Topcote v. Boeshield v. Paste Wax v. Shellac - Da Winnah!

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Some time back I posted some stuff about using a light bulb inside of machine cabinets to keep away rust.
It was an act of desperation.
Since that sucked, I decided to try other things.
In the past I've used paste wax (three coats and a buff), Topcote,and Boeshield. None of them were really satisfactory.
The problem is that they wear off too quickly and leave the cast iron open to rusting.
I had this idea that shellac might make a good barrier coat. It wouldn't wear as quickly as the others. It would be nice and slidey. It could be applied at least as quickly as the wax, although not so quickly as the sprays - but the spray sucked anyways.
So, I pinged O'Deen and asked him what he thought about the idea of wiping shellac onto the cast iron tops of my machinery.
Well, that's sorta like asking Billy Graham what he thinks about Jesus - but, with the imprimatur of the Ayatollah of Shellackola - I proceeded with my testing.
I waxed the top of the shaper (three coats and a buff). I put Topcote on the Unisaur. I applied Boeshield to the Lion Miter Trimmer (have a devil of a time keeping rust off that thing and I'm scared to death of the blades - so a spray seemed a good way to go). I wiped on three coats of three pound cut shellac onto the jointah and the bandsaur (didn't buff - just de-nibbed wif 4/0 steel wool).
Well, the results are in. The shaper (wax) is showing a good deal of rust in the area around the opening that the cutters project through. The Unisaur (Topcote) shows the beginnings of rust - but it gets used the most and I think there would have been more if it were not used so much. The miter trimmer (Boeshield) shows no rust but the Boeshield was applied heavy and wet - the way you would for storage (but the topcote never kept the rust of it when applied this way)(also, the Unisaur has rusted before when I've used Boeshield that was wiped after application).
The jointah and the bandsaur show no rust at all.
Well, I'm going to try shellac on the other tools now. I don't see much downside. Ths stuff comes off readily when the alcohol is wiped on and it goes on fast with a cloth.
I figure I'll wipe the shellac off before putting on a fresh coating, so there will be no buildup.
Just right now I'm hopeful that shellac is the way to go.
ymmv
all other caveats apply.
Regards, Tom Thomas J. Watson-Cabinetmaker Gulph Mills, Pennsylvania http://users.snip.net/~tjwatson
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Well now that's an interesting experiment, with interesting results. I'm curious how you fond the "action" of wood across the surface with the shellac and I'm curious as to how it will wear...I'd love to hear a running commentary on the results as time progress' Tom.
Rob
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wrote:

As they say 'round these parts,the action is, "slickernsnot", and is comparable to the buffed wax. As to the wear; I'll know better when I start using it on the Unisaur and the shaper.
I should have mentioned that I was using a Dewaxed Extra Pale shellac from Homestead Finishing. I don't know that the Extra Pale has much to do with it but the Dewaxed is thought to provide a better moisture/vapor barrier than its waxier brethren.
I'm excited by the shellac idea because I know that it will not introduce negative chemistry into the wood, which is worrisome to me regarding the Boeshield and Topcote (and a bit with the wax).
I was concerned that the shellac would tend to tear or flake off under abrasion and pressure but that has not proven to be the case with the Jointah - the Bandsaur doesn't provide much of a test in that regard.
I like the early results enough to begin using the shellac on all of my cast iron and see how that plays out.
If there are significant results - I'll be sure to post them.
Regards, Tom Thomas J. Watson-Cabinetmaker Gulph Mills, Pennsylvania http://users.snip.net/~tjwatson
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On Sat, 29 Nov 2003 21:32:28 GMT, Tom Watson

3 coats of wax is prolly 2 too many. The next coat dissolves the first, so you really only have one coat on there.

My tools, with ALL THEIR USE (?) have shown little rust over the past year since I waxed 'em.

Bzzzzt! Denibbing wears the shellac off any bumps, effectively leaving no finish on those areas. They might rust.

See? ITYS! ;)
Maybe you should just wax things every month or two? Or shellac now and wax monthly?
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wrote:

Wrong.
No shit.

Wrong again.

How's that bowsaw coming along?
Regards, Tom Thomas J. Watson-Cabinetmaker Gulph Mills, Pennsylvania http://users.snip.net/~tjwatson
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On Sun, 30 Nov 2003 10:14:46 GMT, Tom Watson

I'm from Missouri. Show me.

How can sanding (light, but sanding nonetheless) NOT remove the finish on the high spots?

I saw the parts box earlier this year, thanks.
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wrote:

Guess you'll have to move.

"MEE (Moisture Excluding Effectiveness) of "Paste Furniture Wax": One Coat = 6%; Two Coats = 11%; Three Coats = 17%."
(Forest Products Laboratory, General Tech Report, FPL-GTR-113, 1999.)

If you can't knock off the dust and nibs without taking off the finish, you need to take a good look at your technique - or maybe you should switch to 4/0 steel wool from whatever you're using.
Regards, Tom Thomas J. Watson-Cabinetmaker Gulph Mills, Pennsylvania http://users.snip.net/~tjwatson
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On Sun, 30 Nov 2003 18:14:48 GMT, Tom Watson

No, if I were IN Misery, erm, Missouri, I'd have to move. Ick!

Try Waterlox, their "floor sealer". It scored 88% on the first day.

