Can You Use Mineral Oil for Garden Tools – Mineral oil can be used safely to keep blades and metal parts from rusting on hand tools. After using the metal, use a soft cloth to spread a very thin layer of mineral oil over the surface. Mineral oil does not go rancid or oxidize.
Mineral oils that are best to use are:
Any pure mineral oil brand
The oil for Starret precision tools
The WD40 company makes the 3-in-One oil. It has about 98% low-viscosity mineral oil, which is also called pale spindle oil, and about 2% citronella oil and a corrosion inhibitor. The name makes it sound like it can be used to lubricate, clean, and protect all in one oil.
The L.S. Starrett Company makes Starret Precision Tool Oil, which has about 80% mineral oil in it. On the MSDS (Materials Safety Data Sheet), the other 20% is left out because it is a trade secret.
Mineral oil not only keeps things from rusting, but it can also be used for a number of other things in the woodshop.
Can You Use Mineral Oil for Garden Tools?
Since we’re talking about tools, mineral oil is a great way to protect and preserve wood tool handles that are out in the open (non-varnished). After you’ve cleaned the blade, turn the tool over and put a lot of oil on the handle. Give it 5–10 minutes to sink in. Give it a quick rub, and then let it sit overnight. Repeat this step as many times as you want to make sure the handles are safe.
Mineral oil is a favorite among people who are worried about how toxic something is or how long they will be in contact with it. And since we’re talking about not being dangerous, mineral oil is also safe for food. Go ahead and use pure mineral oil (not 3 in 1 or Starret) anywhere food is made. You know how babies think that everything could be food? Mineral oil can be used to finish hand-made blocks and toys for babies. If they decide to try a few bites, there will be no danger.
Lastly, mineral oil gives your project a beautiful, natural finish, no matter what kind it is. It helps keep liquids, juices, and food from sticking to the surface.
There are some people who don’t like to use mineral oil. There are oils that come from plants that work well in a wood shop.
Other Oils You Should Try
For hundreds of years, samurai sword blades were kept sharp by rubbing them with oil made from the seeds of the camellia plant. Woodworkers also like to use jojoba oil, which comes from plants. The good thing about these oils is that they don’t evaporate as easily as other oils.
They don’t go bad as fast, and some people prefer them because they are better for their skin. Now, here’s a way to save money: buy these oils where essential oils are sold instead of where woodworkers’ supplies are sold.
No matter what kind of oil you use, the main reason you use it is to stop rust, which is one of the worst things that can happen to hand tools. Just ensure that you’re using non toxic oil for garden tools.
What makes rust?
Most tools are made of iron (steel) and other metals that make the iron more stable. These combinations of metals make it harder for steel and oxygen to mix, which makes iron oxide (aka rust). Rust can still happen, though, if the conditions are right.
Rust doesn’t need a lot to get going. It only needs a little bit of water and some carbon dioxide in the air. When water hits iron, it picks up some carbon dioxide and turns it into carbonic acid, a weak acid. While the acid is being made, the iron molecules break down. The water molecules break apart into hydrogen and oxygen, which are two different things. When the oxygen is set free, it sticks to the iron molecules. This makes iron oxide, which leads to the rusty corrosion we see.
People may give you hand tools if you like them. They might be at garage sales. Or you might find them on the side of the road waiting to be picked up as trash. Most of the time, they won’t be in great shape, so the first thing you’ll need to do is clean them.
How to Remove Rust from Old Hand Tools
There are two ways to clean old tools by hand. You can just put in some good old-fashioned effort. Since you work with hand tools, your elbows should be in good shape. For tough spots, you can also use an electric drill with a wire wheel or an orbital sander.
The second way is to soak them in a mild acid, which gets into tight spots and cleans them.
In all of these methods, the tools are cleaned and then given a protective coating. Here are the two ways to do it, along with a list of what you’ll need and step-by-step instructions:
Keeping hand tools from rusting
Use your hand tools to make a wooden tool chest that fits your needs. The wood soaks up water, which keeps the tools dry. Depending on how much space you have and how many tools you have (or want), you can build a full cabinet or chest. Make sure all the joints, doors, and lids fit well to keep moisture from getting in. And for the same reason, always close the lid or doors when not in use.
store tools in a place that is clean, dry, and free of dust. “Dust-free” is the key phrase. Dust from wood and around the house in general tends to soak up water, so tools that are covered in dust are more likely to rust.
Collect the silica gel packs that come with almost everything you buy (vitamins, dry food, electronics, shoes, etc). Put them in your tool chest or tool cabinet.
Seal small things you don’t use often in a zip-lock bag with a mothball. Camphor in mothballs slows down the process of oxidation.
You can buy a goldenrod dehumidifier for a tool chest or cabinet that stays in one place. The thing is just a small convection heater that will warm your cabinet moderately. This will keep the area around it above the dew point and stop condensation from happening. In turn, this keeps rust from forming. It also stops molds and mildews, which is a nice bonus.