Heat and Humidity: Weather, Plus Shop Rust

This reader responded to Rob’s comments about the hot weather last time out with sympathy … sort of. – Editor

“I grew up in Minnesota so I can sympathize (snicker) with your oppressive heat. However, I lived in the jungles of Guatemala for three years and can attest that there is NOTHING that would make Guatemala look or feel temperate. But if you feel too oppressed, come on down to Phoenix and work in my shop for a while. It only gets to 110 degrees, but it’s a dry heat. Keep up the good work.” – Bob Korpi

Staying Rust-Free

In last issue’s Q&A, a reader had a new shop — and a new problem with rust. Some of our other readers had suggestions about the causes of this, plus what to do about it. – Editor

“The problem of rust in the two different locations (Wisconsin and Iowa) may be due more to the ground temperature under the shop than to the amount of use the shop gets. I have a shop with a cement floor here in east-central Minnesota. As soon as I built it and insulated it to the extreme, I began to get rust on my tools in the summertime. The cold “ground temperature” was being transmitted to my tools and keeping their temperature below that of the “dew point” temperature of the air that was entering through the doors and windows — result: RUSTY TOOLS.

“Now, instead of increasing ventilation in the warmer months, I actually keep the shop closed up tight. I cover my large tools (that are in contact with the cement floor ) with woolen army blankets and have even had to turn on my heater a couple times in June. In my shop, it is the dew point that causes the condensation on the tools if their temperature is too low, and a dehumidifier will help but not completely eliminate the problem. There are more than just one or two causes for the demon RUST.” – D. Barrows

“In reference to a reader’s problem with rusting tools in a steel building; many years ago an old decoy maker told me to put a ceiling in my shop to control the condensation. It worked for me.” – Kenny Stevenson

“Jerry Meloche wrote in about rust problems in a steel=walled shop east of San Diego. One possible culprit is an evaporative cooler. A swamp box cools by evaporation blowing cooled, but higher humidity, air into the space to be cooled. If the air in the shop is being humidified by an evaporative cooler, rust is nearly inevitable. More ventilation or, better yet, a refrigerating air conditioner may help.” – John Dougherty

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