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Old 07-06-2015, 06:25 PM
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Default Don't polish that cast iron top!

My advice: whatever you do don't start polishing your cast iron machine tables. I finally pulled the plug on a decent table saw, and now am compulsive about shining up the beautiful expanse of cast iron top. The other machines in my shop and I were getting along just fine, now none of them are safe. I spent all my free time over the weekend trying different remedies found on the internet, for shining and restoring cast iron machine tables.

For me, WD40 with an abrasive pad under the DTS400 finish sander seems to work great, the trick is to de-grease with first mineral spirits then denatured alcohol, then add a couple coats of TopCote, nice clean slick finish.

Could be a bit shinier, though. I never cared if my machine tables were pretty, somebody help me!

What is your favorite remedy for wax or similar applications for cast iron? Better ways to restore?
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Old 07-06-2015, 10:33 PM
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Default Re: Don't polish that cast iron top!

If they're not rusting, they're good. I clean with denatured alcohol and use Johnson's paste wax twice a year, spring and fall.
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Old 07-07-2015, 02:05 AM
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Default Re: Don't polish that cast iron top!

Ah! The dreaded polishing affliction!
When my iron gets rust I take a scotch Brite and some sort of oil (WD40 or Cure) and start rubbing.
I don't really wax my tops, just give it a wipe down with some wd40 on a rag, often after a day's work or on a Friday or Saturday morning before checking out for the weekend. If I were using water based finishes, I don't know if that would cause any problems.
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Old 07-07-2015, 02:59 AM
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Default Re: Don't polish that cast iron top!

Perhaps because it took me so long to buy a real table saw, my affection for cast iron is excessive. So far just polishing away, not making much sawdust yet. Too much polishing may be a bad thing, but I doubt it, having too much fun. On a similar note, I never cared much about dust collection until I bought a domino joiner, and all the Festools that followed, now I am a little nuts about dust. Maybe ignorance truly is bliss, after all. Right now, I won't be able to cut a thing unless I can shave in the reflection off the table saw (OK, that was a bit much, but you get the idea).
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Old 07-07-2015, 03:13 AM
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Default Re: Don't polish that cast iron top!

Sounds like a good affliction.
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Old 07-07-2015, 03:21 AM
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Default Re: Don't polish that cast iron top!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulG View Post
Sounds like a good affliction.
Yep, there's much worse afflictions out there, and I bet it's a pleasure to work on silky smooth cast iron tops
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Old 07-07-2015, 03:52 AM
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Default Re: Don't polish that cast iron top!

I'm still a rank amateur by any measure, but there's no rust here!
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Old 07-07-2015, 04:22 AM
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Default Re: Don't polish that cast iron top!

Feel free to come and practice on my jointer and bandsaw, Paul. I'm sure they could benefit from your efforts!

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Old 07-07-2015, 04:05 PM
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Default Re: Don't polish that cast iron top!

[seductive Green whisper]

Paul...Paul...you need a Rotex 150...and lots of Vlies (Festool Scotchbrite)...

Together with your WD40 and TopCote, perfect for dealing with finished cast iron.
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Old 07-07-2015, 04:50 PM
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Default Re: Don't polish that cast iron top!

Once again the sage counsel of this group provides kind assistance, just like the drug dealer on the corner. The RO150 was my first Festool sander and still my go-to machine. The others have their use but I still use that one most, the aspects complained of by others have not occurred in my use.

However, I had no knowledge of the Festool Vlies series of abrasives - thanks, I think, at least my credit card company thanks you - abrasives on the way - better and cheaper (maybe) than actual drugs or a marriage counselor, right?
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