Care of cast-iron tables

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wrote:

I use Johnson's Paste Wax too. Goes on easy, then I use an auto buffer for a soft shine. A can of wax lasts years.
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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

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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.

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wrote:

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.
Seriously.
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. ==========================================================================Chris
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I did a little poking around and there are a bunch of places you can order Johnson Paste Wax on the web.
It looks like it runs around $5 - $7 for a 1 pound can. And that'll last you forever... :-)
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bremen68 wrote:

Or, one could buy Trewax, or any of the other fine, silicone-free paste waxes sold by many local paint stores.
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B A R R Y wrote:

Amazon.com sells it for $5.99 a can. One can will last damn nea forever in the shop

Like I said before, all Johnson's is is canauba wax. When you get right down to it, canauba is canauba. It doesn't matter what brand as long as it's pure.
--
Mortimer Schnerd, RN
mschnerdatcarolina.rr.com
  Click to see the full signature.
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Gary wrote: .... I used a random-orbit

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 properties, so a little residue might attract moisture). Wax, paint have already been suggested. I'll add linseed oil to the list; it forms a film, fills grooves, 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 clean, 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 moving parts). Rub a tablespoon or two of boiled linseed oil on to finish.
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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.
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wrote:

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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