Surface rust on Jointer tables - a problem or not??

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Forum topic by garberfc posted 05-02-2013 01:05 PM 3643 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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57 posts in 2281 days

05-02-2013 01:05 PM

Topic tags/keywords: jointer rust

Hello all,

I’m in the market for a used jointer and I’m looking at one on CraigsList. I’m just concerned about the light surface rust.

IMHO I’ve always assumed that rust can’t be removed, only halted. The orange tint can be removed, the pitting lubricated, but the pitting remains…

In the pictures from the listing (below), how severe do they look? Also, would they affect the performance of a 6” 1HP jointer?

Thanks in advance,

8 replies so far

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 2396 days

#1 posted 05-02-2013 01:09 PM

I don’t know anything about the price, but I’d say that surface rust is nothing to worry about. You could probbably have it cleaned up with some scotchbrite and WD-40 in about 15 minutes. Then paste wax to keep rust away. That amount of rust wouldn’t deter me in the least.

For comparison, I picked up this 8” jointer and was able to get all of the rust off, but it took much longer than 15 minutes lol. There is some slight pitting, but it has not effected the functionality of the machine.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View HorizontalMike's profile


7758 posts in 2941 days

#2 posted 05-02-2013 01:20 PM

RustFree works, but be aware to NOT spray it directly onto the metal surface or it will leave an ugly ‘splatter’ mark that will remain. Always use a rag to apply it.

All that said, RustFree does seem to help prevent further rusting. It seems to form a gray colored film that is LESS prone to rusting. The cast iron can still rust, but not quite as easily. So always follow up with Johnson’s Paste Wax or similar. My 2-cents…

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View toolie's profile


2134 posts in 2655 days

#3 posted 05-02-2013 01:22 PM

those jet CI tables will clean up fine, they are really not in bad shape. here’s the before and after of the top to a unisaw i refurbished:



also, this video provides some useful tips on restoring cast iron surfaces:

-- there's a solution to every just have to be willing to find it.

View garberfc's profile


57 posts in 2281 days

#4 posted 05-03-2013 01:26 PM

WOW, nice job restoring the unisaw! Even cleaned up the miter gauge slots…

Thanks for the info.

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 2396 days

#5 posted 05-03-2013 01:34 PM

Yours doesn’t look like it will require it, but if you have a large surface to do, I’ve cut circles out of scotchbrite, they fasten right on to a ROS. Don’t overwork it, though, and don’t focus on any one spot.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View Marcus's profile


1163 posts in 2046 days

#6 posted 05-03-2013 02:15 PM

Like others have said, the surface rust on that jointer looks very minor to me. I would not be put off by it. I would however point it out 20 times when haggling over the price!

View muleskinner's profile


896 posts in 2463 days

#7 posted 05-03-2013 02:35 PM

If the price is right (seems a little high to me) I wouldn’t give that rust a second thought. I was given an old 6” Delta that had a little more rust than the one you’re looking at. A little bit of scrubbing with some steel wool and WD40 and it cleaned up fine. Like Ed’s, it had a little bit of pitting but the beds are flat and parallel. That’s all that matters. Sharp knives and flat beds. Who cares if it doesn’t shine like the top of the Chrysler Building?

-- Visualize whirled peas

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3674 days

#8 posted 05-03-2013 04:25 PM

A machine generally has to be left exposed for a long time to get
major pitting. Oxidation forms on cast iron and this coating
actually protects the iron underneath from pitting.

Rust is almost never a problem in machinery that has
been stored indoors. Just wire brush it off, wax and go
to work.

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