Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: Table saw maintenance

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    1,374

    Default Table saw maintenance

    I have a 16/17 year-old Grizzley 10" table saw. In addition to the usual cleanup after each use, several times a year I rub down the table surface with a 3M abrasive pad and some WD-40, then give it a coat of butcher's wax. All this has given the table a rather uneven appearance. I'd like to give the entire table a fresh "look". I'm thinking about fitting my random-orbit sander with a pad of fine emery paper/cloth (instead of sandpaper) and giving the table a going-over. Is this a good idea? Any other suggestions? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    295

    Default Re: Table saw maintenance

    I run over mine a couple of times a year with some extra fine steel wool on the bottom of my ROS. Shines it right up and makes it smooth as a babies posterior.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Waterbury Center, Vermont
    Posts
    74

    Default Re: Table saw maintenance

    If it suits you, you can cut an octagonal pad of white scotchbrite and it will stick right to a hook and loop sander. I never worry about the appearance, but I do the same maintainance you describe in the OP. I also have a regular lube schedule for the gears and pivot points inside the machine, the Powermatic 66 that were sold in the early oughts were poorly designed, they get stiff and gummed up continuously.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    PNW, an island west of Seattle
    Posts
    1,771

    Default Re: Table saw maintenance

    It really doesn't matter what the surface looks like. What's important is how it works. If the stock you're cutting slides easily on the surface and doesn't pick up dirt or stains, then leave it alone. I use Johnson's paste wax on my machines when they need it.

    What is butcher's wax? Why would a butcher need a wax?

    Jeff

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    1,374

    Default Re: Table saw maintenance

    Quote Originally Posted by jpatrick View Post
    It really doesn't matter what the surface looks like. What's important is how it works. If the stock you're cutting slides easily on the surface and doesn't pick up dirt or stains, then leave it alone. I use Johnson's paste wax on my machines when they need it.

    What is butcher's wax? Why would a butcher need a wax?

    Jeff
    Butcher's wax is a paste wax originally used by them to coat/seal their cutting blocks/tables so that the blood,etc. from the meat couldn't penetrate. Actually, I too use Johnson's paste wax, I call it butcher's wax out of habit.....gimme a break- I'm an old fart!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Rockford, IL
    Posts
    9,759

    Default Re: Table saw maintenance

    I need to do better with my 10" saw and adopt some the above ideas.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Waterbury Center, Vermont
    Posts
    74

    Default Re: Table saw maintenance

    I think that Butcher’s wax also says Bowling Alley Paste on the can. I always thought Butcher’s was just a brand name. I use it all the time, and have been known to use an entire can in less than a decade. All the machine tables and fences get it. It makes handplaning much, much easier too.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    N.E. Connecticut.
    Posts
    6,099

    Default Re: Table saw maintenance

    Yes,.... paste wax for the table saws, band saws, jointers, planers, hand planes, chisels, slicks, shipwrights adzes, any cutting tools and metal tables.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Norwalk CT
    Posts
    987

    Default Re: Table saw maintenance

    Quote Originally Posted by John Husky View Post
    If it suits you, you can cut an octagonal pad of white scotchbrite and it will stick right to a hook and loop sander. I never worry about the appearance, but I do the same maintainance you describe in the OP. I also have a regular lube schedule for the gears and pivot points inside the machine, the Powermatic 66 that were sold in the early oughts were poorly designed, they get stiff and gummed up continuously.
    Scotchbrite pads on the random orbit sander work a treat. Martin sells a light machine oil for lubing their older sliding table table saws. Works great for keeping this rust free, shiny, well lubed.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Up to camp
    Posts
    7,980

    Default Re: Table saw maintenance

    I do not care for the nebulous look of the r/o sander so I block mine by hand, 220 or 400 wet or dry...then shoot it with Fluidfilm, it smells like roast lamb.
    Steve Martinsen

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Sequim, Washington
    Posts
    5,960

    Default Re: Table saw maintenance

    Quote Originally Posted by John Husky View Post
    I think that Butcher’s wax also says Bowling Alley Paste on the can. I always thought Butcher’s was just a brand name. I use it all the time, and have been known to use an entire can in less than a decade. All the machine tables and fences get it. It makes handplaning much, much easier too.
    I make mine from Bees wax and linseed oil from an old Blacksmith recipe. And they actually sell Butchers wax, think it's a brand name.




    Butchers Wax
    Butcher's wax, also known as Bowling Alley wax, is a blend of carnauba and microcrystalline waxes blended with mineral spirits and turpentine. Also called Butcher's wax, Bowling Alley wax has been used to clean and polish wood floors, furniture, metal, leather, and musical instruments.
    PaulF

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    50,463

    Default Re: Table saw maintenance

    I've never cared about the aesthetics of cast iron work surfaces. Sure, the eye can tell you when you've succeeded in restoring a rusted surface, but beyond that... no interest. Just don't let it get rusty again if you can possibly manage that.

    I am, however, quite interested in the slipperiness of the surface. For reasons of both joy... and safety. For that - I use Johnson's paste wax. Rub on a light coat. Sometimes I use a cotton rag, sometimes steel wool 0000. Buff it off vigorously, leaving no clumps (edges, crevices, etc.) lurking to get on your wood. If buffed vigorously, none will later rub off on your wood and compromise your finishes (a common 'warning/worry' from neophytres). Cheap, readily available, and testing by various magazines has shown it to be a top performer. Nothing fancier is necessary. All the spray-on goops work just fine, but are expensive and, in my experience, need refreshing more often.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •