Removing rust from an old table saw top - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 16 Old 06-22-2008, 07:54 AM Thread Starter
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Removing rust from an old table saw top

I don't mean light rust, this is pretty heavy oxidation from setting unused for a very long time. I was dropping off a mantel at a guys place yesterday and found an old table saw I am going to drag home as a project. I don't have any pictures, I was not there looking for anything just running late and he and I both needed to be someplace else. I was in my wifes little Ford Escape so I could not drag it home right then either. The guy is finishing the house he built and was not ready for the mantel so we put it in his shed. In the shed, tucked back in the corner behind and under a bunch of stuff I noticed an old (early 50's ?) Craftsman table saw and commented something like "There's and oldie" he said "Yea, it works I just don't have room/need it. You can have it if you want it, just haul it off and get it out of my way" Since it was kinda buried I did not get a great look at it and we did not have the time to dig it out, he said he would today. What I did see looked like the picture I attached I found on OWWM (not exactly, but the fence was similar and it had the open cast iron extensions).

That was alot of typing just to get to my point. What would be the best "homebrew" cleaning solution, if anyone else has done something similar. I have read all kinds of concoctions white vinegar and baking soda, motor oil and sand, boric acid and water/vinegar (I have boric acid powder from blacksmithing stuff)...

I know I am going to have to at the end use some fine sandpaper on the ROS and then buffing/polishing compound on a buffing pad. I am looking for an easy way to knock the majority of it off first.
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Last edited by Daren; 06-22-2008 at 07:57 AM.
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post #2 of 16 Old 06-22-2008, 09:51 AM
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phosphoric acid/naval jelly? A friend of mine says diluting the results makes good fertilizer... i've never tried it though.
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post #3 of 16 Old 06-22-2008, 10:09 AM
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Depending on how far you plan to go with the restoration, if you take it all apart theres allways the option of haveing it sand blasted, then buff it out.
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post #4 of 16 Old 06-22-2008, 11:47 PM
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I was about to recommend media blasting, not sand, but plastic media, it would remove the rust without taking the cast iron with it...

Interested in my woodworking, workshop and whatnot? See http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com, want to see my other interests such as hunting, fishing, off roading, and camping? See http://wildersport-outdoors.blogspot.com
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post #5 of 16 Old 06-23-2008, 12:17 PM
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I don't know if plastic media would knock the rust off. It is great for paint removal, but I don't think it would be harsh enough to remove rust. Another option is to take it to a shop that does glass beading. [quite often shops that do sand blasting will also have a glass beading booth]. Glass beading will knock the rust off for sure, but is nowhere near as brutal as sand blasting, which would leave small pitting in the surface. Another possibility is walnut blast media. It is more aggressive than plastic media, but again, not as brutal as sand blasting.

I have no idea what a shop would charge, but they could probably blast the rust off a disassembled table saw in a matter of minutes. That's a lot less elbow grease for you.

Gerry
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post #6 of 16 Old 06-23-2008, 01:19 PM
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Iron rust

I use Scotchbrite abrasive pads.

Gary

Quick- make something, before China does.
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post #7 of 16 Old 06-23-2008, 02:02 PM Thread Starter
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I have my fingers (and toes) crossed here. I have a table center section from another saw that is in good shape, from about the same era. I dragged it home a few months ago, a dude was throwing it out. I took it just for the motor (that looked new) and little parts and pieces. It did not have a fence though, but a good miter gauge. The saw with the rusty top, which I still don't have long story. Has a decent looking fence/motor/base/extensions...but no miter gauge. In my little imagination I am hoping I can just use the center section I have that is really pretty nice and between the 2 make a saw . The extensions should not be hard to clean up, it is the center section that if it is pitted will bum me out. I am just going to take it all apart (the other saw in already taken apart) and go from there. I talked to the guy who gave me the saw today on his cell and he is working overtime at his job, plus trying to finish his house...seems digging the old saw out for me is kinda low on his list of priorities , I reckon I understand that.
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post #8 of 16 Old 06-23-2008, 02:14 PM
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Hey Daren,
That fence looks pretty nice!
This sounds like a lot of work, but I just did it and it's not so bad.
Attach a Scotch-Brite (or similar) pad to a vibrating sander (I use felt and adhesive spray). Take a good rust remover (I used the Boeshield rust remover):
spray and sand buddy.
I just did a 1940's metal kitchen sink (Grandma's... she wanted to throw it out but I wouldn't let'er) and it wasn't that bad.

