Stopping Rust in the workshop?

Having moved house about 2 months ago, the brick garage with a flat roof looked like being an improvement on the 10 x 8 shed at the old house.
Now any of my big lumps of cast iron are frequently wringing wet with condensation and any bare metal parts such as flywheel rims and lathe or milling machine beds are rusting before my eyes.
Does anyone have any ideas on how to stop this. I am thinking about lining the roof and walls with plasterboard or plywood and filling the cavity between the board and brick wall with rockwool type insulation. Has anyone else tried this and found it successful, also any ideas on a long term background type of heating that can be left on at night for most of the winter without it costing a fortune.
I know that I can coat everything in oil or grease until the spring but this not always convenient when I want to nip in to the workshop and use the lathe, when I get an hour to spare I don't want to spend 20 minutes cleaning the grease off before I start and the same again reapplying before I can go back in the house.
Many thanks - Paul.
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Paul, in my experience the approach is insulation, insulation, insulation.
I've recently moved my junk into a stone walled building with a well insulated roof, and the results are impressive. I do use some heat from a small domestic fan heater with a thermostat. It only comes on below about 6 C and when I'm actually in residence I can turn up the wick.
There is still some draught-proofing to be done, but it's a world away from the previous Dickensian arrangements with everything running with water as you describe. The problem I have is that it's very inviting, and a tremendous distraction from other more important stuff I should be doing :-).
Regards, Arthur G

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On Fri, 31 Dec 2004 17:56:47 -0000, "Arthur Griffin & Jeni Stanton"

I entirely agree. My workshop has 14" solid blue brick walls, they used to literally run with water inside & out when there had been a rise in temperature. Now the walls & roof/ceiling are insulated with rockwool and 3/8" Fermacell, a cellulose/gypsum boarding. The difference (done about 8 years ago) was astonishing.
Is the floor damp proof (concrete over a membrane, for instance)? If not, you might struggle whatever you do.
A dehumidifier can certainly be a great help, & it will provide a little bit of background warmth.
Cheers Tim
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Paul swindell wrote:

Where do you live Paul? By that I mean, is it an inherently damp climate ? What type of flooring is in the garage? The plasterboard/plywood idea is fine but be sure to line the inside of the building with plastic sheeting, as a vapor barrier, underneath it.
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Paul swindell wrote:

A temporary approach might be to cover everything in old (wool) blankets - available at most charity shops for pennies...
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Rockwool will absorb water. The closed cell foam sheets with Alu coat work well. Covering machines/engines with old blankets or towels also works and so will a de-humidifier but at a price. Having seen last winter's Electric bill I now run mine only in extremis! If the engine is not going out often then greasing the flywheels is the only certain cure. Garden Centres sell cheapo humidity meters which at least allows some observation to be made. A quick spray with Duck oil is useful if you don't mind the smell. Daily use also eliminates the problem but for that you need the 7 day weekend :-) hth
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Gentlemen,
I only have a single brick garage, dont get a lot of sweat but do allow ventilation, also do cover my engines with blankets and spray them with WD40. My milldrill and lathe stand uncovered and not oiled with no problem.
Martin P
Roland and Celia Craven wrote:

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I completely agree about the insulation angle, but it doesn't sound like the source. When I built my garage from single thickness blockwork nearly thirty years ago, the first time it rained, the water just came through the weather wall and actually ran in a small torrent off the top of the damp course! The first time it happened, the water was six inches deep and had to be shoved out with a broom as the concrete floor lies on a plastic membrane, naturally.
Whilst it dried out, I went out and sought advice, ending up painting the entire outer surface of the wall (but only the *weather* wall) from wall plate to damp course with twin pack polyester resin. Whilst expensive, it was a complete cure. I then skimmed it up and Tyroleaned over the top. There has never been a re-occurrence and I can leave bare steel in the workshop with no more deleterious effect than leaving it in the house unless there is mist in the air. The slightest layer of oil will keep rust at bay for months. I never use heating in there as it only makes things worse as they cool down again.
I was given a tip once by a building inspector: have a look at the "insect" life. If you have woodlice, the building is inherently damp and particular efforts will be needed to cure it. If you have spiders, the building dries readily and is definitely dry more than it's damp.
That's a good tip about oiling old woollen blankets and if you can get hold of Lanolin (sheep grease) so much the better. A sword in a wooden box scabbard lined with naturally greasy wool will keep the steel bright in a grave until the wood rots entirely away - around 200 years in normal circumstances.
Regards,
Kim Siddorn
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I should be alright then :-) The back wall is cut into a slope and punctuated by drains. Some I have piped out to a drain but the rest are inhabited by spiders and bone dry. I agree that wool holds water but that's exactly why wooden workshops are dry. The wood takes up moisture and then gives it up later. My experience with covering the woollen blanket or cotton towel with plastic is that it traps the moisture but that could just be the Devon weather. Lots of woodlice in the house though ;-) ttfn Roland

