Outdoor Storage - Table Saw

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Blog entry by KTNC posted 09-27-2019 02:33 PM 2621 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Disclaimer: I’m not writing this to encourage anyone to store their woodworking tools outside. I’m writing this to document a 1 1/2 year long experiment. If someone else runs out of indoor space and is forced to store something outside, perhaps this will help.



In the summer of 2017, I bought a Craftsman table saw model 113.298844. It works, but the tables/extensions are not planer, it’s missing the left extension and the blade guard/splitter. A very modest saw, yet it’s the best table saw I’ve owned. Soon after I bought it, I used it to rip about 100 boards. Aside from it throwing a lot of sawdust into my face, it did that job well. Once that was done, I covered it with a waterproof tarp and left it on a covered patio.

On 3/17/2018, I purchased a 1950s DeWalt radial arm saw that I plan to restore. I moved the table saw out into the yard to make room for it.

It looks like I’m not going to be needing this table saw anymore. I’ve recently restored a 1960’s Craftsman radial arm saw. That saw has an oversized table and I plan to do both crosscutting and ripping on it. My plan is to keep the table saw around and if I still don’t think I need it after the next several projects, I’ll sell it or give it away. I think it’s currently worth between zero and $75 and if it gets more rusty, the value will still be in that range.

Financially, I have very little to lose by storing this outside in the weather. However, I have some experience with outdoor tool storage and some materials I already own and will use those to reduce the amount of weather damage.


This table saw has been sitting covered for about seven months. It looks about the same as when I covered it up. I took a bunch of photos to document it’s current state: a few pictures are below.

I used Boeshield Rust Free to remove what rust I could from the table surfaces. It removed the surface rust, but overall I’d say it looks about the same as before I applied Rust Free. Pictures below.

I applied an excessive spray of Boeshield T9 to the table surfacas and edges. The temperature was about 58 degrees F. I put a space heater nearby and also tried a hair dryer. The Boeshield T9 did was no more dry after two hours than right after I sprayed it on. I used a folded up paper towel to spread it around. I did not wipe off the excess. Picture below.

I put wax paper on top of the wet Boeshield T9. The paper stuck well to the wet surface – not like glue, you could still pull it right back up. Picture below

I cut a rectangle of coarboard and put it on top of the wax paper. Bungee chords hold it in place. Picture below.

I covered the table saw with a tan water resistant cover that’s made for an outdoor AC unit. It has two vents which are covered by flaps. On top of that, I put a blue tarp. The tan tarp should keep the water off the table saw while allowing some water vapor to escape through the vents. The blue tarp is an extra layer and should keep water from entering at those vents.

Why did I choose this technique? I’m applying what I learned from storing a jointer outside (see I learned that johnson paste wax covered with cardboard works well. Several lumberjocks suggested various forms of plastic wrap. T9 is liquified wax and covering it with wax paper might bring whatever benefit plastic wrap could give, plus it adds some more wax. I found that a vented cover by itself lets water in through the vents, thus the extra blue tarp on top.

It’s been raining and snowing a lot since my last update. Counting today, there have been two days without rain and it’s close to 60 degrees. The forecast is for sunshine and higher temps. I’m hoping that last storm will be the end of winter. There were two small puddles on the top of the blue cover and one small puddle on top of the tan cover. Inside the tan cover it was moist on the sides near the bottom but dry near the top. The cardboard was damp at the back right. The cardboard seems to have expanded. There are many folds in the piece I used and they weren’t totally flat when I put it in place: now they seem to have lifted up more. That means in many places the cardboard does not contact the saw table. If I wasn’t using the wax paper, I’d probably make a new piece that would lie flat. I didn’t remove the carboard and wax paper, but I did lift an edge. I noticed the Boeshield T9 is still moist.

It’s been 1.5 years since I used or even uncovered the table saw. I’ve decided to sell it. I uncovered it today and was pleased to find that the saw looks almost exactly as it did when I covered it up. There is a small amount of rust in the back left corner.

Disclaimer: I’m not writing this to encourage anyone to store their woodworking tools outside. I’m writing this to document a 1.5 year long experiment. If someone else runs out of indoor space and is forced to store something outside, perhaps this will help.

3 comments so far

View Murdock's profile


169 posts in 3641 days

#1 posted 09-27-2019 02:58 PM

I’m curious where you are located, IE what is the overall climate? I was also wondering how items on the saw other than the top fared? IE the motor, bearings etc?

Glad for you that the ‘experiment’ seems to have worked, I can’t imagine in my climate that saw would have fared very well without coating the entire thing in wax or oil.

-- "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." - Albert Einstein

View kajunkraft's profile


196 posts in 3367 days

#2 posted 09-28-2019 12:48 AM

Interesting story but can’t help wondering why all the effort for a tool worth between “($0 – 75)?

View KTNC's profile


185 posts in 1413 days

#3 posted 09-28-2019 02:41 AM

Murdock: I’m located in Northern California, gold country. We have lots of rain over a six month period. It rarely gets below freezing or snows. Summers are warm and dry. The underside of the table and some other non-painted parts were coated with rust when I started this experiment and they looked the same 1.5 years after I first moved the saw out into the yard. I started the motor and it sounded fine. Both the blade elevation and tilt are also working fine.

Kajunkraft: Zero to $75 is what I thought I could sell it for. When I first started all this I wasn’t sure if I’d have a need for it. It was easier and less trouble for me to spend a few hours doing this than to get rid of the table saw and acquire another one later. Especially, since I already had the cover, tarp, T9 and rust free. Moving this heavy equipment (around 300? pounds) around is very challenging. I’m sure I won’t need a table saw anymore, so I’m selling it now.

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