How Clean on Table Saw top?


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Hello all, over the weekend I hit the jackpot and got a Jet JTAS 10, drill press, small band saw, Jet mortiser, and some clamps for dirt cheap at an estate sale, quite the find for me since I am outfitting my new shop.  Can't really call it a woodworking shop as I'm too much of a novice to call it that.

I am currently working on cleaning the rust off the cast iron top on the table saw.  How aggressive do you get on the rust?  What I mean is I have the surface where it is nice and smooth but there is still some areas of rust that can be seen when looking at the top.  I have used steel wool, abrasive dish cleaning pads and penetrating oil.  It seems as though to get more off I am going to need something heavy duty, I am afraid to use anything mechanical to take the rust off.  What should be my next step?  

Use "wet" sand paper?  Bite the bullet and use an orbital sander with fine grit paper?  Live with the rust since the top is smooth and you can't feel the rust only see it?  I'll try and post pictures later but won't be back in the shop until tomorrow.

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For light rust, mineral spirits and a green scotchbrite pad by hand works well.

For heavier rust. Products like evapo-rust or naval jelly following the directions on the bottle will work.

24 minutes ago, Da Hammer said:

Use "wet" sand paper?

Definitely not this. I have one rule in my shop...don't get my cast iron wet. Keep yer damn beer bottle off my saw! :)

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When I refurbished my hand planes I found I used citrus acid. Mix in a water solution. The ratio I used was 1tb to one gallon of water. It is safe. It ate the rust right off the metal. You can find citrus acid in the canning section of you grocery store. Anything else is removing metal to get at the rust. You will also need a green scrub pad

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I have had luck using Scotchbrite pads with WD40. Spray the WD40 on the table top then use the Scotchbrite to dissolve the rust. if you have quite a bit of rust, a good trick is to use an electric sander with the Scotchbrite to make it go fast (I have used an old vibrating sander and just set it on top of the scotchbrite pad.

Once you have it down to bare metal, be sure to use something to reseal the cast iron so it doesn't rust (I use Boeshield T9 in my shop)

BTW - different people have different standards when it comes to how clean their machines are. Personally I have no need for shiny mirror surfaces in my shop - if it is rust free and smooth I am satisfied.

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The way I would do it is to use a wire brush (hand held, not power) to get rid of the loose stuff.  Then go over it with 400 grit wet/dry sandpaper using a block and WD40 for lubricant.  Again, by hand, a power sander will take off too much material and put the surface out of flat.  After you get the rust off to your satisfaction, clean it really well with Naptha (white gas, coleman fuel, lighter fluid....all the same).  Then wax it.  A hard wax like Johnson's furniture wax will do it.  I have an old tin of it (actually it is Trewax brand) that was almost empty and I heated it up over very low heat, just enough to melt it, and cut it about 25% or so with 3 in 1 oil, so it makes a soft wax.  Let it dry and buff it out a bit.

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I use a red scotchbrite on a sander when mine gets too gnarly and I can't look at it anymore. As was already said, as long as the surface is smooth, and there's no bumps on it it "works" as well as a shiny surface. Residual rust does, however, spur on the formation of more rust, so take that as you will.

I also used Boeshield on my cast iron. Or mold release wax. Or Renaisance wax. Whatever you have handy. The Boeshield is expensive though, and I found I could go overboard with it easy and deplete a whole can before I knew it.

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38 minutes ago, Jim DaddyO said:

go over it with 400 grit wet/dry sandpaper using a block and WD40 for lubricant.  Again, by hand, a power sander will take off too much material and put the surface out of flat. 

I agree that you have to be careful with using power tools, but it is very difficult to take a cast iron surface "out of flat" with fine grit material like 400 grit wet/dry paper or scotchbrite.

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4 hours ago, Janello said:

For light rust, mineral spirits and a green scotchbrite pad by hand works well.

For heavier rust. Products like evapo-rust or naval jelly following the directions on the bottle will work.

Definitely not this. I have one rule in my shop...don't get my cast iron wet. Keep yer damn beer bottle off my saw! :)

This has always worked for me and then seal it with Johnsons wax.  Make sure the wax you use doesn't have any silicon in it.  Wax it periodically to keep it sealed and free of rust.

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So far I have used the scotch brite and kroil. It got most off but still some rusts spots. I may try the sander with scotch brite on it next. The citrus acid idea is very interesting I may try that also. 

 

As always lots of great ideas here thanks!!

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I have had good luck using the Klingspour Sandflex blocks. They are easy to use and do not require any liquids or solvents. Just like using an eraser.

http://www.amazon.com/Sandflex-Sanding-Block-3-Pack/dp/B000GACU1Q/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1464266645&sr=8-3&keywords=klingspor

^^^ I use only this at the first sign of rust and wax over top, works great.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On May 26, 2016 at 7:57 PM, Tom King said:

I do it like that, but use a 15 amp side grinder with wire cup, and don't bother to cut the Scotchbrite pad into a round shape.

Thanks Tom  it really is remarkable how easy this technique is and I do it dry because I find any of the WD or liquid added to remove rust just make more of a mess than the rust itself . If it's really heavy I'll actually give the cast-iron a shave  with a razor blade dry of course. If I only had to pick one Scotch-Brite that would be  maroon.  

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks Tom  it really is remarkable how easy this technique is and I do it dry because I find any of the WD or liquid added to remove rust just make more of a mess than the rust itself . If it's really heavy I'll actually give the cast-iron a shave  with a razor blade dry of course. If I only had to pick one Scotch-Brite that would be  maroon.  

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Jack, Looks great, as usual. 

I haven't made but a few sash, and those by hand since there were just four, for several years since that job you're talking about.  I don't remember doing the same thing twice for some years now. 

I thought about contacting you yesterday, when I saw some of your favorite brand of power tools listed yesterday in an auction in North Carolina, but I think they were metal working machines.

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