New Table Saw Setup

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Forum topic by Jetfuel posted 07-02-2013 01:05 PM 2006 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Jetfuel's profile


20 posts in 2871 days

07-02-2013 01:05 PM

Hi everyone.

I am a newb here, and I thought that I would take a crack at asking you all a couple of questions.

I just bought my first table saw (PM2000) from Rockler during their Father’s Day sale of Jet and Powermatic equipment. I picked it up from the store this past Friday evening, got a couple of guys, and unloaded it into my basement on Saturday. Now it’s waiting to be put together!!

The manual states to remove the factory table top protectant grease/oil with a cloth and kerosene. Is there any better way than having to go and buy some kerosene that I will probably never use the rest of for many years, or should I just go get some?

After the protectant is removed, what kind of wax do you all recommend?

Lastly, are there any other tricks and tips that you guys have learned/used in setting up you table saws?

Thanks for your responses and I am looking forward to getting this table saw up and running!!

-- Dan B, Twin Cities, MN - "If it's not Boeing, I'm not going."

16 replies so far

View NiteWalker's profile


2742 posts in 3658 days

#1 posted 07-02-2013 01:21 PM

I use simplegreen to clean the top. Works fine.
Regular johnson’s paste wax to keep it rust free and slick.
Align blade to miter slot, then fence to blade, make sure to check the 45 and 90 degree tilt stops.
Grab a copy of kelly mehler’s the table saw book. Tons of useful info in there.

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

View Rex B's profile

Rex B

320 posts in 3331 days

#2 posted 07-02-2013 01:22 PM

Hi Dan, welcome to Lumberjocks. I think any solvent like mineral spirits or acetone will work to clean the shipping grease. Alternatively WD-40 works well to remove the grease, but then you should use one of the solvents above to clean off the WD-40. WD-40 will lead to rust if left on the table. As for wax, I use Johnson’s Paste Wax which is pretty readily available.

Check out the Wood Whisperer’s bandsaw setup video. Later in the video he shows his process for cleaning and waxing the cast iron table. It’s the process I use, and works well.

-- Rex

View colvinatch's profile


13 posts in 3063 days

#3 posted 07-02-2013 01:38 PM

You should also check that the blade is parallel to the miter slots, this is done with a miter slot micrometer, however in a pinch a good set of veneer calipers will work, you will need to access the trunion in the saw body to make slight changes that will move the blade ever so slightly left or right. There are several videos available on You-Tube that demonstrate this, type in “Setting Up a Table Saw” for a list. Finally you need to insure that your fence is parallel to the blade, some craftsmen prefer a very slight “toe out” of the outfeed side of their fence of around .001” to .002” to prevent wood from binding as it exits. Again a miter mounted micrometer is useful for this task.

View gtbuzz's profile


427 posts in 3522 days

#4 posted 07-02-2013 01:38 PM

Congrats on the new saw!

I generally just wipe down the surface as much as I can with shop towels, then use shop towels and mineral spirits to get the rest off.

You’ll definitely want to do something to the top to inhibit rust tool. I also use the same method from the Wood Whisperer that Rex B linked to, and it seems to work fine. If you search around here for cast iron rust prevention, you’ll find quite a few different methods. For the most part, they all work, the important thing is that you do something.

Also keep in mind that it’s going to be an ongoing preventative process depending on how much you use your saw and how humid your environment is. I live in Atlanta where, during the summers, humidity can zoom past 90%. My “shop” is 1/2 of a 2 car garage, so I make it a habit to give all my tools a fresh coat of wax once every few weeks.

As far as other tips, TWW also has some great suggestions on table saw tune up:

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 4052 days

#5 posted 07-02-2013 01:58 PM

I’d use the kerosene. Cast iron is porous and the kero will penetrate into the iron and provide a helpful barrier against moisture. Mineral spirits will work also, but it will evaporate and leave less protection.

I like Johnson’s paste wax for keeping the top slick and rust free. Use it on all my cast iron, including planes.

View Grandpa's profile


3264 posts in 3756 days

#6 posted 07-02-2013 03:45 PM

Todays diesel is real close to kerosene. It doesn’t have the gosh awful smell but can still be detected by a sensitive nose. I would steer away from the simple green because you need water to make it work. In high school we used brake fluid to clean and polish our Unisaw but that was 50 years ago and many new things have come along. I like Johnson’s paste wax. Probably the best product that company makes and has been….well since I was in high school and before.

View firefighterontheside's profile


21408 posts in 2937 days

#7 posted 07-02-2013 05:01 PM

How about white gas.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View knotscott's profile


8418 posts in 4456 days

#8 posted 07-02-2013 05:09 PM

How about Jetfuel? ;-)

(ya had to know someone would suggest it!)

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

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 4052 days

#9 posted 07-02-2013 05:21 PM

Isn’t jet fuel actually kerosene?

View Jetfuel's profile


20 posts in 2871 days

#10 posted 07-02-2013 06:18 PM

Thanks for all of the recommendations guys!

Jet fuel pretty much is kerosene!! :-)

-- Dan B, Twin Cities, MN - "If it's not Boeing, I'm not going."

View MT_Stringer's profile


3183 posts in 4312 days

#11 posted 07-02-2013 06:25 PM

I used WD-40 to clean that krap off my Grizzly table top. Took just about the whole can but it came clean. Then I waxed it with Johnson’s Paste Wax. No problems encountered thus far – 6 months later.

Note: I would be leary of using something as flammable as gasoline (or kerosene) in a basement.

Congrats on your new saw purchase. It should outlast you…and your kids.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View Jetfuel's profile


20 posts in 2871 days

#12 posted 07-03-2013 01:24 AM

Rex B,

Thanks for the recommendation about the Wood Whisperer. I watched his video on the bandsaw setup, and now I’m watching his video for the table saw setup/tuneup.

-- Dan B, Twin Cities, MN - "If it's not Boeing, I'm not going."

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3771 days

#13 posted 07-03-2013 01:48 AM

“odorless” mineral spirits will remove that gunk and leave the least offensive smell in your basement/house.

I wax all my cast surfaces with MinWax paste wax (can’t tell any difference between it and Johnson’s)

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Jetfuel's profile


20 posts in 2871 days

#14 posted 07-03-2013 02:58 AM

Has anyone ever tried putting on that T-9 Boeshield that Mark the Wood Whisperer uses during his video of the new bandsaw setup? Sounds like something right up my alley, being that it was created by Boeing. :-)

-- Dan B, Twin Cities, MN - "If it's not Boeing, I'm not going."

View Rex B's profile

Rex B

320 posts in 3331 days

#15 posted 07-06-2013 05:27 PM

Yep, I use the Boeshield and it’s great stuff. I only have to clean off my cast iron and recoat about once a year.

-- Rex

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