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Unread 19-09-2019, 13:37   #1
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1 Season of tools

We put the sailboat into the Puget Sound for the summer and I put together a set of tools for my boat and for the most part the chrome tools have held up well. Sockets, box wrenches, etc. However, the steel alloy (dark gray) parts are showing rust. Electric screwdriver bits, allen wrenches, the bottom of my socket driver, the head of my Ancor crimper are all showing a light coat of rust.

A coating of machine oil will probably help slow down the process.

So what does everyone else do?

1) Hah, hah, ha you bought a boat, whaddya expect
2) A yearly trip to Harbor Freight to replace said steel alloy parts, and you'll be right as rain
3) I by brand ______, expensive, but they really slow down the rate of rust
4) Throw all those desiccant packets into your toolbox, it'll do wonders
5) My tools leave my boat when I leave my boat....
6) Keep it oily
7) Something I haven't thought of?!?

Thanks,

Sean
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Unread 19-09-2019, 13:49   #2
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Re: 1 Season of tools

People with experience with boats do say, "rust never sleeps." Brown is the natural color of steel, just like green is the natural color for stuff that has copper in it. Accept that oxidation is a force of nature and you, well, you're Dorothy, small and meek.

You know the engine oil you can't get out of the jug? Save that into a wide mouth jar, like a bean dip jar. Dip rag, wipe tools with oil, store in canvas bags. It helps some. Cheap tools are more vulnerable. My Snap On sockets are fine, and the socket bar, but many tools we have tend to get a light layer of surface rust, and we don't actually wipe everything after each use, either.

As long as the bit still fits the screw, does it matter that the screwdriver is a little rusty?

Replace, or repair such bits. Don't sweat the rust. Phooey on it. Its presence doesn't mean you don't take good care of your tools, rather, it means there's salt in the air, and your ferrous or ferric stuff will rust. Back to force of nature beyond our control. It's presence on your tools means you're lucky enough to be someone who goes sailing!

Be of good cheer. Maybe you'll even get an answer that helps!

Ann
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Unread 19-09-2019, 13:56   #3
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Re: 1 Season of tools

Boeshield T-9.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Boeshield...iABEgJVz_D_BwE
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Unread 19-09-2019, 13:58   #4
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Re: 1 Season of tools

I just don't store them in damp lockers
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Unread 19-09-2019, 14:29   #5
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Re: 1 Season of tools

I spray a light coat of wd40 in the toolbox then run a dry rag through very quickly to soak up any excess. I also keep all those silica packets you get in packaging and throw them in the mix. If that doesnít do it, it just wasnít meant to be.
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Unread 19-09-2019, 14:33   #6
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Re: 1 Season of tools

I purchased about the cheapest and nastiest made set of tools I could many years ago specifically for the boat. It came with a set of pliers and cutters that actually bent at the handles the first time I used them, and the screw drivers would cut your hands to pieces if you attempted to use them due to the rough hard plastic handles. The store exchanged the pliers for me with some better quality ones, and the screw drivers remain on board as emergency spares if a good one gets lost. The many chrome plated spanners that came with the set, however, are a different story and are of surprisingly excellent quality. To this day they show no rust and only get wiped down after use and an occasional squirt of WD-40. Aside from looking a little rough around the edges from the manufacturing perspective, they both do the job and hold up as well as the expensive stuff.



The moral of the story here is don't buy black steel tools for use on a boat, give them a bit of loving with WD-40 once in a while and don't discount cheap tools. In fact, I'm pretty sure there is a linear relationship between the price of a tool and the likelyhood of it bouncing overboard (even if dropped on the salon table!) so another win for cheap stuff.
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Unread 19-09-2019, 15:15   #7
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Re: 1 Season of tools

Never clean the oil off tools. Just wipe them down.


If they get dunked in salt, rinse, dry, and re-oil.


And then figure they won't last forever. But other than screwdrivers and pliers that regularly see salt, I find they last until they wear out or get lost.
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Unread 19-09-2019, 15:21   #8
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Re: 1 Season of tools

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reefmagnet View Post
I purchased about the cheapest and nastiest made set of tools I could many years ago specifically for the boat. It came with a set of pliers and cutters that actually bent at the handles the first time I used them, and the screw drivers would cut your hands to pieces if you attempted to use them due to the rough hard plastic handles. The store exchanged the pliers for me with some better quality ones, and the screw drivers remain on board as emergency spares if a good one gets lost. The many chrome plated spanners that came with the set, however, are a different story and are of surprisingly excellent quality. To this day they show no rust and only get wiped down after use and an occasional squirt of WD-40. Aside from looking a little rough around the edges from the manufacturing perspective, they both do the job and hold up as well as the expensive stuff.



