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Thread: keeping rust away from carbon steel blade.

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    Cast Iron
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    keeping rust away from carbon steel blade.

    My father gave to me avery nice little skinner made from a file. While I can sharpen it to a terrifying edge, it does collect rust. What do you guys use to prevent this besides oil. I don't want to saturate the sheath and discolor it. I have carnuba waxed pistols before a six month deployment and left them in storage 2 miles from the coast with good results. I am not sure about cutting food type things with a waxy blade though. Any thoughts?

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    Tool Steel
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    Re: keeping rust away from carbon steel blade.

    I have some older carbon steel kitchen knives that were my parents. They never used them for some reason, even though they are excellent. When I left for college, I took them with me, and still have them. While they work great, I have found that you have to be careful with them. First, I keep them in a wooden knife block. Never put them away wet. Never leave them dirty (especially with acidic things, like tomatoes, or citrus). I always wash, dry and put them back in the block immediately after use. Even with this treatment, they are not shiny. They have a dull brown/black cast to them. Sharp as h*ll though, and hold an edge for a long time.

    If you keep them in the house, you should be ok, if you keep them outside, in the garage, etc, you may get problems with condensation if the temp changes frequently. Wipe them down with some mineral oil, and they should keep fairly well.

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    Cast Iron
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    Re: keeping rust away from carbon steel blade.

    It's a sheath knife I wear often. It see's all weather and lives close to a sweaty body. I don't want petroleum products as I use it on food and game. I'm at a loss. Mom and Dads olds knives have that same dark/mottled look you were talking about. Maybe I could speed that along so it's all the same finish. Not sure I can do that while it's so shiny and new.

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    Titanium Ray C's Avatar
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    Re: keeping rust away from carbon steel blade.

    LOL... I've got some old heirloom carbon steel kitchen knives and they all look like shanks found by the warden on mattress shake-down day. Haven't died from tetanus yet and I use them every day...

    Ray
    ...and a rock feels no pain; and an island never cries.

    www.cmf-llc.com

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    Re: keeping rust away from carbon steel blade.

    Mineral oil (the food grade stuff they sell in the pharmacy as a laxative) may work for you. May also try beeswax?

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    Cast Iron
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    Re: keeping rust away from carbon steel blade.

    Oh, I didn't know that was not petroleum. Musta been thinking mineral spirits. I'll check it out.

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    Re: keeping rust away from carbon steel blade.

    Mineral oil is petroleum, but it's inert, and won't cause any problems if ingested (at least, they haven't found any that I know of). It's just like thin vaseline. Anything that is intended for direct consumption, or for use on food relate equipment should be safe to use.

    Something else just occurred to me, you could try Linseed oil. If you put on a coat and leave it exposed to the air, it forms a nice varnish. You probably want to avoid the stuff you get in the hardware store because it has chemicals that speed up the drying process (that I personally wouldn't want to eat). You can get the same stuff in it's raw from in the grocery store, it's called flax-seed oil.

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    Re: keeping rust away from carbon steel blade.

    I put museum wax or renaissance wax on the blade. You can find it from Texas knife supply or Jantz knife supply. Also if you have a sheath never use it for storage. Get a good zipper knife case or wrap it in a cloth. Use boiled linseed oil to care for your wooden handles. Several coats. Hope this helps.

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    Re: keeping rust away from carbon steel blade.

    You can speed up the patina by dipping the blade in vinegar for a couple hours, followed by a non-abrasive cleaning. Repeat until the desired finish is reached. Alternatively, try Oxpho-blue (cold bluing compound).

    If you prefer to keep it shiny AG Russell sells a product called RustFree specifically for non-stainless knife blades.

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    Brass cdhknives's Avatar
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    Re: keeping rust away from carbon steel blade.

    If you use it regularly, wipe it down with a light film of food/cooking oil...olive oil works well as does lard, Crisco, etc. This will not protect it for years, but for those day and week long times between uses it will work fine and there will be no issues with food incompatibility.

    I use LPS 3 (NSA approved for use on food prep machines) on my hunting knives for storage and just wipe them down before I start cutting anything I will be eating later.

    No matter what, expect a light patina to slowly overtake the blade surface unless you periodically use an abrasive (1200 grit sandpaper to polish anyone?) to keep it shiny.

    Beware, my understanding is no carbon steel blade is allowed for commercial kitchens in the USA any more. Rust pits hold bacteria just too well. SS only for commercial kitchens.

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