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Sudden Rust Infestation!

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  • Sudden Rust Infestation!

    I was in the shop working a hard day yesterday, finishing up two orders that were going for install today.

    Today I was up, loaded the trailer, and went out to site to deliver and install.

    Just an hour ago I get back home and visit the shop just to grab some papers. As I'm walking towards the bench I absent-mindedly run my hand across the jointer, as I often do, I guess I'm just a tactile person, but right away I notice something feels wrong. I stop and look down, and the entire jointer bed is covered in this fine, fine covering of red rust!! It looks like someone came in and lightly covered it with a plant mister or something and then left it to rust. I was aghast, and right away ran over to the shelf to grab some cleaner and steel wool. It's on the way there I start to clue into the size of the problem: it wasn't just the jointer- it was every single cast iron surface in the shop!!! They weren't like this yesterday, but today, POOF! rust on everything!

    It has been fairly cold - around 7* - the last couple weeks, and then yesterday this sudden "mini heatwave" they're calling it started up. It was about 24* yesterday, and humid as all get out. I had a tough time getting the finish I was spraying to dry, because it was so humid. It's still pretty much the same today, and it didn't get that cold last night. I assume this had something to do with the weather change, but can anyone explain to me exactly what happened? I mean, 5 years in this shop, and nothing like this has ever happened before!

    Also, any thoughts on prevention? I normally clean and spray bostik topcote about twice a year, and that's always been fine, but now I'm wondering.

    Anyone?

    Thanks!
  • Thread Continues Below...

  • #2

    Re: Sudden Rust Infestation!

    What happened? ... sometime over the last day your shop got to a dewpoint. Solution might be a dehumidifier during the spring and fall? You've been five years in the shop and this is the first time it's happened, so I wouldn't spend the company savings trying to fix it.
    nnieman likes this.

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    • #3

      Re: Sudden Rust Infestation!

      Maybe schedule your Bostik Topcote to coincide with the season change?
      WCraig likes this.

      Comment


      • #4

        Re: Sudden Rust Infestation!

        It’s crazy humid right now.
        The ceiling was dripping at my sisters place (old brick and plaster bungalow).

        Its rained here (southern/central Ontario) more often than not for the last two weeks.

        Give your machines a clean and coat of wax/oil/whatever and they’ll prob be fine.

        Nathan

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        • #5

          Re: Sudden Rust Infestation!

          Originally posted by callee View Post
          I was in the shop working a hard day yesterday, finishing up two orders that were going for install today.

          Today I was up, loaded the trailer, and went out to site to deliver and install.

          Just an hour ago I get back home and visit the shop just to grab some papers. As I'm walking towards the bench I absent-mindedly run my hand across the jointer, as I often do, I guess I'm just a tactile person, but right away I notice something feels wrong. I stop and look down, and the entire jointer bed is covered in this fine, fine covering of red rust!! It looks like someone came in and lightly covered it with a plant mister or something and then left it to rust. I was aghast, and right away ran over to the shelf to grab some cleaner and steel wool. It's on the way there I start to clue into the size of the problem: it wasn't just the jointer- it was every single cast iron surface in the shop!!! They weren't like this yesterday, but today, POOF! rust on everything!

          It has been fairly cold - around 7* - the last couple weeks, and then yesterday this sudden "mini heatwave" they're calling it started up. It was about 24* yesterday, and humid as all get out. I had a tough time getting the finish I was spraying to dry, because it was so humid. It's still pretty much the same today, and it didn't get that cold last night. I assume this had something to do with the weather change, but can anyone explain to me exactly what happened? I mean, 5 years in this shop, and nothing like this has ever happened before!

          Also, any thoughts on prevention? I normally clean and spray bostik topcote about twice a year, and that's always been fine, but now I'm wondering.

          Anyone?

          Thanks!
          The best prevention for that is to keep your shop closed up. What happened is, your machines were nice and cool and due to their thermal mass, stayed that way while the air warmed up way faster. When that warm, moist air flowed into your shop it condensed on the cold surfaces. Used to happen to me all the time, but as long as I keep the doors and windows closed on hot humid days, I don't have an issue.

          B
          schor likes this.
          Proud member of the Wadkin Blockhead Club.

          Comment


          • #6

            Re: Sudden Rust Infestation!

            ah, Brent, that was probably it: it was such a nice day yesterday I opened up the loading door wide to let the outside in. Of course, it was also opened this morning for a couple hours while we loaded!

