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Bags of bronze wool
Steel wool is great for many DIY projects. It comes in different grades for different applications (#00, #1, #2), and in many cases it's much better than sandpaper. But as great as it is, in some cases there's a much better product -- bronze wool!

Why is it better? For one thing, it doesn't rust like steel will; this is an important consideration on any project that involves moisture. For the same reason, you can store it longer in a humid environment. Consider these applications:
  • Gun maintenance: It'll take off minor rust, but not the bluing.
  • Any boat maintenance: it doesn't rust, so it won't discolor wood -- like that expensive teak.
  • More suggestions after the break....

  • Packing around any open spots where your dryer exhausts from your garage: Mice can't chew through it and invade your home.
  • Spiffing-up aluminum outdoor furniture: It's not as "scratchy" as steel wool.
  • Cleaning stainless steel: Contrary to popular opinion, stainless steel is oxidation-resistant, not oxidation-proof.
  • Cleaning anything where magnetism is an issue: Bronze doesn't have the magnetic properties of steel. (This isn't to say you should clean old floppy discs with it, though.)
You can expect to pay a bit more for bronze than for steel, but for many jobs, it's the best way to go!

  • Bill Volk

    Kelly -- good stuff; never knew there was such a thing. I think that the only disadvantage it might have is that, in an emergency, you can't use it, with a battery, to start a fire. Not that you'd often need to do that in your garage.

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