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I used my table saw yesterday. A lot. It has a cast iron surface.

For some reason, the rip fence would not slide back and forth as smoothly as I expected. It was the same with the miter gauge. There were "sticky spots" as I pushed wood through for crosscuts. The issue wasn't serious, and it didn't affect the cuts, but it was not what I wanted or expected or was used to. Ideally, the rip fence, miter gauge, and wood workpieces should glide like they are floating on an air hockey table.

When I stopped working in the late afternoon, I vacuumed the sawdust and got out the Boeshield T-9. I think I bought it at Rockler. The label says, "Boeshield T-9 is a combination of solvents, lubricants, and waxes designed for penetration, moisture displacement, lubrication and protection." There is a long list of uses, including "Saw Table Top."

The instructions on the can say, "Heavy Coating - Spray and allow to dry. Light Coating - Spray on and wipe off." I decided that a heavy coating was needed to fix the issues. I shook the can well and sprayed a heavy coating on the cast iron top, inside the miter slots, and on the rip fence rails. The spray makes a two inch wide stream and some wider droplets, so I used a small rag (cut from an old T-shirt) to spread it evenly.

I went in the house and set a timer for thirty minutes, but it was not dry. I waited another hour, and there were a few dry patches, but it was mostly wet, so I left it overnight. It was mostly dry by morning, but there were wet patches, and the miter slots were wet. I got out clean rags and wiped it down thoroughly until it was completely clean and dry.

The Boeshield T-9 never gave me that slick "car wax off" feeling with the clean rags that I expected. The rag felt smooth and even, but with more friction than I expected. I tested the rip fence and miter gauge in their respective "tracks." There were no more sticky spots, but it was far from the "slick" movement I wanted.

I called Boeshield this morning, and someone named Tom picked up the phone directly (now nice is that?). He was very knowledgeable. He informed me that the wax in Boeshield T-9 is paraffin. Boeshield T-9 has many uses and it is great as a cast iron protectant, but it may not give the "slick" surface I wanted. A heavy application is the wrong approach. He recommended applying it very lightly, and wiping it off immediately for my tool surface use. He pointed out that some of the solvents in Boeshield T-9 (which include mineral spirits) dissolve its own wax, so a light application with immediate wipe might fix my issue. Mineral spirits remove Boeshield completely, but then you lose the protection, too.

I asked him whether others apply Johnson Paste Wax over Boeshield T-9. He replied that some people do that, but he didn't understand why. (I figured out why!)

I decided not to remove the Boeshield T-9 or try the very light coat. Instead, I applied a generous amount of Johnson Paste Wax, let it dry, buffed it out, and it worked. I could feel the rag glide smoothly over the cast iron surface as I buffed it out. The "rag friction" of the buffed out Johnson Paste wax is much lower than the Boeshield T-9. There is no comparison. The rip fence and miter gauge glide in their tracks. Wood slides smoothly on the table saw surface.

I live in Southern California where the climate is generally dry. Rust happens here too, but nothing like what happens to my WoodworkingTalk friends who live in Florida and elsewhere with high humidity. I will continue to use the Boeshield T-9 once or twice a year for good, penetrating rust protection, but for the smoothest operation on my table saw, the Johnson Paste Wax is superior.

(The next time I get out the Boeshield T-9 in a few months, I will try the "thin coat, wipe immediately" approach to see if it yields a slick surface, but my hunch is that it won't make much difference. My hypothesis is that the paraffin wax is not ideal for the saw top. When I do that, I will dig up this thread and report back again.)

I hope this helps someone.
 

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I think you'll find it will make a big difference.

I wipe the Boeshield off within 5 minutes of application. If you let it dry you have to buff the heck out of it to get it slick.

I use wax, too, but if I need a quick "slick up" I use the Boeshield don't have to wait for wax to dry.
 

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I doubt some will agree with me but a while ago, the staff at Fine Woodworking did a controlled test of various anti-rust compounds marketed for woodworkers to protect their cast iron tables. More or less as a control, the test crew also tested regular WD-40 and WD-40 Dry Lube. The star of the entire rust test turned out to be WD-40. It beat all of the high dollar specialty products, including (if memory serves) Boeshield.

The common objection to WD-40 that I'd heard in the past has always been that it will contaminate the wood stock and prevent finishes from properly adhering, etc. Well, the test crew put all of the products through a controlled study of the effect of the various products on subsequent finishing and found WD-40 had zero adverse effect on subsequent finishes.

I've used Boeshield, wax and a couple of other products over the years. After reading the FW article, I switched to WD-40 and found it to be much easier and cheaper to use and it has kept my Delta tablesaw and bandsaw tables and Powermatic jointer tables slick and rust free ever since. I commend it to you.
 

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my 30 old can of johnson paste wax finally rusted out, it had been a brick of wax for ever, but still worked
had to buy a new can a couple years back, it came in one of those new fangled plastic cans, who'd a thunk :grin:
that's all i use on my cast iron for ever, all my father ever used, half of my cast iron i inherited

i've never hand waxed a vehicle, not even my avatar, it gets spray wax from the car wash
 

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I find that the Boeshield T9 "slickness" wears off quicker than wax. It seems after just a few hours of using the jointer, boards really start to meet resistance using just T9. I switched over to Renaissance Wax Polish a while back and that seems to hold up much longer for me.

I was letting the thick coat of T9 dry overnight and then buffing it out the following morning. It sounds like I should have been buffing it off shortly after applying it as others have recommended.
 
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