Redoing Cast Iron Tops


Once again appealing to the collective knowledge of the rec. In restoring a Craftsman 100 table saw (with help from earlier posts-thanks) the top has some deep scractches, gouges. I have looked at posts and suggestions for steelwool, scotch brite and even lite sanding and have the top clean at this point. At the risk of trying to polish a sows ear, has anyone taken enough material off a table to begin to remove dings that may be 1/64th of an inch deep? If so, how can I do this without putting the flatness of the table at risk? Because of one stuck crank handle, I cannot remove the top for any machining and I am not looking to spend a lot of money, just some sweat. I can live with the top as is, if necessary, but with everything else looking pretty good and the saw cutting sweet, would like to see that "new" cast iron look or close if possible. TIA
David
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Genedoc wrote:

It ain't worth it, imo. Part of the "character" of a piece of equipment. If it doesn't affect the function, don't see much (any?) point.
Only way w/o affecting flatness is to remove material over the entire surface (obviously). Only really practical way to do that is w/ surface grinder which is doable but will cost what the saw is worth or more.
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Duane Bozarth wrote:

If you have a very bad ding that might be a hazard while feeding material you may consider filling it with one of the 'cold weld' epoxies.
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On Wed, 07 Sep 2005 19:21:12 -0500, Duane Bozarth wrote:

The original surface was probably Blanchard ground (mine is).
Still, not worth doing.
If the grooves are actually 1/64" deep, it's not likely he'll live long enough to get them out with hand stones and then return the top to flat. That's an art all to itself.
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Duane Bozarth wrote:

Add to that the fact you lose depth on the miter grooves, so the bar will be toot hijnk, meaning the grooves must be recut or the bar ground down.
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Charlie Self wrote:
toot hijnk=too thick
My fingers aren't awake yet.
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Leave it alone.

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I second that. 'Cept make sure no burr is raised up. Sand with 120-150 paper using just your finger tip. Make a small dish so a ruff edge will not catch.
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Thanks, I needed a dose of reality, it will help over come my obsessive -compulsive issues so I can concentrate on developing wookworking skills. Thanks to all. David
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David, Just hope you never have to deal with a knee mill table. :)
--
Chris

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You didn't mention if the scratch has any raised ridges at the wall of the scratch. If it does, you should take the effort to get rid of the ridges so it doesn't scratch your wood. You can do this with careful use of a sharp mill file. Otherwise, I'm with the others - leave it alone.
You can clean your cast iron top to make it shiny again and the scratch may hardly be noticeable.
Bob
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a large flat grinding stone, oil and a lot of work.

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You could always bondo the top, then sand back down to bare metal, the bondo will fill the nicks/gouges, then paste wax the entire thing. Would be smooth and SLICK, but you could probably see the bondo so it would NOT be pretty
John

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Thanks for a lot of information to consider. Never thought about the miter groove issue if a lot of material was removed. Trying to use the best of all the information provided, I hit three areas with JB Weld (found some in my shop), sanded with 150 grit in a orbital (just a few passes) then some scotchbrite on a block to remove any surface JB Weld residue and a buff with Top Coat (I can not find my can of Johnsons paste wax I have had for 30 years anywhere--doh-). Smooth, no catches and ready to cut. You all are a great resource, I will be a woodworker yet.
David
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