Hand tool lubrication

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  • #581893
    Colin Scowen
    Participant

    I’m going to make a little oil can, similar to the one that Paul uses. I am curious though, if I wanted to lubricate wooden tools in a similar manner (planes, spokeshaves), is it better to?
    1. Use an oil that covers both types of tool (suggestions for oil appreciated).
    2. Make two lubricators, one with oil, another with soft wax.
    3. Use the machine oil on both types of tool, given the small quantity involved.

    Just curious really, if anyone has any experience with this. In the past, I have rubbed a candle up the side of a hand plane to keep it running smoothly on a shooting board.

    Colin, Czech Rep.

    #581894
    Jim Anders
    Participant

    I actually switched from the rag in a can to paraffin wax a la Rob Cosman and many others. This way I can use it on all of my tools wooden and metal alike. I now keep my rag in a can at my sharpening bench to put a light coat of oil on the tools after being bathed in water during sharpening. Also, I can pick up a four pack of paraffin sticks at the supermarket for just a few dollars rather than having to head to the hardware store for 3-in-1 oil.

    #581988
    Dave Ring
    Participant

    You shouldn’t lubricate wooden tools with oil as it soaks into the wood and eventually causes it to soften. Use wax. (Candle stubs work fine for this and are useful for lubricating woodscrew threads.)

    For use on metal hand tools I favor plain old mineral oil. (Yes, the stuff that is sold as a laxative.) It’s cheap, it works well as a lube and rust preventative and, unlike 3-In-1, it doesn’t stink or get gummy. Save the 3-In-1 for your bicycle chain, which is what it was designed for.

    Dave

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 11 months ago by Dave Ring.
    #582135
    GfB
    Participant

    For use on metal hand tools I favor plain old mineral oil. (Yes, the stuff that is sold as a laxative.) It’s cheap, it works well as a lube and rust preventative and, unlike 3-In-1, it doesn’t stink or get gummy. Save the 3-In-1 for your bicycle chain, which is what it was designed for.

    Would mineral oil do well in the oiler-in-a-can? I use mine all the time. Very convenient.
    Do you think it’s a good long-term tool storage protectant?

    #582331
    Dave Ring
    Participant

    Mineral oil works fine for the rag-in-a can application. I use it on all of my woodworking tools and don’t have a problem with rust.I do run a dehumidifier in the basement where they live. Depending on where you are keeping your tools for long term storage, you might be better off using something heavier such as RIG gun grease.

    Dave

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