hold
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On Fri, 31 Dec 2004 20:11:07 -0000, Kim Siddorn wrote:

What if you have both?
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On Fri, 31 Dec 2004 19:04:18 -0000, Roland and Celia Craven wrote:

Kingspan or Cellotex being the major trade names. Good stuff, best insulation per unit thickness there is. Easy to work with and light, can be pricy though. There is a website that sells "seconds" at good discount.
I'd line the walls with this stuff (25mm would do) spaced off the brick walls with treated 2x1 battens (wide side to the wall). Then cover with 12 or 18mm WBP ply rather than plaster board, staggered joints of course. The ply allows fixing of shelves, brackets WHY almost anywhere you want, though still marke where the battens are for the really big loads

Probably cheaper to provide background heating where required, a frost stat and a few 60W light bulbs under the covers of the bits you want to keep condensation free should work.
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wrote:

Change of temperature with a high humidity is the usual cause. Try and keep a steady temperature, not particularly warm but at above normal ambient. Keep air movements and changes to a minimum, don't use paraffin or gas heaters which produce water vapour, and keep a small 200W heater on to keep a background lvele of heating.
Double-glaze the doors and windows with heavy poly sheeting. Cover engines with a non-porous sheet, I don't recommend wool as it absorbs moisture and holds it around the things you are trying to protect, but wool underneath a poly sheet would help insulate the engine froim temp changes.
If you can properly seal the doors and windows so no air changes can happen, it can be very cosy and warm.
Peter
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Gentlemen,
There is an ultimate solution, in a very previous job I spent six months in Gloucester storing all manner of machine tools for a long period. The method we used was to place a thick underlay on the floor on top of which we placed a very large plastic sheet then another layer of underlay. The machine was then placed on this and the plastic sheet folded over and with a heat gun sealed into the bag, a small hole was left through which we passed several kilo's of baged silica gel. The air was then sucked out of the bad until it was tight around the machine and the hole sealed. I would regularly check the machines and over a couple of years we never had a problem, the silica had moisture indicators fitted and if they showed severe change we would put fresh in. I see no reason why this could not be done to our engines in the winter.
Martin P
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My approach in a single skin brick building (formerly a garage) with flat roof was similar to your suggestion - vertical battens (3" x 2") - fill gaps with fibreglass insulation, then sheet over with thickish polythene to act as a vapour barrier since the brick walls are definitely damp. The whole is lined out with chipboard which is more durable than plasterboard and probably cheaper than ply in a workshop environment. Similar approach to the roof. The concrete floor is lined with flooring grade chipboard on top of polythene membrane which provides a smooth surface which is forgiving when brittle materials are dropped and also insulates the toes from the cold concrete.
I heat all winter with a 2KW convector heater connected to a room thermostat set to 10-12 centigrade and it isn't all that hungry at this temp, but I can turn up the heat when working there - nice and cosy and importantly no rust on the equipment. The insulation is very effective, to the extent that it is really cool in summer until the door is opened (the only window is north facing) - wish I could get more engines in there since most are outside under tarps coated with rust preventative oil similar to, but cheaper than, Shell Ensis, then sealed in with clingfilm over the bright parts.

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