Fighting rust in a gun cabinet.


Green Lantern
September 25, 2007, 10:00 AM
Wanted to get some more opinions on this.

So, I got a Stack-On 8 gun cabinet for my 1st 'gun safe.' Stuck a few of the BullFrog corrosion inhibitors in it, and stuck most of the long guns in silicone gun socks. The guns themselves either had a fresh coat of Sheath/Barricade or Bullfrog spray.

Then I got one of those small Remington de-humidifiers that you plug in to renew. The crystals in the window are blue when dry and turn pink when the thing is saturated. I was not happy to see that I could dry it out, put it in, and check on it 3-4 days later and find it apparently totally saturated!

So, then I got a BIG Bullfrog corrosion inhibitor and stuck it inside. And a liter can of Hy-Score (sp?) silica gel. And one of those orange-lidded closet dehumidifiers from Wally World. Yes, it IS getting rather cramped in there at the moment!

Though I wonder about that Remington dehumidifier. Last week I dried it out, and stuck it in a ziplock bag. Then stuck that bag inside ANOTHER ziplock bag. And a week later, despite the fact that it SHOULD be safe from moisture - the crystals are more pink than blue. Wassup wit DAT?

At work right now we have a tower ceramic heater that I have my eye on, might make things less damp in the room ALL OVER, not just around the guns. That or a de-humidifier or something?

Though, so far *knock on wood* no rust on the guns yet.

"Overkill," maybe? :o From what I READ about BullFrog, just the big sheet should be enough for the whole thing IF it works as advertised.

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September 25, 2007, 10:13 AM
I use one of these and a box of desiccant (about 3"x6"x10"). The desiccant usually goes about a month or so before it needs to be put in the oven.

I also keep the rifles/shotguns in silicone socks but not the pistols. I use a silicone wipe on them a few times a month and run a patch with CLP on it down the barrel once a month or so.

As for why, it seems to me that its your cabinet more than anything...they are good cabinets but not very airtight. I haven't looked hard at them but if you can go to the hardware store and get some window/door foam seal (the stuff that comes like 10' long in a plastic bag that you peel and stick) and add it to the doors to make the cabinet a little more airtight, the desiccant will last longer and the humidifiers will work better.

September 25, 2007, 10:34 AM
The short version: heated dehumidifiers require air circulation. Put one on the floor of the container and let the heated air rise. Those crystal thingies never worked for me unless the container was extremely well sealed - something like an ammo can. Tried two large ones in my safe and they lasted a matter of days. Out they went, in went the GoldenRods.

As to why the baggie leaked, most of them aren't moisture proof. They'll hold liquids, but still let vapors/moisture in and out.

"Quick Answers
Can I use ziplock bags for freezer storage?

Ziplock bags can be used in the freezer if they are labeled moisture-vapor-proof, or recommended for deep freeze or long term storage."

September 25, 2007, 10:38 AM
Yeah, it's the lack of air-tightness. You have to get a real safe that is fire-proof etc if you're going for airtight. You can try to seal it, but anywhere there is a stamped seam you're going to leak. Try some gaffers tape or heavy packaging tape on those, that might help. Also don't forget the holes in the back that are meant to help secure it to a wall or something. You can use the blue and clear crystal Tidy Cat litter in a sock to help with the moisture at a cheaper cost. Use it for a month and then dump the sock out on a cookie sheet and bake it in the oven at 200 for a few hours to get the moisture out.

September 25, 2007, 10:52 AM
Is the safe in a conditioned space? Is the safe where sun can shine on it and maybe an a/c vent blow on it? There is a thing called a dew point. It is the temp when moisture will condensate.(Its all in relation to the humidity and temp) When you have a heat source and a cold item (a/c vent cooling) you can get condensation. Just the safe being exposed to sunlight can cause this with out the a/c vent. Or it can happen with just the a/c vent. Check these items.

M2 Carbine
September 25, 2007, 11:19 AM
Wipe the guns down with Corrosion X once in a while.
I have a safe (steel box) in the barn. I've opened that safe and the guns have been covered with moisture, like the outside of a cold glass.
No rust, none.

