Author Topic: Rust removal from table tops  (Read 1331 times)

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Offline HowardH

  • Posts: 1271
Rust removal from table tops
« on: August 25, 2020, 11:19 AM »
Like a big dope, I left a towel that I thought was perfectly dry (it wasn't.  ???) on the top of my SS.  Now there is a dark stain that is driving me crazy!  What's the best way to remove stains from a cast iron top like this?  I don't want to use 0000 steel wool as it will mess up the finish.  Ideas? 
Howard H
The Dallas Texas Festool Fanatic!

Mark Twain:  "I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a letter approving of it." "If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything."

mft1080, P1cc, MFT/3, T15, TID-18, RO150FEQ, MT55cc, RTS400, CT22, CT36E, 800, 1080, 1400, 1900 rails, OF 2200, OF1400, CSX, C18, VacSys, Vecturo, Qwas dogs, Parf Dogs, Zobo's, Syslite Uni, CMS GE with router plate. Mafell DDF40, Sawstop contractor, PM 1500

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Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 4010
Re: Rust removal from table tops
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2020, 12:57 PM »
Like a big dope, I left a towel that I thought was perfectly dry (it wasn't.  ???) on the top of my SS.  Now there is a dark stain that is driving me crazy!  What's the best way to remove stains from a cast iron top like this?  I don't want to use 0000 steel wool as it will mess up the finish.  Ideas?


Well, then, forget using the RAS...   [scared]
- Willy -

  "Show us a man who never makes a mistake and we will show a man who never makes anything. 
  The capacity for occasional blundering is inseparable from the capacity to bring things to pass."

 - Herman Lincoln Wayland (1830-1898)

Offline miclee15

  • Posts: 64
Re: Rust removal from table tops
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2020, 01:00 PM »
You'll get a lot of "its a tool" remarks on other boards, maybe here as well, but I like to keep my table top as clean as possible as well.
You can get some very fine grit wet dry sandpaper, 600, 800, 1000, etc....  along with a orbital sander or sanding block, I've done it with a rotex, hahaha.   you can get it to a mirror finish if you choose to.  Just make sure you go even with the pressure to keep it level and not wear out any section too much. 

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 1980

Offline Stan Tillinghast

  • Posts: 103
Re: Rust removal from table tops
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2020, 02:56 PM »
Evapo-Rust should work for that.

Offline rvieceli

  • Posts: 1253
Re: Rust removal from table tops
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2020, 03:38 PM »
Believe you should call SawStop customer service and see what they suggest.

I would not recommend any method that involves removing material from your saw top to get the stain out.

while it may be an annoyance, you can also look at it as a valuable reminder to not do THAT again.  [eek]  [scared]

Ron

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 1980
Re: Rust removal from table tops
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2020, 04:20 PM »
I've removed rust from my SawStop several times over the years with either of the products I quoted in my previous post, and as expected, there has been zero effect on the table saw itself or on the quality of cuts. Removing rust from a metal surface of a machine (my jointer and band saw table) or tool (handplane, chisel...lots of experience there too) is done by woodworkers all the time around the world.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2020, 04:22 PM by ChuckM »

Offline rvieceli

  • Posts: 1253
Re: Rust removal from table tops
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2020, 04:34 PM »
@ChuckM

all right I ordered some. We'll how it does on my 1969 Powermatic 66 table saw top. It came out of a high school shop. Top is smooth and flat but has a couple of stains.  [big grin]

Ron

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 1980
Re: Rust removal from table tops
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2020, 04:49 PM »
Don't forget those before- and after- photos! [smile]

Offline rst

  • Posts: 2446
Re: Rust removal from table tops
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2020, 05:05 PM »
I keep an old PC 4.5 x 4.5 sander in cheap Plano tool box with all the grafes of conditioning pads available to kepp my cast iron tops slick.  I know there are  lots of higher tech solution to keeping tops rust free but I go low, low tech.  I heat my top with my heat gun and then rub the wifey's old scented candle wax over the warm top and then go over with the white conditioning pad...it's work for me over 30 years in am unheated central PA shop.