My question is how you get all this free stuff? Good stuff.
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post #9 of 16 Old 06-24-2008, 07:10 AM
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When I got my used saw it had a very nice "rust patina" to the saw top. I tired the usual WD40 and scratch pad trick, but I decided that I wasn't going to live long enough to finish the project.
So, I grabbed a sample bottle of Lemon Simple Green that I had, put a 180 grit sanding disk on my orbital sander and tried that. I was amazed on how fast the rust came off the top.
I then switched to a 220 grit and then hand polished it with 400 wet/dry paper.
If you try this route be sure to remove all traces of Simple Green from your metal by washing the tool top and then apply some kind of protective wax. Simple Green is a mild corrosive and will continue to work on the metal if it is not completely removed.
Before Removing rust from an old table saw top-before.jpg
AfterRemoving rust from an old table saw top-after.jpg

Jim
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post #10 of 16 Old 06-24-2008, 10:49 AM
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I totally forgot the other way to get the rust off. Electrolisis. If you are going to disassemble it anyway you could put it into a barrel and clean it up that way.
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post #11 of 16 Old 06-29-2008, 07:19 PM
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That rust does not look to bad. For me, all I had to do was wash it down with degreaser and steel wool. After this I washed it down with mineral spirits and then a few coats of wax.
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post #12 of 16 Old 06-29-2008, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daren View Post
this is pretty heavy oxidation from setting unused for a very long time.

What I did see looked like the picture I attached I found on OWWM (not exactly, but the fence was similar and it had the open cast iron extensions).
Sorry for the confusion, the picture is not of the saw I am getting (dude went on vacation, should have it this week) Just one similar. The one I am talking about has very rust on the center section. When I finally drag it home I will post pictures of it's condition (bad).
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post #13 of 16 Old 07-02-2008, 09:15 PM
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When my stuff gets really bad (live near the ocean, very heavy dew every night) I sand the cast tables with a ROS, then wipe them down real well with rags soaked with mineral spirits until no more rust comes off on the rags (rust acts as a catalyst for MORE rust), then coat the tabletops with a "poultice" made from baby powder, mineral spirits and drain oil (the baby powder fills the pores in the cast iron, and the drain oil helps keep out the air) and let that "soak" overnight, then wipe everything off real well and coat with carnauba paste wax. Seems to work pretty well.
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post #14 of 16 Old 07-11-2008, 09:04 AM
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I use WD 40, scotchbrite green pad and my ROS. Wipe it clean and wax it with Johnsons Paste Wax. Works great for me.
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post #15 of 16 Old 07-13-2008, 01:16 PM
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My Delta had been left out in the weather for 6+ months

Step son blasted it with a hand held sand blaster. The kicker here is is he giving it to you? Mine was free and I had help working on it. Just consider the cost and what your time is worth. I'm on the trail now for a Jet table saw...More on that story as it
develops
.
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post #16 of 16 Old 07-13-2008, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John in Tennessee View Post
The kicker here is is he giving it to you?

Just consider the cost and what your time is worth. .
Yea, just giving it to me, it's actually in a small shed he wants to move to a different spot on his property. It's a spare time project for me, so that is not an issue. I am self employed and can make a little spare time now and again. I pretty much work 7 days a week, some long days (like yesterday, sawmilled all day in the heat ) and some short days, like today I quit at noon. May work this evening but probably not, it's a beautiful day to grab a cold one and fire up the grill .

My long story is I still don't have it. Dude is very busy and has not dragged it out yet, it's kinda buried behind a bunch of other stuff in the shed. He works alot of OT and is trying to finish his house (bout done) I bug him about it every time I see him, just saw him Friday "Ah man, I was gonna do that but got tied up !" Same story for 2 weeks, dang thing will be an antique before I get ahold of it .

Last edited by Daren; 07-13-2008 at 02:44 PM.
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