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Strange things happening to my tools!

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  • Strange things happening to my tools!

    Maybe someone can shed some light on this one. I've had severe corrosion of some of my carving tools, something that shouldn't happen with the steels used in knives and gouges. I had a Helvie knife for a few years that suddenly corroded while in its sheath, in my tool box. I've had gouges and chisels lose their edge without being used. The corrosion on my knife was so bad I had to grind it out.

    I wondered about fumes from super glue, resins from wood, etc, but none of that makes sense. I even thought about the plastic tool-box I use to carry my stuff to class (plastics with halogens). Anyone ever have this problem? Anyone have any ideas?

  • #2
    Re: Strange things happening to my tools!


    This occurs when two atoms of Iron or Steel join three atoms of oxygen producing iron oxide.

    Uniform Surface Corrosion

    When metal is exposed to atmospheric contaminates there will be a uniform attack over the entire surface. This fine pitting of the metal is caused by microscopic amounts of the metal being converted into corrosion salts.


    • #3
      Re: Strange things happening to my tools!

      Blood will cause corrosion and pitting


      • #4
        Re: Strange things happening to my tools!

        If the Helvie knife was in a leather sheath , the salts in the tanned leather will cause corrosion. As far as the rest of them go, I don't think you will have the problem if you use them more.


        • #5
          Re: Strange things happening to my tools!

          Thanks for the comments. The knife corrosion was not general and uniform, it was very selective. It looked like a worm path, almost dendritic. It was deep and left a black corrosion product. It's never happened again to that knife, and I use my tools nearly every day, so it's not the kind of thing that happens over a long period of inactivity. The more I ponder this thing, the more questions I have. Why some tools and not others? Why me and not you? Is this a gender thing? Maybe a 'Buckeye' thing? Do you think this would make one of those 'Wait 'til you see this' TV shows. Nah!


          • #6
            Re: Strange things happening to my tools!

            You gotta move fast!! whip them carvings out now, don't cha hear!! that keeps them little knife blade eatin critters off balance........then you smack em with a hammer


            • #7
              Re: Strange things happening to my tools!

              Don't know what causes it exactly but if you will keep a small block of camphor with your tools they will not rust. I have tried it and it works. You can get a 2x3 appx. block of campher at the drug store for two or three dollars and cut it in smaller pieces if you want. You have to get use to the smell though. lol
              I strive for Progress not Profection.


              • #8


                • #9
                  Re: Strange things happening to my tools!

                  a few thoughts:

                  how close to one of the coasts are you? I have heard from some old timers that tools will rust more rapidly there than inland. why that might be so when the salt is left behind during evaporation I don't know.

                  have you been carving any different woods? some woods have oils that will attack the metal.

                  rust seems to breed rust, although I suspect it is the conditions that caused the first one to rust that cause the problem to attack the rest of them.

                  a good habit to get into is to periodically wipe your tools with an oily rag. no need to soak them just a lite coat. this might be something you should do after every carving session given the severity and speed of the problem. to state the obvious... you might want to wipe them clean with a dry cloth before you start carving lest they leave oil on the wood.



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