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Preventing Table Top Rust
There are two basic steps we follow for maintaining a cast iron table top on a table saw and other stationary tools: remove rust and dirt, and seal it with a protective topcoat.
We're always on the lookout for rust so we can stop it before it becomes a problem, see top photo. Grit-embedded scouring blocks, like this Sandflex, work great for removing rust and grime from a cast iron table top.
After removing any rust, seal the top by spraying on a protective topcoat, see bottom photo. Spray-on topcoat products are available at hardware stores and woodworking stores. In addition to rust protection, they also act as a sort of lubricant so workpieces slide smoothly across the table.