Thread: rusty woes
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Old February 9, 2013, 12:00 PM   #20
Willie Sutton
Junior member
Join Date: January 26, 2012
Posts: 1,066

For what it's worth:

I lost my house in Hurricane Sandy.

I had a small machine shop, with lathe, Bridgeport, five Kennedy boxes of precision tools, multiple spindles, arbors, chucks, rotary tables, etc. About... $100K worth of precision equipment.

All of it went under 8 feet of salt water. Make that a mix of salt water, mud, diesel fuel, and sewerage.

A week later I was able to get back to the house. My machine shop was in ruins. In the interim I had managed to have Dixie Gun Works send a case of Ballistol to a UPS store that was far enough away that they were receiving boxes. I also managed to buy about a dozen large heavy duty plastic tubs from a local commmercial fishing supply, each able to hold about 25 gallons of water.

I took all of the tools, tooling, chucks, micrometers, etc., and put them into the tubs. I filled each one with fresh water from a hose, and poured a half of a bottle of Ballistol into the tub. Stirred it with my hands to make the milk-white emulsion, and walked away. I had (and still have) more pressing things to do....

For the lathe and milling machine, I hosed them both off with garden hoses, sprayed them with a mixture of Ballisol and water from a pump-up garden sprayer, then did the same with a gallon of WD-40, and finally covered them with spray-on aerosol white lithium grease.

I came east a week ago and went into the garage, and found the boxes still full of white water, with a crust of ice on each one. Bear in mind that it's nearly 4 months later. I poked into a few of them and dragged out... perfectly fine tools. No rust, no corrosion. In the spring after we finally get other things rebuilt I will take each tup, drain it, dry the tools, and place them into new tool boxes.

The lathe and milling machine seem fine too.

Ballisol is good stuff.


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