Waxing the Cast Iron Top of a Table Saw - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 Old 03-26-2008, 12:09 PM Thread Starter
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Waxing the Cast Iron Top of a Table Saw

I just bought the Rigid 3660 a couple weeks ago I have heard that I should wax the top of the saw but haven’t done it yet. I was wondering, is this so that the material and fence slide better? Or is it to protect the top of the saw. The reason I ask is because I was doing a “glue up” using the saw table as a work area and had bunch of sheets of paper under the wood I was gluing. Some of the clue soaked through the paper and left little rust spots on the table. I used some steel wool to remove the rust but there is still some discoloration. Would the wax have protected from this? Also, is there any kind of sealant that people put on their saw tops?

Thanks,

David
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post #2 of 14 Old 03-26-2008, 12:51 PM
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I've being using this from Boeshield on my bandsaw with good results...
http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?Offerings_ID=2380

Haven't applied it to my 3660 yet, but, plan to do so soon.

I've also heard good things from similar 'Tool Saver' brand products.

Ron
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post #3 of 14 Old 03-26-2008, 02:45 PM
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A non silicone based paste wax, such as Johnson's Paste Wax, does double duty. It does an excellent job of making your saws table top very slick so that your wood just glides over the top. Depending on your climate it can also be used as a rust preventer but there are other products that do a much better job at this than paste wax does. As was previously mentions Boeshield is one of those products as is Bostich TopCote.

My preference is to use a coat of TopCote as a base followed by 2 or 3 coats of Johnson's Paste Wax over the TopCote. This combination has worked well for me and kept all of my iron rust free for years.

Dave

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The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.
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post #4 of 14 Old 03-31-2008, 02:00 PM Thread Starter
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Is there anything I can do to remove the little bit of rust and discoloration from the top of the table before I apply the Boneshield or TopCote?
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post #5 of 14 Old 03-31-2008, 02:59 PM
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WD40 and some 000 steel wool works.

Dave

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The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.
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post #6 of 14 Old 03-31-2008, 04:37 PM Thread Starter
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I tried that but there are still dark spots. Should I maybe let it soak for a while? It's not a big deal, but the saw is brand new and it bugs me. :-)
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post #7 of 14 Old 03-31-2008, 05:37 PM
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Hey dj, I bought my ts used and aparantly the previous owner didn't know that it wasn't a coaster. Well long story short, my OCD kicked in and those little rings had to be gone in order for me to actually sleep at night. I soaked with wd40 for 24hrs and scrubbed and repeated 1 more time. That lightened it up but still wasn't gone. I actually used a high speed auto buffer and some cutting paste for it and got the rest of it off. Then a few coats of johnsons paste wax it looks almost brand new. I'm not saying to do this or not, but it worked well for me.

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post #8 of 14 Old 03-31-2008, 06:34 PM
 
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I haven't read the thread, so if I'm repeating someone else, sorry.

We live near the ocean and get very heavy dew pretty much every night from the spring through the fall, so I have more problems than most people with cast iron machinery rusting, especially when there are large temperature swings between night and day, which also helps cause condensation (dew) on the machinery.

What I do during that season is, after I'm done for the day, I squirt a mixture of drain oil and kerosene (about 50-50, I keep it in a "squirt" type oilgun just for this purpose)) on my table saw top and rub it in with an extremely oily rag I also keep for the purpose. When I go to use the machine in the morning, I scrub off the oil with a few handfuls of sawdust/shavings, then brush off the table with a bench brush.

Every so often, after squirting the oil-kero mixture on the table, I add some baby powder (talc) to the mix and slob it around in a slurry. The talc helps to fill the tiny pores in the cast iron, thus preventing air (and moisture) from getting in there. Some people use talc by itself and say it works...not for me.

