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wd-40 harmful to wood when used to clean cast iron top?

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Forum topic by Spikes posted 12-21-2018 10:19 PM 1558 views 0 times favorited 26 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Spikes

125 posts in 495 days


12-21-2018 10:19 PM

Hi,

For the past 6 months I’ve been cleaning my TS’s top with WD-40 using a scotchbrite pad and a ROS. I then finish it with johnson wax. In the process of figuring out this method I found just about all possible variations involving sand paper, mineral spirits, etc. I picked the wd-40 because it seemed the most common, however every now and then someone in a thread will scream that W40 has poly-something which will affect the wood preventing it from taking a stain.

Now, I’ve not stained many pieces so far (no prob with the ones I did), but as I’m getting into a more complicated and expensive project I wanted to double check with the forum. Is the concern legit? should I use something else and if so, what?

thanks,

-- Don't worry about making progress, worry about practicing. If you practice you will make progress even if you don't want to.


26 replies so far

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

4102 posts in 2438 days


#1 posted 12-21-2018 10:21 PM

I only clean my table saw every 6-12 months at most. I use light steel wool and Butcher’s Wax

View WoodenDreams's profile

WoodenDreams

666 posts in 360 days


#2 posted 12-21-2018 10:33 PM

I use WD40 to clean the table saw surface with sand paper, wipe off as much as possible with a clean rag, apply rubbing alcohol with a clean rag (this removes the residue from the WD40), wipe off with a clean rag, then I spray a dry lube with no silicon in it over the surface, wait a few minutes then wipe of the dry lube with a clean rag. This method I don’t have to be concerned with it affecting the finishing results.

View EugdOT's profile

EugdOT

296 posts in 1004 days


#3 posted 12-21-2018 10:39 PM

I use this and Johnson’s past wax when needed

View Knockonit's profile

Knockonit

595 posts in 651 days


#4 posted 12-21-2018 10:49 PM

use glidekote, have for years seems to serve the purpose, and have occassionaly used wax when outta spray, but hey only cause it needed done asap

View BattleRidge's profile

BattleRidge

113 posts in 665 days


#5 posted 12-22-2018 01:40 AM

I treat all of my bare steel surfaces with Johnson Paste Wax and it does a great job of protecting and preventing rust. It is also safe to use when cutting wood and such for future surface finishing. Using certain products (those with silicone and such) can be detrimental to achieving a good finish on some woods.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

16158 posts in 3068 days


#6 posted 12-22-2018 01:45 AM

I wipe down my hand planes with a wd-40 soaked rag and never had an issue.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

10858 posts in 1935 days


#7 posted 12-22-2018 03:06 AM

You can attack it like that but it’s not really necessary. No matter what you do. The top will never stay pristine unless you remove material from it. I don’t really advocate that. A wood down with JPW after heavy use will cure most ills.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

6374 posts in 2715 days


#8 posted 12-22-2018 03:27 AM

I might be the odd man out. My preferred method for cleaning my table saw is Acetone. Soak a rag, rub it down, hit it with 600+grit, hit it again with Acetone followed by Minwax paste wax. I’ve been doing this at least once a year for the past 4-5 years and find it works great. I occasionally notice things dragging a little and hit it with a little more paste wax or paraffin. I try to keep it simple and effective. This works for me.

View derosa's profile

derosa

1597 posts in 3285 days


#9 posted 12-22-2018 03:27 AM

I don’t bother with the ROS but not much different from you. Every 6-8 months I notice a spot or two of rust forming so I sand down with a scotch-brite and WD40, wipe off with some rags and hit it with turtlewax. Not much more to it and never noticed anything wrong.

-- A posse ad esse

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

10858 posts in 1935 days


#10 posted 12-22-2018 03:48 AM



I don t bother with the ROS but not much different from you. Every 6-8 months I notice a spot or two of rust forming so I sand down with a scotch-brite and WD40, wipe off with some rags and hit it with turtlewax. Not much more to it and never noticed anything wrong.

- derosa

Ditto. Essentially.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Manitario's profile

Manitario

2778 posts in 3332 days


#11 posted 12-22-2018 06:36 AM

I use WD 40 to clean my cast iron surfaces and then coat with paste wax. Never had a problem with finishing.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

1429 posts in 3210 days


#12 posted 12-23-2018 05:04 PM

I have been using WD-40 for years on my machine tables and steel parts. NEVER had a problem with it affecting the wood I am processing.

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View HammerSmith's profile

HammerSmith

301 posts in 533 days


#13 posted 12-23-2018 10:19 PM

I had a friend who was a big backyard mechanic…He was always working on hotrods, or just fixing a neighbor’s car, etc… He had some experience with painting cars too.

One day I went to use WD40 on something, and he stopped me… He said something to this effect; “If it gets into the pores of the paint, it’ll “never” come out …and it could cause problems if someone tries to paint it later.”

As time went by, I heard that WD40 has silicone in it, and the silicone is what causes fish-eye in lacquer.

So I keep my WD40 segregated, waaaay in the back corner of the shelf, and it only comes out on rare occasions. I use 3-in-1 oil for most hinges and such, and “PB Blaster” to free a rusted nut.

-- ~Jim

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

10858 posts in 1935 days


#14 posted 12-23-2018 10:24 PM

I don’t believe it has silicone but I want to say it has some kind of oil in it

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View Spikes's profile

Spikes

125 posts in 495 days


#15 posted 12-23-2018 11:40 PM

ok, thanks all, glad to know the wd-40 is a viable option even two the warning seems to still be there and more than just a legend. Still puzzled what to make of it, but I guess better safe than sorry. I might get a can of T9 after all. Or just try @WoodenDreams method and use rubbing alcohol to clean the WD40.

@thefriedge , regarding the ROS, I was concerned about removing material and that’s why I opted for the scotch-brite pad instead of sand paper and some other threads suggested back then. I also apply no pressure, just let it run over it. Maybe I’m wimpy, but I found that if I tried to just use elbow grease the rust spots would stay where they were. I didn’t want to try steelwool as even 0000 seemed potentially too aggressive and remove material, but the scotch-brite seemed safe enough.

As to the comments about using a razor, I thought that was more indicated as a first pass in restoring an old machine with lots of rust rather than on-going maintenance on a relatively clean top.

-- Don't worry about making progress, worry about practicing. If you practice you will make progress even if you don't want to.

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