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Rust removal on jointer bed

londonjoe40's picture

Dear Fellow Woodworkers,

I have a 6" Grizzly jointer (No. 452), which does a great job of flattening boards. Last year I put the jointer into storage because I temporarily moved oversees. Recently, I moved back to the US and I found the jointer bed lightly covered in rust from the humid Minnesota weather. Does anyone have a method of removing the rust, protecting the bed, and preserving the flatness? I would appreciate any help.


hammer1's picture

I'm not bragging, Joe, but my (post #150856, reply #1 of 8)

I'm not bragging, Joe, but my table saw takes a bit of abuse. I flatten plane soles on the table extension, sometimes spill my coffee, chemicals or something else, at times it moves out to a job site and may get rained on. When it gets nasty or spots of rust, I grab my RO sander and have at it. Just sanded it yesterday with 120. I've been sanding this saw regularly since 1978, used a 505 sander before ROs were available. I've yet to sand through the original machining marks on the saw, and that could easily be 300 sandings. If there is pitting from the rust, you'll never get it out but it isn't a problem. Surface rust is nothing and is easily removed. Unless you hold the RO in one place for 8 days with a very coarse grit, you won't effect the flatness of the tables, even then you probably won't get through the machining marks. I wash up after sanding with a cloth dampened in mineral spirits and then apply and buff out a thin application of paste wax.

Beat it to fit / Paint it to match

table_saw_top.JPG319.88 KB
forestgirl's picture

Light rust? pretty easy to remove... (post #150856, reply #2 of 8)

If it's just light rust, you may not even need to go with power.  Just mineral spirits as a lubricant, and sandpaper on a block.  Some people use WD40 for this purpose.  I'm stocked with EvapoRust, which is generally used as a soak, but using it in a cloth laid on the surface might work, don't know though.  I'd caution against any kind of acid (such as Naval Jelly),.

forestgirl -- you can take the girl out of the forest, but you can't take the forest out of the girl ;-) 

ThreeRiverstool's picture

Cleaning up Jointer (post #150856, reply #3 of 8)

Hi Joe,

I use a orbital sander with 1500 wet dry sand paper, dry.  Tear off a guarter sheet and just turn it abrasive side dow,  Place your sander over it and just light pressure will hold the paper in place.  WIthin minutes it will polish the surface like a mirror.  Keep using the old paper and dont replace, as the abrasives wear off it continues to polish.  Use mineral spirits to clean the surface and follow up with paste wax, two coats.  The first coat will remove some residue of the sander paper left behind.  The second should wipe clean.  Anything more abrasive than that is too much for your application.


londonjoe40's picture

Thanks (post #150856, reply #4 of 8)

 I would just like to say that I am very grateful for the advice about removing rust on my jointer bed. I think that I will try using some wet-dry sandpaper with a sanding block aided by some WD-40. I'll start with rough 220 grit, 320 grit, 400 grit and 600 grit. Then, I'll put on the mineral spirits and paste wax to finish it off. I always prefer to stick to hand work when I can. If this doesn't work I'll try more aggressive methods.  Thanks again.



HomeHack's picture

How I did it. (post #150856, reply #5 of 8)



  I spent three years in Germany, upon retrieving my table saw and jointer from storage, they both had some surface rust.  I used a scotch brite pad, my RO sander and WD-40.  Hose the top with the WD-40, just enough to puddle without flowing off, and go to town with the sander.  After I hit the tops with liquid Turtle wax. I've read that car wax can stain wood , but haven't experienced it myself.  So about once a quarter here in North Tx, I wax up all my tool surfaces.  On a side note, while in the USAF, I used car wax regularly on hand tools in a humid climate and got our recurring rust problems under control.


SawdustSteve's picture

Rust Removal (post #150856, reply #6 of 8)

I feel like being contrary tonight.  Fighting rust is a never-ending job, so why fight it.   I have several machine tables that I've let go to to a nice plumb brown.   Spray the jointer tables with WD-40 and then work it in with 4/0  steel wool.  Wipe everything off.  The surface rust should have disapperaed, leaving the flat surfaces with a nice plumb brown.  CONTROLLED rust.  It is actually a protective surface, not deep pitted rust, but that fine layer of rust on the surface.  After two good steel wool-ings, wipe the surface clean with any type of solvent and then give it two coats of Johnsons Paste Wax or Butchers Wax to protect the surface.    It takes a bit of getting used to, but we're always talking about the lovely pattina on wood, yet we hate to have a nice warm brown pattina on our machinery.

There, I ve said it, and I feel much better for it.

      SawdustSteve    Long Island, NY  (E of NYC)

RonInOttawa's picture

I'm a fan of keeping things (post #150856, reply #7 of 8)

I'm a fan of keeping things simple.  Wet the surface with WD-40 and go at it with a ScotchBrite pad after giving it 5-10 minutes to soak in.  I think you'll find that this will remove between 95% and 100% of the rust unless it has progressed to the point of pitting the surface.  Feel free to go after anything left with an ROS and 150 paper.  You will be dealing with small areas and if you do happen to remove a bit of iron it won't affect the overall flatness of the table.  The wood will be sliding over a hole rather than a bump.





The biggest difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has limits. - A. Einstein

pcott's picture

I just remove rust with steel (post #150856, reply #8 of 8)

I just remove rust with steel wool. then I use waxit to keep it away.