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Forum topic by Spoctor posted 02-07-2018 09:32 PM 296 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Spoctor

8 posts in 616 days


02-07-2018 09:32 PM

Topic tags/keywords: spindle sander sander table

I just bought a Performax spindle sander at Menards. I think it is identical to the Harbor Freight model. The cast iron table has clearly had some sort of orbital tool used on it to put a pattern finish on it, but it is very rough. It feels like a metal file. Is it rough for a reason, or should it be more polished?


8 replies so far

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jimintx

623 posts in 1487 days


#1 posted 02-07-2018 10:33 PM

I don’t know about your sander, honestly. But, the table surface of my Dewalt scroll saw is also machined with that type of pattern. I have had it a number of years, and never had any problem with this feature.

I have worked the surface – a few times over the years with emory cloth, to make sure it was clean and had no detectable burrs or ridges. So, I don’t think you need to worry about trying to polish it out. Plus, it would likely be a tough job to accomplish.

-- Jim, Houston, TX

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mel52

43 posts in 167 days


#2 posted 02-08-2018 03:38 AM

I bought a new WEN six or so months ago. It also has the same pattern as you are talking about. I use it quite a bit and also doesn’t seem to cause any problems. I just waxed the daylights out of it just to be sure.

-- MEL, Kansas

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Alex Lane

457 posts in 3792 days


#3 posted 02-08-2018 04:13 AM

I would be very confident saying this is purely low-quality machining. Like Jim said, any well machined surface would have this visible pattern but when it feels rough to the touch that’s not nice. The factory that surfaced the cast iron probably didn’t keep up with properly sharp tooling as they machined many hundreds of these tables. Feel free to buff/sand/file or otherwise smooth your table to a more pleasing surface. I used to work as a machinist and found thst cast iron is actually very easy to machine. You can use a single-cut mill file to take down the roughness of the surface. Or just use a sanding block with fine sandpaper (I’d suggest 220 grit to 400 grit) with some oil to lubricate the process. No need to make it a mirror finish. Just enough to feel reasonably smooth to the touch. It won’t be all too pretty but smoothness is more important than looks in a wood shop. And as suggested by Mel, wax or other product for treating cast iron surfaces (like bostik top cote now called glidecote) should work well. I bought a wen 8 inch bench grinder and the aluminum tool rests were rough as a cob. I took my mill file to them for a few minutes and got them smooth as a baby’s…well, you get the idea! :-)

-- Lane Custom Guitars and Basses

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jimintx

623 posts in 1487 days


#4 posted 02-08-2018 02:48 PM

Yep, I do keep my cast iron table surfaces waxed, as well.

-- Jim, Houston, TX

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Lazyman

1671 posts in 1290 days


#5 posted 02-08-2018 03:51 PM

I would check to see if they all have this rough finish or if you just got one that wasn’t finished properly. Personally, I would rather pay a little more for one that doesn’t have this defect so I would take it back regardless.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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Spoctor

8 posts in 616 days


#6 posted 02-17-2018 08:50 PM

Thanks, guys! I used fine sandpaper with a hard rubber sanding block. The first sheet wore down to the paper quickly, but the second sheet finished the job. It only took ten minutes of vigorous work and the surface is smooth enough to slide a workpiece without marring it. I finished up with a coat the same good automotive wax I had used on my bandsaw table.

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Kelly

1909 posts in 2846 days


#7 posted 02-17-2018 10:07 PM

Many machining processes are left hanging. For example, I bought my wife a couple more cast iron skillets (Lodge) and, when you compare them to older ones, they are VERY rough.

I took her pans out to the shop and ground them smooth, both inside and on the bottoms (we have a glass top stove). Now they are usable. More specifically, they became easier to season (I used a propane torch and lard) and now, are close to non-stick.

I see surfaces like you are describing as little different. Think of it in terms of what kind of surface would you accept on your cabinet saw. You would not tolerate a rough surface. It would create friction and could mark the wood and other items slid over it.

I just used my angle grinder and a couple different sanding type pads made just for angle grinders.

If you wanted, you could also polish the table using the same pads used for granite work. Just use a bit of mineral oil, instead of water. I did that to my table saw ones and it was like a mirror.

View HerbC's profile

HerbC

1721 posts in 2762 days


#8 posted 02-17-2018 11:01 PM

If you used auto wax on the table, check the label to see if it contains silicone. Most auto waxes do and it’s bad news for woodworkers since silicone contamination of the wood surface causes problems with finishes… for example, fish eye.

If it does have silicone, clean the surface thoroughly and follow up with a good wax or lubricant which does not contain silicone. Good old Johnson’s Paste Wax works well.

Herb

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

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