rail coating

Good afternoon all,

Still sourcing for hardware, all I could find was some 1" OD steel tubing, now in order to get them protected, what do you think is the best option? Spray priming? Zinc electrolysis (so inside is protected as well) ? any other options?

Hi Yann,


In my experience most all machine tools will have a bare steel bearing surface, paint and other coating will last no time at all.

Just keeping them clean and an occasional very light oiling (you don’t really need lubrication/lubricity, just a film to keep oxygen out) will keep them rust free.

Believe it or not, out of the many products available regular old 3 in 1 oil is actually a pretty awesome anti corrosion coating.

This could save you time and money that could go toward something else, but I would think if you want to paint anything suitable for metal will do, the bearings will wear through the paint almost straight away, so you will only be covering the unused section of pipe.

On top of regular cleaning and maintenance I don’t think you will have corrosion issues.


Still struggling to source decent tubing, just got this idea… What do you think ?

They’re usually aluminum, won’t work.

We do take for granted the ease at which some of us can get hold of the materials, my hardest choice was which one of dozens of suppliers should I choose to buy from.


Other possible routes of enquiry could be:

Hand rail

Plumbers Merchants/Suppliers

Scrap Yards

Any local industrial/Manufacturing estates


Not much help I know, but might be worth a shot if you have not thought of it already.


Just a thought but they sell a “Dry Lubricant”

As was mentioned, paint will come off immediately and will transfer into your wheels causing bumps when they roll. Those will show up on your work if you are using a router. The tubing should be zinc coated and not require paint. 3 in 1 oil is a good option but it needs to be wiped so the saw dust won’t stick to it. Otherwise your right back at bumps like the paint chips sticking to your wheels. The dry lube is safe, won’t gunk up and it protects the metal. I’m going through my build and wondered about the same thing. Dry lube is what I came up with and only if I see rust starting. Otherwise, no paint, lube, or oil. Less is best. My opinion.

I use Boesheild T-9 on metal surfaces as a rust inhibitor. It is paraffin based and works well at protecting corrosion, and doesn’t attract dust. I’ve also tried liquid bluing compounds with mixed results. These might work if you can only use un-coated steel. I wouldn’t worry about the insides of the tubing.

Finally manage to source some pretty decent tubing in glorious Sharm El Sheikh!
25mm, coated steel, might peel of after a while, but for 2$/m, will do the job and replace them when worn, until I manage to get some SS tubing!