A table saw is one of the most expensive and vital tools in many workshops.
But, while most look tough and almost indestructible, they are still prone to rust, given they typically have a cast-iron table.
Even if you give the table saw the best care, it will probably still end up rusting at some point.
Hence, the best you can do is know how to remove the rust, and here we explain this in detail, starting with everything you need for the job.
Things You Will Need:
- Scouring pad
- Clean rags
- WD-40 or mineral oil
- Paste wax
1. Assess the Extent of the Rust
Before anything else, you need to assess the situation to determine the extent of the rust. Knowing what you are dealing with can make the job easier as you can quickly tell what to do and what you need for the job.
Here you have to check whether there is surface rust or it is much deeper. Surface rust is easy to deal with, which is more so when it is still relatively new.
While you might still remove deep rust, it often leaves permanent damage on the surface as it will not be smooth again.
2. Remove the Table Saw Accessories
Once you determine what you are dealing with, you can remove rust from the table saw. However, you should start by removing the table saw accessories.
Removing things like the blade, miter gauge, and the fence leaves the table without clutter for easier cleaning.
As you remove the table saw accessories, you can also use something with a thin edge, such as a putty knife to remove the high rust spots.
Eradicating these high rust spots leaves the table surface flat, making it easier to work on afterward.
3. Clean the Table Saw
Next, you need to clean up the table to remove the loose rust and other things like dirt and debris.
A thorough cleaning up with soap and water makes it easy to see all the rusted spots so that you do not end up wasting time trying to clean rust-free areas.
4. Apply the Rust Remover
Once you remove the loose rust and clean up the surface, the next step is to apply a rust remover as it is what eliminates the remaining rust.
Here there are different products you can use, but mineral oil and WD-40 are the two best options.
Before applying the rust remover, it is vital to wear protective gear like safety gloves and even goggles if possible as some of these chemicals can be pretty toxic. If you are using mineral oil, you will perhaps not need as much protection as it is less harmful.
When it comes to the application, the correct method primarily depends on the specific product.
However, for WD-40 and mineral oil, you need to apply a generous amount and make sure you spread it evenly to cover all the rusted parts of the table saw.
But, be careful not to get the rust remover into the internal working mechanisms of the power tool, such as the motor.
After the application, you need to let the product sit on the surface to work.
You should follow the manufacturer recommendations, but you have to leave the rust remover on the surface for at least 15 minutes for most products.
5. Scrub Off the Rust
After giving the product enough time to work, you can now scrub off the rust.
Use a scouring pad for this step instead of other things like sandpaper or steel wool as they are too abrasive and can hence leave unsightly scratches on the surface.
While you can easily scrub off the rust by hand, an even easier way would be to attach it to a power sander.
Using a power sander also fastens the job for you since the tool moves faster and covers larger areas within a short time.
6. Wipe Surface with a Rag
When satisfied you have done enough scrubbing, the next step should be to wipe off the surface to remove the loosened rust and the rust remover.
Use a clean and soft cloth here as you do not want something that can scratch the table saw.
If you are not satisfied with the results at this point, you can repeat the process a few more times from step 4 above until you achieve the desired outcome.
7. Protect Saw Surface
The last step is to protect the surface to prevent the reoccurrence of the rust. Applying a generous amount of good paste wax can be very useful here.
Waxing the surface also helps keep it smooth, so you can move the wood quickly when cutting.
Regular maintenance of any table saw type can help keep it in good shape longer, but at some point, you might still get some rust on the surface.
But the good news is that the rust is relatively easy to remove.
All you need is a few items like a scouring pad, rust remover, clean rags and paste wax. With these products, and a few minutes to spare, you can quickly restore and protect your table saw.