Offline HowardH

  • Posts: 1271
Re: Rust removal from table tops
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2020, 11:12 AM »
Don't forget those before- and after- photos! [smile]

Good idea!  I saw a video where the guy simply sprayed WD-40 on in and used extra fine scotchbright.  He used a block of wood and simply went front to back several times.  It seemed to work out pretty well.  Any rust is very superficial and came right off.  It just left a stain. 
Howard H
The Dallas Texas Festool Fanatic!

Mark Twain:  "I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a letter approving of it." "If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything."

mft1080, P1cc, MFT/3, T15, TID-18, RO150FEQ, MT55cc, RTS400, CT22, CT36E, 800, 1080, 1400, 1900 rails, OF 2200, OF1400, CSX, C18, VacSys, Vecturo, Qwas dogs, Parf Dogs, Zobo's, Syslite Uni, CMS GE with router plate. Mafell DDF40, Sawstop contractor, PM 1500

Offline Sparktrician

  • Posts: 4010
Re: Rust removal from table tops
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2020, 12:53 PM »
You could use a RO sander (no vacuum) with a hard felt pad and one of the MPA polishing compounds.  Start high in number and back down as necessary.  Just an afterthought... 
- Willy -

  "Show us a man who never makes a mistake and we will show a man who never makes anything. 
  The capacity for occasional blundering is inseparable from the capacity to bring things to pass."

 - Herman Lincoln Wayland (1830-1898)

Offline jeffinsgf

  • Retailer
  • *
  • Posts: 309
Re: Rust removal from table tops
« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2020, 01:37 PM »
I've used both the products Chuck linked extensively.

Autosol is one of my favorite maintenance/restoration products. It is minimally abrasive and very fast.

The "rust erasers" are from Klingspor. The medium grit is what Lie-Nielsen uses on their demo tools at shows where they're handled by thousands of people all day, with the attendant acid and grunge. If you've ever seen a demo tool at a Lie-Nielsen event you know every one looks like it just came out of the box all the time.

The rust erasers are a little messy to work with if you're going after a serious bit of rust (I've been restoring some vintage machinery lately). They break down leaving a gritty residue. The mess is worth the effectiveness in my book.

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 3140
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: Rust removal from table tops
« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2020, 02:24 PM »
My trick is to put an 80 grit disk on my RO sander and cut a green and a white Scotchpad big enough to overlap the sandpaper about an inch. I spray the stain with WD40, let it sit for a while, and then “sand”. Start with green, wipe clean, spray WD40, and sand with white. The 80 grit paper holds the Scotchpad pretty well. Don’t tilt the sander!
Birdhunter

Online Cheese

  • Posts: 7675
Re: Rust removal from table tops
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2020, 02:26 PM »
I've always used 3M Scotchbrite pads cut to fit either the Rotex or the ETS EC depending upon the severity of the rust issue. The Scotchbrite pads come in 4 different levels of abrasiveness so it's easy to match them to the application.

Unfortunately, the dark stains never really come out of the metal. They will lighten up a little bit over time and with use.

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 1980
Re: Rust removal from table tops
« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2020, 03:10 PM »
If you guys had to use a sander to remove rust, it was probably quite bad. I only had to remove rust spots.

Prevention is the key. I use these:

Fluid film or CRC 3-36 (after wiping the surface with WD-40). In winter, humidity in my shop (garage) hangs around between 60% & 80%, depending on how often we have snow.

Hand tools: Moovit oil & https://www.leevalley.com/en-ca/shop/tools/workshop/tool-maintenance/53828-silica-gel-dehumidifiers

Offline Peter_C

  • Posts: 911
Re: Rust removal from table tops
« Reply #16 on: August 26, 2020, 03:20 PM »
So many power tools to use?

I would use a simple wire brush by hand.

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 4867
Re: Rust removal from table tops
« Reply #17 on: August 26, 2020, 03:35 PM »
I've always used 3M Scotchbrite pads cut to fit either the Rotex or the ETS EC depending upon the severity of the rust issue. The Scotchbrite pads come in 4 different levels of abrasiveness so it's easy to match them to the application.

