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Table coatings

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  • Table coatings

    I just got a Delta 40-690 and want to keep it looking "like new" as long as possible. I'm surprised almost nobody gets their tables protected/coated. I also do not understand why the manufacturers do not coat them (Teflon, epoxy; etc) - why not???

    I'm tempted to get the shiny new table coated with epoxy, powder coated, Teflon coated (not sure how durable that is though, and nobody local does it), or "CaraKote". A friend of mine at a local industrial coating company (Anoplate) has a free sample of Carekote, but it's tan...

    I think epoxy would be good because it's tough/durable, cheap(?), and clear - would allow the metal to show through. I think quite a few places do powder coating (so hopefully it can done inexpensively). Grey powder coating would look OK and should keep the rust away for a long time (right?).

    There are also the various waxy non-permanent coatings: CorrosionPro Lube, CRC Heavy Duty, LPS 3, and Boesheild T-9. The first 3 tested best in a boat magazine comparison of many products, and T-9 did well and has good reviews on Amazon ans elsewhere. The first 3 stay sticky though. Not sure if T-9 is sticky, but it's just paraffin wax and solvents. If T-9 is "buffed" I assume it would be slippery like Johnson's wax. Would the fact that it contains solvents and perhaps other stuff make it any better than Johnson's paste wax though?

    I'd rather have a permanent coating, and use wax if needed (if I prefer it to be more slippery).

    Have you guys coated your tables? I saw one guy coated his with Teflon, but the company he listed does not have Teflon listed actually, so maybe it was actually another coating.


  • #2
    I'm sure the you willl find that 98% of the people on this forum use a good furniture wax. I personally prefer "Butchers" brand. Stay away from solvents and silicons. Also if you apply the permanent coatings, that's it, they're permanent, you're stuck with them.


    • #3
      I have a spindle sander, table saw, drill press and scroll saw that I keep in my basement. They all have cast iron tables. Have never had a problem with rust. I use Johnson's Paste wax on all of them.
      Mick, - Delta P-20

      A smile is a small curve that straightens everything out.


      • #4
        Frankly I don't know the answer to your question either, but I'm perfectly willing to let you experiment on your cast iron tools.

        Seriously, here's my $.02. Unless your tools are in an environment where it is routinely humid, I'm not sure any of these permanent coatings are worth the effort and expense. I don't know how hard any of them are, but if over time, they would show wear, scratches, etc from heavy use, I would be afraid that they would be difficult to repair. You would be surprised at how abrasive wood can be when run constantly over a surface. The wood won't hurt the cast iron at all, so it seems to me that it's better to keep it simple and just apply furniture wax a few times a year. It works great and is a tried & true method. Not to say that any of these other products might not work great. However, I think it's significant that manufacturers don't apply Teflon or powder coatings. There either isn't a cost benefit to them or there is a chance that they would degrade with use, over time.
        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."


        • #5
          I agree with the others. Leave well enough alone and use your Johnson paste wax. It works and is inexpensive.
          "Still Montana Mike"

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


          • #6



            • #7
              It does not get much more humid than August and September near the Gulf of Mexico in Florida. I have a drill press with a cast iron table that is over thirty years old and it has never had anything except Johnson's Paste Wax put on it intentionally.

              The table has turned dark over the years, but never any rust. My recommendation is to go with the flow. Use a paste wax and save your money for wood.



              • #8
                OK OK, I'll use the wax, at least for now. :-) You're probably right that the manufacturers figure that any coating would wear and look bad, and what if corrosion/rust started under the coating. I've seen rusty saws for sale, but only the top/working surface is rusty, so I suppose there is no need to coat/paint the underside.

                I don't have paint thinner, mineral spirts, or denatured alcohol to clean the table. I have 70% isopropyl alcohol and kerosene. Kerosene is fine, right? I'll use it outside...or buy whatever you suggest tomorrow.

                Would the stuff Delta put onto the table harm the wood? Otherwise, why not leave it on? Should I clean the underside of the table too, and apply wax? Or is the stuff that Delta put on it better for the underside?



                • #9
                  When I got my Delta saw I removed the table completely, clamped it down and took a fine grit belt sander to it until it was super smooth and clean. I then put a coat of TopCoate on it and I apply it about once a year and I live in Oregon. It has never had rust on it and neither has my other scrollsaw, my table saw, my band saw, my planer, my drill Press, and I am still on the second bottle of TopCoate. On the scrollsaws I have to put magnets near the edge to prevent stuff from sliding off. This has been eight years for most of them. Never tried anything else, haven't needed to. Good Luck
                  Chuck D

                  When a work lifts your spirits and inspires bold and noble thoughts in you, do not look for any other standard to judge by: the work is good, the product of a master craftsman.
                  Jean De La Bruyere...

                  Hegner 18, Delta p-20, Griz 14 inch Band saw


                  • #10
                    i have a big block of beeswax i run on all my tools a few times a year keeps them smooth and the wood moves so nicely on them, most of my tools are older with cast iron tables but some of my newer ones have aluminum tables the scratch up eaier and the beeswax fills in the scratches


                    • #11
                      I just noticed in the manual on page 11 (lubrication and rust protection) they mention using a commercial rust protector (or wax). A friend of mine owns a wire EDM shop in Buffalo and uses LPS-3 on parts before he sends them to customers. LPS-3 gets very good reviews, except it's a bit sticky according to reviews. My friend hasn't noticed that, perhaps because he wipes most of it off, unlike the reviews/tests in boat magazines.
                      I'm waxing it now, can't wait to use it. Table is rough even after a light 400 grit wet(ish) hand sanding and 3 coats of wax (going to put another coat on). I'll sand it a lot more before I wax it next time.
                      Here's the review by the way:


                      • #12
                        I use Johnson's paste wax on all my cast iron tables. I just purchased the same saw a couple of weeks ago at Woodcraft and while the table is not sanded down as smooth as some of my other tools, with the wax on it the wood slides just fine. I think you just need to start using it and have some fun.


                        • #13
                          I made one of those very small (1" x 1" x 3") 3D reindeer ornaments last night. I used balsa because I had a 1x1" stick and figured it would be easy to cut, which it was.
                          The built-in 25w light is not as bad as people say. At least on this saw, the bulb looks like a mini-floodlight, so the light is directed/concentrated a bit. I also had a 100w equivalent CFL bulb above me.


                          • #14
                            Three saws, all with Johnson's Paste Wax. The stuff is slippery when applied correctly and in thousands of pieces cut, the swirls and patterns in the cast iron have never caused the wood the bind or caused me any distraction.

                            Since I do almost all my cutting outside in the summer, I lay a black garbage bag on the table for about 30 minutes to slightly heat the iron and then apply the wax to the warmed surface. I allow it to dry about 10 minutes and buff it off with an old t-shirt. Seems to last a month or so or relatively heavy cutting.
                            When looking at the clock at work--the correct time is:
                            Too early to leave, too late to call in.


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