Kennedy chest is rusting my tools

I bought this thing about a year ago. It's a machinist's chest with the
brown felt on the bottom of the drawers. I put all of my squares,
calipers, v-blocks, etc. in it, and within a week or two, everything that
wasn't stainless steel was rusting where it contacted the felt. So, I took
everthing out, wiped off the rust (which wasn't all that deep), made sure
the tools all had a nice coating of mineral oil on them, and put them back
in again. In about a week, they were rusting again.
Now, granted, my shop is damp. It's in the garage, which is below grade
and exposed to the crawl space under the house. But the thing is, my tools
never rusted before, even though they were kept in the same environment.
The only difference is that my old tool chest didn't have the felt drawer
bottoms.
So, I went a little crazy and just doused the drawer liners with mineral
oil. This helped a lot, but I noticed that some of the tools are starting
to rust again, and still only on the bottoms where they rest on the felt.
Anyone know what's going on? Do Kennedy chests use special rust-producing
felt? I think my next move will be to just rip the stuff out of there. Any
advice appreciated.
-Tom
Reply to
Tom Young
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It may be that the felt is wicking away the oil that you put on the surface of the tools. All of my kennedy boxes were always bought used, and had the felt pretty oily to start, so I never saw this problem.
Jim
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Reply to
jim rozen
What is the chest made of?
Greg H.
Reply to
Greg and April
All of the Kennedy chests that I have seen were made of steel.
[ ... ]
I would say that you should rip up the felt. It may have some form of contamination. Perhaps in the glue which holds it down. I suspect that it is not the original felt which came from the factory, but rather a replacement put on prior to selling it.
Don't just rip up the felt, but scrape clear all of whatever glue they used, as that may be the source of your problems.
I've got several Kennedy chests with brown felt liners, as well as other (wooden) chests with felt liners (usually green), and none of them are producing this problem -- although I don't have as damp an environment as you apparently do.
At least one of the wooden chests I have came with the felt wearing out, and I got some of the self-adhesive felt which I found in Home Depot, and it has done an excellent job, with no problems.
And as another data point, I should mention a nice wooden case for a set of collets for a Unimat SL-1000. It was a rather old one around work and the set of collets in it were all covered with rust. I replaced the collets with some new ones, and within a day they started to rust, too. I traced the problem to the flat plastic sliding lid, which had gone from clear to somewhat yellowed. I now think that it was a nitrate based plastic, which had started to decompose, and was releasing nitric acid fumes into the closed area where the collets were. I pulled the collets, cleaned and re-oiled them, and replaced the plastic lid with Plexiglas of appropriate thickness, and have had no subsequent problems. So -- if the glue used to anchor the felt happens to be a cellulose nitrate glue (as I believe that model airplane cements were), then it could be decomposing and similarly attacking your tools. It is for this reason that I'm suggesting scraping up all of the existing glue when you replace the felt.
And -- yes, once it is mounted, spray it with a good oil like what is found in the CRC 3-36 aerosol cans before putting the tools in place.
Best of luck, DoN.
Reply to
DoN. Nichols
On Sun, 14 Dec 2003 04:25:09 GMT, Tom Young put forth the notion that...
I had a similar problem a few years ago. In my case, it turned out that my solvent tank had gotten contaminated by a very tiny amount of carburetor cleaner, and I had wiped my tools down with the solvent. Everything that was touched by the solvent quickly accumulated a light layer of rust. It's possible that someone did something similar to that and contaminated the felt in the process.
Reply to
Checkmate
A theory: if it is genuine wool felt, it may be molding in the damp environment and producing acidity. Does it smell musty?
The obvious tests with a variety of removals and replacements would be indicated.
Reply to
Richard J Kinch
Yes, it's steel with the wrinkly brown paint.
-Tom
Reply to
Tom Young
It doesn't smell musty, and the fact that it started happening pretty soon after I got it makes me suspect there's a different cause. But maybe I'll spray it with Lysol just for good measure :-)
-Tom
Reply to
Tom Young
Well, it was new when I bought it, and I'm the only one with access to it. Good to know that about carburetor cleaner, though.
-Tom
Reply to
Tom Young
I considered that also, and I expect it contributed to the rust early on. That's why I was surprised to see rust again after I poured the mineral oil into all the drawers. The tools were kind of swimming in it, actually.
I'm moving to New Mexico in a few months. Maybe that will solve the problem.
-Tom
Reply to
Tom Young
I suggest that you also put some silica gel packets into any containers for important stuff that shouldn't rust.
Here's a link to a place that has it.
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Also, although it doesn't directly address this problem, LPS-3 is a great rust inhibitor for things stored in a condensing environment.
Pete Stanaitis --------------------
Tom Young wrote:
Reply to
Pete & sheri
Felt is disastrous for causing rust. On a good day it's not good, but if it gets damp it usually starts to sweat something acidic. Even the all-synthetic stuff will hold moisture and encourage rust.
I use polyethylene foam floor underlay (the thin white stuff). Not as long-lasting as good butyl toolbox liner, but a lot cheaper.
-- Die Gotterspammerung - Junkmail of the Gods
Reply to
Andy Dingley
Checkmate snipped-for-privacy@The.Edge
Perhaps there was a junk-laden abandoned swimming pool close by. FM
Reply to
Fdmorrison
is this common knowledge anywhere? why does Kennedy still use it? my 40yr old Craftsman cab's came w/paint only and i used cardboard to line the drawers. never a problem, 1st out west, and the past 13yrs in the NE Dallas area, w/lots of humidity year round.
this is a good thread, and it makes me wonder, can felt be hygroscopic?
thanks! --Loren
Reply to
Loren Coe
I don't know about machinists. I know this stuff from hanging around museum curators.
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(the whole site is a good read) -- What ? Me ? Evil Dictator of Iraq ? Nah mate, I'm just a Hobbit, honest
Reply to
Andy Dingley
You've been reading that JG Ballard, haven't you ?
Reply to
Andy Dingley
I have the Canadian made equivalent, a "Beach" machinists chest. Same problem. I solved it by impregnating the felt with high detergent motor oil. That was several years ago, and there has been no problem since. This, in spite of a leaky roof, and close proximity to the sea.
Steve R.
Reply to
Udie
Funny how that works. :)
Jim
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Reply to
jim rozen
On 14 Dec 2003 16:45:02 -0800, jim rozen put forth the notion that...
Sure, that makes about as much sense as a lot of the other shit you come up with.
Reply to
Checkmate
I replaced the felt in a machinist tool chest several years ago and had a similar problem. When I replaced it again, I washed the felt first and didn't get rust. The source of the first and second pieces of felt was different, so this may not be a valid fix. My guess is that some felt has something left in it from the manufacturing process. Maybe a salt or acid?
Dick Morris Anchorage, Alaska
Reply to
Dick Morris

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