How To Keep Table Saw From Rusting

May 16, 2022

Rusting condition of a table saw exposed to outdoor environment.

The table saw is susceptible to rusting because it features components that are wrought in cast iron. Cast iron, of course, is commendable for its durability and stability, but it can corrode over time. Hence, you should protect these cast-iron components from rusting. During its shipment, the table saw gets shipped with a particular protective grease to keep its cast-iron components from corroding. Upon receiving the package, you need to clean this coating off before you begin using your table saw. 

Besides, it will be best to coat the table platform with a protectant before making your first cut.

Rust is iron oxide that forms when iron begins to react with water and oxygen. So, if you leave water or moisture on the cast iron components of your table saw for a certain period, these iron components will surely rust. As such, you need to prevent water or moisture from reacting with the iron components of your table saw to ensure that they will not rust.

Steps on How to Prevent Your Table Saw from Rusting

If you don’t check or prevent rust on your table saw, you can expect your table saw to become less efficient and weak over time. Besides, rust can make your table saw look bad and produce more friction. Moreover, rust can shorten its lifespan. As such, it will be best to know the following succinct steps on how to prevent your table saw from rusting:

Step 1: Remove Rust and Tarnish

If ever you spot corrosion on the table saw’s surface, you should remove it using synthetic steel wool or sandpaper and mineral spirits. Use a clean cloth to wipe off the spot and repeat the process if necessary. Cast iron tarnishes pretty quickly when it gets a bit damped, even if you coat it with paraffin wax use

Of course, the paraffin wax is not that good as a water-repellant lubricant. Yet, it can make your table saw look good within a few minutes after rubbing paraffin wax on table saw’s surface.

When removing tarnish, wax, and rust, it will be best to wear rubber gloves. Apply a few mineral spirits to the surface to help you cut through the paraffin wax. Within a few minutes, you can see that the surface would begin to smoothen and become shiny again. 

Use a clean rag to wipe the miter slots and the tabletop. Sprinkle a bit of mineral spirits until you remove all the dirt, rust, and wax.

Step 2: Start Cleaning the Bare Metal

Once you’ve removed the brown and orange rust from the surface, you might find the table not yet as smooth as you would like it to be. To remove the rough spots, you can utilize metal polish or rubbing compound along with a buffing wheel. 

If you have an orbital buffer, you can use it to polish the table saw’s surface. Avoid using silicone-tinged products because silicone will linger on the table surface and may contaminate the wood surface you’re cutting. 

This contamination might cause defects when you paint the wood. Check the MSDS sheet of chemicals to ensure that your product doesn’t contain silicone.

Step 3: Apply a Protective Shield on the Surface

Another excellent product that you can easily use to get good results is spray lubricant products. You will find myriads of these products in the hardware store. You can use this product to provide a protective shield for the cast iron components against water and moisture. 

It will be best to use safe and wood-friendly products to not damage your wood and tools. Let the surface dry after applying this protective barrier. 

As you inspect your table saw, you will discover that the surfaces made of cast iron are the ones most affected by rust. The reason is that it reacts quickly to moisture and water. So, it will be best to provide these surfaces with a protective shield against humidity and water. 

You can also use paste wax as a less costly alternative. Besides, you can use crumpled waxed paper and rub it on the cast-iron surface vigorously. You will notice that wax will soon form a slick shield over the surface.

Recommended Protective Layer Products 

As you learn that the cast iron surface of the table saw needs protection from humidity and water, it will be best to know the following most recommended products for providing a protective layer over the table saw surface:

Lubricant Products

You will find many quality lubricant products in the market made for use on table saws. Choose the one that best suits your lubrication needs. Nevertheless, if you fail to buy one, you can search your garage shelves and see if there is any car wax hidden. You can use this leftover car wax as an alternative to quality lubricant products.


Another product you can use is wax. Choose a carnauba-based wax paste for this purpose. It can also protect the surface of your table saw, even if it is meant for protecting the car finish. It will surely bring the same results as what it usually does with cars. 

You can liberally rut it on the surface using a damp sponge. Afterward, let it dry for several hours. Then, begin buffing the surface using a clean cloth. You can apply a second coating after that if you want. Nevertheless, it would be best to do away with the wax on the miter gauges afterward. 

You can apply wax on the table saw surface once a month to keep your table saw in topnotch condition. Such a protective product can keep your table saw slick and clean, making the wood pieces slide through the table almost frictionless and with ease.


You can also try to use talc, but its use would seem to you to be a bit unconventional. Talcum power or the ordinary baby powder can also help provide your tabletop with slickness and protection from rust because it naturally repels moisture. Nevertheless, you should choose a baby powder made from talc. 

Avoid something made from corn starch because it will only absorb moisture. You can sprinkle the powder over the tabletop. Afterward, you can rub it using an ordinary chalkboard eraser. It will fill in the pores, creating a smooth surface.

Helpful Tips for Preventing Table Saw Rusting

Aside from knowing the products you can use to provide your table saw with a protective shield or barrier against corrosion, it will also help if you know the following valuable tips on how to prevent table saw rusting:

Try Using a Surface Cover

You can create a plywood cover for the tabletop of your table saw. You can use this improvised plywood cover and lay it over the tabletop surface after using the table saw. Lower the table saw blade and set this plywood cover on the surface to help prevent humidity from settling on the table’s surface. 

You can create this simple plywood cover quickly. You can cut a 1/8″ or 1/4″ plywood according to the tabletop size. Once done with this improvised cover, don’t forget to set it on top of the table saw every after using the table saw at night.

Apply Wax Every Month

Regular maintenance of your table saw entails waxing your tabletop at least once a month. In doing so, you can prevent the onset of corrosion while keeping your tabletop slick and clean. 

Nevertheless, it will be best if you refrain from using silicone-based products, for they might leave residues that could make the finishing of the projects more challenging.


Rust weakens your table saw and leaves bad scars that could damage your precious table saw over time. The longer you dilly-dally in removing rust from your table saw, the deeper and more consuming the rust will be. To prevent the spread of corrosion, it will be best that you follow the simple steps mentioned above. 

A little knowledge of chemistry will help you do away with those nasty stains of corrosion. However, the onset of rusting is preventable, and if you can prevent it, it will be best to engage in preventive measures. 

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