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Old 19-10-2013, 17:53   #1
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Let's compare notes

Having just spent a lovely day in the generator space on our beloved Mulligan sweating and swearing, I took a look at my tool box. It is large, very heavy and some of my expensive tools are Rusting. Now Im wondering what items I can do without and how to better protect my existing inventory. Like many of you I'm sure, I just can't seem to part with tools, because if I do you can bet I will need it in a day or two. One thing that is working very well for me is all of my wrenches pliers and sockets are all stored in gallon ziplock bags and liberally sprayed with WD-40 before putting them away. they are kept in a dry-box in the salon so the rust that is there is due to the salt air Im sure. Im interested in what tools others have parted with and never needed again in addition to how you keep your expensive tools nice.
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Old 19-10-2013, 18:19   #2
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Re: Let's compare notes

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One thing that is working very well for me is all of my wrenches pliers and sockets are all stored in gallon ziplock bags and liberally sprayed with WD-40 before putting them away. they are kept in a dry-box in the salon so the rust that is there is due to the salt air Im sure. Im interested in what tools others have parted with and never needed again in addition to how you keep your expensive tools nice.
I rinse most tools I use in fresh water and dry them before spraying with WD-40.

If you have put your pliers and sockets in zip lock bags and have them in dry storage, it is very unlikely that salt air is getting to them. It is far easier for salt to get on them while working, and simply spraying before rinsing does not displace the salt .
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Old 19-10-2013, 18:23   #3
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Re: Let's compare notes

Yes everything in plastic bags and sprayed with WD 40 is great. Its the other stuff to big to get bagged that rust is finding. Even if sprayed after a while the protection is gone. I guess il just resign my self to a tool box cleaning once a month or so.
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Old 19-10-2013, 18:27   #4
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Tool bags are the way to go. I like multiple bags. One generic bag with pliers, screwdrivers, vice grips, hammer, razors, tape measure, little container of hardware... Then a small bag for each system, electrical, engine, plumbing... a small socket set with short and deep sockets in its case, so it's easy to carry and work with. A 20 pc set of wrenches, preferably in a case also. Specialty tools stay in one container.

Tools that have been entirely abandoned are the level and square.
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Old 19-10-2013, 18:40   #5
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Re: Let's compare notes

WD-40 is not the best for rust prevention. Better is Boeshield T-9 or similar that leaves a thin wax coating.

Every tool I have ever thrown or given away because I haven't used it in many year... I needed almost the very next day as the only tool possible to do some obscure thing that I never thought would happen.

I give up on screwdrivers and pliers and the like and just buy new ones every few years as they rust out. The cost for moderately good ones is minimal and you can find them in every country.

The rest I spray down with Boeshield after scrubbing off the surface rust. Socket sets are tough - nothing is better than a good socket set, but they rust and are difficult to coat so they stay nice. I keep a small cheap set and use it for (daily) simple use. Easy and inexpensive to replace. My better set is used for more critical problems, but it is getting to EOL now.

How do you keep a good set of allen keys from rusting? This is my biggest problem - going into a job requiring allen keys with a cheap set almost guarantees you will be drilling a pilot hole and using an easy-out in no time. But good allen keys (and their siblings) rust almost immediately.

I just buy a new set of drill bits every year or so. Rust isn't the big problem there - it is mostly that anything I need to drill is guaranteed to ruin a bit or two. And I get cheap ones - the cobalt/titanium crap seems to bite the dust at the same rate as the jobbers. Of course, we have no wood on our boat, so they are always being used on stainless, fiberglass and aluminum. Often through all three at once.

Anyway, tools probably constitute the largest category % of weight on our boat. I try to keep it down, but I use them constantly. By nature, they are heavy, so that doesn't help.

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Old 19-10-2013, 18:44   #6
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Re: Let's compare notes

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Tools that have been entirely abandoned are the level and square.
That's funny - I use those all the time. Besides, those come in plastic and aluminum, so are both light and corrosion resistant.

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Old 19-10-2013, 19:07   #7
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I have small zipped bags for tool groups. Spay them when the bag is opened.
Example drill bits, metric wrenches, screwdrivers, vice grips...etc. try to keep the tools I used aboard. boshield is best. When I run out its whatever.
Really not that much tool gear.
The chop saw and table saw stay shore side.
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Old 19-10-2013, 19:08   #8
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Re: Let's compare notes

I use plastic tool boxes and plastic bins. In addition to cleaning and lubricating the tools after use, I put a layer of felt in the bottom of each toolbox and keep it damp with oil. Big help.
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Old 19-10-2013, 19:29   #9
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WD40 is a "multi-purpose" fluid. WD (water displacement) lubricant and penetrant.


I am not a fan.

I use a penetrant when needed then clean and lubricate with a product suitable for the application.

I wipe my tools down with light oil. If exposed to salt water, I wash them with fresh water to remove the salt.
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Old 19-10-2013, 21:53   #10
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Re: Let's compare notes

The one thing almost all of us have aboard is diesel ! Ive wiped my tools with a light coating of diesel, and stowed therm on rags that hold a small amount of oil. This has kept my tools pretty darn well ! over half of them are 40+ yrs old and still pretty much rust free and useable! As all my tools are kept in my engine room(except for one or two) theres really no smell that anyone notices! works for me ! I won't have WD40 on my boat !!
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Old 20-10-2013, 12:42   #11
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Re: Let's compare notes

I have a plan for my next boat that I only just started on my last boat before I sold.

Mainly referring to maintenance stuff here.

Pick from the tool box all the tools you use for a job. After the job keep them in another much smaller tool box.

I have been surprised at how few tools I actually used routinely. I had several socket sets. 1/4 and 1/2 drive plus deep sets. Only use a few of them for the most part.

I think the big tool box will hold well oiled but not exposed tools and be stored deeper. The ones commonly used can be treated after use and if not perfectly cleaned won't contaminate the rest of the tools.

That is my plan anyway.

For long term storage of seldom used items (eg: pipe wrench) I use Corrosion-X. Gooey and messy but nothing rusts with a coating.

+1 on the T-9 too.
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Old 20-10-2013, 13:18   #12
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Boeshield is an excellent product, but the Corrosion-X is better, both come from aviation where I have some experience with them.
The coating with Diesel is an old farmers trick, and works better than you amy think, but not as good as Corrosion-X, only bad thing with Corrosion-X is don't ever plan on painting anything after you use it on that surface, I swear even after it's cleaned off, it seems to sweat back out of the metal.
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Old 20-10-2013, 13:35   #13
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Re: Let's compare notes

I agree that Corrosion-X is better for preventing rust, but it also leaves a sticky residue. Boeshield dries completely, or at least to a dry wax finish. That is why I use it over CX on tools, but use CX for lots of other things that I don't have to handle or set around.

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Old 20-10-2013, 14:01   #14
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Your right of course, corrosion-X is for when you really don't want corrosion, but don't want something as bad as Cosmoline or Par-al-ketone, if your using tools sem frequently Boeshield is fine, corrosion-x is for the guy who hasn't seen his needle nose pliers or hex wrench's for a couple of months but doesn't want them covered in rust or frozen up when he needs them, but doesn't mind having to wipe them clean before using them.
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Old 20-10-2013, 14:01   #15
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Re: Let's compare notes

Think Ill give this miracle boeshield a try. Alen wrenches are going to get stiored in an oil filled jar.
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