Refurbish Powermatic Table Saw #2: Strip and Remove Rust from the Table Top

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Blog entry by bch posted 10-31-2011 03:42 AM 10227 reads 1 time favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Purchasing A Used Table Saw and Accessing Its Condition Part 2 of Refurbish Powermatic Table Saw series Part 3: Disassembly and Cleaning of the Mechanics »

First I used a citrus stripper to remove the finish dried to the table. I am very pleased with the results and the product:

If I recall correctly it took two rounds of stripping:

With the finish removed, on to removing rust from the table top!

I used a new product for rust removal this time, as shown in the photograph. I followed the directions, rather than my own common sense, which I regret. The product worked fine, but the instructions were to apply, wait fifteen minutes, rinse with water, wipe down, and reapply if necessary. I did this dutifully, twelve repetitions over several evenings, until I ran out. On the last application, I did the sensible thing and scrubbed with a “green scrubby”, and that cleaned it up beautifully. Had I done this from the beginning I bet I could have done the job in three or four repetitions, and saved 3/4 of the product, and a lot of brain cells (these things are stinky and you are supposed to use them in far more ventilated places than my basement shop).

Applying to a wing:

With rust-removal complete, time to give a quick sanding with penetrating oil and 400 grit wet/dry sandpaper. Many people derust this way from the beginning, as have I. Writing this now I’m having trouble coming up with the reason to do it the other way. Sanding is quick, inexpensive, and doesn’t fry brain cells. I may reconsider this approach in the future. I must say I worry that during sanding I’ll create low-spots in the table and with the chemical method I don’t have this fear.

A few helpers make the job of cleaning up a joy:

Thanks for viewing. Please read Blog 3 of this blog series.

-- --bch

3 comments so far

View NormG's profile


6252 posts in 3147 days

#1 posted 10-31-2011 05:08 AM

Looks like you have it under control, enjoy the saw

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View PurpLev's profile


8540 posts in 3791 days

#2 posted 10-31-2011 05:14 AM

seems it did the job well. nice looking end top

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

View triviasteve's profile


191 posts in 1843 days

#3 posted 11-05-2013 03:03 AM

excellent job! I actually got one of these on craigslist, too… I paid a little more for mine, and it was missing some hardware, too, but you’re absolutely right on the saw… cuts like butter! It’s great to have a proper table saw!

I have a little more fine tuning to do on mine as well.

I have a little rust removing to do as well (I’m using the boeing-developed products), but I do like the idea of the 400 grit sandpaper. May have to try that as well.

Hope you’re enjoying your saw and that it’ll serve you well for many years to come!

-- You know I'm on the level 'cause my bubble's in the middle.

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