Mothballing Machinery and Tools

      Tricks for minimizing rust damage when placing equipment and tools into long-term storage. March 14, 2006

Question
I am going to be closing my business for the next year or two and putting my shop contents into an unheated/uncooled building here in the Northeast. I have quality hand tools and quality machinery that I want to ensure will not be damaged by humidity/heat/cold. Anyone have advice or experience in this matter?

Forum Responses
(WOODnetWORK Forum)
From contributor R:
I put my shop away for 5 years in a similar situation and coated the tops of my machines with automobile undercoating. Worked fine.



From contributor T:
Cosmoline all the tops!


From contributor F:
The heavy steel tops on machines will definitely cause water vapor to condense on them because they get and stay very cold. The cheapest thing is to coat them with a heavy oil like a gear oil (lay it on heavy). I would apply oil to the moving parts under the tops too, such as elevation gears and trunnions, etc. Store your fine hand tools in wooden boxes as opposed to metal or plastic ones. If you can't get a hold of a desiccant to place with the hand tools, you could pack them in fine sawdust. I stored my machines and hand tools in an unheated space in the Pacific Northwest for quite a few years and the rust I got on the table tops was easy to deal with. The rust on the hand tools was really the shame.


From contributor W:
Look for a storage facility that has conditioned spaces. Here in Chicagoland, U-Haul has been building them all over the place.

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