Polish comparisons

At the May, 1996 meeting at IronFlower Forge, we ran a comparion of six treatments on preserving mirror polished tool steel. The experimental design was to heat treat a section of 5160 (1500F oil quench, 425 F temper) and to mirror polish the piece. The piece was divided into six pieces, marked with the designated treatment and treated appropriately. The treated pieces were suspended over a dilute acid solution (to enhance the rusting). After 24 hours, we evaluated the treatments with regard to degradation. The treatments were:
Control (no treatment)
Johnson paste wax - rubbed on
Mequire's auto polish - rubbed on
Renaissance Wax- rubbed on folowing the instructions of the jar
Mil Spec Metal treatment- wiped on and off
beeswax - applied to metal warm enough to melt the wax
The results were (best to worst)
Mil spec & Renaissance Wax
Johnson wax and auto polish

After six years of sitting in an empty can in my unheated shop in good ol' humid Florida, the results are pretty obvious -- beeswax beats everything else by far, i.e.,