Tips on protecting my table saw from rust

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Forum topic by Jofa posted 02-06-2014 01:41 PM 8867 views 2 times favorited 27 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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272 posts in 2919 days

02-06-2014 01:41 PM

I have an old (1939) Craftsman / Atlas Press 8” table saw that I really love. Performs nicely although a bit underpowered.

I have it in my new workshop and it’s been very wet here over the past few days so I noticed a bit of rust forming on the top. I was wondering how you folks protect the tops of your tables from rust. Thanks.

-- Thank you Lord for the passion and ability to make things from your creation.

27 replies so far

View 489tad's profile


4000 posts in 4092 days

#1 posted 02-06-2014 01:45 PM

I have the same problem. Wet cars parked next to the saw. Currently I’m using Glide Cote from Woodcraft. I think any product used more often this time of year is key. Good luck.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View Jofa's profile


272 posts in 2919 days

#2 posted 02-06-2014 01:54 PM

Thanks Dan. Yeah it’s crazy how fast the rust can form.

I made the mistake of using WD-40 in the past and had a heck of a time finishing a couple of pieces because that stuff gets on everything.

-- Thank you Lord for the passion and ability to make things from your creation.

View GrandpaLen's profile


1652 posts in 3353 days

#3 posted 02-06-2014 01:56 PM

Wipe the affected parts down with WD-40, removing the rust and residue…let it dry a few minutes.
Apply a good auto paste wax, ie. Johnsons, ...make sure the wax has no silicon in the ingredience as it will transfer to your wood and cause problems with your finish.

Wipe on, ...wipe off, as you would your car.

Best Regards. – Grandpa Len.
Work Safely and have Fun.

EDIT; Just read your post. Problems with WD-40. you dont want to flood the area, just a light spray.

If you are cleaning a heavily rusted top with WD-40 and a Scotch Brite Pad, after you get all the rust off wipe the top down with mineral spirts and towel dry completely and then wax the surfaces.

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View kdc68's profile


3009 posts in 3357 days

#4 posted 02-06-2014 01:58 PM

I use Johnson’s Paste Wax throughout the year. Provides a protected and slick worksurface. It is silicon free. Silicon waxes can cause finishing issues like fish eye. I’ve read (but never tried) people using shellac to coat their cast iron tops

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View thesoninlaw's profile


97 posts in 2866 days

#5 posted 02-06-2014 02:10 PM

I use household parafin wax—just rub the stick on the tabletop and buff. Makes the wood slide nicely across the table and does not interfere with finishes. Not a speck of rust on the 1957 craftsman that I restored. I did clean it up in just the way described above by GrandpaLen.

View bowedcurly's profile


519 posts in 2809 days

#6 posted 02-06-2014 02:26 PM

you will have to coat it several times with the wax of your coice it will finally get coated and stop rusting maybe, I use shellac,it gets into the pores of the casting very well, it’s kinda hard to get off or you just sand it smooth but it works great I put it on my jointer as an experiment, and it has worked great, it has not rusted one time, if I used wax I would have had to put many coats on the surface, try a small spot with shellac and a large spot with wax and see the difference, if you can put the shellac on thin and get the excess off quick you want have to sand as much same as building a finish on wood give it a try it you might like it I sure do

-- Staining killed the wood<<<<<>>>>>Dyeing gave it life

View Paul Mayer's profile

Paul Mayer

1154 posts in 4146 days

#7 posted 02-06-2014 02:26 PM

I would stay away from WD40 unless the top gets pitted because it does not mix well with wood finishes. For light rust removal, take a scotchbright pad, set it on the saw’s table surface, place a palm sander on top of it, and run the sander. This does a great job of erasing light rust. Then wax it periodically, or better yet, spray it with Top Cote

If the saw goes a long time between applications, the trick to really keeping it rust free is to cover it with something like this:

In my old shop I dealt with rust a lot until I got a cover. Then it never happened again.

-- Paul Mayer,

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 4051 days

#8 posted 02-06-2014 03:43 PM

Johnson’s Paste Wax.
Keep a can by my saw all the time.
Put it on all base metal in my shop. Often.

View TheDane's profile


5962 posts in 4743 days

#9 posted 02-06-2014 03:53 PM

I used to use Johnson’s Paste Wax, but have recently gone to Bostik GlideCote. It is a surface sealant and rust inhibitor.

It gives you a slicker surface, and does not contain any silicone or petroleum, so it will not stain wood or interfere with glues or finishes.

I use it not only on cast iron surfaces (tablesaw, bandsaw, jointer, lathe, etc.) but also on tools with moving parts (lathe chucks).

It is not cheap, but a little goes a long ways.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View PurpLev's profile


8652 posts in 4729 days

#10 posted 02-06-2014 03:54 PM

Johnsons Paste wax, and leave a moving blanket over machine when not in use – it keeps the moisture levels to a minimum and helps prevent moisture from accumulating on the cast iron surfaces.

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

View a1Jim's profile


118162 posts in 4658 days

#11 posted 02-06-2014 04:11 PM

Most waxes are fine but make sure the wax does not contain silicone it will play havoc on finishing.


View CharlesA's profile


3466 posts in 2878 days

#12 posted 02-06-2014 04:45 PM

Wood magazine (I think) did a comparison on the best rust removal, rust prevention treatments, including Johnson wax. I use what they decided was best in the comparison test: Boeshield Rustfree for rust removal and Boeshield T-9 for rest prevention. I haven’t had a hint of rust on my old Craftsman 113 table saw since I began this.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View syenefarmer's profile


574 posts in 4161 days

#13 posted 02-06-2014 04:54 PM

Johnsons Paste Wax is great for making a surface slippery but not so great for rust prevention. I use Bostik GlideCote as a base coat and follow that up with a couple of coats of Johnsons Paste Wax. Those two products used together have worked out well for me.

View JohnEinNJ's profile


94 posts in 3428 days

#14 posted 02-06-2014 06:38 PM

Another vote for Boeshield T-9…

View Pezking7p's profile


3359 posts in 2732 days

#15 posted 02-06-2014 07:33 PM

I tried boeshield first. It gets gummy and holds on to dust.

I put furniture wax on and buffed it several weeks ago and it has been great! Previously my jointer was getting rusty every week. I haven’t had an issue since using the furniture wax (min wax).

-- -Dan

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