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Problems with workshop moisture and cast iron tools

workshop hitting dew point

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Jaden Rose16/02/2008 17:47:00
9 forum posts

Hi, I have a workshop which is about 30 square metres, during this winter I have installed a woodburner.

when I light the burner the temperature changes fairly quickly, I noticed that I was getting dew on all of the tools with a large thermal mass.

my planer and bandsaw beds especially - I rubbed up my planer knife block with steel wool and then coated it with light machine oil and thats OK now..  my cast iron beds are not so good.

anyone else had this problem and arrived at a good solution - I could oil the beds but I dont want them to become coated in gunky dusty oil...


GREGORY FOWLER16/02/2008 19:57:00
13 forum posts

Hi Jaden

I have had a similar problem with a gas heater causing rust on my cast iron universal and i assumed it was due to the water vapour produced by the gas.  It may be that warm air carries more moisture which then condenses on the cold metal.  You could test this out with an electric fan heater although I can't imagine a wood burner with a flue putting much water into the air of the workshop,  I leave my workshop unheated and heat up a finishing room which is insulated and where I do my glueing and varnishing etc.  I am usually fairly active in the workshop which is about 30ft by 15ft and don't notice the cold.  The finishing room is about half that size with a lower ceiling and I can afford to keep it about 55degrees fahrenheit.  An extra jumper may be the way forward. As you say there is no fun mixing oil and sawdust.


Doug16/02/2008 20:06:00
3415 forum posts
35 photos

Hi Jaden,

I used to have a similar problem in my last workshop which i heated with an electric convector heater. I bought a second hand dehumidifier connected it to a length of copper pipe which went through the wall, left it on day & night & the water ran out on to the garden.The benefit i found with this was not just the cutting down on condensation but when i turned the heater on the workshop seemed to warm up a lot quicker.

best wishes Baz.

Jaden Rose16/02/2008 21:56:00
9 forum posts

thanks guys,
I think im in a bit of a dilemma there - my workshop was at 0.9 degrees when I started in there this morning, so I have to have heat...

looks like the solution may lie with a dehimidifier like Baz says... just sends the electric bill skywards


Matthew Platt16/02/2008 22:22:00
347 forum posts
9 photos

Hi Jaden,

You might be interested in a product called Toolguard VCI, these are little plastic pots that slowly emit a vapour of volatile corrosion inhibitors - the same chemicals used to impregnate the paper that new tools sometimes come wrapped in. The VCI chemicals work by actively interfering with the electrostatic corrosion process rather than simply forming a barrier as oils and greases do.

Just peel off the sticky backing, pop the lid off, and stick it somewhere out of the way on the machine; cover the machine up with a heavy plastic bag when not in use and it will be bathed in corrosion inhibiting vapours all the time you are not using it. The other benefit is that the vapour works its way into all the nooks and crannies all by itself so it protects all of the surfaces that the water vapour can get to, like the innards of electric motors and bearing races.

If you click on any of the Workshop Heaven links you'll find them in the 'other cool stuff' section. If you have any questions just give me a shout.



Jaden Rose17/02/2008 08:28:00
9 forum posts

those toolguard pots look great ! thanks

I especially like the idea that the vapours will get everywhere..

Now I just have to get the rust off in the first place


james stafford29/03/2008 19:08:00
23 forum posts

Hi jaden

It seems like a lot of people are having a problem with moisture.

my own workshop is 10'x10', small , but i do have alot of tools , and like everyone else, you think of tools rusting, but i dont have a problem with that.

to stop it you need to keep your workshop at a constant temp! i never let my workshop drop below 15 c .

and all i use it a electic oil fill heater, and it stays on 24/7, and the cost of this  is but a few £ aweek.

now is your work shop insulated ?, if not get it done, roof and walls.

Hope this helps you jaden.


ps  my workshop is about 14 years old, so time speaks for it self. 

Derek Lane29/03/2008 19:38:00
3219 forum posts
1004 photos
i agree with James i also have a heater on 24/7 and don't have problems also insulated
james stafford29/03/2008 19:42:00
23 forum posts

makes sence Digger.


Derek Lane29/03/2008 19:50:00
3219 forum posts
1004 photos
saves the cost of keep buying protection and applying it cleanin it off after just walk into workshop and start work
james stafford29/03/2008 19:57:00
23 forum posts

All i can say, the cost is very little with that type of heater, and its all down to the oil in the heater, plus the insulation.

                          great minds think alike !


Derek Lane29/03/2008 20:02:00
3219 forum posts
1004 photos
just make sure the heater has a thermostat so on warmer days it turn off and comes on when temperature drops
derek willis29/03/2008 21:06:00
2314 forum posts
1 articles

HEAT IN THE WORKSHOP!!!! My controller would go ape. I actually don't tell her, but keep it to yourselves.

Seriously though, unless you heat 24 hours a day, at great expense, you go out there and put heat on, what doesn't dissapear is welcome, but, by the time you are comfrtable it is time to pack up.


Derek Lane29/03/2008 22:43:00
3219 forum posts
1004 photos


you said we are posh in Kent Yes heated shed all day and night

james stafford30/03/2008
23 forum posts


there is very little cost with a electric oil filled heater,you can have it all year round if you like.


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