Author Topic: Screwdriver Bits Corroding  (Read 7014 times)

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Offline Halcyon

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Screwdriver Bits Corroding
« on: November 01, 2015, 06:37:32 am »
I purchased a set of screwdriver bits years ago. Long ago they started to rust (see photo) even though they haven't really been exposed to overly humid conditions and have always been stored indoors and in their container. Not sure what material they are, but it's probably cheap and nasty. I'm looking to replace this with a set that will last a lot longer. I'm not a heavy user of these, just once in a while I'll need an 'obscure' bit to open old computers etc...

The set in the photo is a 100-piece set with all manner of bits that come in handy.

Suggestions?
« Last Edit: November 01, 2015, 06:39:11 am by Halcyon »
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: Screwdriver Bits Corroding
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2015, 07:02:03 am »
Clean them up then coat in WD40, and place a small piece of cardboard soaked in the WD40 under the lid, covering all the bits. That will stop them rusting again, and the vapour release will keep the box inside dry. Only time I use WD40, it is not a lubricant but a rust preventative. That it lubricates a little is temporary until it all evaporates.
 

Offline Halcyon

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Re: Screwdriver Bits Corroding
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2015, 07:11:35 am »
Clean them up then coat in WD40, and place a small piece of cardboard soaked in the WD40 under the lid, covering all the bits. That will stop them rusting again, and the vapour release will keep the box inside dry. Only time I use WD40, it is not a lubricant but a rust preventative. That it lubricates a little is temporary until it all evaporates.

Tried that. Cleaned them up a while ago and gave them a protective coating of WD40. It ended up doing bugger all and just made them disgusting to handle. Didn't stop the corrosion in the long-term.

Exposure to humidity and corrosive gasses will do that.  Seems unlikely they'd do that on their own, as manufactured.

For example, if you have some hydrochloric acid in storage, it will seep very slowly, corroding everything in the room.

Tim

They seemed to do just that -- on their own. Nothing corrosive at all nearby and always good ventilation with outside air. Sydney isn't overly humid most of the time. They weren't an expensive set, which is why I don't feel bad about tossing them and starting again.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2015, 07:13:25 am by Halcyon »
 

Online T3sl4co1l

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Re: Screwdriver Bits Corroding
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2015, 07:11:36 am »
Exposure to humidity and corrosive gasses will do that.  Seems unlikely they'd do that on their own, as manufactured.

For example, if you have some hydrochloric acid in storage, it will seep very slowly, corroding everything in the room.

Tim
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Online Muttley Snickers

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Re: Screwdriver Bits Corroding
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2015, 07:20:36 am »
I have literally hundreds of these that have been collected over decades, mostly stored in a large Plano box with drawers in plastic zip bags and a little oil, occasionally I find one that is starting to corrode so out it goes.

I also have a number of sets that come in a fully moulded rubber type holder both in the workshop and in the truck and not a bit of rust at all, mind you these would be a good 10 to 15 years old and would have come from RPG, Jaycar or Altronics, nothing fancy but they get the job done.

Corrosion is just the Earth reclaiming what was once taken, she wants it back sooner if you live near the beach.

Muttley
 

Offline Halcyon

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Re: Screwdriver Bits Corroding
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2015, 07:32:55 am »
I actually had a random bit (stuck inside another random bit) which had been stored alongside the corroded ones, unused (like the others) but looks much nicer.

Stainless steel maybe?

(No idea what that bit is doing inside that...whatever it is... but it's properly stuck!)
 

Online Muttley Snickers

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Re: Screwdriver Bits Corroding
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2015, 07:40:44 am »
I found that most metals corrode faster when magnetised or in close proximity to magnets so I keep the 1/4 hex shafts completely separate, stainless maybe too brittle and a pain if not magnetised.

That bit looks like it is used to sink screws all to the same depth, joinery etc.



« Last Edit: November 01, 2015, 07:45:38 am by Muttley Snickers »
 

Offline DimitriP

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Re: Screwdriver Bits Corroding
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2015, 10:16:29 am »
WD-40; Some swear by it and some swear at it.

Leave them dunked in white vinegar overnight to remove the rust.
Then dry them (hair dryer/oven) and give them a coat of light  machine oil or light grease. Just enough to give them the "wet" look.
   If three 100  Ohm resistors are connected in parallel, and in series with a 200 Ohm resistor, how many resistors do you have? 
 

Offline Ian.M

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Re: Screwdriver Bits Corroding
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2015, 10:58:05 am »
White vinegar isn't much good for rust removal.  The Acetic acid attacks the base metal as well as the rust so you don't want to leave it in.  DO NOT follow any advice to add salt as that will dissociate in an acid to produce some hydrochloric acid which will attack the metal and also leave it contaminated with chloride ions, resulting in more rust sooner!   Either use a commercial rust remover (not a rust converter), electrolytic derusting or soak in feed store molasses.   

