The great glueup: A table saw massacre

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Blog entry by smgaines posted 10-29-2010 04:26 AM 1458 reads 1 time favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A travesty has occured. I went into my shop this evening and someone has obviously come into my shop and glued up a panel on my table saw. Why would anyone do such a thing? If they would have just asked me I would have said that I know that the table saw top is the flattest surface in the shop, but no matter how tempting it is you should never do a glue up on your table saw top. Even though this mystery person put newspaper down on the top which caught the glue except it bled through the paper leaving two very distinct lines on the saw.

I guess its not too bad since my saw needed a good cleaning and a re-waxing of the top to make it slick.

I started to clean up the mystery person’s mess by using some mineral spirits and a green scrubbing pad. I used long strokes that went all the way from the front of the saw to the back of the saw. I figured if I left scratch marks at least they’d all be in the same direction. After a good 30 – 40 minutes of scrubbing most of the lines came off the saw although you can still see them a little bit if you look close, but it’s clean enough for me. After scrubbing the surface I wiped most of the mineral spirits up with a paper towel, and used some purple magic cleaner to clean the entire surface. Next I used paper towels and made sure that the entire surface was dry. The final step was to apply some wax. If you do this at home don’t use automotive wax because the silicone in the wax will get onto your wood projects making them almost impossible to apply finish to. I used Johnson’s paste wax to apply a thin coat to the cast iron top. After it dried to a haze I buffed it off with a towel, and then applied one more coat and buffed it just as before.

I just post this to say no matter how tempting it may be don’t ever do a glue up on your table saw. By the way if you hear of a guy that made a really stupid rookie mistake like this guy did just pat him on the back and say it will be ok.

-- Scott, Georgia

11 comments so far

View GaryL's profile


1099 posts in 2886 days

#1 posted 10-29-2010 04:37 AM

Leave a note by the saw for the mystery person to get a roll of .33 mil painters plastic. Comes in handy for more than just underlayment for a glue up.
P.S. I would start locking that shop door to keep those rascals out, of course after he drops off that roll of plastic.

-- Gary; Marysville, MI...Involve your children in your projects as much as possible, the return is priceless.

View cabmaker's profile


1738 posts in 2865 days

#2 posted 10-29-2010 04:43 AM

Can t imagine who the mystery person is. But in response to your statement about wax, no need to be scared of using carwax on your cast iron. I know, I know you have seen posts and heard tales about the silicone transfer to wood therby affecting your finish integrity. Its amazing that after using turtle wax on all my cast iron for 40 years now that I have not experianced a single detectable issue with that. For what it is worth, I do most of my own finishing and millwork is livlelyhood, not a hobby. (IF ITS WOOD AND EXPOSED TO THE VIEW, ITS MILLWORK) Good luck ! JB

View blackcherry's profile


3338 posts in 3879 days

#3 posted 10-29-2010 05:59 AM

Kid’s and drunks what more can be said…BC

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3230 days

#4 posted 10-29-2010 06:31 AM

In truth, it’s nice that you had an excuse to do such a great job of renewing your TS top !

Last time I did it, I used my P-C dual-action polisher, usually used in auto detailing.

-- -- Neil

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3171 days

#5 posted 10-29-2010 09:06 AM

I proppely wuold have exploded and then used an axe to destroy the panel
had made a little top of it in the garden and then when the person turned up
say wait , go out and make a fire , tell him there is your paneland then exploded once more time

remember woodwhispere told in a vidioclip , he had a man standing on his jointer instead of using a latter
people just wont think and have respect for other peoples things anymore


View nailbanger2's profile


1041 posts in 3199 days

#6 posted 10-29-2010 01:18 PM

Glad you got your top back in good shape. I’ve got to add another warning, and it may just be a southern thing, but wax paper on a TS top under a panel glue up somehow sucked the humidity from the air (only thing I can think of) and left some serious rust streaks directly under the joints. Being in Florida, I’m interested if any of my northern friends have experienced this?

-- Wish I were Norm's Nephew

View sras's profile


4827 posts in 3185 days

#7 posted 10-29-2010 03:29 PM

Happened to me once – but I thought wax paper would protect the saw top. Not so – man what an embarrassment! I would guess that the mystery person probably learned his lesson – especially after he sees how hard you worked to fix the problem.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View nailbanger2's profile


1041 posts in 3199 days

#8 posted 10-29-2010 03:40 PM

Thanks for answering that question, sras. I thought it might just be the high humidity down here. Needless to say, won’t be doing THAT again.

-- Wish I were Norm's Nephew

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2539 posts in 4013 days

#9 posted 10-29-2010 07:18 PM

Call me crazy but I only cut wood on my table saw….But I have rolls of builders paper set up on the sides of my work tables. That way if I am going to do a glue up i just pull the paper over the table top and tape the edge down….then make a mess and throw away the paper. Now does anyone have a good solution for keeping the glue off of my Bessy parallel bar clamps.I love using them but for horizontal glue ups where the clamps are under the squeeze out the dried glue really messes up the smooth operation of the clamp heads. Maybe someone also has a solution for removing the dried glue as well?


View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 3039 days

#10 posted 10-30-2010 06:37 PM

Did the mystery person say to themselves while cleaning up the glue lines, I’ll NEVER do that again? LOL
During the gift making season when I make multiple projects at the same time I need extra table space in the shop and will use the table saw as an extra table. I always put down a sheet of hard board or 1/4” plywood to protect the saw. My biggest pet peeve is when someone comes into the shop and leans on my cast iron with their hands. I get pretty anal about it and give them a 15 min. lecture about the acids in the oils of their hands and how it will cause rust and how much work is involved in removing it.
David, I use blue painters tape when I can, and sometimes will use saran wrap where tape won’t work. I don’t have any Bessy clamps but use F clamps and use the saran wrap when needed.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View smgaines's profile


22 posts in 2857 days

#11 posted 10-30-2010 07:02 PM

Thanks everyone for your responses. I’m sure the person that did this to me has read this and will NEVER do it again. Thanks for the info Cabmaker I’ve just always heard to never use car wax.

-- Scott, Georgia

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