Before beginning work on a cncrouterparts style 8' x 4' gantry 8020 router, i'd like to square a way a few things that will insure a long life out of it. The largest issue so far is how to prevent the rails from oxidizing over its life span. This router will be subjected to a South Carolina environment with no temperature or humidity control in its building. This means some really hot summers with near 100% humidity on a lot of occasions. Also, the winters get rather brisk (18°F lows in january/feb)
I think the most reliable way to maintain the rails is to paint over the top and bottom portions of the rail that the linear carriages do not ride on (the middle parts of the rail). I was wondering if others have done this and how they prep a 8-9' rail for paint, and how many coats they used. So i'm asking some information from the more experience about how they prepped their rails for paint.
Currently, i'm thinking a good scrub with steel wool and some cleaner to remove the oils and current oxidation, let dry, then tape off the sides and 1/4" of the top/bottom and go at it with some primer, and then paint colors of choice.
All help and input is appreciated, thanks in advanced.