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lubricant for jointer tables

westol's picture

I'm getting ready to put my old jointer back together after a complete overhaul.  What is the best lubricant to use on the surfaces where the tables contact the base?  I'm thinking of using pase wax.

russell's picture

(post #101023, reply #1 of 16)

I use this stuff called top cote. You can get it through Lee valley, but I've also seen it at Home Depot a while back, don't know if they carry it any more. It works great though, and it's faster to apply then wax. Here's a link to it at lee valley:,43415,43440&ap=1



Willy's picture

(post #101023, reply #2 of 16)

Top Coat is great for the surface of the Jointer--- but what do you mean "where the table contacts the base"?

Edited 9/16/2007 5:12 pm ET by willy

westol's picture

(post #101023, reply #3 of 16)

There are surfaces that the tables ride on when they are adjusted up and down.  They are inside of the unit.   I didn't want to use grease as it attracts dust.  I usually use wax on the surface although I'll try the top cote. 

saschafer's picture

(post #101023, reply #4 of 16)

Top Cote is like a wax (I don't know exactly what's in it). For me, the advantage is that it's easy to apply. Just spray it on, let it dry a minute, and buff it lightly with a soft cloth.

Plus the fumes give you a little bit of a cheap high....



bones's picture

(post #101023, reply #5 of 16)

I throw an ocasional coat of old johnsons paste wax on my stuff. I've been using the same can for years.  It aint high tech, but it sure has served me well over the years. 

Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases:
If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it.
And if it stops moving, subsidize it.

...For that old machine lovers:

QCInspector's picture

(post #101023, reply #6 of 16)

Yes, dust will stick to grease but the cast iron ways need proper lubrication. Wax isn't good enough. Put a thin coat of light grease on them and don't give the bit of wood dust a second thought. It will take years for the grease to get dusty enough to become a problem and it doesn't take all that long to clean them up to reapply.

If the idea of greasing the machine is going to cause you to have sleepless nights or loss of appetite, then go out and hunt down some Molybdenum disulfide lubricant (Dow Corning G-n Metal Assembly Spray is one brand of "Moly" grease).

Warning: Moly may cause wallet cramps!

KiddervilleAcres's picture

(post #101023, reply #7 of 16)


Moly may cause wallet cramps!

Yes, but only once depending on how you hold her.


Bob @ Kidderville Acres


A Woodworkers mind should be the sharpest tool in the shop!

Edited 9/17/2007 7:19 am ET by KiddervilleAcres

Bob @ Kidderville Acres

A Woodworkers mind should be the sharpest tool in the shop!

DonC's picture

(post #101023, reply #8 of 16)

QCinspector's molly advice is dead on. My other hobby is adult airguns. In this hobby, we use molly for all moving parts in the spring piston airguns. It is the absolute best lube for moving parts and it dries and will not catch dust. Do a search on it's merits. It has an affinity for metal and bonds and lubes on a molecular level.

westol's picture

(post #101023, reply #9 of 16)

Thank you,

I'll track down some molly.  Are the teflon lubricants any good?

saschafer's picture

(post #101023, reply #10 of 16)

You can get molybdenum disulfide-based lubricants at McMaster-Carr ( Go to the web site and then navigate to page 2082 of the catalog.

Note that there are two basic kinds of moly lubricants: There are greases that contain molybdenum sulfide, but they're still greasy, and will attract dirt and dust. Then there are powders that contain molybdenum disulfide (much like graphite powders). Like powdered graphite, these won't attract dirt and dust.



nikkiwood's picture

(post #101023, reply #11 of 16)

White lithium grease is the classic lubricant for woodworking equipment -- gears and such where ordinary grease would foul up with dust.

Available from any auto parts store -- either in a tube, or in a spray can with one of those plastic straws that allow you to pin point applications.

"It is what we learn after we think we know it all, that counts."

John Wooden 1910-

*** "It is what we learn after we think we know it all, that counts." John Wooden ,1910-2010

AndyE's picture

(post #101023, reply #14 of 16)

I can recommend Dri-slide. I use it on machinery at work and on some of my tools in the shop at home too. Sprays on and "dries" to a powder but stays put on the surface you spray it on. It would work on the ways of your jointer and not attract dust.

Personally I would use grease there myself. Dust won't work its way into the mated seam very well and what does would probably work it's way out as the pieces slide against each other. Most of the dust would be on the outside of the seam in the "squeeze out" of the grease.

I like Dri-slide for things like bearings and hinges where picking up dust is more of an issue.

My $ .02

Jigs-n-fixtures's picture

(post #101023, reply #12 of 16)

Dupont makes a product, that is a hard wax with Teflon that comes in a spray can. 

Here is their write up on it:

    This is the very latest in lubricant technology from DuPont™. Teflon Multi-Use Dry, Wax Lubricant  is a water-repelling, three dimensional lubricant utilizing advanced DuPont™ Teflon® Fluoropolymer, organic molybdenum and a polymerized wax structure. Multi-Use goes on wet to deeply penetrate and loosen frozen or rusted parts. It sets up with a clean, dry, long-lasting film which will not attract dust, dirt or grime. Multi-Use features a new, patented "self-cleaning" technology. Treated parts stay clean, work better and last longer.

It takes a day or overnight for the solvent they thin it to spray with to evaporate, but it leaves a thin hard wax film with Teflon, in it on the surface.  Very low friction, the wax seals off the surface to prevent corrosion. 

It has become my go to lube for anything I don't want to attract dust.  I've been using it on my shop tools for about three years now.  I've even started using it on the action of my rifles, shotguns and pistols.  I bought my last can at Lowes, but motor cycle, and bicycle shops are a good source, it does a great job on chains. 

By the way, (at least if I remember correctly from shop class in the dark ages), the slides for the tables on the base of the jointer are the "ways".

KeithNewton's picture

(post #101023, reply #16 of 16)

I agree with Jigs on this one, except I might warn against using it on the threads.

I use some on my hand-screw clamps, and it was so slick that when I tightened one threaded handle, the other one would loosen if I wasn't holding it, so I had to get some of it off, fearing that either or both might self loosen when I turned my back.

mudman's picture

(post #101023, reply #13 of 16)

Just use white lithium grease. Thats what it came with, thats what the manufacturer will recomend and that will last longer than you. Plus you can buy it at any hardware store or Wall Mart and instead of tracking down NASA lube you can get back to wood working.

Pardon my spelling,


Make sure that your next project is beyond your skill and requires tools you don't have. You won't regret it.

Pardon my spelling,


Make sure that your next project is beyond your skill and requires tools you don't have. You won't regret it.

9619's picture

(post #101023, reply #15 of 16)

It was dark the other night. The lithium grease was sitting on the shelf next to the KY Jelly. I grabbed the wrong one by mistake. My jointer seems to be running very smoothly. It almost seems happy.

Measure your output in smiles per board foot. 

Measure your output in smiles per board foot.