Used my 5” Random Orbital Sander with 280 grit then 400 grit, WD-40, mineral spirits, johnson paste wax. Good results. A slight minor blemish of swirl marks in one spot, may or may not try to tackle that before assembly.
As of today:
Next up: the 4 columns. These are rusted down the middle interior, exterior, rods, and the bearings. Will get 4 new bearings for the rods (I really need a bearing puller…especially with cutter head coming up eventually).
-- Yes, my profile picture is of a Carpenter Bee! The name is derived from the Ancient Greek "wood-cutter"