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Low Tek tool preservation tips please!!

 
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Location: Midlands, england
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For my spades forks and hand tools I had somebody tell me keeping the blade submerged in a bucket filled with damp sand keeps them rust free. Then another friend told me to soak the sand with mineral oil rather than water. Anyone here use this storage method or got a low tech tool preservation tip?
 
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I suppose it depends on your goal to some extent. I can't imagine damp sand preserving steel. That would encourage corrosion. Maybe the sand shines the surface if the tool is used frequently, giving the appearance of preventing rust? If your goal is a shiny tool, good idea. Oiling tools do prevent rust. working oils into the metal excludes moisture and greatly reduces oxidation (rust). Pretty much any oil will do as long as it's not acidic. Before modern rust resisting metals and coatings, people used to 'brown' metals to resist corrosion by intentionally causing or allowing the surface to rust, scrubbing the rust with something like steel wool, then rubbing with oil. Repeat a few times and you create a nice layer of oxidized material that resists any further corrosion of the metal underneath, similar to the way galvanizing protects the metal underneath. It generally looks brown, so the technique is called browning, and is still used by metalsmiths today. For something like a shovel, blade, or a fork, you're going to constantly wear the surface coating off, so you have to oil occasionally, especially before long term disuse like (maybe) winter.
 
pollinator
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No I don't think I like that sand method. Just cleaning your tools and wiping on a bit of oil when you put them away for an extended period of time will keep them good for a long time.

Don't leave plastic handled tools out in the sun.

Don't leave wood handled ones in the rain.

Don't let your wife use the shovel you just polished and sharpened, she will let concrete dry all over it!
 
Samuel Mcloughlin
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Location: Midlands, england
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Thanks for your reply. Yeah I'm also not sure about the sand Tel. Browning sounds interesting I'll do some research. And I'll continue storing my tools just in the shed then! And not letting my wife borrow em :)
 
pollinator
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The sand trick involves putting used motor oil in it, not water. The safer/better way is to use recycled veggie oil, not toxic used motor oil. The sand is supposed to help clean the blade but you can accomplish this with a scraper and apply the veggie oil with a rag as needed, both on the steel and wood parts of the tool.
 
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