How to Remove Rust from Table Saw – The Best Way to Follow

How to Remove Rust from Table Saw

Has your the cast iron top of the saw accumulated rust? Looking for the best way to remove the rust and stop it from rusting?

In fact, rust is one of the biggest threats to your table saw. Particularly cast-iron table is susceptible to rust in high-humidity climates.

Rust not only reduces its efficiency but also forces the user to choose costly maintenance. Rust is like cancer! It spreads gradually all over the surface. So, to stop it you must kill all of it!

But fear not.

This article on how to remove rust from table saw will help you a lot to do the work efficiently.

Believe me; you can do it quickly, and it’s much easier than you think!

How to Remove Rust from Table Saw- Step-By-Step Guidelines

Things you will need:

  • 400-grit wet-or-dry sandpaper/ synthetic kitchen scrubbing pad
  • Dry, clean cloth/ paper towel
  • Naval Jelly
  • WD-40/ T-9/ Slipit/ Paste waxes/ paraffin waxes
  • Hand gloves

Step 1: Assess the situation

The first thing you should do is assess the amount of rust on the table top. If there is only surface rust which is relatively light and minor pitting, then clean up won’t be very difficult.

On the other hand, if your unit has substantial and deep rust and major damage due to rust accumulating for several years if you have to work hard to remove it. On this situation, the surface may be still usable, but it won’t be as smooth of a surface when it was new.

Step 2: Remove the table saw accessories

It’s safe to remove the blade insert, blade itself, miter gauge and fence. You can also remove the rails.

Step 2: Have the PPE

Wearing a mask and eye protection is essential!

Step 3: Scour the surface

With 400-grit wet-or-dry sandpaper scour the whole surface.  You may use synthetic kitchen scrubbing pad (not steel wool) to scour the top. Wipe off the surface with a dry, clean cloth or some paper towel to eliminate residual particles. Repeat this step as necessary.

If the rust is deep and heavier, you may use an orbital sander to help with the scrubbing to remove surface rust from cast iron table saw.

Step 4: Use Naval Jelly

Naval jelly is a gloopy, thick jelly made of Phosphoric acid. It is very effective to clean extremely rusted cast iron surface. It works quickly and does a good job for rust removing. This stuff is available at any local hardware store.

Before handling this product, wear hand gloves. Place the unit is a well-ventilated area. Open the door and set up a fan to ensure air moving to avoid breathing the nasty fumes from this chemical. Follow the instructions mentioned on the container.

Glob on or brush the naval jelly on the rusty top and spread it around. If you need to cover a large area, it’s convenient to use a paint sprayer to spray the stuff. Apply a thick layer and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Then wipe it up along with the rust.

Apply more naval jelly to the pitted spots. Use some elbow grease and a rag to work into the pitted areas. You may also use a metal brush if you need to. The remaining rust will come up in no time.

When finished, you need to remove the residual acid properly. Rinse the surface with water soaked rag and dry it thoroughly.

To remove the rust from the table legs and hard to reach areas like the walls of the throat and miter slots, follow the step 3 and 4.

Removing Rust from Table Saw Blades

These steps should keep your table saw blades in top form.

  • Wear rubber glove
  • Lay the blades on a solid surface
  • Apply penetrating oil over the top metal surface. Pay attention to the deep rusted areas.
  • Scour the entire metal surface of the blade by using a steel wool pad.
  • Apply more oil if needed.
  • Wipe off the rust using a dry, clean rag.
  • Follow the same procedure to remove the rust from the opposite side of the blade.
  • Apply the wax on the blade. Follow the instruction mentioned on the wax container.
  • Polish the wax from the blade. Apply a second layer of wax and re-polish the surface.
  • Lubricate the blade after each use. Use WD-40, paste wax or gun oil before storing the blade.

Step 5: Protect the surface to prevent rust return

After removing the rust, it’s important to stop your table saw from rusting. Take the necessary measures to ensure that the rust won’t return.

Several commercial products are available on the market to protect the cast-iron table from rusting. Some of these are:

  • WD-40
  • T-9
  • Slipit
  • Paste waxes/ paraffin waxes

These are available at your woodworking supplier or online.

# Protecting the surface from rust with WD-40 is effective if you store the machine for a cold winter. (The main purpose of WD-40 is removing water from metal tools and rust prevention)

Cover the dry surface with WD-40, and with a rag spread it thin. Use some more if necessary.

Note:  If you’re planning not to use the table saw for a while, only use WD-4. But if you immediately use the unit after freshly lubricated, your workpiece may pick up the WD-40 which may cause a major issue when you’ll try to apply a finish to the wood.

# Alternatively, you can use paraffin wax or paste waxes to protect the surface of the table from rust. Apply the wax on the surface and let it dry for 15-20 minutes and then wipe off.  Repeat the process at least one more time to make sure that all the surface area is covered with wax.

These waxes will not only protect the surface from rust but also smooth the surface so that your workpiece will glide easily across it.


Stay away from paste wax for cars. Many of these products contain silicone oil for water repellency and better shine which have negative impacts on the cast –iron. Paste wax for furniture or floors is also perfect to use.

Step 6: Reassemble the accessories

Back together everything. Insert the blade insert, reinstall your fence, etc.

After reinstalling all the accessories, your table saw is ready for service again. Have a look and admire the great job you’ve done!

Watch This: How Do You Clean a Rusty Table Saw Top?

Summing Up

Finally, the most important thing to do is avoid exposing your table saw to moisture. Although it’s quite difficult in the average workshop or garage, you should take measures to reduce exposure.

What’s more, avoid setting other tools or any drinks on the top of the table that may contain moisture.

Don’t forget to periodically apply a coat of wax on the table to prevent rusting.

If you can properly maintain your table saw, certainly, it’ll last for the life of the unit and serve you well.

Hope, this step-by-step guideline on the Best way to remove rust from table saw top has helped you a lot.

Now get to work and enjoy your woodworking!

About Sam Maxi

Hi, this is Sam Maxi. I love talking about woodwork tools and my reviews are mostly based on the experience I have from my work. Apart from reviewing, I am a huge fan of surfing. Also, I love watching horror genre movies.

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