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how can I restore a cast iron table saw top?

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Forum topic by mjgilm posted 07-28-2015 01:29 PM 924 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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mjgilm

1 post in 493 days


07-28-2015 01:29 PM

I bought a used Rigid 3650 table saw that had been outside for a little while and was a little rusty. I tried rust removers , but the top was still bumpy, so I used sandpaper on it and got it fairly smooth but still not right. Everything ( fence, miter guage, and material) still wouldn’t slide smoothly. I need some professional advice about what I should next. Can anyone help me? It seems like a pretty nice saw.


12 replies so far

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Fred Hargis

3926 posts in 1953 days


#1 posted 07-28-2015 01:32 PM

I had a friend who bought an old jointer that was badly rusted. All he did was use his ROS on the tables, and they came out looking great.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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MrUnix

4203 posts in 1658 days


#2 posted 07-28-2015 02:39 PM

If the cast iron was badly rusted, then re-grinding might be your only option… however, they rarely are that bad off. It would need to be really, really bad to get to that point. Scraping with a razor followed by scrubbing with various combinations of solvents and scotch-brite pads and light sanding should be all that is needed, followed by a good coat of wax.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

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soob

223 posts in 668 days


#3 posted 07-28-2015 02:43 PM

The razor is the key. Get a 100 pack of disposable blades ($4 at Harbor Freight) and a sturdy handle for them. Change the blades frequently as they cut better when new.

If you do decide to use a ROS make sure you do a quick surface map so you don’t linger in places that are lower than the rest of the top. If you put a low spot in you’ll never get it out.

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pjones46

986 posts in 2102 days


#4 posted 07-28-2015 02:46 PM

+1 MrUnix. I have used his method many times and works really well.

-- Respectfully, Paul

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MrUnix

4203 posts in 1658 days


#5 posted 07-28-2015 02:54 PM

For an example of how far you can take it… check out this thread (by Jay Peitsch Sr.) over at OWWM on the restoration of an old C-man saw: http://owwm.org/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=135736

The table started off looking rather ratty:

To looking as good (or maybe even better!) than it did when it left the factory:

(All credits go to Jay)

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

View Nubsnstubs's profile

Nubsnstubs

825 posts in 1189 days


#6 posted 07-28-2015 03:01 PM

Instead of using razor blades, why not remove an iron from a plane and start removing whatever needs to be removed. It doesn’t hurt it. Better yet, leave it assembled and plane off the bad stuff. .............. Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

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rwe2156

2187 posts in 940 days


#7 posted 07-28-2015 03:36 PM

Here’s what works for me:

1. Orbital sander + 180 paper + WD40.
2. OS on top of scotchbrite pad.
3. Rinse with brake cleaner.
4. Allow to dry and apply Boeshield.

I don’t worry about bringing to pristine condition, there is no real necessity (but it sure looks nice).

Whatever you do, don’t put any rust remover like OsPho on it (now how do I know that?;-)

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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jonah

687 posts in 2758 days


#8 posted 07-28-2015 06:09 PM

If the rust is really bad, remove the top and build an enclosure out of plywood and plastic sheeting that’ll submerge the thing in water. Then either use evapo-rust or electrolysis. Both are staggeringly effective and quite easy to set up, so long as you can get the thing submerged. You’d likely need ~2-4 gallons of evapo-rust, so that’d be the more expensive route, but you can re-use the stuff forever. Electrolysis only requires water, a car battery charger (NOT an automatic one, the older the charger the better), and a $3 box of washing soda.

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RogerM

758 posts in 1858 days


#9 posted 07-28-2015 09:24 PM

Orbital sander + 180 or 150 grit disc. Follow with wax and buff.

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

View EEngineer's profile

EEngineer

1059 posts in 3073 days


#10 posted 07-29-2015 01:48 AM

+1 MrUnix

I have refurbished two saws this way.

Sanding, even with 180 grit, removes metal. No, no, NO! On my current user you can still see the original grinding marks.

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

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rwe2156

2187 posts in 940 days


#11 posted 07-29-2015 11:08 AM



+1 MrUnix

I have refurbished two saws this way.

Sanding, even with 180 grit, removes metal. No, no, NO! On my current user you can still see the original grinding marks.

- EEngineer

It doesn’t remove enough metal to be a problem for a ww’ing machine.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View soob's profile

soob

223 posts in 668 days


#12 posted 07-29-2015 12:43 PM

Metal’s already being removed when it turned into rust and you scraped it off.

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