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View Spoctor's profile

Spindle Sander Table

by Spoctor
posted 02-07-2018 09:32 PM


13 replies so far

View jimintx's profile

jimintx

834 posts in 1730 days


#1 posted 02-07-2018 10:33 PM

I don’t know about your sander, honestly. But, the table surface of my Dewalt scroll saw is also machined with that type of pattern. I have had it a number of years, and never had any problem with this feature.

I have worked the surface – a few times over the years with emory cloth, to make sure it was clean and had no detectable burrs or ridges. So, I don’t think you need to worry about trying to polish it out. Plus, it would likely be a tough job to accomplish.

-- Jim, Houston, TX

View mel52's profile

mel52

551 posts in 411 days


#2 posted 02-08-2018 03:38 AM

I bought a new WEN six or so months ago. It also has the same pattern as you are talking about. I use it quite a bit and also doesn’t seem to cause any problems. I just waxed the daylights out of it just to be sure.

-- MEL, Kansas

View Alex Lane's profile

Alex Lane

529 posts in 4036 days


#3 posted 02-08-2018 04:13 AM

I would be very confident saying this is purely low-quality machining. Like Jim said, any well machined surface would have this visible pattern but when it feels rough to the touch that’s not nice. The factory that surfaced the cast iron probably didn’t keep up with properly sharp tooling as they machined many hundreds of these tables. Feel free to buff/sand/file or otherwise smooth your table to a more pleasing surface. I used to work as a machinist and found thst cast iron is actually very easy to machine. You can use a single-cut mill file to take down the roughness of the surface. Or just use a sanding block with fine sandpaper (I’d suggest 220 grit to 400 grit) with some oil to lubricate the process. No need to make it a mirror finish. Just enough to feel reasonably smooth to the touch. It won’t be all too pretty but smoothness is more important than looks in a wood shop. And as suggested by Mel, wax or other product for treating cast iron surfaces (like bostik top cote now called glidecote) should work well. I bought a wen 8 inch bench grinder and the aluminum tool rests were rough as a cob. I took my mill file to them for a few minutes and got them smooth as a baby’s…well, you get the idea! :-)

-- Lane Custom Guitars and Basses

View jimintx's profile

jimintx

834 posts in 1730 days


#4 posted 02-08-2018 02:48 PM

Yep, I do keep my cast iron table surfaces waxed, as well.

-- Jim, Houston, TX

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

2527 posts in 1533 days


#5 posted 02-08-2018 03:51 PM

I would check to see if they all have this rough finish or if you just got one that wasn’t finished properly. Personally, I would rather pay a little more for one that doesn’t have this defect so I would take it back regardless.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Spoctor's profile

Spoctor

8 posts in 860 days


#6 posted 02-17-2018 08:50 PM

Thanks, guys! I used fine sandpaper with a hard rubber sanding block. The first sheet wore down to the paper quickly, but the second sheet finished the job. It only took ten minutes of vigorous work and the surface is smooth enough to slide a workpiece without marring it. I finished up with a coat the same good automotive wax I had used on my bandsaw table.

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

2092 posts in 3090 days


#7 posted 02-17-2018 10:07 PM

Many machining processes are left hanging. For example, I bought my wife a couple more cast iron skillets (Lodge) and, when you compare them to older ones, they are VERY rough.

I took her pans out to the shop and ground them smooth, both inside and on the bottoms (we have a glass top stove). Now they are usable. More specifically, they became easier to season (I used a propane torch and lard) and now, are close to non-stick.

I see surfaces like you are describing as little different. Think of it in terms of what kind of surface would you accept on your cabinet saw. You would not tolerate a rough surface. It would create friction and could mark the wood and other items slid over it.

I just used my angle grinder and a couple different sanding type pads made just for angle grinders.

If you wanted, you could also polish the table using the same pads used for granite work. Just use a bit of mineral oil, instead of water. I did that to my table saw ones and it was like a mirror.

View HerbC's profile

HerbC

1790 posts in 3005 days


#8 posted 02-17-2018 11:01 PM

If you used auto wax on the table, check the label to see if it contains silicone. Most auto waxes do and it’s bad news for woodworkers since silicone contamination of the wood surface causes problems with finishes… for example, fish eye.

If it does have silicone, clean the surface thoroughly and follow up with a good wax or lubricant which does not contain silicone. Good old Johnson’s Paste Wax works well.

Herb

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

View Alex Lane's profile

Alex Lane

529 posts in 4036 days


#9 posted 02-19-2018 01:17 PM

If you wanted, you could also polish the table using the same pads used for granite work. Just use a bit of mineral oil, instead of water. I did that to my table saw ones and it was like a mirror.

- Kelly

That’s a cool idea! Where do you get granite sanding pads?

-- Lane Custom Guitars and Basses

View jimintx's profile

jimintx

834 posts in 1730 days


#10 posted 02-19-2018 03:42 PM

I have used sanders, mostly the random orbit type, to clean and improve the surface of cast iron tables. I’ve had great success with that approach, as well as hand sanding blocks.

But I would be scared to use an angle grinder, as that thing is likely a tool of minor destruction in my hands. I have two of them, and they are powerful tools, but i don’t know how to do anything delicate with one of ‘em.

-- Jim, Houston, TX

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

2092 posts in 3090 days


#11 posted 02-19-2018 05:28 PM

Alex, unless you live in or near a big city, the Net is your best bet for polishing pads.

You can buy them in singles or packs and in

My angle is a variable speed, so I turn it down for cutting, grinding, polishing and even routering granite.

The pads are 4” and hook-and-loop, so you could run them on a variable speed sander capable of taking 4” pads.

Even if you ran a standard grinder, if you stayed up around 400, used your oil coolant and kept moving, I wouldn’t worry too much. If in doubt, start out with 800 and see how it does.

Type in “granite polishing pad” and you’ll get lots of hits. Here’s an E-Bay one with pads for as low as $1.89 and free shipping:

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=granite+polishing+pad&clk_rvr_id=1445339082865&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI_ODuwb-y2QIV12x-Ch1U5QnUEAAYBCAAEgLZ1fD_BwE&geo_id=10232&MT_ID=70&crlp=223219193512_3447&rlsatarget=kwd-295993788199&keyword=granite+polishing+pad&abcId=1129576&treatment_id=7&poi=&adpos=1t4&device=c&crdt=0&ul_noapp=true

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

2092 posts in 3090 days


#12 posted 02-19-2018 05:33 PM

jimintx, if you were using anything akin to regular grinding pads, I’d be nervous too. On the other hand, working with pads in the range of 400 grit and up, with coolant (more for the pads than the work), it would be a different ball game.

Just for reference, I bought my first variable speed grinder about fifteen years ago, when I was going to do some granite cutting and polishing. They are a game changer, since you can slow them down to use them for things like routering granite or polishing hard surfaces. They’ll do everything a standard grinder will and much more.

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

5086 posts in 3389 days


#13 posted 02-19-2018 06:48 PM

Getting a smooth mirror like surface costs money. Only the most expensive machines have that finish. In order to cut costs to a reasonable level, companies cut cost by having a less than perfect finish, as long as it doesn’t affect the function of the machine. Similarly, the interior of a machine may have slag deposits and be very rough, but that doesn’t affect the performance, but saves money. The more a company can save on costs, the less they charge and stay competitive.

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