Every wonder how to take something like this and make it look like this?
You say you would never let you tops get that bad? Good!
I just posted an article on my web site showing how I restored the table tops on the Hall and Brown jointer (The Great Pumpkin) 1915 +/- vintage. I am lazy and don't want to have to repost all the photos so here is a link to to Polishing a cast iron top article.
It's not the end all be all on cleaning a top. There are other methods that work, but this is what I do and it works for me.