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I have a table saw, bandsaw, drill press, lathe and jointer in my shop. All have cast iron tops. All tops are relatively free from rust except for the Powermatic 6" jointer. There is no wax or other rust preventative on any of the machines, but the jointer has a thick layer of rust on the tables and fence. I did derust it a while back and waxed it, but it now has a lot of rust. I don't use it very often. It is the only Powermatic tool I have, so I wonder if there is a difference in the cast irons used by various manufacturers.
 

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That's strange isn't it,Maybe the jointer is subjected to more temperature changes/variations ?gets warmer and colder than the rest of the tools ? is it near a heat source or cold draft?
 

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I am sure that a lot of members would recommend you to use some products to remove and prevent the rust on your tool. But I just want to remind you to keep your shop heated in the winter and cooled in the summer.
 

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It seems to me that older cast iron machine tops with
a brown patina seem to resist surface rust, assuming
one doesn't sand the patina off. If your jointer is
unpatinated and other machines are, then this could
be part of the reason the jointer is developing more
oxidation.

Just my pet theory tho. I may be deluded on the matter.
 

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Try covering the jointer with a couple of 100 % cotton bath towels when not in use. They will absorb humidity and help to keep your cast iron tops rust free. All of my stationary tools with cast iron tops are covered with bath towels when I am not using them. It also keeps the saw dust off them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That could be it. More steel in the cast iron equates to more iron oxide (rust). I don't use any chemicals to derust cast iron. I use scuffy pads and WD40 to remove rust followed by a coat of Carnuba wax.
 

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I took a cast iron part to a welder to get repaired, and he said that all cast iron in the US is cast steel after a certain year. So he could just weld the part with steel rod. I thought it needed to be welded with a special rod for cast iron. He was right, as the piece has stood up for at least 10 years. I'm still using the machine. So makes sense that there would be steel in a cast iron top if made in USA. Can't comment on cast from China.
 
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