How to remove pitting in cast iron saw tables?

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Forum topic by sotan posted 09-12-2017 01:53 PM 1124 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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14 posts in 1963 days

09-12-2017 01:53 PM

Topic tags/keywords: castiron pitting rust cast iron pitted jointer tablesaw drillpress

Hello all
I am lookinjg for some advice. See the attached picture? It is the infeed table on my jointer. I have 5-6 small spots where some rust developed (Most are the size of a dime, give or take.)
Anyway, I got the rust off, but there is some pitting left behind. You can see it in the top of the reflected light in the attached pic.


IS there any way to solve for this? Would I have to try and sand it out, or can it be filled with something?
Obviously, this isnt a huge deal and the cast iron tables on my table saw, drill press and band saw do not have this issue. But it bothers me. I am somewhat fanatical about maintaining my tools, and this just bugs me that I can’t seem to fix it.
I live in St Paul, MN – so we get a fair amount of humidity in the summertime – thanks to the 10,000 lakes. I am not constantly battling rust, but it does pop up from time to time.

I treat my cast iron with 2 products. After a thorough scrubbing with a green scratchy pad & mineral oil, I give it a liberal coating of Boeshield (the product developed by Boeing to protect their aircraft against rust). When that is dried, I follow it up with an application of Johnson’s paste wax.

This combo has worked well, but I do have a few of these small patches of pitting on the jointer table. (I got it used and the spots were already there when I received the machine.)

Any advice would be appreciated from anyone who has successfully solved this problem.



-- Doug - St Paul, MN

15 replies so far

View Julian's profile


1206 posts in 2446 days

#1 posted 09-12-2017 02:39 PM

That little amount of pitting should not have any affect on the machines performance. If you want it to look perfect you would need to take the top to a machine shop to be resurfaced.

-- Julian

View pontic's profile


383 posts in 365 days

#2 posted 09-12-2017 02:42 PM

Leave it be and refrain from sweating on it any more.

-- Illigitimii non carburundum sum

View sotan's profile


14 posts in 1963 days

#3 posted 09-12-2017 02:51 PM

Yes, this does not affect performance at all. It is simply something that bothers me, that is why I’d like to fix it. I think that filling it is more pragmatic than sanding/resurfacing. I am likely going to try bondo, unless anyone has a better suggestion for a filler.

-- Doug - St Paul, MN

View GR8HUNTER's profile (online now)


2632 posts in 468 days

#4 posted 09-12-2017 02:54 PM

would not bother me :<))
clean it up and apply Jim fix : :<))
maybe some jb weld apoxy


View MrRon's profile


4308 posts in 2999 days

#5 posted 09-12-2017 04:59 PM

I second the JB weld fix.

View Aj2's profile


1093 posts in 1554 days

#6 posted 09-12-2017 05:04 PM

I would put a drink coaster over it.

Your friend the one and only OG

-- Aj

View Redoak49's profile (online now)


2725 posts in 1745 days

#7 posted 09-12-2017 05:51 PM

Ignore it and just make sawdust. I think anything that you do will make it worse. If you fill it and sand it, it will look worse.

View papadan's profile


3574 posts in 3124 days

#8 posted 09-12-2017 06:03 PM

Paint the tables with a nice gray machine paint. It will level out and fill those spots! Or just wax the table to protect it and go on with life.

-- Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity!

View a1Jim's profile


116116 posts in 3333 days

#9 posted 09-12-2017 06:03 PM

Depending on how deep it is you could try sanding it with progressively finer grits of sand paper but you may make the surface uneven. If ultimately your prepared to take the top off and have it machined then you have nothing to lose by trying to sand it . but if your not prepared to have the top milled you may be even less happy with what the top looks like after the sanding experiment. I’ve had success sanding the soles of planes to a mirror finish but that is a much smaller surface. I started with 60 grit and working my way all the way up to 1200 grit and then buffing.

-- Custom furniture

View diverlloyd's profile


2172 posts in 1613 days

#10 posted 09-12-2017 06:08 PM

Bondo or jbweld

View Rick.'s profile


10092 posts in 2136 days

#11 posted 09-12-2017 06:42 PM

Jbweld or any epoxy putty. You could also mix iron filings with regular epoxy, I’ve done that. Scrape it flat, touch up with sandpaper or green pad.


View AZWoody's profile (online now)


1062 posts in 980 days

#12 posted 09-12-2017 07:19 PM

if the pitting annoys you, then the bondo would be even more noticeable and annoying.

JB Weld at least can get the color close or do the iron fillings in clear epoxy like Rick said.

View sotan's profile


14 posts in 1963 days

#13 posted 09-12-2017 07:23 PM

Thanks all. I think for once in my life, I will TAKE the advice that has been so freely given to me and just let this go. There is something inside me that HAS to try and fix things that aren’t right. And even though these spots are small, they stick out TO ME and therefore – this part of my psyche just HAS to try and fix it.
With that said, there were some great points made here (Except for aj2!) and I think AZWoody is right – it’s gonna look worse. Rick’s idea is a good one and I’ll give that some thought, but I may elect to just let this one slide.

So – many thanks to everyone who took the time to weigh in.

-- Doug - St Paul, MN

View coxhaus's profile


47 posts in 650 days

#14 posted 09-13-2017 04:28 AM

I sweat on my table saw top but I don’t let it rust. I clean it off and keep the top waxed. I have no signs of pitting.

View pontic's profile


383 posts in 365 days

#15 posted 09-16-2017 01:11 PM

I sweat on my table saw top but I don t let it rust. I clean it off and keep the top waxed. I have no signs of pitting.

- coxhaus

My point exaxtly

-- Illigitimii non carburundum sum

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