Paste wax for table saw top

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Forum topic by riv111 posted 06-22-2016 03:51 AM 3164 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5 posts in 852 days

06-22-2016 03:51 AM

So I recently purchased a Kobalt table saw from Lowes. The top of the table is aluminum I believe. I wanted to make the top more slick as it seemed a bit sticky to me.

I did a lot of research and found that SC Johnson Paste Wax was what everyone recommended. I just applied 4 coats of wax to the saw top but to be honest it barely feels any different. Are there any suggestions as to what I could do differently to make it slick. I was thinking it would be super slick after the wax. Maybe it is as good as it can get.

Ideas? Thanks in advance.

12 replies so far

View CharleyL's profile


223 posts in 3513 days

#1 posted 06-22-2016 10:20 AM

Do you let the wax dry to a haze before wiping the excess off? Do you buff each coat, especially the last coat with a clean dry cloth? This should be all that is necessary. I’ve done this on aluminum, marble, and cast iron top top table saws with great results. It will take 4 or more coats to build up the wax layer and fill the pores of the surface the first time, before it starts working well.

I also lubricate the gears and ways of my Unisaw with Johnsons Paste Wax, applied with an old tooth brush. I just let it dry thick and don’t try to buff it or remove excess here. The wax surface dries and doesn’t attract saw dust and the wax itself lubricates better than any petroleum grease that I’ve tried. I still use Teflon based light machine oil in bushings and rotating rub points.


View ellen35's profile


2738 posts in 3581 days

#2 posted 06-22-2016 11:13 AM

I took a course at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Maine last summer. We waxed every machine bed but never wiped it off… especially on the planers. I find that works very well. I now save myself the work of buffing it out. I don’t think you need more than one coat at a time. How it feels isn’t important… it’s how the wood slides that counts.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View rwe2156's profile


3094 posts in 1629 days

#3 posted 06-22-2016 11:47 AM

I like Boeshield. Quick spray and a wipe and its like glass.

If the top is aluminum its naturally not going to be a slippery as cast iron, especially if it has any milling marks, in which case you might want to try giving it a sanding to gloss it up a bit.

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

View riv111's profile


5 posts in 852 days

#4 posted 06-22-2016 02:50 PM

Thanks for the replies. I will probably put another coat or two on and see what happens.

View GR8HUNTER's profile


4737 posts in 861 days

#5 posted 06-22-2016 02:57 PM

aluminum will not get slick like cast will

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View pintodeluxe's profile


5758 posts in 2962 days

#6 posted 06-22-2016 03:53 PM

I too tried Johnson’s paste wax which everyone raves about, however I found it too greasy and it doesn’t reduce friction much. I have since gone back to Bostik GlideCote, which I am very happy with. It is more costly, but just plain works better.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Wondermutt's profile


69 posts in 1005 days

#7 posted 06-24-2016 01:36 PM

Meguaries carnauba car wax. A little more pricy than Johnsons but 10x the quality.

Rub in, let dry, wipe off. I found it really helps with surfaces that have pitting or other imperfections. Does not fix them but helps the glide.

Good luck


View a1Jim's profile


117239 posts in 3725 days

#8 posted 06-24-2016 01:52 PM

I’m not aware of people raving about johnson’s ,almost any wax will work even floor wax the main thing you want to make sure of is that there’s no silicone in your wax that will make for big trouble when you go to finish whatever you’re making, oddly enough I’ve found many of the more expense paste waxes have silicone in them. Like others have said your not going to make an aluminum top feel slick to the touch.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View ClammyBallz's profile


447 posts in 1285 days

#9 posted 06-24-2016 05:22 PM

I coated my machines in Menzerna Power Lock last week. I know it lasts a long time on my vehicles and figured I’d give it a try since it’s so easy to apply & rub off. It doesn’t require much of it for an application, damp MF towel, wipe it on, let it haze, then wipe it off. The wood slides much better compared to when I used wax or teflon coatings.

View JBJ's profile


5 posts in 2495 days

#10 posted 11-27-2016 10:45 PM

Reading through this old thread, I am trying to figure out what to do with my Bosch 4100 table saw aluminum top. As stated, it’s not as smooth as cast iron (which I miss) but wondering how much I can treat it to be as best as can be? Running your hands over the top feels like a very fine grit sandpaper. Any suggestions would be most appreciated?? Other than selling this saw and buying a cast top saw. I like the space the Bosch offers in my shop.

View DavidOveracre's profile


45 posts in 1122 days

#11 posted 11-27-2016 10:55 PM

It’s the nature of the aluminum. It can be machined at a higher feedrate than cast iron, so that’s what the manufacturers go for. This gives the surface a rougher feel. However I’m pretty sure you could get to the point where wax could build up enough to bridge the gaps and slick up the high points..,

-- Dave O.

View Woodknack's profile


12369 posts in 2528 days

#12 posted 11-28-2016 03:42 AM

Polish it with high grit sandpapers, wipe it clean, and top coat with a thin coat of polyurethane.

Or, cover it with Formica. I know a guy who did it and it works great. Slicker’n snot on a door knob.

-- Rick M,

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