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Thread: rust stain remediation on my table saw

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Doylestown, PA
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Dufour View Post
    I see no real difference beyond 240 grit paper in a ros. I have gone as far as 1,000 grit maybe 2,000.
    Johnson's paste wax is no longer made so results may vary. I used something that was brown and it made the cast iron look dirty.
    Bill D
    SWMBO liked the 'crystal clear' bowling alley wax sold by Woodcraft for furniture. It seemed to work okay on cast iron tops as well.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Lafayette, CA
    No one’s mentioned white vinegar, so I’d think it’s an urban legend if I hadn’t seen it work under my own hands.

    I had to store my machines in a garage open to the outside air in a foggy, cold part of the Bay Area in 2016 for about eight months. When I was able to move them, I was horrified to see the cast iron tables of my Unisaw, drill press, and jointer badly rusted. I could feel the damage as I ran my hands over the affected areas: the bright orange spots were rough, and the rust came off on my skin.

    Frantic for a solution, I read something that said vinegar will do the job. So I scoured every surface with Scotch pads and the vinegar, rinsing and wiping frequently. It wasn’t easy, and it took major elbow grease and a lot of faith, but my machines came out rust-free, as they are to this day. A few color spots — vestiges of the oxidation — can be faintly seen today, but everything’s smooth, without surface pitting. I suppose the gear visually aged a bit, but everything’s physically intact. Wood glides over the waxed iron.

    White vinegar, who knew?

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    A mild acid like white vinegar has a lot of uses, Bob. Some of the commercial rust removing products use acids, such as the Boeshield product. (It is the largest ingredient in home made weed killer, too)

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Marshall, Michigan
    Blog Entries
    Thanks all. I've decided to go with the purple pad (primarily because that's all I have) and wax. The small rust spots were surface only so the saw top feels nice and smooth and looks like a war zone. Next stop is the jointer.

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