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  • Help with making the table smooth

    I was using johnson wax, I thought I would try bowling alley wax. The johnson wax was ok, I just wanted it slippier (if that's a word). I applied the two coats like they said. Instructions were to apply with 0000 steel wool or a cloth. I used the steel wool. Now the table is not slippery. Saw dust seems to stick to the table and it makes it like bumpy. What have I done wrong? I thought bowling alley wax was better

  • #2
    Bowling alley wax I think contains oil or is a petroleum product.

    Clean your table with wd40, wipe down with a clean cloth,make sure it is really dry and then use Johnson's paste wax.
    "Still Montana Mike"

    "Don't worry about old age--it doesn't last that long."
    Mike's Wood-n-Things LLC

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    • #3
      The johnson's paste wax should make it smooth enough for you. There are however, two things that I have found create some resistance with moving your work piece. If your wood is warped or cupped even slightly, I find it does not move as smoothly. Also after drilling all your starter holes, sand the back of them smooth. The drilling seems to raise a little of the wood around the starter holes and adds resistance unless its sanded down. I hope maybe that helps.

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      • #4
        I've recently heard of using baby powder on the table top for smoothness. I haven't tried it but. . . First Johnson's then baby power. Let us know what you think if you use it.
        DeWalt 788

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        • #5
          I gave up on the wax routine, so for a nice slippery cutting session, I just tape some wax paper under the wood. Just have to make sure the tape is up the sides and not under the wood.
          Gloria ............... Two memorable things to say in life, "Hello" for the first time, and "Good-bye" for the last.

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          • #6
            Using a furniture paste wax is pretty much standard operating procedure for all the metal table surfaces on the tools in my shop. Based on posts in other woodworking forums I visit, it's fairly standard procedure for a lot of woodworkers. I've been doing it for years to my planer bed, table saw top, band saw table and the scroll saw table, any place that you don't want friction between wood and the tool surface. I've never had a problem with Minwax or Johnson's paste wax and only have to apply it 2-3 times a year, at most, depending on how much I'm using the particular tool.
            Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter. Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

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            • #7
              Sally, I would think getting baby powder on your wood would really mess it up for finishing. Don't know for sure, just my opinion.
              JoAnne, when my saw was new I used my random orbit sander starting with 100 grit, working my way up to 400 grit on the table. I apply Johnson's paste wax every 2 to 3 months. Like sawdust said, sand the back of the wood after drilling the holes.
              Mick, - Delta P-20

              A smile is a small curve that straightens everything out.

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              • #8
                Ten years ago I cut a piece of clear plexiglass to the size and shape of my table and attached it with a couple of strips of carpet tape. Haven't had a problem with lubricity since, though I may have to replace it in a couple of years--it's beginning to show some scratches.

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                • #9
                  I wasn't sure what bowling alley wax was so I did a search. It's Butchers wax, okay, now I understand. From what I read the metal should be heated before applying the wax, this is where I read this: The Secret To Beautiful Steel is Found at the Bowling Alley? | Popular Science makes since, but probably not something most of us would want to do with our saw. If you still have the wax on your saw I think I would try heating it with a hair dryer as best I could then really buff it. I use butchers wax on my floors and I know the secret is to apply thin and buff buff buff. It is a nice hard slick wax.

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                  • #10
                    Hey JoAnne, Mick has the right idea. your table has to baby bottom smooth to start with. The tables on the type II DeWalt saw are very rough. I sanded up to 220 grit with WD40 as a lubricant. This made it as smooth as I needed. Remove the WD40 with some mineral spirits. When dry, apply the Johnson's past wax then buff with a clean cloth. That should do it!
                    Once the table is sanded, you only need to re-wax as needed.
                    Dan in So.Ca.

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                    • #11
                      I did the same with my Hegners and all the other tools in the shop that have steel style tables...sand with WD40 with super fine sandpaper, clean with MS and Johnstons paste wax as needed...works like a charm. Since I always sand after I have cut, I do not have a problem with it staining the bottom side of the wood.
                      Hawaiilad
                      Larry

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                      • #12
                        I use a silcon lube spray it works great for me I spray a lil bit on every day and rub it down with a dry rag

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                        • #13
                          Problem with silicon is it can stain your wood and you can't get rid of it easily.
                          "Still Montana Mike"

                          "Don't worry about old age--it doesn't last that long."
                          Mike's Wood-n-Things LLC

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                          • #14
                            Fwiw I would restrip table with solvent, if table is ferrous DO NOT use steel wool it will embed and create rusting issues.

                            Sand smooth with 220 to however fine you wish to go.

                            Recoat and re buff

                            If you REALLY want smooth, check for a local metal finisher/plater and see what the cost is to have table buffed professionally. They might even do it on the side for a case of beer....

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