Here in central Florida, the humidity wreaks rusty havoc on our woodworking tools. Keeping a good coat of wax on cast-iron tables prevents damage on power tools, but smaller hand tools, such as planes, chisels, and even socket wrenches, are harder to protect. I used to scatter those little packages of silica gel that come with cameras and electronic gear within the drawers of my tool chest to absorb the moisture, and that worked pretty well.

One day recently, I saw a container of Tidy Cat Crystals cat-box filler on the shelf at the grocery store, and noticed that it's made almost exclusively of silica granules. I brought some home, tied it up into packets (such as the one shown in the drawing) made from old nylon stockings, and then dropped several of the packets into my tool drawers. Using only these packets, my hand tools have survived more than a year without rusting.
Charlie Lowell, Kissimmee, Fla.