Unfortunately, the dark stains never really come out of the metal. They will lighten up a little bit over time and with use.

This has been my experience too but I’ve never tried the Autosol polish. Hope it works.

My tablesaw surface is very old (Walker Turner old) and closer to graphite grey than silver so I only have to worry about rust. Plain old hard drying paste wax prevents that.

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 3140
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: Rust removal from table tops
« Reply #18 on: August 26, 2020, 06:17 PM »
My cast iron table tops develop stains and flash rust if you look at them sidewise. The sander with Scotchpad and WD40 work well.
Birdhunter

Offline afish

  • Posts: 60
Re: Rust removal from table tops
« Reply #19 on: August 26, 2020, 07:37 PM »
Go to home depot and pick up "rust dissolver" made by rust=oleum its in a silver spray bottle and scotch brite scour pads.  I bought a unisaw used for $300 bucks it was in good shape but the guy left it in his shed with no protection on the top.  The top had a thick layer of rust.  I wasnt sure if I could save it.  I bought the rust dissolver and it worked like magic.  I had to apply several times to get it all off but I didnt need to touch it once with any type of sander.  First two coats I put on thick and you have to let it sit.  The rust will start turning black and when the gel starts getting dry I just scraped it off with a putty knife.  It took 2 applications like that, then I turned to lighter applications and working it in with the scoth brite (green) pad from HD the top looks almost like brand new you can still see the factory finish on the top.  I was blown away with how well it worked.  One of the best $10 purchases ever.

Offline HowardH

  • Posts: 1271
Re: Rust removal from table tops
« Reply #20 on: August 27, 2020, 10:31 AM »
Here are the before and after pictures.  The results were very acceptable.  I used scotch brite very fine pads with WD-40 and went north to south, no orbital motion.  It took some elbow grease and it's not perfect but as my father used to say, "it's good enough for the girls we go with!"

Before:

319919-0

319921-1

After:

319923-2

319925-3

I coated it afterwards with Glide Cote and will do my best not to bollocks it up again...
Howard H
The Dallas Texas Festool Fanatic!

Mark Twain:  "I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a letter approving of it." "If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything."

mft1080, P1cc, MFT/3, T15, TID-18, RO150FEQ, MT55cc, RTS400, CT22, CT36E, 800, 1080, 1400, 1900 rails, OF 2200, OF1400, CSX, C18, VacSys, Vecturo, Qwas dogs, Parf Dogs, Zobo's, Syslite Uni, CMS GE with router plate. Mafell DDF40, Sawstop contractor, PM 1500

Offline ChuckM

  • Posts: 1980
Re: Rust removal from table tops
« Reply #21 on: August 27, 2020, 10:42 AM »
Your dad was a man of wisdom! [laughing]

I'm convinced that any remaining traces of rust can be removed by the autosol, if so desired.

Offline HowardH

  • Posts: 1271
Re: Rust removal from table tops
« Reply #22 on: August 27, 2020, 10:43 AM »
Your dad was a man of wisdom! [laughing]

I'm convinced that any remaining traces of rust can be removed by the autosol, if so desired.

+1. Thanks!  I'll order some. 
Howard H
The Dallas Texas Festool Fanatic!

Mark Twain:  "I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a letter approving of it." "If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything."

mft1080, P1cc, MFT/3, T15, TID-18, RO150FEQ, MT55cc, RTS400, CT22, CT36E, 800, 1080, 1400, 1900 rails, OF 2200, OF1400, CSX, C18, VacSys, Vecturo, Qwas dogs, Parf Dogs, Zobo's, Syslite Uni, CMS GE with router plate. Mafell DDF40, Sawstop contractor, PM 1500

Offline Mike Goetzke

  • Posts: 568
Re: Rust removal from table tops
« Reply #23 on: August 27, 2020, 03:38 PM »
I have used this as a reference several times (It was written for new but works for old/rusted too.):

Dave's Dirty Dozen:

