Long-term storage for equipment with cast iron tables

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Forum topic by GregD posted 04-27-2017 06:42 PM 2465 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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788 posts in 3742 days

04-27-2017 06:42 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question tablesaw jointer drill press bandsaw

Are there any recommendations for long term (1 or 2 years) storage of equipment with cast iron tables?

Due to changes in my living situation I expect my table saw, jointer, band saw, and drill press will be unused for 1 to 2 years. They will be in an unheated garage or shed in western Montana.

I was thinking of spraying the tops down with dry lube and covering them with wax paper while the lube was still wet. And then covering them with old bath towels and canvas drop cloths. When I’m ready to put them back in service I’m expecting to clean them up with Scotch Brite and WD-40 or some other cast iron cleaner and then apply a cast iron top lube product.

-- Greg D.

10 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 4253 days

#1 posted 04-27-2017 07:06 PM

I’ve had good results in my dry climate using
HTC machine covers.

View diverlloyd's profile


3759 posts in 2463 days

#2 posted 04-27-2017 08:09 PM

You could use museum wax I have also thought about using the vinyl wrap that is for cars.

View DrDirt's profile


4600 posts in 4348 days

#3 posted 04-27-2017 08:21 PM

At least it is a dry climate….

Might go for the tables the way it was shipped with the heavy/greasy Cosmoline that protected it at sea and in storage for months.

You might ask Saw Stop what they recommend.(or have applied at the factory making the equipment) MIL-SPEC Grease (MIL-C-11796C, Class 3) is a medium grade grease/corrosion preventative compound that can prevent rust and corrosion for years, even in the harshest of environments. MIL-C-11796C, Class 3 is commonly used to protect/preserve equipment, machinery, firearms, and any other metal surface when put in long-term storage or while in transit (overseas, road, marine, etc.).

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View MrUnix's profile


7587 posts in 2804 days

#4 posted 04-27-2017 08:49 PM

This question pops up every couple of months. If you do a search on this site for ‘long term storage’, you will find a lot of information and discussion on the subject:

Long Term Storage


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Dark_Lightning's profile


3756 posts in 3714 days

#5 posted 05-01-2017 02:35 AM

Cosmoline. I bought a Record lathe that was 22 years old and still had the Cosmoline on it. Just a little light rust on the parts that didn’t have a thick coat. Or, just lay on a coat of oil based paint. It’ll be tough to get off, but that means that the rust won’t be able to get at it.

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

View EricTwice's profile


248 posts in 1139 days

#6 posted 05-01-2017 02:41 AM

Cosmoline if you can get your hands on it. You need something to keep the moisture out. a couple of heavy coats of linseed oil, but like your dry lube and wax paper it might be difficult to get off after a couple of years.

-- nice recovery, They should pay extra for that mistake, Eric E.

View Carloz's profile


1147 posts in 1197 days

#7 posted 05-01-2017 03:01 AM

.... And then covering them with old bath towels and canvas drop cloths. ...
- GregD

This is the worst idea ever. Towels will collect moisture and pass it on to the iron. Some tarp from harbor freight will make much better job.

View Carloz's profile


1147 posts in 1197 days

#8 posted 05-01-2017 03:07 AM

Once I looked at a table saw that spent 10 years in an climate uncontrolled storage. It had no protection whatsoever the owner even did not put wax on it. It got some thin film of patina but zero rust. This was however in Southern California, fairly close to the water.

View Woodknack's profile


13011 posts in 2986 days

#9 posted 05-01-2017 03:37 AM

My personal experience is that towels, blankets, or sheets on cast iron will cause rust because as Carloz says, they hold moisture. I wouldn’t recommend tarps either because they can trap condensation. The only time I would use a covering is is if moisture will be dripping onto the table. And if I were using a covering I would put a frame over the table so it wasn’t in contact and air could get underneath.

One option is clean and degrease then put on a coat of polyurethane. Several people have done that with excellent results. Another is wd40 or some type of grease or heavy wax.

-- Rick M,

View Robert's profile


3600 posts in 2086 days

#10 posted 05-01-2017 03:49 PM

I would coat with WD40 to remove surface humidity, slather on axle grease and put a piece of 6mil plastic on top of that.

Do NOT use wax or you’ll have a real mess in a couple years (how do I know that?)

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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