Dana Polojärvi

protecting equipment/tools uninsulated shop in winter

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Hello everyone,

 

I'm just getting started with woodworking, and I have a great uninsulated barn I was thinking of using, but I'm afraid my tools and equipment will get wrecked in the Maine winters.

Is there anything I need to do to make sure everything's OK when I get back into the shop in the Spring?

Eventually I'll build in new walls with insulation, but I need to get the house finished first!

 

Thanks!

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Welcome to the forum.  With the exception of batteries I'm wondering if this is a real problem. Batteries should all be stored in a climate controlled environment.  But say a drill press, not sure I see the risk of storing it cold.  Now operating it in sub-zero is a concern.  What sort of tools do you have?

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Condensation might be an issue. I would certainly coat the exposed steel or iron surfaces with a rust inhibitor if the machines will go unused through the winter. And make sure the roof doesn't leak.

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One other thing to think about is adhesives and finishes. Some of those will be ruined by freezing temperatures. I load mine in a box and bring them inside the house during the winter, then take one or two out to the garage as needed during the colder months.

 

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This suggestion is messy but effective. If the iron/steel tools are going to be left unattended for a long time grease is the best way to prevent rust. There are other options but I've read enough reviews that really hammer hole that under a long enough time frame they will fail.

When i moved and stored i greased the tops and then wrapped in that packing stretch plastic. Removed the grease after with denatured alcohol.

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I wonder how well Plastidip would work in this situation. Seems like it would be great for long term storage like this, and a whole lot less messy to clean up.

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1 hour ago, wtnhighlander said:

I doubt PlastDip would be practical to pour over large machine tables. Maybe.

I believe it's available in spray cans, which would be better for this use.

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7 hours ago, drzaius said:

I believe it's available in spray cans, which would be better for this use.

Now THAT is a different story. Spray could seal around all the edges well enough to prevent moisture intrusion.

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Woulkdn't it be a pain to get out of nooks and crannies like T slots on a table saw?

I think it's a great idea though. Bit more costly and time consuming.

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39 minutes ago, Chestnut said:

Woulkdn't it be a pain to get out of nooks and crannies like T slots on a table saw?

I think it's a great idea though. Bit more costly and time consuming.

I have never used it, but they claim it forms a film that is peelable from most surfaces. We don't have much humidity around here, so I've never had a need for rust proofing my tools

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27 minutes ago, drzaius said:

I have never used it, but they claim it forms a film that is peelable from most surfaces. We don't have much humidity around here, so I've never had a need for rust proofing my tools

I know guys that coat cars with it. They want to change their car color every year so it's a good option. To coat a car it's like $750 and takes a good 3-4 days of prep and application. It peels nicely from large flat smooth surfaces but is a pain to remove from textured surfaces.

Coincidentally this just popped up for me on youtube.

 

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I'm a little late to this party but thought I'd give you my $ 02.

I'm a Minnesotan with a detached, unheated garage/shop.

And I don't do much ww between January 1 and mid April. 

When I take my shop down for the winter, here is the routine:

First I gather up what I can to store it in the house, in the basement:

Handplanes, Tormek, most finishing products etc.

Then for my large, freestanding tools with cast iron, I give the tables a thorough cleaning, coating of boeshield and a coat of wax. Then I cover the tables with a "cover" of 1/4" hardboard and a little weight on top. This keeps the condensation out.

That's it. 

My tools survive the winter with minimal cleanup in the spring, though they do get used here and there though the winter.

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I've had good luck using johnson paste wax on the cast iron of my jointer and table saw out in the garage.   Then I cover them with a moving blanket.   I have some smaller ones which are 72" x40" and they're the perfect size.  The wax helps seal things, and the moving blanket helps keep condensation from settling.

As far as hand tools go... keep a rap soaked lightly in 3-in-1 oil and just wipe them off with it when you're done.

 

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