After derusting and cleaning, a phosphoric acid dip would be a good idea as that will leave a protective coat of iron phosphate, followed by thorough washing with boiling water and hot air drying.   After that, its all in the oil or wax you use, as the surface will be micro-porous due to the removed rust and vulnerable to flash rusting.

I would suggest thinned Penetrol paint conditioner (Owatrol  in many countries outside Australia).  http://www.floodaustralia.net/brochures_guides/pdf_files/Penetrol-brochure.pdf
Use cellulose thinners or similar as you want it to flash off and leave a minimal thin film coating, which should be let air dry with the bits spread out on a sheet of clear plastic, turning occasionally.

For larger tools, cleaning/derusting and wiping with neat Owatrol/Penatrol is effective. 
 

Online Monkeh

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Re: Screwdriver Bits Corroding
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2015, 11:48:55 am »
Can't help with the corrosion, cheap bits always tend to do that.

As for the odd bit 'stuck' in something, that's for plasterboard screws. Stops you driving them through the board. PH2 gives it away, nothing else in the sane world (not the USA) uses it..
 

Offline GreyWoolfe

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Re: Screwdriver Bits Corroding
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2015, 02:02:59 pm »
I have a bunch of different bits here, some over 10 years old and I don't have that kind of problem.  I live about a mile and a half from the beach as the crow flies.  I get one occasionally and when I find it, I just pitch it as I usually have more than one of the same size.  I also don't treat them in any way.
"Heaven has been described as the place that once you get there all the dogs you ever loved run up to greet you."
 

Offline bookaboo

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Re: Screwdriver Bits Corroding
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2015, 02:16:21 pm »
Sometimes even a single exposure to acidic atmospheres will do this. Occasionally we have to do on site repairs in galvanising plants where their pickle baths are HCL, if you leave your tools exposed even for a few hours this sort of corrosion can set in down the line.
 

Offline continuo

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Re: Screwdriver Bits Corroding
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2015, 02:31:05 pm »
HCL vapors can do this in no time. It's definitely not normal, he has either something corrosive around, outgassing, or a problem with condensing humidity  :o
« Last Edit: November 01, 2015, 02:38:52 pm by continuo »
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: Screwdriver Bits Corroding
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2015, 02:58:20 pm »
Keeping them in PVC sleeves will do that, they tend to release vinyl chloride vapours, which is corrosive.
 

Online Muttley Snickers

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Re: Screwdriver Bits Corroding
« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2015, 10:58:40 pm »
Not sure how this method would go but if you just want to do a quick cleanup on that existing set then try putting some sand in a soft drink bottle with a few bits and give it a shake, the bits in your picture do not look like they are badly pitted so they may come up ok.

Halcyon's Bits.



 

Offline Radio Tech

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Re: Screwdriver Bits Corroding
« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2015, 11:09:11 pm »
WD-40 is basically a cleaner, not much good for rust preventive agent. In fact it is a terrible lubricant.
I spray my tooling with tri-flow.  I learned over the years while I was into professional go-kart racing when it comes to getting thins to move and stay rust free, you need Teflon.
This stuff works.

Offline daybyter

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Re: Screwdriver Bits Corroding
« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2015, 03:56:32 am »
Remove most of the rust with some oil. I prefer caramba rust remover. Clean with some denatured alcohol. Paint the bits with fertan rust converter to remove any remaining rust. Use zinc spray coating for preservation.
 

Offline Halcyon

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Re: Screwdriver Bits Corroding
« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2015, 05:00:42 am »
I appreciate all the cleaning tips however I'm just going to toss the lot and buy a new set (this one has missing bits anyway).

I was mostly after some recommendations on a decent set to buy which won't corrode like these ones did.
 

Offline LabSpokane

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Re: Screwdriver Bits Corroding
« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2015, 05:15:33 am »
Get yourself a can of Corrosion-X.  It will kill the corrosion and keep it from coming back.  Even better, it's safe for use on electronics. 

http://www.corrosionx.com
 

Offline LabSpokane

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Re: Screwdriver Bits Corroding
« Reply #19 on: November 02, 2015, 05:18:37 am »
I appreciate all the cleaning tips however I'm just going to toss the lot and buy a new set (this one has missing bits anyway).

I was mostly after some recommendations on a decent set to buy which won't corrode like these ones did.

No screwdriver bit worth having is really going to be much less rust resistant.  Stainless steels aren't used in such applications for a reason and good driver bits are rarely plated and usually never plated at the tip.  You would be amazed at how well those will clean up with the right anti-corrosion treatment. 
 


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