View Full Version : waxing the column

02-06-2005, 10:31 PM
Now before you guys get the wrong idea here, what I'm talking about is the column on the mill and/or the drill press. I want to fully clean the drill press column, then protect it from rusting. Obviously I don't want to paint it, or make much of a build-up of any kind. Is there a good surface treatment, or is the oily rag the best way to do this? I'd like to prevent the film of rust that shows up from time to time from temperature/humidity effects, and I don't really want an oily film on the drill press column, since I drill a lot of wood and plastics on it. I would use Top-Kote or some similar thing, but I also don't want to compromise the clamping friction of the table to the column. Any good ideas?

02-06-2005, 10:52 PM
Paste wax works for me.

02-06-2005, 11:25 PM

Think I've tried everything on the columns of the drill press, mill, and surface grinder. My best results come from cleaning the column with laquer thinner/acetone, wiping dry, and wiping on a coat of WD-40. Pretty low tech, hope you didn't want something fancy!

Tried surface coatings. One (that I use on the table saw, radial saw, jointer) is a teflon mold release spray. Another is a motorcycle chain spray lubricant (which is great on milling machine ways and table lead screws). These both cause a jerky motion when lowering the drill press table.

WD-40 is thick enough to allow easy movement, thin enough not to bind the table. Reapply whenever the table seems sticky or hard. Lasts a lot longer than you would think. Doesn't seem to attract dirt or grit, even on the surface grinder.

Barry Milton

02-07-2005, 12:03 AM
Starrett M1, bought in gallons and used in a pump spray bottle, is all I use now for everything including collets, chucks, toolholders and any machined surfaces. Just pump it on and let the excess run off small stuff or wipe gently with a small cloth on larger surfaces.

It leaves a very thin protective wax behind and is quickly renewed or removed.

02-07-2005, 12:03 AM

[This message has been edited by nheng (edited 02-07-2005).]

Paul Gauthier
02-07-2005, 12:35 PM
A product called "TopCoat" works very well.

Paul G.

Paul Alciatore
02-07-2005, 12:58 PM
I tried waxing a table saw once. Came back some weeks later and it was startint to rust. I prefer the oily rag. I wouldn't use WD-40 unless I was going to apply it every day.

Paul A.

02-08-2005, 12:33 AM
Thanks, guys. I'm actually thinking of using Top-Kote, but I know it reduces friction. Will I have to clamp the table tighter, or will it not make any difference- probably be ok. I just looked at the price of a can today, 5 oz can, 15.95 cdn, none on the shelf. Lots of 10 oz cans though, but no price. It's hard to imagine laying out 30 bucks for a spray can. It's good stuff, though.