Wow, metallic forest products are new to me. Tell me: from which forest product is cast iron made, Tom? Don't those figures tell you that the wood breathes? Wouldn't metal breathe much less? I don't feel that the cite is valid in this instance. YMMV

Maybe the CA nibs were tougher or the shop dirtier in Vista.
What's your shop humidity, Tom? Do you let it go cold at night so there are huge temp swings? Why do you have such bad rust problems with all the right (normally used) products?
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wrote:

What a maroon.
Regards, Tom Thomas J. Watson-Cabinetmaker Gulph Mills, Pennsylvania http://users.snip.net/~tjwatson
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On Sun, 30 Nov 2003 20:36:43 -0500, Tom Watson

Your mileage obviously varies, to which I reply "Pfffffffft!"
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On Sun, 30 Nov 2003 18:14:48 GMT, Tom Watson

No, if I were IN Misery, erm, Missouri, I'd have to move. Ick!

Try Waterlox, their "floor sealer". It scored 88% on the first day.

Wow, metallic forest products are new to me. Tell me: from which forest product is cast iron made, Tom? Don't those figures tell you that the wood breathes? Wouldn't metal breathe much less? I don't feel that the cite is valid in this instance. YMMV

Maybe the CA nibs were tougher or the shop dirtier in Vista.
What's your shop humidity, Tom? Do you let it go cold at night so there are huge temp swings? Why do you have such bad rust problems with all the right (normally used) products?
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On Sat, 29 Nov 2003 21:32:28 +0000, Tom Watson wrote:

[snip]
The real solution is to move to a dry climate, namely Arizona. Then, I could become your endentured servant and in return explain that "golf thing" to you. You did say you weren't "that" Tom?
-Doug
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Tom,
I have bought a couple of used machines that the tables looked impeccable on, only on closer inspection to find that they have been sprayed with clear lacquer. These have all been big industrial machines from factories. My 20" Wadkin bandsaw table (130lb+) was clearcoated, I only discovered this when I scratched it. I wonder why more people don't simply clearcoat?
Thanks,
David.
Every neighbourhood has one, in mine, I'm him.
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On Sun, 30 Nov 2003 05:32:45 GMT, "David F. Eisan"

Yep. The only reason I didn't use lacquer was that I didn't want to have to use lacquer thinner to strip it if it got messed up.
(also, the shellacky is supposed to provide a better vapor barrier than lacquer, from what I've read.)
I hope this works. It would save me a lot of time.
Regards, Tom Thomas J. Watson-Cabinetmaker Gulph Mills, Pennsylvania http://users.snip.net/~tjwatson
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While I'm interested in hearing how the shellac works long term, I'll put in my own two cents on what works for me hear in humid, damp, wet Florida. I use a coat of Boeshield, and once it dries, I cover it with a coat of wax. I do this only once a year, give or take 3 or 4 months. This has kept my tools virtually rust free for the last 5 years (absent any really stupid moves on my part like leaving a piece of green oak on the bandsaw table). I do have to admit that my tools probably don't see quite as much use as Tom's tablesaw.
BTW, Tom, plenty of neanders use wax on the bottom of their metal planes to cut down on the friction when in use, and I have never heard of it interfering with a finish. No scientific study, just a casual observation. David
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On 30 Nov 2003 12:26:34 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.comkey (J Pagona aka Y.B.) wrote:

I'll agree that Florida's air is usually juicier than Pennsyltucky air but I wonder if the temperature of your equipment falls below the dew point any more frequently than mine does here in my shop (that is in a hollow, twenty feet from a stream).
I've had a devil of a time keeping rust off the cast iron in this shop and that's why I've tried so many possible solutions. I've not tried the Boeshield and wax treatment but might, if the shellac idea doesn't pan out. The wax alone does not work for me. Despite Lorry Jax's protestations to the contrary, three coats is better than one (cf Forest Products Laboratory, General Tech Report, FPL-GTR-113, 1999.)but, even after three coats the MEE (Moisture Excluding Effectiveness) is only 17%, while three coats of nitro lacquer is 79% and three coats of shellac is 91% (it is not clear whether the tested shellac was de waxed or not).

Yeah, I use it myself - and my planes get rusty. I figure the wax is not a contamination problem once it's dry and buffed. I've had some problems in the past when I've been sloppy in wiping the wax off the Unisaw and left little gobs of it in the plough or around the edge. The wax creates a problem under lacquer finishes.
Regards, Tom Thomas J. Watson-Cabinetmaker Gulph Mills, Pennsylvania http://users.snip.net/~tjwatson
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hey, Tom- that's an interesting sounding report you cite. do ya know if it's available online, and if so do you have a link for us?
I have tried linseed oil, with no bad effects. I've never tried shellac or laquer. I live in Arizona, so it's not usually a huge problem here. paste wax seems to do fine for me....     Bridger
On Sun, 30 Nov 2003 14:19:09 GMT, Tom Watson

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On Sun, 30 Nov 2003 12:13:39 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@cox.net wrote:

http://www.taunton.com/finewoodworking/pdf/Protecting%20Wood.pdf
Regards, Tom Thomas J. Watson-Cabinetmaker Gulph Mills, Pennsylvania http://users.snip.net/~tjwatson
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On Sun, 30 Nov 2003 19:32:39 GMT, Tom Watson

thanks     Bridger
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nospam states:

And remember, that's a take-out from public domain info in the Wood Handbook, 1999 edition. That's downloadable, or Lee Valley will sell you the whole shebang for about 20 bucks, IIRC (I think that's what I paid for my copy). A short ton of good info on wood and its uses.
Charlie Self
"Say what you will about the ten commandments, you must always come back to the pleasant fact that there are only ten of them." H. L. Mencken
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