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Smoothing a table saw table

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Forum topic by Bullet posted 06-18-2013 02:31 PM 1264 views 0 times favorited 36 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Bullet

150 posts in 2077 days


06-18-2013 02:31 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tablesaw cast iron smooth

Hi Guys,
I ended up buying an R4512 with a 25% off HF coupon. Great deal. Cost me less than half as much as the G0715P I was going to buy. The R4512 will get me through and has been passing with flying colors. So far, my only complaint on the saw is the table is very rough. I’d like to smooth it out and put some Renissaince wax on it. What is the best way to smooth it? Sand paper?
Thanks!

-- Anything is possible when you have no idea what you're talking about.


36 replies so far

View Mark Davisson's profile

Mark Davisson

510 posts in 2065 days


#1 posted 06-18-2013 03:09 PM

I’d use either sandpaper or steel wool with mineral oil. Then clean it with mineral spirits. Then wax right away. But there are as many ways to do it as there are lumberjocks!

-- I'm selfless because it feels so good!

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Dallas

3195 posts in 1235 days


#2 posted 06-18-2013 03:35 PM

Remove the top and the wings, haul them down to your local machine shop and have them flatten and polish.

Yeah, it’s not a fun, or really cheap idea, but I did it with a really old Delta-Rockwell it took about 2 days to R&R and another day to flatten.
I was very pleased with the outcome because it originally looked like someone had bee chopping firewood made of concrete with a double bitted axe. Afterward, it was smooth, shiny and just beautiful!

Total cost was only $45 and they coated the steel to keep it from rusting until I got it home.

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

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crank49

3516 posts in 1718 days


#3 posted 06-18-2013 05:22 PM

Be sure to check the blade to miter slot parallelism at different blade heights.
If it changes with the height, take that sucker back before your exchange privilege expires.

You can try to adjust it, but it most likely will not help..
If it’s good, then congratulations, you got lucky.

Mine started out just slightly out and now, after 3 years I’m ready to drag it out into the driveway and crush the damn thing with my truck. POS

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

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Bullet

150 posts in 2077 days


#4 posted 06-18-2013 06:13 PM

Thanks for the advise Crank. I’d read a lot of people have that issue. I generally have my blade all the way down or not. So far so good. But I haven’t measured it. I’ll check it tonight. I don’t have a truck – so I’d have to return it.

-- Anything is possible when you have no idea what you're talking about.

View toolie's profile

toolie

1773 posts in 1376 days


#5 posted 06-18-2013 07:21 PM

here’s some insights on restoring CI that’s probably a little worse shape than yours is. but the finer the grade of sandpaper the top is sanded to, the smoother and shinier it should become:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSJjN8jvdp4&feature=relmfu

hope this helps.

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

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

4488 posts in 1127 days


#6 posted 06-19-2013 02:29 AM

Total cost was only $45

Holy cow Dallas, that was a deal.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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wb8nbs

141 posts in 1440 days


#7 posted 06-19-2013 02:40 AM

I would try wet/dry sandpaper on a flat hard sanding block. 120 or 180 grit. Doesn’t have to be glass smooth. Wet the table and paper with WD40. Mop it up with paper towels and paint thinner before appling paste wax. It worked for me.

-- The only difference between men and boys is the price of their toys.

View Bullet's profile

Bullet

150 posts in 2077 days


#8 posted 06-19-2013 01:28 PM

Crank – yep, it has the disease. Whole rack system shifts toward the fence when you raise the blade. Moves the back end of the blade about 1/16”. Drop the blade a little and it takes the tension off the screw – it goes back into alignment. So – do I return it? I can finish my project within the 90 day return period and then return and look for something different when I have more time. But I’m under the gun right now and have to finish my project.

-- Anything is possible when you have no idea what you're talking about.

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11684 posts in 2435 days


#9 posted 06-19-2013 01:35 PM

Sounds like you’re risking a kick-back and your health for a defective saw. Is the project worth the trade ?

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Bullet's profile

Bullet

150 posts in 2077 days


#10 posted 06-19-2013 01:43 PM

Dusty – Yes, there is that risk. But coming from the $99 Craftsman that was FAR worse, this is manageable as long as I know its consistent. I would like my new saw to be perfect, but for a $400 saw to be off a little, I can deal for now.
The problem is that the project’s over budget and adding another $400-500 on a better saw right now would be a tough sell. I ended up with the 4512 to save some $$$ so going back on that now is not going to be easy. I’ll talk to SWMBO and see if I can get her buy-in.

-- Anything is possible when you have no idea what you're talking about.

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11684 posts in 2435 days


#11 posted 06-19-2013 01:52 PM

I hope everything works in your favor until you find a replacement : ) Best wishes !

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Bullet's profile

Bullet

150 posts in 2077 days


#12 posted 06-19-2013 01:59 PM

Thanks! But I don’t think I’ll be smoothing the table just yet!

-- Anything is possible when you have no idea what you're talking about.

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

7483 posts in 1431 days


#13 posted 06-19-2013 02:05 PM

Craftsman #113, whatever saw. WD40 and a 1/4 sheet sander. usually a 220 grit to start. Gets a nice slurry going. wipe down clean, change to a finer grit if needed ,and repeat. I have had that saw since it came out in the mid 80s….

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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crank49

3516 posts in 1718 days


#14 posted 06-19-2013 10:22 PM

Sorry for your problem Bullet. These saws seem to have such a nice potential it is really frustrating when they don’t deliver.

I live with mine by aligning it as best as I can and then just keep the blade at one height. If you can get through your project like that you should be OK to return it afterwards.

I haven’t given up on figuring out a way to fix this. Just don’t have time to work on it right now. But if I had the option to return mine, that’s exactly what I would do.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

View Bullet's profile

Bullet

150 posts in 2077 days


#15 posted 07-22-2013 01:20 PM

Crank – I returned it yesterday. It is a great saw other than the fact that it sucks. I opened four boxes at HD with the tool guys and all five (including my return) had the same issue. I was pleased to see that they marked all of them defective (with a Sharpie, on the box) and are returning them to Ridgid.

Here’s a funny thing though. I stopped by my local Woodcraft while I was out. They had the Jet contractor saw there and the showroom model had the same issue! Back of the blade kicked almost 1/8”. The guys there were shocked and had never heard of that happening. I was very surprised that a $1100 saw would have the same problem as a $400 HD special.

So now I’m looking CL. I hate to, but I’m in the middle of a project and I need a quick fix. I found a brand new Ridgid 3612. I’m leery of Ridgid, but I hear it’s a good saw.

-- Anything is possible when you have no idea what you're talking about.

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