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A Case of the Scratches

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Forum topic by NeophyteGrant posted 12-07-2017 11:59 PM 744 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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NeophyteGrant

68 posts in 534 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.

-- Bucktown, Chicago, IL


12 replies so far

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

4843 posts in 2434 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

NeophyteGrant

68 posts in 534 days


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

Thanks Woodbutcher. That’s what I figured.

-- Bucktown, Chicago, IL

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

4843 posts in 2434 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

Firewood

342 posts in 1659 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

mudflap4869

1755 posts in 1484 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 (online now)

OSU55

1699 posts in 2014 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.

View NeophyteGrant's profile

NeophyteGrant

68 posts in 534 days


#7 posted 12-15-2017 06:41 AM

Thanks OSU—good to know about the difference between sandpaper and steel wool in abrading.

-- Bucktown, Chicago, IL

View Woodknack's profile

Woodknack

11777 posts in 2405 days


#8 posted 12-15-2017 07:13 AM

You should only ever use a cotton ball and buffing compound, anything else will ruin your cast iron top. Might already be too late.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View RandyinFlorida's profile

RandyinFlorida

252 posts in 2092 days


#9 posted 12-15-2017 02:00 PM



You should only ever use a cotton ball and buffing compound, anything else will ruin your cast iron top. Might already be too late.

- Rick_M

Surely you can’t be serious? You are suggesting that every tablesaw ever bought is ruined.

-- Randy in Crestview Florida, Wood Rocks!

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

3283 posts in 2013 days


#10 posted 12-15-2017 02:35 PM

Stop worrying about scratches and make some sawdust and post a project.

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

6898 posts in 3393 days


#11 posted 12-15-2017 08:45 PM

Ditto, mudflap4869, my Craftsman 10” table saw was purchased in 1972, 44 years ago, has plenty of marks but none that interfere with the operation of the saw!
Some of the marks remind me of projects I did a long time ago.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

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NeophyteGrant

68 posts in 534 days


#12 posted 12-23-2017 07:06 AM

Thanks all—the cotton ball humor is well deserved. I need a harder head about me. Working on this projects—and adding some new scratches :)

-- Bucktown, Chicago, IL

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