A reader of this newsletter, Rex Burkheimer, sent me this tip in response to my item
in the last issue on rust prevention:
My hobby is restoring old machine tools - lathes, milling machines, drill presses, metal shapers, etc. I’m a big disciple of Evaporust for rescuing old iron, but how to keep my finished projects from returning whence they came?
My shop is an unheated metal building in humid North Texas, a perfect breeding ground for iron oxide. After opening the shop to discover a big ugly rust scab on my virgin mill table I decided to get serious.
After many trials and disappointments, I settled on …lanolin - Fresh from the sheep!
The story is, Australian sheep farmers noticed that steel things that sheep often rubbed against did not rust. Sheep’s wool is thick with lanolin, which is removed in processing the wool. Soap makers use it, it is also used in cosmetics.
One pound of anhydrous lanolin from eBay costs about $16. I mix it about 10:1 with light oil and apply with a brush or cloth. I also mix it with WD40 in a trigger spray. A pound goes a long way.
Since starting this about 10 years ago, rust is a thing of the past - except where I failed to apply this mixture. It has been 100% effective.