Protecting the cast iron top on my new table saw

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Forum topic by Cole Tallerman posted 07-13-2012 04:23 AM 25095 views 1 time favorited 38 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Cole Tallerman

392 posts in 3102 days

07-13-2012 04:23 AM

So i just got a new Sawstop table saw and I really want to take care of the surface right from the start. I was thinking of something simple like a spray that would protect the cast iron. I’ve read about 2 part mixes and waxes but I will probably never get around to that. Also it would be convenient if I could get it at a big box store.

Any input on caring for my new saw is greatly appreciated!

38 replies so far

View Richard's profile


400 posts in 3608 days

#1 posted 07-13-2012 04:28 AM

I use Johnson’s paste wax, it slicks up the surface nice and seals it from moisture.

Stay away from waxes that contain silicone, it will transfer to your wood and screw up your finishes.

-- "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain

View Tomj's profile


204 posts in 3299 days

#2 posted 07-13-2012 04:37 AM

Home Depot sells Johnsons paste wax. Sometimes it’s hard to find because it’s on the cleaners isle with the floor cleaners, sponges,disinfectant, CLR, garbage pales and sometimes brooms. I couldn’t find it the first time I looked and the employee didn’t know either. I just waxed my table saw last night. I spread a thin coat of wax over the table , let it dry a couple of hours then buffed it off with a buffer bit in a drill. One little 16oz tub of Johnsons paste wax will most likely last for years. Good luck.

View knotscott's profile


8392 posts in 4292 days

#3 posted 07-13-2012 10:32 AM

Wax alone helps slow moisture penetration but doesn’t directly prevent rust. My best results have come from applying a light coat Boeshield T-9, wipe and dry, followed by a coat of good paste wax (Johnson’s or Minmax or equivalent). Clean the top with mineral spirits before applying. It’s a pretty simple process that only takes a few minutes of effort.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View AJLastra's profile


87 posts in 3145 days

#4 posted 07-13-2012 01:26 PM

Topsaver to remove rust, Topcoat spray for keeping the rust off.

View SnowyRiver's profile


51458 posts in 4397 days

#5 posted 07-13-2012 02:05 PM

I wax the top of the cast iron/steel tables of my equipment with a good paste wax that is silicon free. I do this twice a year and it keeps the surface nice and clean and keeps it slick so the wood slides freely on the table. This works exceptionally well on the planer table. If I do get any rust on the tables (had this happen the other day because I left a piece of treated lumber on the TS and it must have contained some moisture) I use a dry coat and scotch guard pads to remove the surface rust.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View A10GAC's profile


191 posts in 3995 days

#6 posted 07-13-2012 04:57 PM

+1 on the Johnson’s wax…it’s inexpensive, a can lasts a long time, and it makes the top pretty slick without interfering with the ability to finish the wood. I wax my tables 2-3x per year and keep them covered with a piece of 12oz duck cloth when not in use. The cloth doesn’t let the humidity from the garage settle directly on the steel and breaths well enough that moisture doesn’t accumulate underneath.

-- Men have become the tools of their tools. - Henry David Thoreau

View EricTy's profile


62 posts in 3167 days

#7 posted 07-13-2012 05:05 PM

I use Mother’s Carnauba wax. It doesn’t contain any silicone.

-- Only you know the mistakes were intentional...

View toolie's profile


2193 posts in 3545 days

#8 posted 07-13-2012 05:37 PM

paste wax and keep the surface covered,m with almost anythng, when not in use for extended periods. i’ve used plywood, htc tool covers (gotten for free, otherwise, expensive and not worth it), blankets, sheets, conforters, bed spreads, etc.

-- there's a solution to every just have to be willing to find it.

View PurpLev's profile


8601 posts in 4565 days

#9 posted 07-13-2012 05:41 PM

+1 on johnsons pate wax – cheap, available locally, and does a good job. I’ve tried Boeshield T-9, and am getting better results with paste wax!

I also keep machinery covered with moving blankets when not in use to keep moisture levels minimal

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 3105 days

#10 posted 07-13-2012 05:44 PM

As others are saying, stay away from compounds that contain silicone as it can mess with some finishes.

Like Knotscott I use Boeshield or TopCote with the added benefit that they make the surface nice and slick.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View NiteWalker's profile


2741 posts in 3494 days

#11 posted 07-13-2012 06:27 PM

+1 more for johnson’s paste wax.
I also use it to lube the gears in the saw.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View ajosephg's profile


1890 posts in 4478 days

#12 posted 07-13-2012 06:34 PM

What everybody said plus never ever sit a cool beverage on it or use it as a workbench.

Congrats on your purchase. If I were 10 or 15 years younger I’d also be buying one of those.

-- Joe

View Sanity's profile


176 posts in 3607 days

#13 posted 07-14-2012 03:38 PM

I think it depends on your location. I live in Ohio and it is a constant battle to keep the cast iron surfaces of my power tools free from rust. I have tried paste wax and it does not work for me, and a fine layer of corrosion is evident after only a week or so. I typically use T-9 and it is effective provided I use a thick coat. There was a very interesting article in the recent August edition of FWW which goes into detail on rust protection, and they recommend using CRC 3-36. I bought some this week to try.

-- Stuart

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5311 posts in 4877 days

#14 posted 07-14-2012 04:51 PM

I have a sign on my TS top stating that anyone placing ANYTHING on the top will be sumarrily executed with malice, and their body disposed in a landfill.
Paste wax too.

-- [email protected]

View Cole Tallerman's profile

Cole Tallerman

392 posts in 3102 days

#15 posted 07-18-2012 03:40 AM

Seems as though alot of you have gotten good results with paste wax and its readily available at home depot so i’m going to give it a try.

Thanks for all the input!

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