Corrosion, rust protection

I’ve been asked by a small local museum how to protect their three lino machines, which are housed in an uninsulated building, so that they could be got going again in the future. Obviously an oil or varnish spray isn’t going to be suitable because of ‘cooking’ problems in the future… is there anything else which might reduce condensation or protect from rust, corrosion, dust etc?

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I would recommend Rust Bandit from the makers of Evapo-Rust.
Prevents rust for up to 12 months.
Also if they aren’t on display I would suggest covering them in a canvas cloth with desiccant placed in strategic parts of the machine.

The consensus among folks that collect old metalworking machines, which have large areas of exposed very-prone-to-rust cast iron, is to use something called LPS3:

It’s a spray on coating, but the residue isn’t objectionable, no more objectionable than the grease and crud the machines are probably already coated in. It doesn’t go on thick like cosmoline would.

If spraying them is entirely out of the question, get them into a vapour-tight container and load in a big tray full of of silica gel desiccant cat litter. I have some equipment that I have had in cold storage for 10 years using this form preservation. But, you need to be careful about excluding outside air. I’ve hear stories of silica gel ‘pumping’ moisture from the air with temperature cycles.

I think that LPS3 stuff would not work with Lino machines, which must be kept clear of oils because their residue will clog up the works when things get hot. The machines are normally lubricated with graphite. And I’d be a bit cautious about the rust bandit too - it seems to be an electrloyte, and I would expect that you’d be liable to get electrochemical reactions between the steel and brass, let alone the metal in the pots… and crystals might accumulate in the chutes etc. I wonder if something like a 20W light bulb left on under the machines might keep them warm enough to stop condensation?

to circut5 et al

Filiament bulb a good idea, I saw it used in some places; but where it was decided that there should be no hotspots, a 40 watt fluorescent tube was installed which decreased the risk of ignition of the material stored in that cupboard.


While oil on a linotype is a big taboo, it’s a lot easier to clean oil off of a machine that it is to clean rust off of a machine.