Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Rust never sleeps

"Steel rusts, and rust never sleeps. From the moment you get a steel boat until the day they cart you away, you're going to be dealing with rust.

Rust is a simple process. All it requires is some steel, some water, and time. Add a little salt and it doesn't take so much time. Add some electrical current to the salt and water, and the steel melts like a snow cone on hot pavement.

The only protection against rust is maintenance. From the day the steel rolls out of the mill it has to be protected from rust." - Stephen Olson

So I'm learning.

Rust never sleepsIn the past, when I've had new steel delivered, it has simply been left as delivered, then as the steel has been used I've cleaned off the rust and painted it.

Now I have a bunch of rusty steel accumulated on deck.

The realisation that it's easier to prevent the rust in the first place, so far as is reasonably possible, has finally dawned.

The picture shows new steel plate, recently delivered, now covered with a fresh coat of primer.

This primer is a departure from the other coatings I've been trying. It is the same stuff the steel merchants themselves use.

I figure that if it's good enough for them, it should be good enough for me.

We shall see.

If this works out well, I'll have to see what it costs to buy new steel which has been shot blasted and primed at the mill.

By the way, the title for this post was prompted by this article by John Kretschmer.


  1. hockadilly11:54 PM

    Hmmm, wonder why the merchants use rust-coloured primer? Same reason the Forth Bridge was painted a nice rusty red, I imagine ... the damage doesn't show. Railtrack didn't bother with maintenance & eventually bits of bridge started falling off. Keep up the good work! (The parts of the bridge that have been mended look fantastic)

  2. That steel looks actually pretty good, rust coloured or not.

  3. Hi Hockadilly

    Thanks for the comment.


  4. Hi rik

    Hopefully it'll stay looking good for a while yet.