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The three-part Boeshield kit does a very good job in keeping our cast iron rust-free and slick.
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Boeshield 3-Part Tool Care Kit

Aircraft quality care for woodworking iron

Text, photos and video by Tom Hintz

Posted - 7-24-2008

We devote sizeable chunks of our tool budget to obtaining chunks of cast iron in the form of woodworking tools. It only makes sense to spend a few more dollars to protect those tough but rust-prone investments. The Boeshield 3-part Tool Care system reviewed here enjoys an immense popularity in the woodworking community for cast iron care and after this review, has become my big gun for protecting my machines and tools.

The individual products in this Boeshield 3-Part Tool Care Kit are rather potent which makes reading and following the instructions printed on each container a necessity. These products are very easy to use and work very well for their intended purposes but can have adverse effects if used incorrectly. Read the instructions and warnings first and then use them! The Boeshield web site (www.boeshield.com) has more information as well as Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) sections with answers to common situations.

Rust Free removes rust better and faster than anything I have tried.
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Rust Free

This spray-on liquid removes rust and stains from cast iron and many other surfaces. The list of compatible materials on the bottle includes steel, stainless steel, fiberglass, chrome, tile, porcelain, concrete, vinyl and cloth. Warnings on the bottle say that Rust Free is acidic which means that some surfaces, including painted ones will not be happy if you apply this compound to them. When in doubt, test Rust Free on a small, hidden surface just to be sure.

Directions for using Rust Free are simple. Spray it on heavy enough to saturate the spot, let it penetrate 60 to 90 seconds and then wipe it dry. A little heavier application of Rust Free can be used on stubborn spots, augmented by light rubbing with a Scotchbrite pad.

It is important to remember that Rust Free also strips the surface of whatever protectant may have been applied earlier. After cleaning with Rust Free it is good form to apply Boeshield T-9 to protect the surface.

Here's the rust spot (top), spray Rust Free on the spot (middle) and after wiping away with a paper towel. (bottom) It couldn't be easier!
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Using Rust Free

Boeshield Rust Free turned out to be the best, fastest-acting rust remover I have tried. Quite literally, in most situations it works better than advertised. I sprayed a little on a rust spot, waited about 60 seconds and wiped it - and the rust spot - away with a paper towel! I even shortened the "soak time" a bit to demonstrate Rust Free in the video elsewhere on this page. Granted this was not a heavy rust spot but with 20-some seconds of soak time it cleared the spot completely.

We have to remember that rust itself is lost metal. If the rust is more than a light "shadow" on the surface, there is a good chance that you will be able to see where the spot was after the rust is removed. That is not a shortcoming of Rust Free, but rather life in the real world. Short of re-grinding the surface, there is no way to completely eliminate the visible records of a rust spot. Between the capabilities of Rust Free and an application of the Boeshield T-9, the remains of minor rust spots are often very difficult to see. The key is to not let rust develop. If you see a spot forming, take care of it then, not later.

Boeshield T-9

Developed originally by the Boeing Aircraft company to protect aircraft components, T-9 is a compound of solvents, lubricants and waxes. The design criteria for this product included penetration, moisture displacement, lubrication and surface protection. And, the aerosol can contains no fluorocarbons.

Boeshield T-9 is compatible with a huge number of surfaces including metal, paints, plastics and vinyl. That covers nearly everything I can see in my woodworking shop but test it if you are not sure. Because T-9 contains no silicon or Teflon and dries to a thin waxy film, there is nothing to transfer to the wood that could make finishing a problem.

Boeshield T-9 truly is a spray, wipe and forget preparation. Of course, you can simply spray and forget also!
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You can apply Boeshield T-9 in two ways. For occasional maintenance of a table saw surface spray a light coat on and wipe the surface down to spread an even coat over the surface. For long-term storage you can spray a coat of T-9 on the surface and just let it dry.

Using Boeshield T-9

Through out the evaluation I followed the directions on the can closely and was rewarded with perfect results. I sprayed a coat on my jointer and just let that dry because I have no work planned for that machine in the near future. On my table saw, I sprayed some T-9 on and then wiped it down with a paper towel. I let the towel become saturated so the T-9 was spread evenly across the surface rather than wiped off.

Boeshield T-9 feels a little tacky to the finger after drying but allows wood to slide easily, very similar to when I used paste wax. I'm not sure of the physics involved here but it does work. I cleaned the cast iron table with Rust Free before applying the Boeshield T-9. So far, I have not found even a hint of rust developing despite the shop being subjected to wild humidity changes over the last ten days or so due to nightly thunderstorms passing through the area.

Blade & Bit

The Blade & Bit (top) bottle packs more punch than you might expect. It really is a spray on, wipe off product!
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All of the cutters we use from table saw blades to router bits become contaminated with pitch and resins from the wood. If not removed regularly, these often-pricey tools can lose performance, become overheated and even suffer a premature demise. The Boeshield Blade & Bit is designed to clean our tools to preserve their effectiveness.

Blade & Bit is non-toxic and biodegradable but remains very effective. Simply spray it on, allow it to soak for 30 to 60 seconds and then wipe it off. Very simple but very effective and safe for the environment at the same time!

Using Blade & Bit

I intentionally stopped cleaning my table saw blade for a while in preparation for this review. I took the blade off of the saw, laid it on some scrap wood and sprayed a section of the teeth with Blade & Bit. After 30 seconds or so I wiped it off with a paper towel, taking nearly all of the contamination with it. The only residue remaining was the small burned-on spots on the sides of the carbide teeth. I sprayed a little more Blade & Bit on, waited 30 seconds or so and then gently scrubbed the remaining contamination off of the teeth with a plain brass-bristled brush.

Like, Rust Free, Blade & Bit appears to clean everything off of the blade so we need to give it a quick coat of the Boeshield T-9 to protect the surface. The T-9 not only protects the blade but adds a bit of lubrication that seems to prevent the buildup from returning so quickly.


Video Demo

All of the products in the Boeshield 3-Part Tool Care Kit work very well with minimum effort. Spray them on and wipe them off. It really is that simple. It is not often that products exceed the manufacturers claims but all three of the Boeshield Kit components do just that. The amount of each product that must be used to handle the job is remarkably small meaning that the bottles will last a long time. Each treatment appears to last far longer than anything else I have use in the past which further extends the time before having to buy more of the Boeshield products.

If you are about your cast iron, consider using the Boeshield 3-Part Tool Care Kit. It makes taking care of this expensive material cheap and easy. The Boeshield 3-Part Tool Care Kit adds to safety as well. A clean, waxed (T-9) surface allows the wood to move smoothly and predictably which directly translates to safer use of the machine. That means your shop can look good and be safe at the same time. That makes the purchase price of about $30.00 (7-15-2008) (3-part kit) an even better investment.

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