trying to refinish my saw top - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 08-12-2020, 08:09 PM Thread Starter
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trying to refinish my saw top

i got a Delta Unisaw from 1997, with a heavily rusted/stained top. i sanded it down and got it really smooth, but not shiny like i really want to have. Does anyone have a suggestion how to get that LOVELy polished iron look back? Ive included before and after pics, so it really has come a long way, and works flawlessly, im just vain. The one that wont show is the before pic.

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Last edited by difalkner; 08-12-2020 at 09:52 PM. Reason: showed photos
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post #2 of 16 Old 08-12-2020, 08:29 PM
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I have never seen "shinny" cast iron. Put on a good coat of Johnson's(or other brand) paste wax and it will look great.


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post #3 of 16 Old 08-12-2020, 09:54 PM
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That's not rusted, Kent.

THIS is rusted!

trying to refinish my saw top-saw-table-rusted.jpg

trying to refinish my saw top-pm-54a-rusted-beds-fence.jpg

trying to refinish my saw top-top-scraped-filed-sanded-level.jpg

trying to refinish my saw top-pm-54a-finished.jpg

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post #4 of 16 Old 08-13-2020, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by difalkner View Post
That's not rusted, Kent.
my thoughts exactly!

i've used this type of 3m bristle wheel on a 4" grinder to de-rust cast iron tool tables
not sure if this will fit your particular grinder but this is the type i use from amazon
i'd stay away from the die grinder size. use the grinder size and hold the wheel flat to the surface of your tool. it does an amazing job.

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post #5 of 16 Old 08-13-2020, 02:46 PM
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Cast iron develops a patina. Your never going to get it shiny without some serious effort.

You got you a very nice saw there. Looks great to me. Go to work!
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post #6 of 16 Old 08-13-2020, 04:45 PM
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You can get it to shine again but it does take some work.

I didn't get a picture of this planer top in at it's worst. Here's a picture after a good bit of work with WD-40 rust remover and some steel wool:

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I switched to T9 rust free and steel wool and was able to get the top to this:

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I grabbed some sand paper and wet sanded with T9 rust free as lubricant going from 400 to 600 to 800 to 1000 to 1500 to 2000 to 2500 and finally to 3000 grit. Here's the result:

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Here's what was used before I put a layer of T9 boeshield on the top

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It sounds like a lot of work but I probably spent about 90 minutes in total on it. The top isn't perfect but it's much better.

The T9 rust fee is some pretty rough stuff. Definitely wear a mask when you do this work. Breathing this stuff in is not fun!

After the T9 dried I just wax the top occasionally now.
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post #7 of 16 Old 08-13-2020, 05:22 PM
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I have used the Boeshield RUSTFREE Rust and Stain remover. It left stains in cast iron.

I used WD-40 and gray Scotch-Brite pads (7448) to clean up the stains. The WD-40 and gray pads made the top look uniform and nice. By "uniform and nice", I mean that the cast iron was medium gray, smooth, and somewhat reflective, but not shiny-with-a-glare mirror gloss.

If you want mirror-level shiny, then you can polish the surface with increasingly finer grits, polishes, and buffing compounds. Treat it like preparing a car for the auto show. It won't cut wood any better, but it might impress your friends.

Whatever you do, protect it with wax or other similar protectant. I use Johnson's Paste Wax or Boeshield T-9. Either one is fine; I make the choice based on my mood that day.
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post #8 of 16 Old 08-13-2020, 05:29 PM
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I always use Scotch-Brite pads, never steel wool (on anything). I don't even have any steel wool in the shop, matter of fact - haven't had any for the last 10 years or so. The little fine pieces get into everything and they will definitely rust.

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post #9 of 16 Old 08-13-2020, 06:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tool Agnostic View Post
I have used the Boeshield RUSTFREE Rust and Stain remover. It left stains in cast iron. ....
You brought up an important point about the Rust-Free product. Since Boeshield Rust-Free is acidic, you need to rinse it thoroughly off surfaces, neutralizing it with soap and water or it will leave marks. Dry the surface and then protected it with wax or another product.

