It is commonly known that most metals, e.g. iron, do not have the free metal exposed to the open atmosphere. It has a thin layer of oxide, even when it appears to be shiny. The same reason causes an iron surface to be very resistant to soldering unless a flux, which removes the oxide surface, is applied. Recently I have been wondering whether dipping, say, a nail into oil or some other inert liquid, then abrading it with some sandpaper, can expose an active surface for a little longer. Is it possible, or does oxide layers still form? I feel that for oil, oxides will still form because of a small portion of free radicals. What do you think?