OldTools Archive

Recent Bios FAQ

273933 Thomas Conroy 2021‑06‑13 Re: VCI Paper
Claudio wrote:Tool roll leather: absolutely agree must use veggie tan leather.
Mostupholstery and clothing leathers (thinner, softer, brightly colored) are
chrome tanned. Trust me, even if it has a cloth lining, chrome tanned
leather will rust your tools (acidic vapors from the embedded chromium
salts I'm told, not an expert)....
-- Claudio

     Any leather will cause leather to rust if left in contact. DAMHIKT. Lets
just say I was really proud of all those leather sheaths I made, before I threw
them out. Leather may not cause rust (and corrosion of other metals) right away,
but sooner or later it inevitably will. And once you have a spot of rust inside
a sheath, it will catalyze more rust in the same place no matter how often you
clean the knife. The only cure is to throw the sheath away.

     For most chisels and binding knives that aren't being used continually, I
now just wrap two or three turns of masking tape around the tip, with about 1/8"
sticking out beyond the edge and with the first layer well down into contact
with the metal. The pressure-sensitive adhesive, horrible in so many ways and
for so many things, actually preserves the steel against rust as well as
anything I know; I think the adhesive seals out air and water vapour. I turn
over the outer end of the tape for about a quarter of an inch to make it easy to
find the spot to start peeling it off when I want to use the tool. The bit
extending beyond the edge prevents things from being cut with amazing success.
If the tape ever does go bad, it doesn't corrode the steel; and if worse comes
to worst and it hardens it can still be scraped off with relative ease.
     Many years ago I bought a very fine binders' paring knife which had been
sitting in a damp garage for fifty years. Adhesive tape had been wrapped around
the base of the blade for comfort in use.  When I removed the tape, the steel
was pristine under it. All the rest of the blade was pitted as deeply as any
tool I have ever succeeded in bringing back into use. I wore out a blue diamond
stone, slicked it down to useless, flattening the back of that one knife,
working at it full time for almost a week (I was young---what can I say?) Once I
had the back flat and the edge sharp, it turned out to be first-rate; it has
been my favorite paring knife for about thirty-five years now. I'm a great fan
of adhesive tape as a rust preventative measure on steel.

     For leather paring knives and chisels that are in frequent use, I use heavy
paper or light cardboard  to wrap a little scabbard, two or three inches long
and two or three wraps, with the end turned over the edge two or three times and
all held together with masking tape. White paper and board, not the newsprint
and floor sweepings in cereal boxes; newsprint contains corrosive impurities.
These are ugly but they take about ten minutes to make, and can be thrown away
immediately if rust develops, without tugging at the heartstrings.

Tom Conroy

Recent Bios FAQ