How to Remove Rust from Table Saws

“I am looking at a used 10″ table saw to replace my very old one. The top has a light coating of rust from just sitting in the garage. How is the best way to remove it, if possible?”

Submitted by: brandenbergs

WWGOA Editor Response:

I’ve had great luck getting surface rust off tools using a product from Empire Manufacturing called TopSaver. Spritz it on, let it sit a minute or two, then scrub with a Scotch Brite pad. If surface rust is all you’re up against, Top Saver and a little elbow grease, will fix the problem. Seal the top with Empire’s Table Top Lubricant so the saw doesn’t rust again in your shop. This is a great technique on how to remove rust from table saws.

Thank you for your question.

George Vondriska

Managing Editor

Got a woodworking question you need answered? Comment or Email us at editor@wwgoa.com

You might also be interested in:
How to Clean Rust off a Table Saw
Ideas for Removing a Rusty Table Saw Arbor Nut
Cleaning a Rusty Table
Lubricating Table Saw Top

Discussion
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22 Responses to “How to Remove Rust from Table Saws”
    • WWGOA Team

      You can use WD40 or Liquid Wrench as well, as long as you are careful to clean it thoroughly when you are done. If you leave any of this oil on the saw it can wreak havoc on your finish, so really take your time and get this stuff off of the saw.
      Here is an alternative approach if you are just dealing with surface rust (not pitted). Take a green Scotchbrite pad, set it on the effected area, and set a palm sander on top of the Scotchbrite pad. Then just run the sander, working the scotchbrite pad slowly across the surface. I have found this approach to be quicker and less messy than using a chemical approach. When its done, apply a coat of silicon free paste wax or a specialized tool sealant such as Bostik GlideCote.

      Reply
  1. Dan Tillirson

    I am considering a 10″ drum sanders by Jet for my scroll saw hobby. Is it reliable? There’s some negative comments about the plastic drive system.

    Reply
  2. David Pflumm

    I use 220-400 grit sandpaper followed by a scotch-brite pad. When the top is clean and shiny with not rust
    I wipe it with alcohol several times and apply two coats of cold gun-blue, until the top is an even black color. Then if it will sit for a while before use, I apply a light mineral oil and wipe it off before use. I have an old Craftsman planer that this has worked well with for years now. Same for my scroll saw with cast iron top.

    Reply
  3. Robert Ward

    What is the best way to sand blocks of wood that have been cut horizontally? The grain is circular.

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      It depends what tools you have. A drum sander could be effective on this. A random orbital sander or hand held belt sander might work well too.
      -Paul WWGOA

      Reply
  4. Dave

    I saw a short video of you spraying something on the top of your table saw, and you said that it was not aerosol.

    Reply
  5. P

    I m back to woodworking again and I have read about different projects being cover with a oil. Please tell me what oils are being used and available. Also, please explain how I would achieve a high gloss finish on a project that is being clear coated.

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello. There are a few different oils that are commonly used to finish woodworking projects:
      – Tung oil – Danish oil- Walnut oil- Mineral oil (does not cure. often used to treat cutting boards)
      A high gloss finish can be achieved with a few different products. A couple of the more popular options include gloss polyurethane and lacquer.
      Thanks
      Paul-WWGOA

      Reply
    • Bruce

      I spray the rusted area with WD40 then sand it with W&D 320 grit paper with my 1/4 sheet palm sander. Spray/sand again if needed. Then wipe down thoroughly, let dry for 30 minutes. I then apply Johnson floor paste was, let dry and rub smooth with cotton cloth. Wood slides over it like on ball bearings.

      Reply
  6. Colin Clayton

    Ticket 21896 Your website is hard to negotiate IMHO. Where do I purchase the Bostick Tool Glide you often advertise in the videos I have purchased? Please send me a link

    Reply
  7. Bill Pieters

    I am starting to cut a lot of circles out of plywood. What is the best way to do this? Table saw or router?
    Thanks for all the help

    Reply
  8. john meyer

    How can I finish two bowling alley work benches. One is in the basement, and the other is in my garage. The finish on them know is getting bad. Thank you John Meyer

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi John. I would suggest lightly sanding and applying boiled linseed oil. I use BLO because it is simple and cheap, and does a good enough job on a workbench.
      Thanks
      Paul-Woodworkers Guild of America

      Reply
  9. Duane Blackwell

    I want to build a planting station for my wife. I wanted to build it out of cedar but can’t find 11/2′ X 3 1/2″ material. What other type of material do you recommend?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi Duane. Cedar is probably your best choice. I would continue to look, perhaps go to a lumber yard (rather than home center) and see if they can cut some to your specifications. Also, check on Craiglist as you might find a local private sawyer who sells cedar.
      Thanks
      Paul-Woodworkers Guild of America

      Reply
    • tom forbes

      look for a cedar 2″ X 4″. This is the nominal (rough dimensions before finishing) size, Actual dimensions in the store are approximately 1 1/2″ X 3 1/2″.

      Reply
  10. Scott M. Keadle

    Hi, I have your video on the rust removal system using battery charger. The problem I have is my charger is a smart charger. After a over night run I had very litter rust removed. I would like to know if the charger you used is one of the newer ones or is it an older one.

    Reply
  11. DANIEL

    Unfortunately my shop is not sealed like some are that have central heat and air. So, rust is a very big problem for me. It is on my older saw blades, a set of spade bits, and on my various screw bits-flat head, philips, star drives, hex wrench bits. What is the best way to remove it? I have a can of silicone spray sealant put out by WD-40 that does a great job sealing my newer tools. You just spray this on let dry and its sealed. Is a fine wire wheel okay to use? Just for the record, I love the way George explains things. He doesn’t talk down to you like some on You Tube do.

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi Daniel. The best way that I’ve found to remove rust is to spray it with WD-40, let it sit for an hour or so, and then scrub with steel wool. You can try a fine wire wheel if you want, although you might find this to be too aggressive.
      Thanks
      Paul- Woodworkers Guild of America

      Reply