Rust on table saw

aerofan999October 20, 2005

I was recently given an older Delta table saw that spent about two weeks outside in rainy conditions (covered with a tarp). The table top has a fine coat of rust all over it. What is the best way to remove the rust and should the saw be fine after the cleanup? Rain never actually got inside the saw. Thanks,


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I would rub it down with steel wool, wipe it clean with a rag and spray wd40 all over it.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2005 at 3:39PM
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Steel wool or a sander to get the rust off and then use a silicon free paste wax---putting a liquid substance on the top will transfer that substance to any wood that is cut on the saw.

The saw will work just fine.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2005 at 11:08PM
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A Scotch-Brite pad with a vibrator sander will do a good job of removing the rust. Then rub down with regular old Johnson's paste wax or similar and use a heat gun or hair dryer to melt it in and let dry and polish. This should be applied about once a month and it will stay rust free and make sawing much easier. The saw will be fine.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2005 at 7:35AM
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All the above will work great. You can also use waxed paper, crumple it up and rub on your top once clean. It will pick up a light parafin wax.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2005 at 4:16PM
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I will try a coat of auto wax on mine. It picks up moisture when the temp changes( saw is cooler in morning) and as the air temp rises condensation occurs. Turtle wax on a car helps protect it, why not a saw. Will wax the rail for the rip fence to make it move smoother.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2005 at 6:37PM
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Some people advise against automotive waxes on tools for woodworking as they may contain silicone that can cause fisheyes when it comes time to apply the finish.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2005 at 6:44PM
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When I bought my Woodmaster planer they recommended regularly putting Johnson's paste wax on the surface. The results were so good that I did the same thing on my other tools - table saw, jointer, etc. You wouldn't believe how much difference it made, especially on older surfaces; the wood glides along SO smoothly.

But they specifically said NOT to use auto wax.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2005 at 11:50AM
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I had to store my cabinet saw in my new place, and had to take the top off to get it through the door. I laid the top and wings top side down on carpet in a room; carpet, as turned out that had dog pee in it. When I went to reassemble the saw, the top was rusted so badly that it stuck to the carpet.

I tried all methods to remove the rust, but the only thing that worked was a wire brush attachment of an angle grinder. To prevent further rusting, I got some Boeshield T-9 as recommended by Wood Magazine. It was not totally successful.

I had been looking for paraffin wax, but that stuff is hard to find. I thought about going to a surfboard or ski place to see if they still used the stuff. However, I stumbled across some at an antiques show last month  a old box of Gulf Paraffin Wax for $2, which is probably cheaper than what a new box would cost. It worked like a charm!

    Bookmark   November 28, 2005 at 5:10PM
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Just an update. The steel wool was going to take quite awhile, so I bought a wire brush bit for my drill and it did the job like a champ. The steel wool was great for crevices, etc. The Johnson's paste wax has kept the saw from rusting since. Thanks for all the words of advice.


    Bookmark   January 3, 2006 at 11:33AM
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In the future, keep in mind a product called Naval Jelly.......My father showed me this product many years ago for taking fine rust off of metal. Wipe it on, let it sit for a while and wipe everything off including the rust.....

Thanks DAD

    Bookmark   January 18, 2006 at 10:01PM
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I had to use a knotted cup wire brush on my angle grinder to get the rust off.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2006 at 6:58PM
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I'd go in stages to see how deep the rust is. First use a scotch brite pad with some mineral spirits. If you still find rust after this, I'd use naval jelly.

The woodwprkr I learned from put fine paste wax on all his tools and blades. It prevents rust and makes blades and table tops slick. But car wax and floor wax probably have silicon, which can stain your wood. WD-40 is a pentrating oil and provides no long lasting protection against rust.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2006 at 7:32PM
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@olphart, you should be able to find paraffin wax at any grocery store. it is sold for canning and candle making, but its uses are endless.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 8:55PM
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