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  • Storage of Power Tolls

    I need to put my tools in storage for a couple of years. Is their anything special I need to do before I put them in storage? I kept all the original box's and packing, but I am afraid that they will get destroyed while in storage.

    [ 05-15-2004, 04:45 PM: Message edited by: DaveW ]

  • #2
    First of all, welcome to the forum.

    I have the perfect solution to your storage problem. Just send the tools to me! [img]tongue.gif[/img] I'll even run them once in awhile to make sure they're OK! [img]tongue.gif[/img]

    But seroiusly, pack them with some silica packs to absorb moisture, clean and coat all bare metal surfaces with a good paste wax (Johnsons, Butchers, etc.), remove any v-belts so they won't take a "set", stack them up off the floor in case of minor flooding. Hope the storage unit you are using has some sort of climate control (temp and relative humidity). Also be sure they have fire, theft, etc. insurance. I'm sure the other guys can come up with some more suggestions.

    So, where ya goin, or is that none of my danged business? [img]smile.gif[/img] [img]smile.gif[/img]
    Lorax
    "Did you put the yellow key in the switch?" TOD 01/09/06

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    • #3
      I can relate to your situation. When I sold my 1905 Late Victorian style house I had restored in 1990 I didn't have room at the new place for any of my big power tools, only hand tools, so I stored them in a friends garage with the understanding that he could use them as much as he needed as he was putting a big addition on his house. I told him it would be a couple years before I got a garage put up at the new place and he said no problem you can keep them here as long as you want.

      Anyway, 14 years later (2004) I am into another house with a 26' x 54' garage and I went and retrieved the three pieces (RAS, DP, BS) I had stored with him. All the other big tools I had sold in 1990 when I moved (Table Saw, Shaper, Lathe, Joiner, Planer/Molder, Disc/Belt Sander) as I didn't see myself needing them any more. I had bought them to do the restoration work on the house, I was never into building furniture and such.

      In all that time I never visited my tools but whenever I talked to my buddy he asked when I was coming over to get them and I always said someday soon. For being now 20 years old they weren't in too bad shape. As he lives near the shore the moisture in the air didn't do them much good but after a couple days cleaning, adjusting, a new belt fo the BS and new blades they are all working pretty well. I will be replacing them as time goes by but for now I have something to work with along with my new TS until I do.

      Lorax gives good advice on putting your tools up in storage, can't offer much better than what he has already and they will surely fair better than mine did at my friends place though I don't blame him a bit for their condition.

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      • #4
        This isn't really pointers on how to stow your tools for a few years. However, I thought you might be interested in the results when you don't do it with any meaningful care.

        First let me tell you that my power tool collection was pretty much centered around home maintenance with a couple of exceptions. At the time, I owned three power drills, a belt sander, sabre saw, circular saw, small router, a couple of shop vacs, a 10-inch RAS, and quite a few hand tools including basic carpentry and automotive stuff.

        All of these are 25 to 30 years old, and in the past 20 years have been rarely used. I've been pretty much a workaholic and have made time for little else, so the tools rarely saw the light of day and except for building a deck 18 years ago, and converting the attached garage into a family room, these tools have sat in a damp basement!

        The RAS was disassembled and the motor wrapped in a plastic bag. Its table while initially stored with care, apparently got moved and became water damaged. The Router and Circular Saw had thier own Permatex Case, but the drills and other tools were just laying in boxes on top of the workbench. The overall basement gets water on the floor in the spring and is pretty cold in the winter. A good place for spiders!

        So, last year I lost my job and decided to just pitch it all, retire, and get back into doing things with wood. I dug the tools out as I needed them and bought a couple of tools I didn't have. Everything worked pretty well, though quite dirty and a bit of rust here or there. This past winter, I decided to "rehabilitate" every power tool and basically took everything appart right down to the armatures. Surprisingly, the only real damage that required a replacement part, was the spring steel backer plate on the Belt Sander. I did buy a new drive belt for it also, as well as new brushes for the most often used drill (the old brushes were still sevicealbe, but down to their last 1/8 inch or so). I did have to buy a new table for the RAS, as I wasn't setup to build one at the moment.

        The drill chucks showed some light rust on the outer diameter, but a bit of emery paper and a small scribe to dig the crap out of the knurls was all that was necessary. I flushed the chucks wth WD40 and relubed everything. The sabre saw gear housing grease was almost solid, so I cleaned that out and repacked it with all-purpose lithium grease. Lots of caked up sawdust inside housings, and around motor windings, but a good bristle brush and a vacuum/blower made short order of all of that too. I had always kept the metal surfaces of the RAS touched up, waxed, and moving parts well lubricated. A complete teardown of the carriage assembly, yoke, and motor showed no corrosion, abnormal wear, or anythng. A good cleaning and reassembly and it is everybit as good as new.

        The bottom line is that all of my tools are now in "almost new" condition. The biggest problem was simply dirt and the occasional dead spider. For 30 year old tools that were embarrasingly neglected, they faired pretty well. In hindsight, I guess the best thing that I could have done was was clean and lube the equipment before I put it away. Keep it in a good storage container like the new high-impact plastic storage cases and if that isn't possible, bag the tool in a good plastic bag. Keep everything off the floor (if the floor is concrete).

        The worst damaged tools were the screw drivers. All of these are Craftsman and for whatever reason, about 1/3 of them had this white mold all over the acrylic handles. No rust on the metal though. Wrench and socket sets were also rust free. The screwdriver handles got a soak in a bleach solution and then a day in the sun. The mold turned hard and was scraped off with a plastic blade. I think I could have just returned them for free replacement, but I notice the newer Craftsman screwdrivers don't seem to be made quite as well as the old ones.

        At this point in time, I've made some serious additions to my tool collection and, more importantly, I've take some serious steps to ensure that I don't neglect any of these tools again.

        Oh, one last thought. I know one of the other gentleman mentioned placing some "silica packs" in with the tools to absorb moisture. I'm not sure if that was the stuff I encountered years ago, but at one time in my life I was responsible for processing some radio equipment from a deactivated AF Reserve Squadron. Some of the equipment frames were damaged because of the "packs" (I believe they were silica packs) had absorbed so much mointure, that they actually corroded the aluminum frame racks in the equipment cabinets. Other factors may have entered into it, and who knows where or how long tht equipment may have been stored, but I thought it worth mentioning.

        CWS

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        • #5
          I had to store my tools in a metal shed out back when we moved to the new house while I setup may garage shop. They were out there all winter and spring, scared me to do it but had no choice. I covered all the metal with this stuff Rust Cure but I am not sure if you can get it in the US. Basically it is a corrosion inhibitor for cars. Have a look where you buy care care products /parts and you may find it or something like it. It is a heavy non drip sprayon grease. Messy to clean up but no rust and our humidity levels are generally much higher than Colorado. If you want to be really sure you could take your stuff to a place where they spray the dripless oil undercoat on cars and have them coat your castiron surfaces.

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