Having purchased my first iron machine (a General 650) just a few months
ago, and living is South Florida, where looking at metal causes it to rust,
I turned to the net for advice on protection.
There have been many threads (including a recent one) that suggest wax
treatments for tables saws (and other iron). Brands of paste wax most often
mentioned are Johnson's, Minwax, and Butchers. My local BORG only had
Minwax, so that's what I got, and its done a pretty good job of keeping the
table clear of rust.
Apparently, these wax treatments are also supposed to make the table slick,
so that wood kind of floats as you feed it into the blade. This, I did not
find to be true. In fact, even though I had buffed and buffed, the Minwax
left a finish that if anything *resisted*
wood being passed over it. I was
perplexed until someone in that recent WRECK thread suggested that the
Minwax people say their product contains a "non-slip" additive. Ah ha!
So, I went on a scouring search for Johnson's. This stuff is not easy to
find, but finally today I was in a no-name hardware shop that happened to
have two tins. I brought one home.
Not only is the Johnson's easier to apply (it is softer, and also seems to
glaze over faster and more consistently), but what a difference it makes to
the feed factor! I mean, its like I have to hold the wood back. I now use
a push stick on the other side of the table to counteract the inertia of the
initial movement toward the blade. Ripping 8ft maple boards feels like
being in a some kind of lost Stanley Kubrick movie about woodworking in
In short, Johnson's 1, Minwax 0.