How to Remove Rust from a Table Saw - Thumbnail

How to Remove Rust from a Table Saw – Easy Method


A rusty table saw top is not something you want. It will make cutting more difficult and dangerous. So if you see table saw rust appearing, or you have a heavily rusted table saw, this needs to be addressed, and you need to look for the best and easiest method how to remove rust from a table saw.

You can remove rust from cast iron table saw top in 4 easy steps:
Step 1 is to remove the saw blade and insert, which allows you to work easily and safely.
Step 2 is to remove the rust (I explain the different ways in this article)
Step 3 is to degrease the table saw and remove product residues
Step 4 is to apply a protective layer so that rust can return less quickly.

In this article, I will take a closer look at these steps on how to remove rust from a table saw and show you which materials and products you need for this.
Removing rust is not to be confused with regularly cleaning a table saw top, which I describe in this article.

Why Should You Have a Rust-free Table Saw Top

It is important to keep the top of a table saw rust free so that you can cut through the wood more safely and with less effort. Table saw rust slows down the supply of wood, so you’ll have to put more force on the wood to push it through the manure. This increases the chance that the wood will turn over, and you can end up in the saw blade with your hands.

Remember that working with a table saw is always a dangerous job, and you have to rule out all possible risks as much as possible, including rust. Always keep in mind that an accident can happen, so I recommend always having a first aid kit in your workshop. You can read how to put this together in my article, How To Make A Workshop First Aid Kit – N°1 Guide | FREE CHECKLIST

What Do You Need To Remove Rust From a Table Saw

What you need to make a rusty table saw top rust free depends on the degree to which it is rusted. For a lightly rusted table saw top, it is sufficient to have WD-40, a lint-free rag, benzene, and some sandpaper with 220 grit to 400 grit on hand.

However, if your table saw is heavily rusted, you will need a rust remover and some plastic wrap. To remove rust from cast iron table saw top easier and faster, you may also need coarser sandpaper between 80 Grit and 120 grit.

How To Remove Rust From a Table Saw – Step By Step

Step #1: Remove the Saw Blade and Insert

To start, you should first wipe off all dirt and sawdust and clean the surface of my table saw. This way you have a better view of what is happening underneath.

In order to be able to work more easily and safely in the following steps, it is a good idea to remove the table saw insert and the saw blade.

How to Remove Rust from a Table Saw - Remove the table saw blade
How to Remove Rust from a Table Saw – Remove the table saw blade

Step #2: remove the rust

Depending on how badly the table saw top is rusted, you will use different techniques. I start by treating a heavily rusted table saw.

How to Clean a Heavily Rusted Table Saw Top

Before you take any steps, it is good to use a table saw rust remover. A product that I recommend is this one from workshop hero. A link to buy this product on Amazon can be found below.

Metal Rescue Rust Remover by workshop heros

Metal Rescue Rust Remover Gel by workshop heros, 17.64 fl. oz, 1 Pack

Check out more details and prices of this product by clicking the link below.

This table saw rust remover gel is a powerful product that is best applied with a putty knife to get a more even layer. It is recommended to wear plastic gloves when working with this product and to do so in a well-ventilated area.

Apply the product to the exposed metal surfaces that are heavily corroded in a layer about 1 to 2 mm (1/16″) thick. Be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions before you begin.

You should not let the gel dry, so it is better that you cover the surface with plastic wrap after applying it. For heavier table saw rust, it is best to leave the product on the rusty table saw top for a few hours. Check regularly that the gel does not dry out.

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The gel will darken in color as you work. After a few hours, take an old rag and wipe off the gel. It may require a little scrubbing in places, but the majority of the rust should be gone by now. Be sure to remove all gel from the tabletop.

You can use sandpaper to remove the remaining rust. Do not immediately start with coarse sandpaper, but see what the effect is with a sandpaper grit 220. If the rust does not go away, you can go coarser. Know that the coarser you go, the bigger the scratches in the surface will become. to get it back you will have to take the right steps and choose the right sandpaper. More tips on sanding can be found in my article, How To Sand Wood? 7 Effective Wood Sanding Tips YOU NEED TO KNOW!

It’s also a good time to examine whether cleaning a table saw top is still worthwhile. Heavy table saw rust will form little pits on the surface. This implies that rust will always remain, and the surface will never be as smooth as it would be with a new table saw, no matter how hard you try.

If so, maybe it’s time to start looking for a new table saw. The article, “What to Look for in a Table Saw – 3 Tips to Find the Best One”, I wrote recently will certainly help you make the right choice.

How to Remove Light Rust on a Table Saw

You don’t need a table saw rust remover to clean a lightly rusted table saw top. Spray some WD40 on the table saw top and use some sandpaper to finish the job. Try it with slightly finer sandpaper, such as 320 grit. If that doesn’t work, use coarser sandpaper. Start with small steps and see what happens.

Whatever you do, don’t start sanding right away with 80-grit sandpaper. It will create deep scratches that are difficult to remove and where rust will have a better grip and come back faster.

How to Remove Rust from a Table Saw - Sanding the table saw top
How to Remove Rust from a Table Saw – Sanding the table saw top

Step #3: Degrease

After using products such as a table saw rust remover or WD-40, it is important to ensure that your table saw top is properly degreased so that there are no traces left of these products. If you do not do this, there is a possibility that these products will stick to the wood and can cause stains or fish eyes when painting or staining the wood in a later stadium.

How to Remove Rust from a Table Saw - Degreasing the table saw top
How to Remove Rust from a Table Saw – Degreasing the table saw top

To remove silicone-based products such as WD-40, it is best to use a product such as benzene or thinner. Apply some of the product to a soft cloth and remove all dirt and product residue by making circular movements over the table saw surface.

Step #4: Protect Your Table Saw from Rusting

Now you know how to remove rust from a table saw, it is best to keep it that way. You can do that by protecting the table saw top with paste wax. I described how to do this step by step in my article How to Wax a Table Saw Top Correctly (4 Simple Steps).


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