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Thread: Wax

  1. #1


    Hello All,

    Ok, I unpacked my new saw today to get it ready to assemble tomorrow.
    I waxed every powder coated part inside and out of the saw with the best automotive wax I could get a hold of.
    (Thinking that sawdust will be cleared from the surface easily, at least for awhile.)
    Now my question is what am I do put on this beautiful cast iron table to preserve it's current state?
    Is there something you all use, PAM?, a mineral oil?, wax? Maybe a coat of clear something? Laquer?
    Or nothing at all, I just want to do it right and not have a rusty stained mess in 6 months. I live in the Northeast and it gets quite humid here sometimes.
    I know it can't be WD-40 as that is silicone based and could cause problems with wood finishing.

    Thank you for any help, advice, or criticism you may offer!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Between Aledo and Fort Worth, TX
    Keep the car wax away from the top!!! Use a good furniture/floor paste wax like Johnson's. There are a couple others that are the same type of stuff. Personally, I use the Boeshield top coat and that after it has dried for a good 24 hours and buffed I then use the Johnson's wax on top of that. Jim.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    S E Washington State
    I wax mine every once in awhile with Johnson Paste Wax. I don't do it often enough but I live in an arid climate and rust is not a big problem. Some people have other favorites, for sure and I am sure they will chime in. This subject is discussed every once in a while. I know it can be a real chore in humid climates.
    "We the People ......"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Amherst, New Hampshire
    I've used "Top Saver" on all my tools for years. Because of the last conversation here about the same subject I tried Johnsons Paste Wax. That's all I'll ever use again
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    Your preference may depend on your climate. I am in So Cal and have used Johnson's Paste Wax on all my bare cast iron about twice a year for years and years; still looks good.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by glenn bradley; 06-16-2013 at 10:30 AM. Reason: newer picture
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    The Gorge Area, Oregon
    So far good luck with Johnsons here as well - although I'm also in pretty dry climate.

    If you go the wax route, rub in some talc (aka baby powder) in with the first couple of coats. It will fill in any small gaps in the cast iron and really does appear (to me - not saying its not all in my head) to smooth out the surface a little better than just wax alone.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM


    And another voice to the Johnson Paste Wax choir.

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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Austin, Texas
    Another vote for paste furniture wax, like Johnson's. When the cast iron is new, it is pretty absorbent so you may need to rewax it in a day or two, then in a week, then in a month, etc. until it becomes once or twice per year.

    Auto wax often contains silicone, so I would keep it away from your woodworking equipment.
    Charlie Plesums, Austin Texas
    (Retired early to become a custom furnituremaker)
    Lots of my free advice at

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim O'Dell View Post
    Keep the car wax away from the top!!! Use a good furniture/floor paste wax like Johnson's. There are a couple others that are the same type of stuff. Personally, I use the Boeshield top coat and that after it has dried for a good 24 hours and buffed I then use the Johnson's wax on top of that. Jim.
    No one has mentioned it....

    The REASON you keep car wax away from the top (and all other wood touching surfaces) is that many car waxes contain silicone. Silicone resists most products we use to color and protect wood (stains, lacquer, urethane, etc) so any transfer from the tool to the wood is bad. While it hasn't been proven this will happen, most people (myself included) think this is a "better safe than sorry" situation. Use a non-silicone product.

    Personally, I just use Johnson's Paste Wax (located in the flooring section of your local BORG). $8 tin lasts for a couple years and gets used on all my cast iron (table saw, drill press, vises, hand planes) and also goes on my handsaws so they slide easy through cuts.
    Last edited by David Agnew; 06-16-2013 at 02:10 PM. Reason: Argh - Charlie beat me by a minute!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Escondido, CA
    Another Johnson's wax user here. Another reason is lack of friction. Did this in a class a number of years ago. Sprinkled a little sawdust on the saw top on either side of the blade after applying car wax on one side and furniture paste wax on the other. We placed a small block of wood on the table and blew it off. Used our mouths, not an air compressor. The block on the furniture wax side slid right off. The same block on the car wax side sort of 'stuck'. Conclusion: furniture wax is slipperier. Don't want any sort of binding when passing wood through the blade. Not a major issue but every little bit helps, and they all add up.


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