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
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.
all other caveats apply.
Thomas J. Watson-Cabinetmaker
Gulph Mills, Pennsylvania