Is it possible we have found the final solution for rust proofing our tools? The Rustoleum company may have found the answer in their NeverWet product. According to their website (www.rustoleum.com) NeverWet “is a two-step product system designed to create a moisture repelling barrier on a variety of surfaces. It is suitable for use on metal, wood, aluminum, galvanized metal, PVC, concrete, masonry, asphalt, vinyl siding, fiberglass, canvas, most plastics and more.” The technical data sheet (TDS) can be found here:
This coating creates a surface which enables water to have a contact angle up to 165 degrees. This angle angle between the main surface and the surface of the liquid, in this case water, being measured as measured from the center of the drop of liquid. A water drop placed on skin will have a contact angle less than 90 degrees.
The videos available online are quite impressive, they show various surfaces staying completely dry after being submerged in water. It was after seeing these videos that I realized this product may solve the rust problem that many woodworkers face so I decided to put together this test. When it comes to coating our tools whether it is with wax, NeverWet or other substances, woodworkers are concerned with two things. First, is this coating going to provide the rust protection I need for as long as I need it, and second, will this coating rub off on my work and ruin any finish that I may want to apply. This last concern is vital as many table saw surfaces are bare cast iron and rust very easily requiring them to be treated for rust. If the rust proofing rubs off on the wood as it is cut on the table saw, and then affects the application of the final finish, it is unusable for woodworkers.
This test will consist of rubbing the sole of a treated handplane across a large board which will then have various finishes applied. This won’t be a scientific test as I won’t be able to quantify my results numerically, but I am hoping that if there are major problems with using NeverWet they will appear obvious.