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Iron table top durability

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  • Iron table top durability

    I have hardly used my new TS3660 and I know it is a tool that will show wear, but am alarmed at how vulnerable the iron table is to scratches. They are just a few, very minor things (hard to see unless in right light). There are even shiny tiny specks which I suspect came from the table sitting against tiny specks of dirt (table always sat on cardboard when upside down). Should I be expecting a battle-worn table in short order? Even the aluminum miter gauge appears it will leave two lines in the table as it slides back and forth.

    Does the use of steel wool or other mild polishing substantially change the finished appearance? If I tried to polish out some scratch, would that polished area look substantially different than then rest? I'd rather not "test" on the table without knowing what to expect.

    - Phil

  • #2
    Re: Iron table top durability

    How are you using it? As an end table in your family room or a saw in your work shop? What to expect is that it's going to look better and better over time the more you use it. The lines that it will acquire over the years are called character lines each with a story to tell. (At least that what my wife tells me about my face. ) Don't worry about the scratches. They're inevitable. But if you must polish do the whole surface.
    Last edited by Pogster; 05-01-2008, 08:20 AM.

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    • #3
      Re: Iron table top durability

      Originally posted by Pogster View Post
      How are you using it? As an end table in your family room or a saw in your work shop? What to expect is that it's going to look better and better over time the more you use it. The lines that it will acquire over the years are called character lines each with a story to tell. (At least that what my wife tells me about my face. ) Don't worry about the scratches. They're inevitable. But if you must polish do the whole surface.
      Well, I rather like the iron surface, but doubt the wife would tolerate the sawdust in the living room. Seriously, I know you are right of course, but am a perfectionist, to a fault, typically fretting over the first inevitable scratch in a new car, etc. I have tried to make the mental approach of focusing my perfectionism on the things I turn out from the saw, not so much the saw itself. I'll still take great care of the saw, but am doing my best to recognize it as a tool where reasonable wear and tear is normal. I may polish it after long use.

      - Phil

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      • #4
        Re: Iron table top durability

        It's ok to take care of the TS tabletop! At least I hope so....it'd be the first time anyone accused me of being a "neat freak"!! I polished the bottom of the mitre gauge when I noticed tiny scratches. Eventually, I replaced it with an aftermarket one. Most provided mitre guages are not high quality things. Although the old TS mitre gauge has found new life on the sanding station lately.

        I like to keep my TS table clean and rust-free. Sawdust is normal, but rust and scratches I can do without. Of course, there will be scratches and it'll get dinged. I generally look on those marks as normal. That wear and tear on the surface just shows that the saw is well-used. It's a great saw, and those marks just go to show that it's an important part of my shop.

        One hint....don't EVER let a friend plop a piece of wood on the tabletop. A buddy down the street put a piece of PT on the top and I didn't even think about it. It happened to be covered in mud on the side he put against the iron top. Now there's a huge rust mark that goes the entire length of the left side of the saw top. I'm going to have to clean that up and polish the rust out. Such is the way of neighborhood life, however. I don't blame him, I blame myself for not noticing right away.
        I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

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        • #5
          Re: Iron table top durability

          All the (minor) scratches and signs of use are commonly called a "patina". Platinum jewelry is renown for this and it's considered a plus. ;-) I don't sweat the scratches, but definitely deal with rust asap.

          If y'all are concerned about messing up the table top during it's down time (e.g. you're using the table saw top for storage, assembly, or something else besides cutting) consider investing in one of these. I LOVE it, since I do use my table saw top for some assembly and even glue ups.. Takes about 20 seconds to put in place, and it does *not* move. And about 30 seconds to roll up nicely and put away.

          http://www.workbenchproducts.com/Web...t-tablesaw.php

          You can buy it cheaper, however, from here:
          http://www.festooljunkie.com/catalog...tool-clad.html

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