your tool box either.

Ray

BigDawgDavao
02-20-2011, 11:37 PM
The mothballs we get here aren't the camphor type, but rather either naphthalene or dichlorobenzene and I would much prefer the smell of "Vick's" to the mothballs.

Busted Bolts
02-20-2011, 11:44 PM
I've tried the 3 in1 tabs, they turn fully red when saturated, seemed to work, but can't find them anymore ???

Techniker
02-21-2011, 01:35 AM
I've tried the 3 in1 tabs, they turn fully red when saturated, seemed to work, but can't find them anymore ???

Walmart. Next to the Stanley tool boxes and the 3-in-1 oil.

I have never used those, but from what you said, I now deeply suspect they are nothing more than silica gel (desiccant) complexed with cobalt chloride as an indicator. An interesting experiment for you to do, if you want to try and reuse those/save money, is to find some place dry and warm and heat them for a while. If the tab turns back to blue/white then it was just silica gel and the cobalt indicator and you can reuse them without a problem.

Alternatively, silica gel desiccant packs are dirt cheap online, you can find them on Ebay. We literally have a drum of the stuff in my old biology lab and used it for whenever we needed to keep something dry (open packages of nitrocellulose for example).

84bimmer
02-21-2011, 01:53 AM
Charcoal seems to work well for me in my portable box. But in my big box I use dessicants, such as those little gel packets in the box of new shoes. It works pretty well. Sometimes in the cold winter most of my tools can get a coating of frost. Scary stuff! But, none have really accumulated any rust. So I'd say it works.

airdale
02-21-2011, 01:57 AM
http://www.amazon.com/DEER-Refined-CAMPHOR-Tablets-Blocks/dp/B003YXQUAE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=hpc&qid=1298261569&sr=8-1

Also from my understanding camphor is the main ingredient in vicks vapor rub.
Don't know about you, but for me Vick's never had the benefit listed in the Amazon ad: "prophecy in dreams".
Things that make you go hmmm. :lol_hitti

jeffk14
02-21-2011, 08:35 AM
Don't know about you, but for me Vick's never had the benefit listed in the Amazon ad: "prophecy in dreams".
Things that make you go hmmm. :lol_hitti
Haha, I think they must have copied the roughly translated Chinese right off of the box.:lol_hitti

Back to the chalk. I'm curious if this will really work. Of all the alternatives mentioned, it seems to me that the chalk would be the cheapest, most maintenance-free solution.

I like dessicant packs in a closed environment but a tool box is far from air-tight. In my humid garage, I suspect that the little packs would become saturated very quickly.

teicher
02-21-2011, 08:37 AM
I just reuse those desiccant packages that you get whenever you buy electronics, shoes, or anything else wrapped in plastic. Rather than throw them out, I just throw them in the tool box. Works perfectly.

RLYoung
02-21-2011, 10:29 AM
Desiccant is the same stuff that's used for air dryers in heavy duty air/brake systems right? I wonder if throwing a few of those pellets in each drawer (next time I service an air system) would work.

Then again, we really don't have big rust issues where I'm at.