The moral of the story here is don't buy black steel tools for use on a boat, give them a bit of loving with WD-40 once in a while and don't discount cheap tools. In fact, I'm pretty sure there is a linear relationship between the price of a tool and the likelyhood of it bouncing overboard (even if dropped on the salon table!) so another win for cheap stuff.
^^This too. I buy cheap ones and am always pleasantly surprised at how long they last, and I don't have to get embarrassed from crying on the dock if I were to say drop a $250 snap on socket wrench in the drink.
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Unread 19-09-2019, 16:13   #9
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Re: 1 Season of tools

I store tools in breathable canvas next to my clothes. A dry clean locker. They are wiped down with oil or sprayed.

Your hardest, heat treated, high carbon steel wants to corrode the fastest. High nickel-chrome alloy is the most resistant.

The salt air penetrates everywhere. Note the salt dust on your glasses.
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Unread 19-09-2019, 16:59   #10
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Re: 1 Season of tools

Being a bit of a tool geek, I have a two front approach:

At the nav table I have a couple of screwdrivers and pliers. These are the everyday go-to tools for quick jobs. I care for them, but they aren't especially pretty, nor are they very expensive. I consider them consumables. A #2 Philips and a straight blade, and a stubby multi-bit screwdriver; a slip joint pliers and needle nose, and a small diagonal cutter.

The main tool collections are in plastic tool boxes, stored beneath the settees. They are regularly wiped down with Corrosion Block. For the most part, they are not exposed to salt air. Precision items such as calipers are stored in plastic bags, frequently along with a desiccant bag.

Power tools are wiped clean, chucks (if present) are oiled, cordless tools have the batteries charged before storage, and stored in lockers. Multimeters are in vinyl storage bags. Cumbersome items such as handsaws are oiled, and stored where they won't contact absorbent items.

I'm an old sailor, who has owned old boats. As such I have lots of tools. I don't have major issues with rust (feeler gauges being the exception), but this requires diligence. A couple observations:

High quality tools have better chrome plating than cheap tools
Black oxide coatings are high maintenance
Older tools are frequently better quality than new tools
Drill bits, files, counter sinks, anything with a cutting edge will require more work
Bored on a rainy day? Oil your ferrous tools.

Rust never sleeps. Good luck.
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Unread 19-09-2019, 17:04   #11
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Re: 1 Season of tools

Chrome does have a use beyond cosmetic. Premium brands have a thicker coating (like SK's superchrome).
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Unread 19-09-2019, 17:31   #12
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Re: 1 Season of tools

Quote:
Originally Posted by transmitterdan View Post
Use Boesheid, wd40 on metal, Spray CorrosionX on ALL electrical connections.

I liberally spray and do not wipe off until I use the tool.
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Unread 19-09-2019, 18:00   #13
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Re: 1 Season of tools

Pliers locking up from rust are usually my biggest problem. All it needs is a squirt of WD-40, or penetrating oil, at the hinge, and put some force on them to get them moving. I've found that once they go through this, it opens the tolerances a smidge, and they usually don't freeze up again. Most of my tools seem to get to a certain level of cosmetic rust, and then they kinda hold with that pattern. Still usable, and only cosmetic - so I don't worry about it. I buy everything from either Walmart or Harbor Freight, and they work great.
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Unread 19-09-2019, 19:28   #14
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Re: 1 Season of tools

It's so much nicer to grab a tool that isn't stuck by rust!

Boeshield T9 up till now but I'm experimenting with tung oil.
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Unread 19-09-2019, 20:14   #15
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Re: 1 Season of tools

Make up tool rolls, with individual pockets for each tool, from heavy denim. Oil the tool rolls with engine oil and store the tool rolls in a plastic tool box. Denim holds the oil better than anything else I've tried and is pretty hardy as well.

I accidentally discovered this when I made some out of the legs of a pair of jeans I cut off to make shorts out of.
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