Rust removal from cast iron

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Forum topic by Vrtigo1 posted 08-27-2012 11:24 PM 3251 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Vrtigo1's profile


434 posts in 3197 days

08-27-2012 11:24 PM

My garage was accidentally left open during a rain storm at some point and my brand new jointer got wet. I didn’t find out about it until yesterday when I happened to walk through the garage and see it with a huge coat of rust over all of the infeed and about half of the outfeed table. I looked online and found some recommendations for using sandpaper to take the rust off, and it did indeed take the rust off but now the table surfaces are dull instead of shiny and they have some sandpaper marks on them. I used 120 grit paper to knock the rust off then I tried 220 and 320 to get rid of the tiny sandpaper scratches but it didn’t seem to work too well.

So first question, is there something I can use to get the surface to shine again like it did when it was new, and second question, what can I use to get rid of the sandpaper marks? I seem to recall some sort of rust remover that will restore the shine being discussed here on LJ but now that I’m looking for it I can’t find the thread.

11 replies so far

View pintodeluxe's profile


5798 posts in 3018 days

#1 posted 08-27-2012 11:38 PM

I reconditioned an old Hitachi table saw with a cast iron top. As I recall I sanded it with a random orbit sander using 220 then 320 grit. Then I polished it with wax and #0000 steel wool.
As I recall it worked pretty good. It never looked perfect, but it looked a lot better than the rust.

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

View Viking's profile


880 posts in 3400 days

#2 posted 08-27-2012 11:42 PM

Try some Evaporust. About $20 / gallons at Harbor Freight, Tractor Supply. Works great.

-- Rick Gustafson - Lost Creek Ranch - Colorado County, Texas

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2692 days

#3 posted 08-28-2012 12:19 AM

A pneumatic angled die grinder with a roloc disc attachment and either different levels of pads or you could use the diamond roloc finger discs like this:

If you use a conservative, steady hand you can a chieve a nice brushed metal finish, then cover with Johnson’s Paste Wax.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View Paul's profile


85 posts in 2638 days

#4 posted 08-28-2012 12:58 AM

Tried WD-40 and a scotch brite pad yet?

-- - Paul, Flower Mound,TX

View crashn's profile


528 posts in 2671 days

#5 posted 08-28-2012 01:02 AM

keep going up in grit. after 320, use 440 then 600 and higher. gets tedious but worth the effort. After that, wax it good, or use boeshield.

-- Crashn - the only thing I make more of than sawdust is mistakes

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

8566 posts in 2534 days

#6 posted 08-28-2012 01:18 AM

If you already sanded off the rust, don’t bother with evaporust.

Go back and sand again…. Starting with 120 … But this time make sure your careful to only go with the grain of the sat iron…

It may not look like new again… But will certainly function every bit as well.

-- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View Handtooler's profile


1628 posts in 2337 days

#7 posted 08-28-2012 01:40 AM

I inadvertenly left a rather damp 1×6 on my new table saw over night, and left its imprint on the cast iron to remov that mark I sanded w/ AO 320 grit then finished sanding with what I call crocus cloth. It’s made by Norton and is fabric impregnanted with 400 grit abrasive. You get it at auto body shop suppliers. Itr took all the marks out and improved the new finish on the entire. surface. Rusell

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343

View a1Jim's profile


117342 posts in 3782 days

#8 posted 08-28-2012 01:47 AM

I use a random orbital sander and some automotive rubbing compound with a scotch bright pad and then I use the ROS with a soft rag to take all of the rubbing compound off and after that I apply car wax with a soft clean rag and the ROS. This takes off even stubborn rust spots.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View CharlieM1958's profile


16281 posts in 4424 days

#9 posted 08-28-2012 01:48 AM

Just my experience…. From cleaning up a lot of old planes, I find that random orbit sanding doesn’t bring out a good shine. Sand through the grits as you would on any project, but only in a linear motion.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View devann's profile


2246 posts in 2898 days

#10 posted 08-28-2012 03:02 AM

Get yourself a can of Never Dull. It works great on motorcycles and other things you don’t want damaged.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

View DKV's profile


3940 posts in 2709 days

#11 posted 08-28-2012 03:21 AM

You had rain?

-- This is a Troll Free zone.

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