1. #1
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    Question How to keep Pike Poles & Axes From Rusting?

    Part of my job as being 2nd LT is tool maintenance on the truck. I've had a battle for the past 6 months with the axes & pike poles which rust constantly. Our axes & pike poles are exposed to weather conditions do to being stored in our open jumpseats on the engine compartment. Our pike poles are kept in the rear of the truck underneath the boom but are exposed to the roadway during the rain or snow. Every other week I've been sanding them down and now that summers here and we wash the apparatus more often they are rusting more and now Im getting annoyed! Is there any thing that we could put on them so that they wont rust for a while? I wouldnt mind sanding them down once or twice a month but once,sometimes 2 times a week is starting to get to me...any advice is greatly appreciated.
    Andrew
    Firefighter/EMT
    New Jersey

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    Sand them down and apply a good coat of Rustoleum or another good paint. I recently just finished applying primer and black paint to a majority of our tools after sanding them down. If the paint gets warn off, it's quick and simple to sand the area down and touch up the paint.

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    Helllloooo. Never heard of a light coat of oil or WD40?? Wipe them down about once a week with an oil rag and kiss your rusty woes goodbye!
    RK
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    Originally posted by MemphisE34a
    Helllloooo. Never heard of a light coat of oil or WD40?? Wipe them down about once a week with an oil rag and kiss your rusty woes goodbye!
    That or any good silicone spray.
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    Default Another alternative..

    Take any large food storage bags that can be sealed and put them over the heads of the tools.
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    I was always taught that you dont paint the "working surfaces" or "striking surfaces" of striking tools- Axes, Sledges, Mauls, steel halligans, etc. I do paint pike poles, hooks, and other prying/pulling tools. Any striking tools are immediately cleaned with a wire brush after work, void of melted tar, plaster, etc, and then wiped off with one of those silicone-impregnated cloths, like one you wipe your firearm with.

    Hooks and pulling tools get cleaned up, and blasted with the appropriate color paint.
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    We use light (wipe on, then wipe off) mineral oil both on the handles of our wooden tools, and on the metal as well. Not only does it prevent the rust, but it gives the wood a nice deep sheen too.

    It is important to us slower departments, that if you aren't fighting a lot of fire, at least you look good standing around.
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    Quote by Gonzo:

    "Take any large food storage bags that can be sealed and put them over the heads of the tools."


    I have heard this also works up north to protect against freezer burn.

    Remember, for a proper seal.....yellow & blue make green.
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    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

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    Originally posted by MemphisE34a
    Quote by Gonzo:

    "Take any large food storage bags that can be sealed and put them over the heads of the tools."


    I have heard this also works up north to protect against freezer burn.

    Remember, for a proper seal.....yellow & blue make green.
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    Using wd-40 may not work as well as a silicone based spray or a teflon based spray (break-free). Try using ivory bar soap... it will put a light coat on the metal w/o oil-impregnating it. plus its cheap and 99.44% pure!

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    BreakfreeCLP or just BreakfreeLP, like Bou would use on his Glock (and what I use on mine).

    I've wiped down the working edges of hand tools with BreakfreeCLP and they can go for months without needing to be wiped down again (of course we can go for months without seeing fire as well!).

    Your mileage may vary.
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    Originally posted by mcaldwell

    It is important to us slower departments, that if you aren't fighting a lot of fire, at least you look good standing around.

    This is so true!

    Thanks guys....We've used the WD40 but that didnt work so good plus some of the older guys complained about it.... why?....because they like too.... Will have to try the mineral oil. We only paint our pike poles too but just the tops near the hook and not the hook itself not allowed to paint that area either. The department wont let us paint any striking or prying tools on our apparatus.
    Andrew
    Firefighter/EMT
    New Jersey

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    Talking Re: How to keep Pike Poles & Axes From Rusting?

    Originally posted by Engine58
    Part of my job as being 2nd LT is tool maintenance on the truck. I've had a battle for the past 6 months with the axes & pike poles which rust constantly. Is there any thing that we could put on them so that they wont rust for a while?...any advice is greatly appreciated.
    Try putting Fire on them a couple of times a day like we do........
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    I remember being taught not to paint the working surfaces. I have never seen a new pike pole that the hook wasn't paint when it was delievered. I have the driver on my engine clean and steelwool the metal sufaces and we use spay on bed liner. Comes in a 20oz from any parts store. Once it is dry we put an edge on the cutting tools which in turn removes the bed liner from the edge. Even the pick on an axe comes painted. I also use this on my personal TNT tool and use an axe blade cover to protect the edge which has never rusted.
    Do you check your truck ever day? If you do the technique of wiping the blade with an oil each time you inspec and check it should do. If you only inspec it after fires or once a week inspection try clear enamel. The idea behind not painting the cutting/prying/striking surface is so you can see any defects, cracks, chips, bends. A clear coat should be OK. But check with your Chief.
    For the pike poles and keeping them out of weather. Try a length of PVC pipe with a cap glued on one end and a screw cap on the other. You could strap it inside a hard suction on the side of the engine.
    Just a thought.

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    Default Re: Re: How to keep Pike Poles & Axes From Rusting?

    Originally posted by hwoods


    Try putting Fire on them a couple of times a day like we do........
    Fire?? what's that...oh yea thats right now I remember

    We inspect the truck once a week or at least try too. If not it gets done the following week. We only run about 300-350 alarms a year give or take a few, and since I've seen the slowest fire department thread I know I'm not the only slow department out there
    Andrew
    Firefighter/EMT
    New Jersey

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    Diesel fuel seems to hold up longer on the tools than the wd40. For our ten foot hooks and other tools used less frequently we use a clear spray laquer, works quite well and lasts.

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    It's real easy, just spray them down with wd-40 and sand them each morning, if they need it. It's not a good idea to paint the working surface of a tool, such as an axe or cieling hook.
    It's something that happens at the start of every shift here.

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    Using them will keep the rust down. In between workers, use a wire brush and then apply a thin coat of motor oil using a old rag.

    I learned long ago how to maintain tools and appliances. Never paint any striking tool.

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    Like LT Kramer said, a light coat of oil will work. What I like to do is take a rag and splash it around in the oil soaked pan from where our unit sits. After sanding and washing any rust or debris from a previous fire, I put nice coat on the axes/pikepoles as needed. Used motor oil works great and I'm sure it will fix your rust problems.

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