1) Scrape as much of the sludge as you can off with cardboard from the shipping container or a plastic scraper.
2) Use Simple Green right out of the container and tons of paper towels to get the rest off.
3) Wash off the Simple Green with more paper towels and clear water. Dry off with even more paper towels.
4) Spray the top down liberally with WD40. The WD in WD40 stands for Water Displacing, by the way.
5) Take a finishing sander, like a Porter-Cable 330, and put it on a ScotchBrite green pad. Random Orbital will work, but makes a heck of a mess.
6) Sand the top evenly until you feel like you've "massaged" the WD40 in very well. This also will knock some sharp spots off your top, a good thing.
7) Take even more paper towels, and wipe the top until dry. It will feel slightly oily.
8) Using a quality furniture paste wax (Johnson's, Minwax, Butcher's, whatever is available in your area), wax the top thoroughly and allow to dry.
9) Wipe off the bulk of the excess wax with paper towels.
10) Wax it again.
11) Buff well with paper towels.
12) Last step. Take a piece of wood with straight edges, and rub the surface of the saw in the direction of cut with the wood, as though you were cross-cutting it.
It's a darn sight more steps than "wash off with kerosene", which is what all the manuals say. But, it leaves a top that is seriously ready for work, and won't need to be screwed with every couple months. I rewax my tops every year or two, and they ain't rusty...


Dave Arbuckle

Offline Charles959

  • Posts: 22
Re: Rust removal from table tops
« Reply #24 on: August 29, 2020, 10:16 AM »
Her Majesty would use this product:

https://restorationproduct.com/shop/renaissance-metal-de-corroder/

Product Description

Safe, Non-toxic System for Rust Removal with Full Control

Amine complex of hydro-oxycarboxilic acid

in aqueous solution.  pH:  approximately 4.0

**************************

SCOPE:     

  iron, bronze, copper and copper alloys, brass, steel,

zinc and galvanized materials. 

Also effectively cleans SCALE and rusty water stains.

Treatment selectively ruptures the bond between base metal and corrosion layer, reducing rust to a sludge, which is easily wiped or brushed away.  Clean-water rinse stops the process.

Even relatively prolonged immersion over several days has no significant effect on sound metal, thus giving the conservator complete control over the process – and freedom from it.

******

The product is made by Picreator Enterprises Ltd. of London, England… by appointment to Her Majesty The Queen .. Supplier of Products for Restoration and Conservation. I have not tried it yet.

Offline AstroKeith

  • Posts: 130
Re: Rust removal from table tops
« Reply #25 on: August 29, 2020, 10:39 AM »
Her Majesty would use this product:

https://restorationproduct.com/shop/renaissance-metal-de-corroder/

Product Description

Safe, Non-toxic System for Rust Removal with Full Control

Amine complex of hydro-oxycarboxilic acid

in aqueous solution.  pH:  approximately 4.0

**************************

SCOPE:     

  iron, bronze, copper and copper alloys, brass, steel,

zinc and galvanized materials. 

Also effectively cleans SCALE and rusty water stains.

Treatment selectively ruptures the bond between base metal and corrosion layer, reducing rust to a sludge, which is easily wiped or brushed away.  Clean-water rinse stops the process.

Even relatively prolonged immersion over several days has no significant effect on sound metal, thus giving the conservator complete control over the process – and freedom from it.

******

The product is made by Picreator Enterprises Ltd. of London, England… by appointment to Her Majesty The Queen .. Supplier of Products for Restoration and Conservation. I have not tried it yet.
This is really good stuff, along with the Renaissance micro-crystalline wax it was developed at the British Museum for their work. I use the wax on all sorts of stuff to perfectly seal the surface.
Retired engineer/scientist

Offline Charles959

  • Posts: 22
Re: Rust removal from table tops
« Reply #26 on: August 30, 2020, 01:29 PM »
AstroKeith,

Thanks for letting us know that the Renaissance rust remover has worked for you. I have been using the wax for decades to keep highly polished raw aluminum gleaming, and it is amazing how long it lasts.

The wax should be used with good ventilation. The MSDS is available here:

https://www.riogrande.com/article?name=Renaissance-Wax-Polish-MSDS