            Comment

            • Thread Continues Below...

            • #7

              Re: Sudden Rust Infestation!

              Dehumidifier.

              at this time of year with huge temperature changes when the large mass of cast-iron gets cold and then the daytime humidity/heat. The cast iron surfaces become just like a bathroom mirror.
              For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
              Sir Isaac Newton.

              Comment


              • #8

                Re: Sudden Rust Infestation!

                Originally posted by callee View Post
                ah, Brent, that was probably it: it was such a nice day yesterday I opened up the loading door wide to let the outside in. Of course, it was also opened this morning for a couple hours while we loaded!
                I know, it is tough to coop up the shop on those nice days! One time my shop door blew open and was that way for more than an hour. When I ran my hand over machine table surfaces, it was literally dripping wet.

                B
                Proud member of the Wadkin Blockhead Club.

                Comment


                • #9

                  Re: Sudden Rust Infestation!

                  Did you use a scarf to wipe it off?


                  Noel
                  Woodwreck, Wally in Calgary and 3 others like this.
                  "Being so impressed with the beauty of nature, I never cease to be amazed at how the
                  'touch of the human hand' can transform it into another kind of beauty that is so uniquely human.
                  "
                  John Snow, Outdoorsman and Retired Teacher

                  Comment


                  • #10

                    Re: Sudden Rust Infestation!

                    As other have said, humidity in the shop in the air from when you open the doors. I had a big problem when I started running a fan blowing out one window and in the other, all the humid air and it all landed on the machines overnight when dewpoint hit.

                    Stopped that, never opened the windows again, got an ac/dehumidifier and ran that to keep things cool in the summer and dry in spring and fall. Never opened the bay door unless I had to and shut it immediately unless it was a nice dry day in the summer.
                    Steve The Drill Sergeant
                    Check out MyShopNotes on YouTube.

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                    • #11

                      Re: Sudden Rust Infestation!

                      But it also means you might not be waxing your surfaces enough? I don't know how much treatment would be required.
                      Steve The Drill Sergeant
                      Check out MyShopNotes on YouTube.

                      Comment

                      • Thread Continues Below...

                      • #12

                        Re: Sudden Rust Infestation!

                        I was doing a small glue up project about a month ago and this was for a brand new surface ground fixture I just made. Yes, I was using wood glue. The checking fixture was about 1/8” away from the glue up. I was quite surprised to see the small little rust stains that work in close proximity to the drying glue.

                        I have two dehumidifiers that I move around between the two shops. I learn my lesson the hard way.

                        I dropped a tree in February-ish, Planked it up middle of April and let it air dry re-stacked and stickered & covered. Brought it into the shop mid-November to give it a skim and normalize. Three planks 12/4 and I could not believe the humidity. My garage doors were sweating and windows. The heat was high enough In cast-iron (and shop) from attracting the moisture. But the cold services (garage door and windows) looked like somebody sprayed them with the hose.
                        For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
                        Sir Isaac Newton.

                        Comment


                        • #13

                          Re: Sudden Rust Infestation!

                          Originally posted by John Bartley View Post
                          What happened? ... sometime over the last day your shop got to a dewpoint. Solution might be a dehumidifier during the spring and fall? You've been five years in the shop and this is the first time it's happened, so I wouldn't spend the company savings trying to fix it.
                          I doubt the whole shop (actually the air in the shop) reached the dew point, just the little film of air where it got rapidly cooled in close proximity to the heavy cast iron units.
                          Proud member of the Wadkin Blockhead Club.

                          Comment


                          • #14

                            Re: Sudden Rust Infestation!

                            I did that a few days ago, the shop was cool, outside air hot and humid. Left the garage door up for 1/2 hour and all metal surfaces became wet. I wiped off everything and turned the heat on to try and warm/dry up the tools.
                            sigpic
                            hobby woodworking since 1972

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                            • #15

                              Re: Sudden Rust Infestation!

                              Originally posted by timberframe View Post

                              I doubt the whole shop (actually the air in the shop) reached the dew point, just the little film of air where it got rapidly cooled in close proximity to the heavy cast iron units.
                              That's the definition of dew point. He opened the door, in flooded all that humid air and that tiny environment in the shop became a little dew point event. As long as the "cold sinks" aka "equipment" were able to cool the air around them enough to cause condensation it continued. I see it in my shop all the time in the spring. I've seen it cause fog in my shop.

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