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View SeanL's profile

Paste wax application to cast iron saw table

by SeanL
posted 10-20-2016 07:43 AM


27 replies so far

View jerryminer's profile

jerryminer

923 posts in 1440 days


#1 posted 10-20-2016 08:13 AM

The way I do it is use a piece of an old T shirt, place a small lump of wax (like a tablespoonful) inside the rag, wrapping the cloth around the lump of wax, and wipe a thin layer onto the table surface, allowing the wax to ooze through the cloth.

Then wait a few seconds for the solvents in the wax to “flash off” and buff with a clean cloth. There should be no residue left behind, just a shiny, slippery table surface.

You can open up the rag after application and scrape the remaining wax back into the can before it dries out and gets hard.

Been doing it this way for decades. Works great for me. HTH.

-- Jerry, making sawdust professionally since 1976

View SeanL's profile

SeanL

8 posts in 584 days


#2 posted 10-20-2016 10:00 AM

OK. Thanks much. That is very helpful. I had managed to get the light rust off fairly well. However I don’t think I have “buffed” the wax enough to remove it completely. I’ll give it another go. Thanks again for the help.

View RandyinFlorida's profile

RandyinFlorida

250 posts in 2066 days


#3 posted 10-20-2016 10:43 AM

think about this for a moment. If you should leave excess wax on the saw and it transfers to the wood then when applying a finish to the wood the residual wax will prevent the stain, varnish, BLO, or what have you; from soaking into the wood. So it is important to remove all excess wax.

-- Randy in Crestview Florida, Wood Rocks!

View SeanL's profile

SeanL

8 posts in 584 days


#4 posted 10-20-2016 10:53 AM

Certainly makes sense. I guess I had it in my feeble brain that in order to “seal” the surface and prevent rust, a this layer was necessary. Alas, I’m concerning myself about the wrong issue. I need to stop worrying about rust and start cutting wood.

View mike02130's profile

mike02130

167 posts in 671 days


#5 posted 10-20-2016 11:34 AM

Spray on some Pledge.

-- Google first, search forums second, ask questions later.

View Kazooman's profile

Kazooman

1006 posts in 1951 days


#6 posted 10-20-2016 01:15 PM


Spray on some Pledge.

- mike02130

A quick search for the Pledge msds shows that it contains dimethicone disolved in a solvent. Silicones are notorious for causing problems like fisheye with finishes. I would stick with the Johnson’s or use a product like Boeshield.

By the way, you needn’t get so fancy with the application method. Wipe a rag on the wax in the can, wipe a thin layer on the table saw, and wipe off the excess. Store the applicator rag in the can.

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

2014 posts in 1221 days


#7 posted 10-20-2016 01:47 PM

I’m with Kazoo,

Before applying I’ll go over the top and remove any glue drips, etc, then wipe it down with mineral spirits (which removes any wax).
I just apply the wax with a soft cloth, working in small areas, usually the cast iron table top sections. I then buff it off/out with a clean rag.

I’m not too anal about buffing out, I just want the surface to be smooth and slick.
You can get wax transferred to your project, but it removes so easily and even the solvent in finishes will nullify it (I’ve tested this).

It is silicons in wax that can cause finishing grief, but even those are hard to transfer in enough quantity to cause problems.

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

9467 posts in 1484 days


#8 posted 10-20-2016 04:34 PM

Cast iron is porous. It takes a couple go rounds to get it worked into the pores. Once that happens it’s just a coat a few times a year. Unless it’s slathered on, I wouldn’t worry. I’ve never had problems. I would consider it rare to go straight from the saw to finishing without any planing or sanding.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

5011 posts in 1137 days


#9 posted 10-20-2016 04:41 PM

I apply Johnson’s paste wax with a very fine steel wool in a thin coat then wait for it to haze over. Then I buff it out with a sock or an old tee-shirt. Why do I apply it with steel wool? I have no idea :-) I think I did it initially to work it into the pores on my TS and then just left a piece in the wax can. Ever since then, I just continue to do it that way.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View DirtyMike's profile

DirtyMike

637 posts in 900 days


#10 posted 10-20-2016 04:50 PM

I have had to remove rust on the last two saws i have bought, it seems like it takes several waxings to get it the cast iron top where you want it. I use johnsons and a painters rag and it cleans rather well.

View martyoc's profile

martyoc

42 posts in 915 days


#11 posted 10-20-2016 05:05 PM

I use paste wax on all my cast iron tops; just wipe it on, let dry a minute or so, and wipe off the excess. It makes it a bit easier to maneuver to wood on the tops, in particular on the band saw when I’m cutting mild curves. I only need to do a few times a year and when I do one I do them all since it is a fast process.

-- Marty O'C

View muleskinner's profile

muleskinner

896 posts in 2435 days


#12 posted 10-20-2016 05:20 PM

It’s just like Mr. Miyagi says, “Wipe on. Wipe off”

-- Visualize whirled peas

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

6850 posts in 3366 days


#13 posted 10-20-2016 05:34 PM

Ditto muleskinner!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

6714 posts in 2197 days


#14 posted 10-20-2016 05:37 PM

I usually just slap on a thick coat at the end of the day, cover the machine and walk away. Doesn’t matter what machine… TS, jointer, planer, scroll saw, lathe, band saw, whatever. I may buff before using it again, but not always – the fear of wax transfer is pretty much non-existent and any remaining will be gone after the first pass or two anyway. And as mentioned, it does take a few initial coats to get the CI conditioned properly, and after that, a little goes a long way.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

9467 posts in 1484 days


#15 posted 10-20-2016 07:25 PM

It took half a dozen coats or more over a period of a couple weeks. I keep a rag in the can. I’ll wipe a coat on after running a bunch of wet or rough cut wood on it. That’s about it. It’s almost a non issue nowadays. I also use it on my chisels, planes, and anything else that needs protection. In south Louisiana.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View TwoThumbBruce's profile

TwoThumbBruce

25 posts in 3015 days


#16 posted 04-23-2018 11:50 PM

Fast forward 2-3 years and another LJ reader has the same question, did a search, and found the answer. Thanks, guys.

