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  1. #1
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    Cast iron cleaning

    Hello,

    I'm sure some, if not most, have done this before so maybe it will help someone that hasn't.

    It has been a while since I cleaned and polished my table saw's cast iron top. Glue, sweat, humidity really takes it's toll.

    Got out my ROS sander with 320 grit and WD-40 and went to work. Probably should have started with 220 grit, then 320.

    Cleaned the top with mineral spirits after the sanding and applied a coat of paste wax. Have to say, it has never been this slick when it was new.

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    Re: Cast iron cleaning

    I like to keep my tables shiny and slick. I often use a product such as Top Saver along with a 3M green scouring pad. If it is rusted and pitted, I'll use 180 in my ROS and then the 3M pad, followed by a clean rag, then the paste wax, if the top cleaning agent isn't a final surface treatment.
    Experience is a hard teacher; she gives the test first, and the lesson later.

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  5. #3
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    Re: Cast iron cleaning

    I make a slurry with WD-40 and Barkeepers Friend and apply using scouring pad. Cleanup with mineral spirits.
    Always be yourself because the people that matter don't mind, and the ones who mind, don't matter.

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  7. #4
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    Re: Cast iron cleaning

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Scharle View Post
    I make a slurry with WD-40 and Barkeepers Friend and apply using scouring pad. Cleanup with mineral spirits.
    Interesting concoction. Do you use the powder or the semi-liquid cream? It's less abrasive than Comet and Ajax and the primary active ingredient is oxalic acid. What the...?

    https://web.archive.org/web/20101014.../435939-1.html

    https://www.barkeepersfriend.com/abo...y-data-sheets/
    Last edited by Jeff; 07-10-2018 at 08:41 AM.

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  9. #5
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    Re: Cast iron cleaning

    I use the regular dry. We have used it for stainless for decades.
    Always be yourself because the people that matter don't mind, and the ones who mind, don't matter.

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  11. #6
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    Re: Cast iron cleaning

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Scharle View Post
    I make a slurry with WD-40 and Barkeepers Friend and apply using scouring pad. Cleanup with mineral spirits.
    If you have a hook & loop pad on your ROS, the green abrasive pads will stick to it well enough to put some mechanical action to the above method. I have just been using WD, but add the Barkeeps friend next time it needs a major workover. Thanks
    Practicing at practical woodworking

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    Re: Cast iron cleaning

    I have had great luck restoring cast iron tool tops with a random orbit sander. The starting grit depends a lot on the condition of the top. The grit that you finish up with depends on how shiny you want the finished surface to be. I like to finish up with 400 grit, but I have gone as high as 1200 grit. If the rusted areas include a lot of pitting, you would probably want to use something like Evapo-Rust to get into those spots that the sander will not reach. When done sanding, I like to wipe the top down with mineral spirits on a terrycloth or microfiber rag to get rid of any sanding residue, then after the top dries, I spray it down with BoeShield. A lot of woodworkers prefer paste wax to BoeShield because the paste wax does appear to develop a more slick surface.

    Pete

    Quote Originally Posted by tdukes View Post
    Hello,

    I'm sure some, if not most, have done this before so maybe it will help someone that hasn't.

    It has been a while since I cleaned and polished my table saw's cast iron top. Glue, sweat, humidity really takes it's toll.

    Got out my ROS sander with 320 grit and WD-40 and went to work. Probably should have started with 220 grit, then 320.

    Cleaned the top with mineral spirits after the sanding and applied a coat of paste wax. Have to say, it has never been this slick when it was new.
    Pete - KD4CQZ

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  15. #8
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    Re: Cast iron cleaning

    I just picked up a couple machines that had quite a bit of surface rust on the tops, one of them had a bunch on the base as well. I typically use a ROS but this time I used an angle grinder wit a wire wheel. I must say, It worked great. The wire wheel was somewhat cupped and I ran it flat for most of the cleaning, on edge for tougher stuff. Johnsons paste wax for the finish.

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    Re: Cast iron cleaning

    Curious why do so many guys worry about this?

    That being said, I do wash my tractor now and again.......

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    Re: Cast iron cleaning

    Don;t forget that you can buy a Scotch Brite pad for your belt sander.
    I have used this for rusty tops and for cleaning dried glue off of my cast iron glue up table.

    Joe

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  20. #11
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    Re: Cast iron cleaning

    Quote Originally Posted by Rwe2156 View Post
    Curious why do so many guys worry about this?

    That being said, I do wash my tractor now and again.......
    I keep my equipment looking like new because it just makes me feel good when I see it. It also shows clients that I take care of my stuff.

    Red
    Red

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    Re: Cast iron cleaning

    I keep the cast iron tables clean on the table saw, band saw and drill press clean of surface rust and waxed to allow the wood to move smoothly and easily across it. I don't much worry about the ascetics. Also keeps the surface rust from transferring to the wood. In the case of oak, iron oxide can deeply stain it black.

    Same goes for my hand planes.

    Go
    Practicing at practical woodworking

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  24. #13
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    Re: Cast iron cleaning

    If I don't keep the base plate of my planer waxed the wood will stick and I get gouges.

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