I've always wondered if it's possible to "season" my cast iron table tops
much like I do my dutch oven. After seasoning, it doesn't rust or feel
oily. The only problem would be how to heat the big tables! --dave
Yes, it would work. Problem is though that it may well warp. Heating and
cooling cast iron is a common way of stress relieving. If the table was not
fully stress relieved, it will move. I wouldn't chance it.
No, not the dreaded WD-40!
Get it cleaned off of the top just as soon as you can with some
mineral spirits. Look at the product description for WD-40. One of
it's "uses" is as a penetrating oil. How do you think that is
accomplished? They put a corrosive agent in the mix.
Ask any gun owner their opinion about using WD-40 on their gun. You
might want to step back a bit in preparation for the swing.
After the WD-40 is cleaned off, go to the BORG or similar store and
get yourself some old fashioned paste wax that your mom used to use on
her wood floors and furniture. Apply that liberally and then polish
it off with a smooth cloth.
Sounds like a very good cleaning technique. I'm taking notes.
Bear in mind that (for REAL rust issues) there are brown and grey nylon
pads intended for metal finishing that scour more agressively.
WD-40 is too transient for real protection (and it has detergent
so a little residue might attract moisture). Wax, paint have already
suggested. I'll add linseed oil to the list; it forms a film, fills
and is benign to wood if it rubs off.
I've found some rough castings can be improved by rubbing down with
a cheap dollar-store sharpening stone. As long as your table is
I'd do that first, and If the stone gunks up, a rubber eraser will
clean it (and
the stone will shed particles, sweep those up before they grit up the
Rub a tablespoon or two of boiled linseed oil on to finish.
I have one last word. Wood magazine did a test in the March 2004. It
was an extreme test where they exposed a cast iorn wing to
moisture-laden air. They tested Boeshield, Topcote, Bulfrog fastwax,
slipit, Johnson's paste wax and Carnuba wax. All but the Boeshield
rusted over within 24 hours. It took 380 hours for the Bioshield
treated surface to rust over.
I used it on my table saw that was left under a carport in Hawaii. It
was not used often. I even left it under the carport over a 6-month
deployment. It worked extremely well for me. I applied a thick coat
before leaving and only had to scrub the product and accumulated dust
off when I returned.
I also want to add that Wood Magazine stated that all the products
tested would be effective if applied regularly. I an confident that I
can leave mine sitting up to 6 months without having to worry about
rust taking over. Sorry to sound like an infomercial but it has proven
itself to me.
I've been using a can of that on my cast iron for a few years, and so
far no rust. No finishing problems to speak of either. I wax the
table saw once a week, and the lathes every few months. The lathes
get a little film of rust on the ways at that frequency of
application, but I've found that that's sort of desirable to keep the
tailstock from slipping.
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