As a follow up to my previous post concerning best rust preserving
What's the best cleaner for a table saw surface. This table saw that I
inherited had all sorts of rust and gunk that I have carefully scraped
off. But it's still very far from the shiny surfaces I see on well
maintained saws. What's the best way of cleaning it further? Goof off?
320 grit sanding?
Most gunk can't resist StripEase methylene chloride based paint
stripper. Once that's gone a phosphate type rust converter
(bartender's friend or similar) will take care of stubborn rust. The
chaps on rec.woodworking like Johnson's wax for final finish on saw
tables. I suspect the genuine patina is derived from several thousand
board feet of lumber being sent past the blade. IMO, sanding the
surface of a machine is only OK if you don't intend to use it. If
shiny is important, use a quality autobody buffing compound and a big
buffer. Your local tool rental may have such.
Scotchbrite pad always worked well for me. The reddish-brown kind, not
the green ones they sell for the kitchen. You'll never get it showroom
shiny, but that isn't important. If it feels smooth to your fingertips,
and is clean and sealed so the wood doesn't get dirty or bind, that is
what matters. A cabinet shop can keep the table shiny. On a jobsite
saw, a patina and the occasional pit is expected.
Of course, the most important thing is that the table is flat, and the
plane of the table and the slots in the table are square with the axis
of the blade. If you can't true things up, the saw is pretty much useless.
I use various cleaners, but prefer kerosene and 320-grit sandpaper to
remove light rust and to prevent rust. I do that maybe once/twice a
year. Between cleanings I use Johnson's Paste Wax. The iron surface
remains slick and shiny.
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