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I am considering adding stainless steel garage cabinets to my garage such as this one. As you know they are not cheap. My concern is my garage is not heated and it gets wicket cold in north east (Boston area). Should I be worrying about rust issues with these, particular the NewAge cabinets?

Does anyone put their tools in unheated environment (in such cabinets)? Could rust be concern for them as well?

My house is just very short on storage/shelve place and I could use them for verity of reasons, even putting seasonal clothes in box in them.

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  • Note that the linked to cabinets are not stainless steel, they are coated (or painted) diamond-plate steel. The only stainless steel in that set is the countertop.
    – Johnny
    Commented Nov 10, 2015 at 4:42

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Rust is only really a concern if there is water or very high humidity. Temperature doesn't have anything to do with it. In fact the Northeast gets quite dry during the winter so you should have no problems (assuming the garage does not leak).

Proper care of your tools will help prevent rust. E.g. for hand tools you can give them a quick wipe with tool oil now and then, and remove any surface rust if it appears.

A stainless steel cabinet should be resistant to rust anyway, although different grades of stainless steel are better about that than others.

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  • The meteorologist in me can't let this one go - temperature has everything to do with humidity - the water vapor saturation capacity of air (dew point) is directly related to temperature. For winter storage in general you'd want to consider the the amount of precipitation, or how often the dew point is exceeded.
    – Comintern
    Commented Nov 11, 2015 at 0:19
  • @Comintern: true but the dew point can be reached year round.
    – Hank
    Commented Nov 11, 2015 at 1:19
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I do woodworking in an unheated shop in the winter and rust is a real concern. It is a well-known phenomenon in the woodworking world. I'm not sure about the meteorological reason, but definitely tools show a tendency to rust if kept in an unconditioned space.

The way I handle it is:

  • keep tools in closed wooden chests and drawers - this helps buffer the humidity I think, if the temperature cycles past the dew point
  • oil the tools with 3-in-1 after every use and use them often

Other strategies are to treat tools with special rust inhibiting wax compounds, or to include atmospheric rust protectors in the tool storage spaces.

It depends on the tools though. I don't worry about my mechanics tools, a bit of surface rust can usually be wiped off. It's a real problem for a sharp chisel or hand plane though. The steel in edged tools typically has very low corrosion resistance.

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