Tool storage using cat litter? - Router Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-12-2010, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
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Default Tool storage using cat litter?

And now for something completely different...

I am contemplating using silica gel and air tight boxes to store some of my tools in my high-humidity environment. Silica gel generally is fairly affordable, but I see that cat litter made from silica gel is quite a bit cheaper than the 'normal' stuff. However, I can't find much information on what else is in the ingredients.

Is there a cat owner here who uses silica gel litter and who can recommend me some that might be useful for tool storage?

Thanks! MM
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-12-2010, 05:48 PM
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It might be worth a test with a tool you don't care about.
Whenever I buy something that has the desiccant packs inside, I throw those in a tool drawer.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-12-2010, 06:38 PM
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mischa hello: I surly don't know about that. I use alot of cat litter but for the purpose
it is intended. Cat pottie! The normal contents of cat litter is some sort of CLAY compound to absorb the urine etc,etcv, Please let us know how your testing goes. The clay components would certainly absorb the humidty, but will it also become a petri
dish to promote RUSt on the tools??????? Get a supply of OSPHO to remove rust from your tools. Just go to the internet With "SKYBRITE OSPHO" and you will learn about it.
Good luck on the experment LET us know the results.

My motto about: WINDSONG GARDENS GOAT RANCH: If God will let me live long enough, work hard enough, and throw enough money into this place, someday someone might have a halfway decent place to live. Amen!
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-12-2010, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
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Jetpilot - The kind of litter I am referring to is made of silica gel, not clay. It usually has the word 'crystal' in the name. The silica gel is the same stuff that is often shipped in these little packets with tools and lots of other things.

I am pretty certain it would be useful. A google search reveals other people's reports on it, and a friend mentioned he read about it in a magazine.

I just wanted to avoid any 'vanilla flavoring' or other additives that would potentially diminish the utility of the cat litter.

I guess I'll just go to a pet supply store and sniff my way around...

Cheers! MM
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-12-2010, 08:16 PM
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I have used the cat litter you refer to as tumbling media. The one thing you should beware of it is *very* dusty. I stopped using it for that reason.

There must be better ways to keep your tools from rusting. I live on Vancouver island where it rains 374 days a year...
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-12-2010, 10:03 PM
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I like your thinking XVMBI- I live in Colorado, so humidity is not an issue. I do however use the silica gel for tool storage, but because I am a cheapskate, I save all of the packs that come with the stuff I mail order - espeacially shoes (good size packs with shoes for some reason). I heard or read somewhere that you can "re-charge the silica gel by putting in the oven for a while. I have not had any rust problems using this stuff, but that may have more to do with the climate than the silica gel. Anyone else "cook" silica gel?
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-12-2010, 11:54 PM
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Dirk,

I've recently picked up a desiccant air filter (for after the particulate and coalescing filters). It uses silica gel pellets, which "adsorbs" the moisture from the air. As it saturates, the blue pellets turn pink. When it does, they say to spread them out on a sheet and bake for 30 minutes at 275*F to release the water. I got mine from FLUID POWER PRODUCTS.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-13-2010, 08:09 AM Thread Starter
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almosta7ftr: Indeed, the silica gel can be reused indefinitely by simply drying it in the oven. As BigJimAK mentioned, some formulations have a dye that changes color when the gel becomes saturated with water. Very convenient! I believe some cat litter might have a color indicator as well (other than cat urine...).

crquack: According to cat owners, the dust in some silica gel litters can be a problem. But using silica gel for tumbling surely must break up the beads. So no surprise here.

I think I would prefer a good silica-gel-based solution over coating my tools with oil and having to clean them every time I want to use them.

We'll see... MM
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-13-2010, 10:14 AM
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As suggested below - dessicant is a good alternative. you mak want to check CL to see if you can find a old foodsaver. If you use the roll pack bags you can get 4 - 5 tools per bag easily. Leave a good 7-8 extra inches on the bag and you can reseal it 9 or 10 times before you have to get another bag. I did this when I lived in GA and it worked real well. You can also use the foodsaver to stabilize pen blanks by placing a small amount of pentacryl in the bag before vacumming them shut.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-13-2010, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by almosta7ftr View Post
Anyone else "cook" silica gel?
I wait for a sunny, low humidity day and set them out on the porch.

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