ebonyandivory PowerDork
9/8/18 4:26 p.m.

I have two chopsaws, a bench grinder, and other assorted tools in my oversized shed. I’ll go in some days and my barbells and weight plates are covered in condensation.

Would drop cloths protect these tools from the moisture? I’m guessing it’s falling out of the damp air after all. I can’t run a dehumidifier out there. 

So cloth protection would be nice and easy and cheap. Aside from that, I’m not sure what will help. I’m afraid the dampness will be the demise of my investments.

EastCoastMojo Mod Squad
9/8/18 4:34 p.m.

Cloth is just going to hold the moisture near the tools for longer. It sounds like your shed needs better ventilation, assuming the moisture is not from a leaky roof or door seal. Can you add some wall vents on two opposing walls?

itsarebuild Dork
9/8/18 4:42 p.m.

Damp rid buckets?

ebonyandivory PowerDork
9/8/18 4:51 p.m.

In reply to EastCoastMojo :

Yes I can. I almost wrote that I bought them and hadn’t cut them in yet because my idea was to rid it of some heat in the summer. I wasn’t sure about the effect on moisture.

RevRico UberDork
9/8/18 4:56 p.m.

I've been spraying mine with CRC electronics cleaner. It works, so far, but it's not a permanent solution. I have been thinking about the aerosol dielectric grease, but don't really know what that could do. 

After 2 years in my open ended carport, all I've lost are my rigid cordless tools, everything else, saws, welder, plasma cutter, grinders, are all perfectly fine. 

EastCoastMojo Mod Squad
9/8/18 4:56 p.m.

Air flow goes a long way toward preventing condensation. Our garage gets so damp that tools grow mold in the tool drawers. Our solution is to run a fan on low all year. In a shed that's not an option, but allowing for some crossflow should help tremendously.

Dirtydog Dork
9/8/18 4:57 p.m.

WD40 on the electrical bits.   Spray and wipe on the rest.

ebonyandivory PowerDork
9/8/18 5:28 p.m.
Dirtydog said:

WD40 on the electrical bits.   Spray and wipe on the rest.

So you’d open up the saw and spray it? Most of the electrical stuff is hidden, inaccessible to sprays 

Dirtydog Dork
9/8/18 5:51 p.m.

In reply to ebonyandivory :

Most of what I have is older stuff.  (Chop saws, drills, etc.)  They have vents that I spray in.  My pool motor gets a dose also.  I guess you can remove covers or cases if need be. Maybe you can store them in rubber made boxes with a silicate moisture remover. I keep mine in those boxes.

mikedd969 New Reader
9/8/18 6:55 p.m.

It depends on how often you use them I guess.  For tools that are small enough, an oversized ziploc bag (they make them that are up to 24" x 32") and couple of desiccant packs will do just fine, as long as the bag remains sealed.  Desiccants Packets

I live on the Alabama Gulf Coast, and down here the humidity is truly awful.  My garage is not heated or air conditioned (but a man can dream....) and any raw exposed steel will rust if not protected.  None of my small power tools seem to suffer from the humidity. But it's just damp air, not actual condensation.  

DirtyDog has it right.  Spraying WD40 into an electric motor on a drill or saw isn't going to hurt anything and it will definitely help prevent corrosion. 

Larger stuff is a harder proposition.  

I just finished re-habilitating an old Harbor Freight wood lathe that lives in my garage, the ways and other exposed raw steel parts had a liberal layer of surface rust.  It came off with wire cup on an angle grinder, and a little sweat, but to prevent it happening again, I'm trying a light coat of machine oil, we'll see how that goes.

Again, it depends on how often you actually need to drag them out and use them.  If they are going to be stored and idle for a long time, it's hard to beat Cosmoline.  The miliary has been using it for decades.  It is incredibly effective, but it is also a PITA to remove when you drag the protected item out of storage and need to use it.  


As EastCoastMoJo said, improving ventilation will also help.  Alternatively, if you have power in the shed, you could take the opposite approach by making the shed reasonably airtight and putting a small  dehumidifier in there (with the drain plumbed to the outside of course...), but that's the "nuclear option".  :)   

Generally speaking, electric motors are unlikely to have trouble resulting from normal condensation, as long as they are reasonably dry when you power them up.  

I'd probably go with a combination approach.  WD40 for the motor internals, Bag or saran-wrap the parts you can, and a thin coat of light oil (like 3-in-1 Oil) on exposed raw steel.

Antihero HalfDork
9/8/18 7:46 p.m.

Ventilation is a good idea, although ymmv if its a humid climate anyway. Water only really hurts electrical tools though when they are plugged in, if you bring it in and dry it out before use thats fine

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