Tool Maintenance- Removing Rust

I’ve been working on moving into my new space at school. David Clemons made us our own benches for the advanced students. This is it empty.

empty new bench.

While I’ve been moving my stuff in, I started to look at my tools. They got so rusted on my trip. And some just needed some Tender Loving Care.

Rusty Files

Rusty Ruler for my Square

What I needed to do to remove this was WD40, a File Card, Fine grit wet/dry sand paper, a rag and a container.

spraying with wd-40

  I coated all my tools with wd-40 and let them sit for about 5 minutes.

sit and “simmer” for 5 minutes

After they sat for a few minutes, I used the file card on the files, going in line with the grain, or ridges of the file to remove the rust in the crevices.

Sand paper and elbow grease

For the other tools, like the ruler on my square, I used steel wool and then the fine-grit sand paper. I wiped it clean with the towel to see how much rust was leftover. Depending on the amount of rust, I had to continuously coat the steel tools with wd-40 and then remove the rust.

wow-it is a ruler!

Rust on tools occur when air and water chemically react on your steel, and begin to corrode. This is a common problem. The moisture in the air causes this, especially in humid environments. You can take steps to prevent this by coating the surface with a greasy non-water based lubricant. I used wd-40 once again to coat the tools, and then wiped them with a clean towel to have them ready for my next project.


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