Warding away rust… with a little help from my friends

16 Mar

I mentioned recently that I have a have a table saw cover. It’s not the kind you’d use to cover a car or a barbecue. It’s a large floppy magnet that is sized perfectly to my table saw top.

The incident… and the person who shall remain nameless

I had my table saw for a couple of days when disaster struck. Rust marks appeared on my table saw’s cast iron top. Days earlier I’d had a visitor to my shop that had leaned on my table saw. It was summer, apparently body sweat is all it takes to rust cast iron. It’s funny because my initial reaction to having someone leaning on my saw was to ask them to not do so- but I was thinking more of the alignment of extensions. I’d dismissed rust because I had wiped the area down straight afterwards– with what I don’t recall, maybe just my hand.

A do-over please?

I went out and bought this… thinking that I’d get my table saw top completely clean.

A kit. Rust remover, blade and bit cleaner, and top coat protection for cast iron surfaces.

The rust remover actually left spritz marks  everywhere it touched, then I went back and wiped more of it on so that I’d at least get an even discoloration. I wasn’t very pleased with that particular product in the kit because it was far too corrosive, the other sprays in the kit do a fair job in their respective purposes.

Here is the result. The "rust" may be gone but the forearm prints are still there. And if you squint and turn your head you can kind of make out the dark wipe marks the rust remover made.

Security blanket…

So with the leaning paired with the possibility that the roof of my shop was in very poor condition at the time, I went out and purchased a table saw cover…

Tucking my table saw in always makes me feel satisfied that it's well taken care of and will be in great shape for a long while.

It's made by "Tool clad". Sizes are available for other types of machines as well.

Aside from the cover scratching and dinging really easily, I’m very glad to have it.  It’s better that it get dinged than gouging or scratching my table saw top. And it’s surprisingly useful in other ways…

There are several useful charts on the cover!

And here's another!

There are also guides such as these dove tail ratios. In the center there is a giant protractor.

While I’ll admit I have yet to use the charts or guides, I most certainly will use the other feature…

Because the surface is mainly white, you can use dry erase markers to write measurements or sketch or jot down a note to self.

I roll up the cover and store it in a cardboard tube when not in use. I have yet to find a convenient place to store the tube, so it often is just leaned up against something and will fall over.  Someday I’ll get around to fixing that…

I also have the satisfaction of unveiling my saw.

In addition to the topcoat spray, and the table saw cover, I also keep a dehumidifier running  in the shop.  I have regular water infiltration whenever it rains heavily or there is snow melt.  The water seeps in right under the walls along the floor. I’ll try to take a picture of this unpleasant phenomenon the next time it happens. I tried caulking around the foundation of the shop in the fall, didn’t work. I usually bail water from the shop with a chamois type cloth and a small bucket.

4 Responses to “Warding away rust… with a little help from my friends”

  1. Robert Glenn March 16, 2012 at 6:35 pm #

    I guess that you won’t be going with the more traditional coffee stains on the table saw top.

    • Warped Boards March 16, 2012 at 11:53 pm #

      I hate to mess with tradition but I’m making an exception in this case.

  2. Olly Parry-Jones March 17, 2012 at 5:42 am #

    How about some of those clips plumbers use to fix waste pipe to a wall? You could then hang the tube on the ceiling.

    • Warped Boards March 17, 2012 at 10:07 am #

      Great idea, my ceiling is unused real estate so far. Thanks!

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