Last edited by Bernie_72; 08-13-2020 at 06:09 PM. Reason: spelling & grammer
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post #10 of 16 Old 08-14-2020, 12:24 AM
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You brought up an important point about the Rust-Free product. Since Boeshield Rust-Free is acidic, you need to rinse it thoroughly off surfaces, neutralizing it with soap and water or it will leave marks. Dry the surface and then protected it with wax or another product.
Good point, but for my table saw, the stains appeared immediately. There was no time to rinse it off. The WD-40 and gray pads cleared it up.
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post #11 of 16 Old 08-14-2020, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by difalkner View Post
I always use Scotch-Brite pads, never steel wool (on anything). I don't even have any steel wool in the shop, matter of fact - haven't had any for the last 10 years or so. The little fine pieces get into everything and they will definitely rust.

David
i hear you david! i brought home a freshly painted 1963 chevy II from the shop. my wife saw a little paint over spray on the stainless steel trim. she buffed the trim with 000 fine steel wool and left it. next day the dew had rust all over the car.
i too have switched to scotch brite pads for 99%
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post #12 of 16 Old 08-14-2020, 03:03 PM
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I get shiny with cast iron, it takes a fair amount of work, and an air da sander with grits up to about 1200, I use WD40 as the lube.

Coat with a Teflon Penetrant after.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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post #13 of 16 Old 08-15-2020, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shoot summ View Post
I get shiny with cast iron, it takes a fair amount of work, and an air da sander with grits up to about 1200, I use WD40 as the lube.

Coat with a Teflon Penetrant after.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
further [email protected]#
almost done, but when i was cutting the hole in the corian, it made it just a bit too big. wondering if there is a "structural putty" or something that i could put in the hole, and then sand or dremel to the right size?

K
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post #14 of 16 Old 08-16-2020, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kent Browne View Post
further [email protected]#
almost done, but when i was cutting the hole in the corian, it made it just a bit too big. wondering if there is a "structural putty" or something that i could put in the hole, and then sand or dremel to the right size?

K
Are you talking about the hole that you made for your router lift? You could probably repair it with something as simple as bondo or you could form and pour an epoxy lip. I put the same Incra (Jessem) router lift in my table. I had the cast iron cut out at a CNC shop but there wasn't enough structure left to make a lip to hold it so I formed up the bottom of the table and poured epoxy around the lift and then cleaned out the lip with my router:

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It's too bad you didn't go with the bigger version of the Incra router fence. You could have used the same fence for both your router table and table saw. Even though the fence on your saw looks really nice it will not compare to the accuracy you get with the Incra system.

If you like you can buy different components from Incra to expand the router fence into a combination fence what will have a 32" reach. Unfortunately it will cost you a few hundred $'s now to expand the Incra fence to handle both the router lift and table saw.
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post #15 of 16 Old 08-16-2020, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, i didnt know i was getting this saw until two weeks ago, or i would have done just that. I wonder if there is something, bondo or otherwise, that is white, and i could form it up, as then i could dremel or route it to form. Im also concerned about it sticking to corian, as it seems not much does. I also read that someone had created dust from the corian, and then used an epoxy as the base, and mixed in the corian dust, and it might be much less noticeable, nor would it be a haven for sawdust!!

the cabinet there was my router table, and i cut it down (only 1/2 inch) and it now supports the end of the extension. corian is HEAVY. you see the 4x4s, which will be the base once i can decide on the design of it, that both will sit on, and have some kind of wheel setup. Always wanted one of these, and lucked out. Ill paint it at some point, but for now, its fine!

Im very jealous of that iron extension, and maybe one day ill find one that i can afford, but im happy that at least i got rid of the incredibly inaccurate craftsman table saw, that was so light i could lift it over my head with one hand. (this one, not so much)

Kent
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post #16 of 16 Old 08-17-2020, 11:36 AM
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That Delta Unifence looks very solid. I've never seen anything like it before but the design looks very interesting!

I ran across a few articles of people repairing corian with tinted bondo with good results. Although it sounds like it's very difficult to get an exact color match. Using dust like you mentioned might be a good option as well.

Does corian route well? Could you use bondo just to get the inside profile perfect and then use a router bit to cut a small 1/4" reveal around the top? Then you could fill that in with black or a different color epoxy. I've read that you can successfully route corian with a good carbide tipped router bit but not having ever worked with it I have now idea how difficult or risky that could be.

Last edited by Bernie_72; 08-17-2020 at 11:41 AM.
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