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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 07-08-2015, 03:09 AM
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Default Re: Don't polish that cast iron top!

Just don't snort the iron dust...
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 07-08-2015, 06:38 AM
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Default Re: Don't polish that cast iron top!

French polish
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 07-09-2015, 10:55 PM
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Default Re: Don't polish that cast iron top!

I keep an old PC sander just for touching up my cast tables. I use conditioning pads to clean and Boesheild. I used rub the surfaces with pieces of my wifes used aromatic candles (really hard wax) and then heat the surfaces with a heat gun and then buff with the pads. This actually worked and lasted the longest but is quite a process. I use one of the magnetic vinyl covers for my Powermatic table saw and it works perfectly (I forget the maker).
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 07-09-2015, 11:05 PM
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Default Re: Don't polish that cast iron top!

Great tips - and I thought I was compulsive. My personal experience with Boeshield wasn't great, I'll have to try it again, must have been operator error, I'm sure. There really is something about pretty machinery, isn't there? Just seems to make them run better.
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  #15 (permalink)  
Old 07-09-2015, 11:50 PM
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Default Re: Don't polish that cast iron top!

I also tried boesheild a few years back, but have had better and longer lasting results with wax.
RST, I really like the sound of the aromatic candles! I may have to try that. maybe that's the motivation I need to clean up my shop and treat all the cast iron
I'm a famously messy woodworker
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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 07-10-2015, 07:27 PM
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Default Re: Don't polish that cast iron top!

When I got my Unisaw in 2005, I was a nut about keeping the top defect free. Then, a summer or two later, I must have dripped a single drop of sweat on it, and discovered the offending rust crater a few days later.
Once I had 'broken it in", I wasn't as nutty about the top after than.
Much less stress too.....
My shop is in my basement, and the humidty level can swing all over the dial depending on the usual factors.
I only have to spray Boeshield once or twice a year, followed by a quick run with a cotton cloth to keep the top rust free and me stress free....
I use the Boeshield on all of the cast iron machinery tops that I have, doesn't seem to attract dust either, and some of my lesser used machines still look brand new even though I neglect them a bit.
[Wait a minute, I'm catching the Joraft disease...]
For all my hand tools, I use the Camellia Oil usually since it seems to last longer than WD-40 and doesn't have Stoddard Solvent in it like the WD-40 does.
For anything else, it's good old WD-40 for a quick spray and wipe since it's cheap and easy to store for years in a shop
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Last edited by Leakyroof; 07-10-2015 at 07:30 PM.
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 07-12-2015, 02:33 AM
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Default Re: Don't polish that cast iron top!

Thanks for the tip - I have not known about Camellia oil - saved a link for future reference.

For now, I have received the Vlies Festool pads, I figure I am worthy to go try them out as soon as I figure out how to pronounce it (is it pronounced like "fleece", is it the German word for the English word fleece, or is it both?). I'm sure there is some expert out there to set me straight.
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 09-19-2015, 02:14 PM
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Default Re: Don't polish that cast iron top!

Any advice polishing this one?



Brought it home yesterday, should be a fun restoration.
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Old 09-19-2015, 02:46 PM
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Default Re: Don't polish that cast iron top!

When I've neglected the table saw top for too long I go over it with a Scotch Brite non woven abrasive pad mounted on an old orbital sander and use a little WD-40 for lubrication. Red if it's real bad, green if it's not so bad.

For your restoration job I'd start with actual abrasives. Cast iron is pretty soft so you could use aluminum oxide but silicon carbide will last longer. With real abrasives you have to be careful not to adversely affect the flatness of the table. I'd use 120 grit and quickly go over the whole top to knock down the peaks of rust. Forget about the pits, you'll never get to the bottom without getting the top re-ground. So don't go for "polishing" the top or you'll just make the pits look worse. They don't look so bad if stop at a dull light grey finish.

After the quick pass with 120 grit clean with WD and check the lay of the land with a straight edge. If the saw was abused you'll probably find a shallow channel running parallel to the blade. The thing you don't want is a depression around the blade. Dead flat is best but a slight high spot is second best and will reduce chatter. So, any additional real sanding will probably be around the perimeter of the table.

Finish with around 400 grit paper. Thoroughly clean between grits with WD or and paper towels. Finish with the Scotch Brite and wipe clean.

To get a rust preventive smooth sliding top coat I've tried the high tech alternatives and find they cost way more and don't last nearly as long and good old paste wax. I'm only halfway through a can of Butcher's wax after over 20 years. A better wax with more carnuba would probably be better.

If your Scotch Brite pad is about done you can use it to spread the wax. They say to let it dry and buff it out but that leaves too much wax so I wipe it down with a paper towel after a few minutes.

I do like the spray lubes for more complex surfaces and for quick results when out of the shop, lubing the track saw rails etc.
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 09-19-2015, 05:47 PM
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Default Re: Don't polish that cast iron top!

Before you do any cleaning, check with a local shop that does grinding; I had a bandsaw table done several years ago and it wasn't very expensive and it came out flat, smooth and looking like new.
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