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Protecting Your Assets

For most woodworkers there is nothing more saddening than returning to your workshop after some time away to find surface rust has taken hold of your prized table saw, or your favourite handplane has small rusty smudges all over it. In this article, we cover some of the simple steps you can take to keep the rust at bay and several products designed to help.

Japanese Camellia Oil (Hamono Tsubaki)

This highly refined Camellia oil is a very pure, natural oil pressed from the seeds of an evergreen plant from the Camellia family. It’s a light oil that won’t dry or gum up. It was originally used to protect finely crafted Samurai swords. The high carbon Damascus steel would easily rust if not cared for. These days camelia oil is used to protect hand planes, saws, knives and chisels from the insidious rust that develops when your tool is left on the shelf.

It takes only a few drops wiped all over hand tools with a soft cloth after you’ve used them. In addition, try to keep them in a drawer or cupboard. Put in a few of those desiccant sachets that absorb moisture in packaged foods too (this is a tip from Peter Young - his tools are in fine shape).

Camellia oil won’t leave an oily residue on the surface of your timber and acts as a lubricant for easier tool usage. You’ll be surprised how much easier and less resistance there is when the sole of a hand plane has a light coating of this oil.

Camellia Oil (CAM-1) is perfect for protecting your hand tools from rust.

G15 Corrosion Inhibitor

This is proving to be somewhat of a miracle product. Originally developed for industry, G15 is a soft film long term rust preventative that’s designed to be used on all types of metal to create an almost impenetrable moisture barrier. This makes it the perfect product to keep your tools and machinery rust free if they are to be unused and stored for long periods of time.

It’s been proven to withstand exposure to sunlight as well as salt spray, making it perfect for your tools if you live near the coast. G5 is not an oil, but a thixotropic gel, it sprays as a liquid and then solidifies as a film. It’s also non-staining and won’t dry out and can be used inside machinery as well as on metal surfaces. G15 works best if surfaces are dry and clear of all rust and paint before applying.

Please Note - Due to G15’s flammable nature it attracts a dangerous goods classification and can only be shipped by road transport.

G15 Corrosion Inhibitor is thixotropic gel, designed to be used on all types of metal.

Silverglide Dry Slip

Cast iron machine tops can be highly susceptible to surface rust. Humidity, contact with the oils in our skin through fingerprints and sweat, can be all it takes to react with the metal, this is especially true when the machine isn’t in constant use.

Silverglide Dry Slip offers an effective solution to fighting rust, it also acts as a silicone free lubrication to help timber slide over the table surface more easily.

Before applying the silverglide,the machine table needs to be as clean and rust free as possible. An effective way to remove the surface rust is with fine steel wool or 400gr wet and dry sandpaper with mineral turpentine. Work in the mineral turps with the abrasive and wipe away sludge with a clean cloth. Make sure you do the mitre slot as well.

Once the surface is dry apply a coat of silverglide with a clean cloth and buff off the excess. Repeat the process when you think it needs it or if you’re going away for a while. If your machines have long periods without being used, it’s worth covering them with a machine cover to help protect them.

Silver Glide Dry Slip is an effective solution for fighting rust, even on cast iron machinery.

CMT Formula 2050

Cutting tools such as router bits and saw blades need to be clean and free of resin build-up to perform at their best. CMT have developed a non-toxic, biodegradable cleaning product that will dissolve wood residues and adhesives easily.

Formula 2050 penetrates the tiny crack in the resin and attacks the bond between it and the carbide or steel surfaces. The resin releases its grip enabling you to wipe it away. By keeping your tooling clean you can increase the length of time between sharpening and replacement of you cutters and blades.

You can use Formula 2050 on all woodworking cutters such as saw blades, router bits, drills, shaper cutters and planer blades. It also may be used as an effective rust preventative on machinery table tops and other metal surfaces.

It’s best to develop a maintenance regime for your tools and machinery right from the start to ensure a lifetime of good service from them. Like so many things, you will get back in return what you put in.

CMT Formula 2050 is excellent for use on all woodworking cutters. It is a non-toxic, biodegradable solution.

For more information on all of the listed products, please click the links below: