Saw top lubricant

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wrote:

It seems to me that whether wax works for you, or not, depends on the humidity. I live in Indianapolis; not the most arid part of the U.S. by a long shot, but nothing like the Gulf Coast either. My shop is also in the basement, but I don't have water infiltration problems, and I run dehumidifiers year-round. Wax works just fine as a rust protectant for me.
Leon, who lives in Houston, and has his shop in the garage IIRC, has a *very* different opinion of how well wax works as a rust protectant. <g>
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On Fri, 13 Feb 2009 17:09:03 +0000, Doug Miller wrote:

That may be true. I live in Eastern Washington and my shop is unheated/ uncooled except when I'm in it. We have low humidity in the summer and high humidity in the winter. No rust problems.
But it may also be the application of the wax. When I first get a power tool with a cast iron top, it seems I have to apply wax every month or so. Over time this requirement gradually diminishes until after a couple of years I only have to do it once or twice a year. Seems the pores get filled up.
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The first day that I had my new saw, 8 years ago, I coated the top with Boeshield. So much so that the top was not visible until I wiped it down. I had been using TopCote and or what ever what they were calling it at the time for about 12 years prior, then I continued to assemble the saw. There was rust the next morning and oddly I never get condensing moisture that is visible.
Back then the product was sold as a top lubricant, I was pleasantly surprised back in the late 80's when I discovered that it also prevented rust, Bonus!. Say what you will about Craftsman TSs, Mine had the rough grind cast iron top. It always processed wood more smoothly than the top on my Jet cabinet saw. Better brand equipment does not have highly polished work surfaces. The ground grooves in the top provided/s less friction.
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Doug Miller wrote:

I think that goes for most protectants.
You should see internet discussions on bicycle chain lubes. <G>
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Doug Miller wrote:

Yes, my shop was an extreme condition. I figure if wax didn't work under those circumstances and something else did, then that something else would work better under more normal conditions. Unfortunately, that something that worked is no longer available. I even sent email to 3M with the product number (I still have an empty can of it from 28 years ago) They sent me back they didn't know nothing about it... Top Coat has very similar looking can though, check out the Old 3M can and the new TopCoat can here in these side by side pictures I took:
http://jbstein.com/Flick/Lube1.jpg
http://jbstein.com/Flick/Lube2.jpg
Top Coat I know goes on the same as the 3M stuff did, and it is super slick, as the 3M stuff was. How durable or long lasting and how good it is at protecting against rust I don't know, because I don't use my tools as much as I did, and my shop now is dry as a bone, other than normal Pittsburgh humidity. So far though, my $10 can of top coat is doing the job.
Anyhow, if anyone knows anything about the 3M product pictured, I'd LOVE to know about it.
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wrote:

Food for thought, I bought and sold 3M products in the 70's, 80's, and 90's. Pretty much all their aerosol products looked the same. TopCote was originally developed and manufactured by the current makers of Empire products. They also manufactured a bearing lubricant for router bits, and a lubricant for router bit and saw cutting edges. The original TopCote products were dispensed from a plastic pump bottle. It went on and looked the same as it does now. Empire TopSaver and their other products are again/also dispensed from a plastic pump bottle.
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Leon wrote:

Top Coat has very

I bought this 3M dry Lube in the 1970's. My buddy worked for 3M and he was at a seminar or something in Minnesota or where ever their head quarters are and he found this stuff in the company store. Not sure if it was available any where else but I assume it was. I can't be the only living guy around that knew about it though, and it I will attest it worked unbelievably well for our purposes as woodworkers, and much better than wax. The can said it was good to 400 F so probably good for saw blades too, but I don't think I ever tried that, figured it would be a waste of time.
I don't suppose you recognized the can or you would have said something.
The can has lots of warnings about breathing the stuff and even said don't smoke or even keep tobacco products in the work area. I figured the stuff would cause cancer in a few minutes of use so 3M quit making it and denied even knowing about it.:-)
TopCote was

I've only used TopCoat, I cleaned off all my tops with lacquer thinner, and spayed it on about 6 months ago... still slick, and no rust. Thing is, with absolutely nothing on my tops, it takes about a year for my tops to turn a rusty color. My old shop that would happen in hours, and with wax about a month or less. The 3M stuff lasted about a year of heavy (hobbyist, not commercial) use in the nastiest of conditions. I still have some in the can but the aerosol went south. If the TopCoat is half as good, I'll be happy.
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I recognized the style label, they changed to a picture on the label in the 90's. I did not recognize the product, that said I was only dealing with the automotive 3M products. I always had an endless supply of sand paper. The seminar was probably in Minnesota, their head quarters location, 3M, Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing.

I originally started using the TopCote back in the 80's before it was sold to Bostitch. I kinda swap off between Empire Top Saver and TopCote. The Empire Top Saver will clean the top very nicely, it will get rid of the rust and most of the patina stains. It also retards the formation of rust. My top never had any rust so to speak while using TopCote but it would get that dark color. I tried TopSaver with a 3M Scotch Brite pad setting under my ROS and spent about 2 or 3 minutes letting the ROS scrub in the product and wiped it clean afterwards. That 7 year old top looked almost new again.
Oddly, and you have to try it to believe it, put a small drop of "Titebond or like" glue on a tarnished spot on your cast iron top, let it dry and pop the dried glue off with your finger nail. The iron will be silvery in color once again. I accidentally discovered this several years ago when gluing up a project on top of the saw. Several drops fell on the surface and I was quite surprised when I cleaned the dry glue off.
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Try Plexus. Available at any motorcycle shop or plastics company. It's used for motorcycle windshields. I used it on mine. Your most economical resource is definitely Johnson's Paste Wax or Minwax Paste. A little more work, but definitely less expensive and a great slide for your wood. When I didn't have Plexus, I did use Top Coat and it was the best. Economic times have changed that now. :-(
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Jimmy Mac wrote:

Got a reasonably priced source?
I use that on airplane windshields, because I have to, and I pay more for a can of Plexus than Top Cote.
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Top Cote runs around $17.95 here in Vegas Plexus is $9.25 at Jensen USA http://www.jensonusa.com/store/product/CM407E01-Plexus+Plastic+Cleaner+Spray.aspx?sc=FRGL
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Jimmy Mac wrote:

http://www.jensonusa.com/store/product/CM407E01-Plexus+Plastic+Cleaner+Spray.aspx?sc=FRGL
7 oz. can? <G> That would clean my windshield 3 times.
I pay ~ $13.95 for a 16 oz. can at the airplane supply house. Top Cote is ~ $12.95, for the big can locally.
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Digger wrote:

KY Jelly. grape.
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Try the bacon.
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On Tue, 10 Feb 2009 15:33:20 +0000, jo4hn wrote

Don't ya just hate it when your tongue sticks in the mitre slot?
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Digger wrote:

I use paste wax, like Butcher's, TreWax, Minwax...
A $5 can lasts me years.
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wrote:

OK I tried Johnson Paste Wax and don't see a need to use anything else. Works great!! Appreciate all the comments Thanks
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