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Almost lost it (table that is)

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  • Almost lost it (table that is)

    Wow, went out to the shop this AM and noticed a little of what I first thought was dust on the TS3650 CI table top. I wiped my finger across the table and looked at it and saw it was... RUST! !

    I've had my TS since Dec. 2003 and I put a couple good coats of wax on the table when I put it together, and have watched it closely for signs of rust. This is the first time I have noticed any accumulating on the table. I don't use the saw every day but it does get used once or twice weekly for a few cuts. I also keep a cheapo Temperature/Humidity guage in the shop. though not what I would call accurate, it is closer than I could guess. It is usually within 2 or 3% of publlished humidity levels in our area and the temp readings are +/-2 Deg F also. Today at 9AM the temp in the shop is 80F and the humidity is 70%. It has been very humid over the past week with temps in the 80s or better every day.

    Anyway, I figured I better nip the rust in the bud before it got out of hand. There was hardly any there (visible to the naked eye) but taking a clean white paper towel and running it across the top showed that rust was indeed present. I cleaned the top off of loose sawdust with the shop vac and then stripped off the old wax. That is where I almost lost it. Once I had cleaned off the old wax and then took a ultra-fine scotchbrite pad to the top the table top was starting to rust almost before my eyes. In less than 5 minutes there was a film of oxidation starting to form on the table that was clearly visible, the table was turning rust orange color by the second as the oxidation started to build up. Since I had cleaned the entire table surface including the wings I now had to work fast to get some wax back on there. I had to re-clean about half the table to remove the oxidation film before I waxed that section.

    In about a half hour I had it protected again and looking as good as new.

    Lessons learned:

    - Don't bite off more than you an chew I had stripped the entire table top of the old wax, then used a clean cotton rag dampened with some mineral spirits to wash it off. I should have worked it in sections so I could have laid the new wax on sooner and retained protection.

    - Keep a close watch on the table top as I had been doing but reapply wax more often building up protection instead of replacing what was already in place (stripping and re-waxing).

  • #2
    FWIW, WOOD Magazine had an article in its March 2004 issue that dealt with rust prevention and rust removal on cast iron surfaces. They performed tests on a piece of cast iron that was divided up into sections. Surprisingly, paste wax received the lowest rating for rust prevention. Their test results rated these products "the best of the rust busters";

    1. RUST REMOVER - Boeshield Rust-Free
    2. RUST PROTECTANT - Boeshield T-9
    3. RUST REMOVER/PROTECTANT - Empire TopSaver
    I decided to change calling the bathroom the "John" and renamed it the "Jim". I feel so much better saying I went to the Jim this morning.


    • #3
      You must have incredible humidity in your shop for the surface to discolor before your eyes. I had a situation not too long ago where I had raised the garage door after a rain and it dripped onto my saw's tabletop. Of course, I didn't notice for a couple of days so when I did get back to it, there was two orange spots glaring at me. Here's what I did:

      Cleaned the surface with a scotchbrite pad, Barkeeper's Friend and WD-40. That got it looking really good. I can't say enough good things about Barkeeper's Friend (available in any grocery store where they sell Comet, etc).

      After getting the surface looking good, I coated it heavily with Boeshield and let it sit there for a couple of days before I wiped down the surface with a dry paper towel. It looks great and I haven't had any more rust reappear.


      • #4
        I've passed up many a garage sale radial arm saw due to being garage kept before I found my basement kept bargain. Humidity just does it in.