A Case of the Scratches

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Forum topic by NeophyteGrant posted 12-07-2017 11:59 PM 284 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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19 posts in 341 days

12-07-2017 11:59 PM

Topic tags/keywords: table saw cast iron scratch steel wool

Hi All:

I have a clinical case of the scratches on my table saw top. As a newbie with OCD and that new-tool romanticism, I’ve fallen in the pitfall in freaking out over its my tool’s first battle wounds (a small staple holding a UPC code on the side of a panel of MDF that I didn’t notice). I’ve read enough from Lumberjockers to know to take a chill pill and recognize that I just have to let it be.

Knowing its usually unwise to make a fuss about cosmetic scratches and do something like, sand them out and create a new dip in the table, I settled for knocking down anything above the surface that had abraded. I took some #0000 super fine steel wool to the scratch, north to south, along the width. 7-8 seconds over any spot.

Turns out the scratch felt a bit better too, which conveniently made me worry again.

My question is broadly about steel wool, though: since I use steel wool for cleaning, with a lubricant like WD_40.

How much am I taking off with super fine steel wool, knowing its impossible to compare to something like a sand paper grit. I want to be smart to not over use it if I use it routinely and if it, itself, has the potential to create nice little dips and valleys.

6 replies so far

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


3631 posts in 2241 days

#1 posted 12-08-2017 01:57 AM

In the grand scheme of things, not enough to ever worry about over the lifetime of your saw. I have had a Delta 34-441 contractors table saw for 20 years with plenty of war wounds. Light sanding and some paste wax twice a year and all is good.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View NeophyteGrant's profile


19 posts in 341 days

#2 posted 12-08-2017 02:36 AM

Thanks Woodbutcher. That’s what I figured.

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


3631 posts in 2241 days

#3 posted 12-08-2017 03:22 AM

NP. Keep an eye out in next few months you can see my twin tablesaw cabinet currently under construction. Then you can see both saw tops.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View Firewood's profile


164 posts in 1466 days

#4 posted 12-08-2017 03:32 AM

A long time ago, I adopted the belief that if something happens that won’t be bothering me a year from now, why let it bother me now. So I do my best to just let it go. If the scratch “raised the grain” of the table enough, go ahead and try knocking it down with the steel wool or ??? But whatever you use, remember that it will probably leave a more noticeable shift in appearance than the scratch itself.

I too like keeping my still fairly new TS as scratch-free as possible, but the reality is time and projects will eventually give a nice patina and lots of memories.

-- Mike - Waukesha, WI

View mudflap4869's profile


1506 posts in 1291 days

#5 posted 12-08-2017 03:56 AM

The scratch is simply a part of its resume. An unmarred tool is an unused tool.

-- Still trying to master kindling making

View OSU55's profile


1420 posts in 1822 days

#6 posted 12-08-2017 12:57 PM

These types of things will eventually cure your OCD. In the meantime, use sandpaper with a small block to knock down any raised material. Use the steel wool to polish the sanding scratches if you must. Sanding cuts down hi spots, steel wool abrades the entire surface.

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