For many years I flew helicopters in the Gulf of Mexico. An extremely corrosive atmosphere. Corrosion X was one of the main things we used to prevent Corrosion.

September 25, 2007, 11:20 AM
I have my safe in a basement room that also houses a hot tub so saying it is humid is a under statement. I have the largest dehumidifier that you can buy but it doesn't get dumped often enough. I have a golden rod dehumidifier in the gun safe, it has kept all my guns 100% rust free for thepast 11 years. I highly recommend them.

September 25, 2007, 12:50 PM
Silicon glue. I've one of the stack on gun cabinets and the thing is about as airtight as a cheesegrater. I "sealed" it a bit better with the silicon glue though. All the holes in the back that serve as mounts to the wall, and I followed the seams on the top and bottom, squishing the stuff into the cracks. The door was a PITA though. A good amount on the metal where the door closes and make sure it's dry. When I close the door I actually have to hold it with force to turn the tumbler, have to compress the silicon glue. I've got one of those silica gel boxes in there, beforehand I'd have to dry it out about every 2 weeks, now if I do it more then once a month it's alot.

Bazooka Joe71
September 25, 2007, 12:55 PM
Cabella's doesn't list a price, how much does a goldenrod cost?

September 25, 2007, 01:03 PM***

$15 to $50 depending on the length and where you buy them. I don't know the difference in the gold ones and the black ones other than the length of the power cord. I have 3 old gold ones. They recommend using the longest one that will fit flat across the bottom.

I see they sell a MoistureKing brand, too.


Green Lantern
September 25, 2007, 01:08 PM
Thanks for the info. When I first got the cabinet, I tried to seal off any unused mounting holes with duct tape - sounds like something better may be in order to make things at least a bit more airtight! :D

September 25, 2007, 01:33 PM
You could try coating your guns with a light coat of oil before putting them in the safe. Make sure your fingers only contact wood or plastic after oiling.

Animal Mother
September 25, 2007, 01:37 PM
I found a very easy and inexpensive way to seal the doors on those Stack On gun cabinets. Go to an office supply store and buy magnetic paper. Its not really paper but a thin flexible sheet of magnetized metal. You can buy several sheets in pack that can be used for printing up fridge magnets. Cut the sheets into sections and stick them onto the exterior of your safe, covering the seam of your door.

It won't be completely airtight, but it also won't interfere with the opening and closing of the door like some of the rubber or foam padding, and it will greatly reduce the amount of (humid) air flowing into your cabinet. I use that method along with a rechargable dehumidfier and a goldenrod. Before the magnetic sheets I was recharging the dehumidifier every couple of weeks. Now the dehumidifer is good for a few months at least.

September 25, 2007, 01:49 PM
My big gunsafe which is taller than I am is not airtight and has been sitting for 30 years with a Goldenrod in the bottom. I've not had any problems.

You don't need airtight. You only need tight enough that a small heater in the safe can reliably maintain the interior temperature a bit higher than the exterior temperature. A Goldenrod is a heater made for that purpose. They are also used inside or under pianos to keep soundboards from warping.

Green Lantern
September 25, 2007, 05:06 PM
I didn't do an 'intensive' job like Jay did (mainly cause I had to stop for AIR - wooo!), but I took some Goop to the seams on my cabinet this evening.

The cabinet is not exposed to any A/C (we just have a window unit in the kitchen), nor any direct sunlight.

But SOMETHING makes for dampness in there. It takes very little time (IMO) to saturate a Damp-Rid hanging unit in the closet.

September 25, 2007, 11:54 PM
A safe or RSC that breathes may be better for your guns than one that seals airtight.

In a true fireproof airtight safe the moisture builds up.

If you live in a climate that is not too humid like say california just use a borestore and forget about it.

I grew up in Wisconsin (very humid) and in the 60's we never had safes or borestores, gunsocks, etc. - we just wiped the guns down with some oil and a silicone cloth no problems - of course keep away from air vents (escp. evaporative coolers).

I'd try the borestore product great for moisture and cushioned so no dings.

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