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  1. #1
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    Default storing steel

    We are kind of "cleaning house" at work and my new boss wants to get rid of a bunch of good usable steel. The main things will be some 4"x6"x1/4"x20' rectangle tubing as well as some 8" i-beams 20' long. These are in very nice condition and I don't want to see them get scrapped. Me being the hoarder that I am want to take them for future projects but will have to store them outside. The i-beams I may use in the next 6 months, though tubes may sit around for a couple years. I am thinking about maybe spraying a coating of oil on them (I have quite a bit of used motor oil), then covering them with a tarp. Anyone have any suggestions for this?

    I guess another idea would be to spray a coat of primer on them, but would prefer not to because it will be one more thing to have to remove when I want to weld them later. Also, I would set them on some 4x4's to keep them off the ground.

  2. #2
    Epic Contributor k0ua's Avatar
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    Default Re: storing steel

    here are my thoughts, others feel free to jump in... I think the primer would be best, but next best would be get a gallon of Fluid Film and a paint brush and get to work. I don't think the tarp in close contact to the steel would be a good idea, I am afraid it would trap ground moisture, and keep more water in contact with the steel, if they were under a roof.. of even an open sided structure, that would be better yet.. keep the rain and the snow off. If you could support the tarp a 2 or 3 feet above the steel that might be a good idea, but not right down on it. I think the motor oil would be better than nothing but not as good as the fluid film or the primer. That is my story and I am sticking too it

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  3. #3
    Elite Member Rustyiron's Avatar
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    Default Re: storing steel

    I've done just that, used crank oil thinned with (whatever, diesel,gas. paint thinner) and spray it on with a good garden type pump sprayer. It will protect it for quite a while and keep the weed down also! Not so much fun at painting time.
    ]We need more people to WORK for a living and less people to VOTE for a living!
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: storing steel

    did you cover it, or just leave it in the open?

    not sure I should trust advice from someone with your username

  5. #5
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    Default Re: storing steel

    Quote Originally Posted by k0ua View Post
    here are my thoughts, others feel free to jump in... I think the primer would be best, but next best would be get a gallon of Fluid Film and a paint brush and get to work. I don't think the tarp in close contact to the steel would be a good idea, I am afraid it would trap ground moisture, and keep more water in contact with the steel, if they were under a roof.. of even an open sided structure, that would be better yet.. keep the rain and the snow off. If you could support the tarp a 2 or 3 feet above the steel that might be a good idea, but not right down on it. I think the motor oil would be better than nothing but not as good as the fluid film or the primer. That is my story and I am sticking too it

    James K0UA
    Yes, the tarp I was up in the air about as being a good idea. I may end up priming just because that may actually prove easier to remove where I need to weld then removing oil on the whole thing for painting as mentioned. That just seems like a lot more work, not to mention it is getting a little cold here to be priming outside.

  6. #6
    Old Timer Soundguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: storing steel

    used motor oil is nasty stuff to the environment. with rain and weather it will leach off into the ground.

    I'd vote for primering it.. or cheap asphalt paint that is low voc and less of an impact on the environment.

    alternately.. for less than 200$ you could build a lil tin roof coverall-leantoo with sides and use a pallate or 2 as a base and keep it off the ground and under cover and untreated..

  7. #7
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    Default Re: storing steel

    I'd say prime it. I had almost the exact same scenario and I built a steel rack under my carport. I coated it all with fluid film equivalent and it still ended up rusting. Having to grind off rust everytime I want to weld a piece is way more a pain in the butt than grinding off primer!

  8. #8
    Elite Member 300UGUY's Avatar
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    Default Re: storing steel

    I would just set them on some 4x4's, and use fluid film or old oil. I really think that unless you use it within a year or so, it will rust anyway. Painting doesn't seem practical this time of year.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: storing steel

    Quote Originally Posted by Soundguy View Post
    used motor oil is nasty stuff to the environment. with rain and weather it will leach off into the ground.

    I'd vote for primering it.. or cheap asphalt paint that is low voc and less of an impact on the environment.

    alternately.. for less than 200$ you could build a lil tin roof coverall-leantoo with sides and use a pallate or 2 as a base and keep it off the ground and under cover and untreated..
    that is a good point about the oil, and it had been a consideration of mine. I guess I had figured that the amount that I would use wouldn't really make a difference. Anytime I have bought new steel it usually comes with some sort of oily residue on it from the mill anyway. Maybe I am underplaying something that is a bigger problem that I had considered.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: storing steel

    either way I am going to let it sit at work (in a factory) as long as I can until he gets real insistent about getting it out.

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