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Old 11-16-2011, 02:44 AM   #8
NYECOGunsmith
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When it rains here, and we know it does do that from time to time, the temperature and humidity change on the outside of the safe are pretty rapid.

Same can be said for the inside of the safe, particularly if it's in a non environment controlled garage for example.

Unless the safe is completely air tight, some of that moisture from the rain is going to get inside the safe.

And with the temperature change that goes along with it, there is a chance that some of it will condense to some degree on the cooler metal inside the safe.

So there is the potential for rust to form even here in the desert.

With eliminating it so cheap and easy to do, why take the chance I figure.

In addition to the Silica Gel tubs, I also keep a small kerosene lantern bottom (no globe, just the base and the wick) in the safe. I fill the base well with Camphor Oil and WD40 in a 50-50 mixture. Run the wick up a good ways and set it where it won't get knocked over.

This is an old machinists trick for protecting tools in an enclosed tool crib/cabinet.

The WD-40 and Camphor oil mix and the WD 40's Stoddard Solvent (pretty close to kerosene in it's makeup, Stoddard solvent is also known as White Spirits, or Mineral Spirits) component will evaporate, acting as the carrier.

When that happens the Camphor oil and the mineral oil (WD-40 is basically just the solvent and a light mineral oil, plus some inert ingredients which I believe are mostly aromatic components) will get dispersed this way, and the Camphor oil and mineral oil will leave behind a vapor barrier on the metal that will block oxygen from getting to the metal. Can't rust if it can't oxidize.

This formula is pretty cheap, with a small 4 ounce bottle of Camphor oil running about $2 at most Pharmacies, and the WD40 not being all that expensive either.

A small kerosene lantern can be had for around $5 at most wally worlds.

Another media you can use in the lantern in place of the Camphor Oil and WD40 mixture is BullFrog Vapor Corrosion Inhibitor.

They sell it in blocks and in liquid form for use in Safes, tool cribs, etc. But they get anywhere from $20-$30 a can for a 16 ounce can of the liquid for this purpose. The solid blocks are a bit cheaper.

A couple of years back I discovered that they sell the same exact formula, same ingredients, same concentrations, in a 16 ounce can, in the automotive section at ACE hardware, but labeled as Engine Block Rust Inhibitor.

You add it to your engine oil and it prevents rust inside the block, which I always thought (and still do!) that the engine oil itself does. They also market one to add to the coolant.

And they have solid blocks you can hang in a gun safe. But they (the ones specifically labeled for gun safes and tool cribs) are expensive compared to the automotive product line.

But that's neither here nor there, the beauty of it is if you want to use this VCI (Vapor Corrosion Inhibitor) technology to protect the inside of your safe, in this form (the automotive type) which as I said is the same formula and concentration as the stuff sold for use in safes and tool cribs, it's only $8 for a 16 ounce can of it labeled this way!

Here's the Bullfrog site with all their fine VCI products:
http://www.rustbloc.com/

Their prices on this site are 50 % higher that what I have found them for at ACE, Home Depot, Wally World, etc. Shop around if you are interested in trying them out.


You could also install a small, 40 watt light bulb and socket inside the safe and leave it on all the time.

After a short time, the light bulb will heat up the air space inside the safe a few degrees, enough to raise the dew point and keep condensation from forming on the cold metal of any guns inside.

This is basically how the Golden RodŽ and other safe dehumidifiers work, they just create warm air, and let natural convection currents in the safe carry the warm air from the bottom of the safe to the top, preventing condensation in that manner.

But the vapor barrier method and the Silica Gel Crystal method both have the advantage of working during a power outage (which happens most often during rain storms around here!) and they can't cause a fire if something shorts out.

And they don't raise your power bill, although admittedly the large size Golden Rod and it's competitors only draw about 25-30 watts, but still, it does add up on the electrical bill.
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