Book Report — Rust: The Longest War

Rust: The Longest War, by Jonathan Waldman (ISBN: 978-1451691597)

It has been called “the great destroyer” and “the evil.” The Pentagon refers to it as “the pervasive menace.” It destroys cars, fells bridges, sinks ships, sparks house fires, and nearly brought down the Statue of Liberty. Rust costs America more than $400 billion per year—more than all other natural disasters combined. – from Rust: The Longest War by Jonathan Waldman

Rust is an insidious nemesis here at Hock Tools — we’re in constant high alert, dousing all our blades liberally with rust-inhibiting oil.  I wrote about rust, it’s chemistry, impact and avoidance in The Perfect Edge. Needless to say, Mr. Waldman’s book was of particular interest to me and it didn’t let me down. Waldman is an environmental journalist who chose to write his first book about a subject most people pay little attention to on a day to day basis. Unless you’re a tool-user.

While Waldman spends little ink on how to prevent rust in a woodshop (okay, none, really – sorry) he dives into the huge world of corrosion with in-depth chapters on the Statue of Liberty, the history of stainless steel, what it takes to protect the inside of beverage and food cans, an eye-opening chapter on inspecting the Alaska pipeline and much more.  Waldman doesn’t limit his discussion to iron rust, but touches on many aspects of what the corrosion of all our metals means to us. And costs us.

It has been said that for every pound of iron or steel produced each year, a quarter pound of previously produced iron or steel is lost to rust. Negligence is not an option.

I found this to be a well researched book, entertainingly written, highly recommended. Please ask for Rust: the Longest War at your local bookstore before resorting to that satanic website bent on world domination that shall remain unnamed. Thanks.

Author: Ron Hock

Owner of HOCK TOOLS (.com) and author of "The Perfect Edge, the Ultimate Guide to Sharpening for Woodworkers"

One thought on “Book Report — Rust: The Longest War”

  1. Hey Ron,

    For years now, my favorite ally in the war has been CorrosionX (in the pump bottle). It’s on all my cast iron machine surfaces and lots more. It works great and has very good secondary properties including safety, no silicone, etc. It is hardly ever mentioned in woodworking articles on the subject. The US Navy uses it!


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