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Removing Rust from Scroll Table

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  • Removing Rust from Scroll Table

    I just posted yesterday about inheriting my first scroll saw(Delta 40-601). The saw had been sitting idle for about 2-3 years and has developed a layer of surface rust on the table top. I was hoping that you guys could give me some advice about how to remove that rust properly. I was hoping to be able to remove the rust with out removing/hurting the swirled machining pattern that was originally on the surface of the table you can still see it through the rust. Will that be possible?

    Anyways, your advice would be greatly appreciated!


  • #2
    Hi Jason

    My tables are either aluminium or plywood, so I'm afraid I've no experience when it comes to removing rust. Sorry .

    However, rather than scouring your table to remove the rust (which could leave your table uneven) you might consider using a false table, possibly with a zero tolerance blade insert such as the one discussed here.

    There is no opinion, however absurd, which men will not readily embrace as soon as they can be brought to the conviction that it is readily adopted.
    (Schopenhauer, Die Kunst Recht zu Behalten)


    • #3
      I would use mineral spirits, and sandpaper on a block of wood, 320 or 400 grit. Sand it wet in circular motion. Once happy with the rust off, wipe it real clean with mineral spirits, then wipe it good with rubbing alcohol, followed by a coat of johnsons paste wax.
      Dale w/ yella saws


      • #4
        I am ready for the screams
        I have used a sharpening stone, Rubbing it over the table.
        Then I wiped the dust off with a rag soaked in mineral spirits.
        The stone didn't damage the table at all.
        "proud member of the best scroll sawing forum on the net."
        Ryobi SC180VS scroll saw EX21


        • #5
          Jason, fine steel wool if it is just surface rust. Wipe it down with mineral spirits and apply paste wax. Do not use car wax as it contains silicone which you don't want to get on your wood. I apply Johnson's paste wax every couple months, keeps the rust away and lets the wood slide easier. Mick
          Mick, - Delta P-20

          A smile is a small curve that straightens everything out.


          • #6
            Depending on how bad the rust is --but I use sandpaper on my palm sander and let the sander do the job--works great and with use the rust stays gone. I have a cast iron table but I never found the need to coat it with anything .


            • #7
              Rust Removal

              There is a product called Naval Jelly that is an excellent rust remover. It's available at most hardware stores. It will do the job but you MUST follow the instructions regarding surface treatment after the rust is removed or it will oxidize worse than before. It is a caustic solution so you don't want it on your bare skin or clothing. It's good stuff and will work as advertised if you follow directions and use reasonable care. I've used it many times with excellent results. After the rust is removed use the paste wax as was previously recommended to seal the surface and prevent further oxidation.
              If it don't fit, don't force it....get a bigger hammer!!


              • #8
                Removing Rust with Electrolysis

                Removing Rust with Electrolysis (see Shopnotes magazine Issue No.72 Nov/Dec 2003.
                This will clean all sides! Not only the top! Without removing the original patina. It works by chemical reaction. The current is passed through the solution to create a raction that removes the rust. Electrolysis removes only the rust not the metal like sanding or grinding. And it requires a lot less effort.

                1 or 2 table spoon of Arm and Armor Super Washing Soda (1 Table spoon per gallon)
                Car battery charger (not car battery booster)
                Large plastic container (like those storage to slide under the bed)
                A large piece of iron Like a 3" x 6" long "L" shape on corner braket. This will act as an anode.

                Mix Super Washing solution in water until disolved. Take care not to splash water and wear rubber gloves and eye protection (THIS IS CAUSTIC).
                Make enough caustic solution to cover the piece on wich to remove the rust and the anode.

                - De-assemble the table top
                - Soak the tabletop it in the solution.
                - Soak the scap metal (anode) in the solution
                * Soak them about 1 to 2 inches apart without touching each other
                * Submerge the 2 pieces completely (about 1 inch) under the water
                - Unplug the charger
                - Clamp the negative (-) (black) lead to the Table top
                - Clamp the positive (+) (red) lead to the anode
                - Set the charger to the lowest AMP charging setting (if it has multiple settings) - If your charger have a boost setting, make sure you are using the charging and not the boost setting.
                - Make sure the 2 metal pieces do no touch together or you will short the charger and plug the charger
                Very shortly you will see bubbles forming on the surface.

                The part that is closest to the anode will be cleaned first, so after a while, turn the anode around the table top to clan all around.
                UNPLUG THE CHARGER FIRST! Once again, make sure the 2 metal pieces do no touch together or you will short the charger.

                THE POLARITY IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE If you invert them, you will end-up with a clean piece of scap and a more rusty table top.

                Once done (after a couple of hours - the water will look dirty), rince the tabletop with clean water, scrubing gently with a scrubing pad.

                Dry it and apply paste wax on all the bare metal surfaces to avoid future rust from forming again. If you have no wax, you can use oil or but once ready to use your tool, clean it with kerosene.

                - Wear rubber gloves and safety glasses
                - Use in well ventilated area
                - Don't leave unatended and to the rach of children
                Last edited by boogatoo; 12-22-2008, 08:56 PM.


                • #9

                  I had planned on introducing myself in the Welcome Members section and still need to do that, but I thought I’d offer my two-cents regarding rust removal. Last summer, I tried to bring an old Table Saw back to life and tried a couple of the cast iron products sold by the woodworker’s stores.

                  I was impressed with a product called TopSaver, which is advertised as a “Rust Remover/Lubricant/Surface Sealant/Conditioner for metal surfaces”.



                  • #10
                    Thank you all so much for the great tips!!!


                    • #11
                      Boo -- 2 questions-- #1 ---Would your treatment work on things like car parts that need cleaning or things other than rust? #2 ---- The battery charger you speak of - would a charger like what I use to charge my lawnmower battery when it goes dead- 6/12 volt kind ? I was wondering if it would clean the goop off my hand tools after my son uses them and I find them left out and filled with crud and rust -- that and some old bolts that need to be derusted


                      • #12
                        Answer to Sharon questions

                        - Remove the dirt, mud, oil and grease first
                        - It will remove only the rust. For example, you want to de-rust a plane that has paint on it. It will take out the rust only and the paint will still be intact. Only the rust on metal part will get cleaned as long as they are exposed. This is why you have to clean them first.
                        - Indeed, a domestic car/motorcycle/snowmobile etc. is what you need to do the job. Set it to the lowest AMP possible if it has multipple settings.
                        - This works for any iron parts. If the parts you want to clean are small, fix them on someting stable so it won't move and go touch the anode and short the charger.

                        This is great for BBQ grills and gardening tools as well.
                        Last edited by boogatoo; 03-07-2006, 07:14 AM.


                        • #13
                          Thanks Boo -- You have given me a good thing to present to my son for cleaning up my tools he leaaves out to rust... snicker snicker I am going to have HIM to do it next time he visits


                          • #14
                            This way is too easy

                            Hi Sharon, This method do all the works by itself with virtualy NO effort. Maybe he will learn better if you let him do it the hard way.

                            Motor oil with wet 300 grit sandpaper. Once done clean with kerosen, then with mineral spirit.


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