I know all this sounds really involved, but I've found it's the only thing that reliably works in our extreme conditions. And I hate having to sand the rust off when it gets away from me!
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post #9 of 14 Old 04-01-2008, 10:34 AM
 
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In the past I've used rubbing compound and a high speed buffer followed by a high quality polishing compound then 2 or 3 coats of wax. If you don't do the whole top the color and shinyness will be uneven. Being in Arizona I don't have a real problem with rust except for glue drips. I have a huge extention on my table saw so, as bad a habit as it is, I often do glue-ups on the surface. Bear in mind though, the discoloration is due to a chemical reaction with the iron and to get rid of it you actually have to remove a few thousands of iron, so polish with care. I've caused a little uneveness to the surface of my TS, it's not enough to affect an impairment of function but it bothers me more than the discoloration so I've forced myself to live with the discoloration since it has no effect on performance. "OCD... a blessing, and a curse."
R.G.
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post #10 of 14 Old 04-01-2008, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
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Graphiti, this is the exact problem I have. I did a glue up and got some small drips on it. If I dont get it all off will it eventually get worse over time?
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post #11 of 14 Old 04-01-2008, 05:51 PM
 
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Nope, over time the whole surface darkens slightly and the marks get alot less noticable. I've got terrible OCD so it bugged the hell outa me for a while, I got over it. Now I just keep trying to convince myself it's a good enough reason to but a Delta or Powermatic... Seriously though, as you use the saw the marks do seem to fade because the whole surface oxidizes slightly, which isn't anything to worry about.
R.G.
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post #12 of 14 Old 04-01-2008, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
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As long as I know that I cant do anything about it (with-in reason) then I am ok. I am OCD about stuff like that too. If I know I can fix it then I will want to fix it.
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post #13 of 14 Old 08-10-2008, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djonesax View Post
I tried that but there are still dark spots. Should I maybe let it soak for a while? It's not a big deal, but the saw is brand new and it bugs me. :-)
Kinda late, but I think I may have an answer. I had exactly the same problem and also with a brand new Ridgid (3650). I had to coffee mug rings and a couple nondescript blotches from some chemical reaction of a latex glove soaked wet from mineral spirit and placed on the table top for 30 minutes. It looked bad so I started looking for suggestions around the net.

This is what I did:

- stripped all surface coatings (wax and or oil) with mineral spirit.
- wiped the table top clean and dry and let it dry some more (about 30 minutes)
- found dish washing scrubbing pads in the kitchen, not metal but that synthetic stuff that you soak with water and detergent to wash dishes. The kind I found felt pretty rough.

With the table top dry I started scrubbing in long moves front to back and back to front, not in circular or random motions. Each scrubing moting covered approximately the width of the pad, and then I moved a couple inches over to the yet unscubed area. The direction of scrubbing is key. The thing is that Ridgid table tops are not finished with swirls but rather in a straight directional fashion.

When you scrub the surface along the tiny ridges of the table top then a much larger area of the scrubbing particles of the scrubing pad actually get into the ridges. That's where the discoloration is hard to get at if you scrub across the ridge. If you do (scrub randomly or left to right and back) one or both may happen - scrubbing will be ineffective, or you will make the table top actually look worse because there will be a new direction to the tops pattern.

The whole process is manual, no power tools. Scrubbing took about 15 minutes, as I did the whole surface to make sure that it looks uniform. After the process I vacuumed the surface thoroughly, as there was a small quantity of very fine black metal dust, and then I wiped the whole thing with mineral spirit.

The table top looks like brand new. I'm tempted to say it actually looks better. I'll go and get some Johnson wax now.

Hope this helps.
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post #14 of 14 Old 08-10-2008, 06:16 PM
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When I got my table saw it...

was covered in rust. It was kept outside for 6 months.
Stepson worked on it all day. It's dark but slick as a whistle except for a couple deep scratches. Cleaned the rest of it, painted the wings and replaced the belt. Runs like a new one. I'm proud of my toys but there is some stuff that you have to live with.. I forgot he used a Scotch Brite pad on a die grinder.

Last edited by John in Tennessee; 08-10-2008 at 06:18 PM. Reason: Getting old
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