I found a floor model, 48-year old Craftsman drill press on CL for $125 and grabbed it. Boy, they don’t make ‘em like that anymore! Works perfect but of course I have a lot of light rust on everything and so I’m going to semi-restore it and my question about wax was waiting for me!

-- Bruce, Florida

View spindeepster's profile

spindeepster

40 posts in 1289 days


#17 posted 04-23-2018 11:59 PM

In the winter months, I’m more liberal with the wax due to condensation between the effects of the heater, and the cold of night when I turn the heater off.

View Tony1212's profile

Tony1212

190 posts in 1733 days


#18 posted 04-24-2018 01:01 PM

Just in case anyone would rather watch a short video rather than read an entire thread, I just released one on this subject last week.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2SJN6Our2j8

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs

View TwoThumbBruce's profile

TwoThumbBruce

25 posts in 3015 days


#19 posted 04-24-2018 02:04 PM

Tony,

Your video is JUST what I needed and I never thought of putting the Scotch pad on my orbital drill. DOH! And three coats? Makes sense. Do all your tools at the same time? Why not?

There’s one thing don’t understand, though… If we are trying to protect from moisture, why use Simple Green and WATER??? Even Simple Green by itself has water and the water has moisture. I don’t doubt that your method works, but would acetone or something like that work better?

Great video, though and learned a lot. Thanks!

-- Bruce, Florida

View darthford's profile

darthford

602 posts in 1922 days


#20 posted 04-24-2018 02:32 PM

OR use Bostik Glidecoat

View TechTeacher04's profile

TechTeacher04

383 posts in 1530 days


#21 posted 04-24-2018 03:31 PM

I have found that minwax sells a harder wax that requires more elbow grease but holds up better. The Johnson’s is too soft in my experience, needs to be reapplied more frequently.

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

4769 posts in 3242 days


#22 posted 04-24-2018 03:58 PM

I use a pure Brazilian carnauba car wax. It does not contain any silicon so it won’t affect wood that comes in contact with the cast iron.

View TwoThumbBruce's profile

TwoThumbBruce

25 posts in 3015 days


#23 posted 04-24-2018 04:08 PM

Tony,

Your video is JUST what I needed and I never thought of putting the Scotch pad on my orbital drill. DOH! And three coats? Makes sense. Do all your tools at the same time? Why not?

There’s one thing don’t understand, though… If we are trying to protect from moisture, why use Simple Green and WATER??? Even Simple Green by itself has water and the water has moisture. I don’t doubt that your method works, but would acetone or something like that work better?

Great video, though and learned a lot. Thanks!

-- Bruce, Florida

View Tony1212's profile

Tony1212

190 posts in 1733 days


#24 posted 04-25-2018 01:12 PM



Tony,

Your video is JUST what I needed and I never thought of putting the Scotch pad on my orbital drill. DOH! And three coats? Makes sense. Do all your tools at the same time? Why not?

There s one thing don t understand, though… If we are trying to protect from moisture, why use Simple Green and WATER??? Even Simple Green by itself has water and the water has moisture. I don t doubt that your method works, but would acetone or something like that work better?

Great video, though and learned a lot. Thanks!

- TwoThumbBruce

Using the WD-40 to remove the old wax and surface rust will leave oils behind no matter how well you wipe it down. My grandfather always told me that the oil will prevent the wax from adhering properly and cause more issues. So he said to use a degreaser. He always used simple green and that’s just what I’ve used as well.

Not sure if there are any non-water based degreasers. Now that I really think about it, I’m not even positive that the WD-40 will prevent wax from sticking.

But like I said in the video, those tools are over 60 years old and still look pretty good.

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs

View TwoThumbBruce's profile

TwoThumbBruce

25 posts in 3015 days


#25 posted 04-25-2018 01:27 PM

I had to do some explaining why I bought a 48-year old DP but this Craftsman is a mere youth to yours. You’re right, though – don’t mess with success!

I’m still surprised to learn that others apply wax so regularly. I never knew. I have some favorite tools that are now going to get better care!

-- Bruce, Florida

View jerryminer's profile

jerryminer

923 posts in 1440 days


#26 posted 04-25-2018 07:34 PM


Not sure if there are any non-water based degreasers….- Tony1212

I use mineral spirits (paint thinner)

-- Jerry, making sawdust professionally since 1976

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

6714 posts in 2197 days


#27 posted 04-25-2018 07:44 PM

I use mineral spirits (paint thinner)
- jerryminer

That is all that’s needed – it will remove wax just fine. It’s also good for mixing wax (paraffin) into to make a liquid wax solution, or add a bit more and you can make your own paste wax. The MS will flash off, leaving the wax behind. Paraffin can be found at your local supermarket in the canning section:

And a mason jar makes dunking small parts super easy:

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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