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Machining a rusty table?

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  • Machining a rusty table?

    I picked up a nice old Walker Turner 14" Band Saw today at an auction.
    The table is quite rusty, but I couldn't resist 400 lbs of classic iron for $10.

    I'm probably going to toss the table in my electrolysis tank, but I'm expecting it to be pretty pitted.

    I have a fairly large Chinese mill.. it's no Bridgeport, but I think that the bandsaw table will fit on it... how tough would it be to lightly face the bandsaw table? I suppose I can always fill it with some bondo, but I'd love to have a nice smooth surface if it's not terribly difficult.

    She's still on my trailer, I'll get some pics tomorrow.

  • #2
    I would get at least a 6" shell mill with some good carbide inserts and have at it. If you can, mount your band saw table on a rotary table and rotate it under the shell mill. That would simulate a blanchard type grind rather than straight passes.



    • #3
      I would find someone with a blanchard grinder.


      • #4
        Would any pits that you could reasonably expect machine away really be a problem on a band-saw table? I've put a lot of miles on band-saws and can tell you that bumps are problem but pits aren't. Just think of them as lubricant reservoirs and friction reducing features.


        • #5
          Originally posted by jstinem
          Would any pits that you could reasonably expect machine away really be a problem on a band-saw table? I've put a lot of miles on band-saws and can tell you that bumps are problem but pits aren't. Just think of them as lubricant reservoirs and friction reducing features.
          I'm sure it'll work great... it's just a cosmetic thing.

          I had another look at the table, and it's actually in a lot better condition that I thought. I'll probably clean her up and put her to work. I might to a full restoration in the spring.

          They sure don't make them like this any more... 470 lbs of cast iron with the base. That doesn't include the weight of the motor.


          • #6
            Try scraping it with a razor blade.
            You have to play around to get the right angle but I have had good luck with the technique.



            From my DSG lathe rebuild.

            Last edited by KIMFAB; 10-09-2011, 09:18 AM.
            Guaranteed not to rust, bust, collect dust, bend, chip, crack or peel


            • #7
              I have one of these machines; it has a back gear like a lathe and a four step pulley cone for a total of eight speeds. Got it cheap (not $10 cheap, but pretty cheap) because the guy that owned it just did woodworking and it cut too slow. It was in back gear. So that's something to check out on yours; it'll be a knob on the back of the step pulley that pulls the pin in and out.
              I'm here hoping to advancify my smartitude.


              • #8
                Hi Rich,

                I have a Kalamazoo Startrite 30" bandsaw that looked a lot like yours when I got it.

                I used wd40 and sandpaper to clean it up. Start with maybe 80 grit or so and go to finer grit as the heaviest rust is removed. Lots of paper towels are needed to wipe off the sludge. Then wipe it with a light film of motor oil to minimize rust. You also don't need to worry about harming the cast iron under all that rust unless you get really carried away. I buy the wd40 by the gallon can and bought a wd40 pump sprayer for a couple of bucks. Lots cheaper than buying the spray cans.

                When I got the rust off my table, I was pleasantly surprised to find a nice hand scraped table.

                There must have not been any scrappers at that auction or it would have brought more than $10 for scrap alone. You did a good thing rescuing it from the scrap heap, where it would have probably made a trip to china and returned couple dozen crap bandsaws or something equally crappy.

                Last edited by bborr01; 10-09-2011, 11:01 AM.

                THINK HARDER




                • #9
                  Your new saw isn't that rusty. I doubt if there's significant pitting. I'd wire brush it with a cup whel in a 4" angle grinder and stone it. It's a band saw. It doesn't have to be perfect.


                  • #10
                    I've saved tables worse than that which had heavy pitting.So long as there are no significant hollows or dips there is really no need to machine the surface.
                    For filling rust pits,I had the best results buffing the table clean and then degreasing it completely with Acetone or Zylene.Once I had it clean I used a filled two part epoxy (Devcon or JBweld) and a steel spreader to fill the pits.

                    Once the epoxy had fully cured(24hrs)I scraped it down flush with a single edged razor blade and then buffed the whole top down with Scotchbrite.

                    A good product to used on cast iron tables especially on woodworking machines is Slipit-

                    I just need one more tool,just one!


                    • #11
                      the areas between the webs on the table are very thin, if you try to mill it, take off the minimum about you can.
                      When I get Time... I'll...


                      • #12
                        It's a bandsaw, not a precision piece of equipment. Your going to be cutting close to lines. I'd just clean it up enuf so you can slide stuff over it to cut with. If you buff and polish it all to perfection your not going to use it because as soon as you do your just going to scratch up the fancy ground surface by pushing chunks of metal over it.


                        • #13
                          I second the razor blade idea.I have a gasket scraper that uses a single edge blade.I ease the corners with a very fine stone so it won't gouge.Start in one small area and you will see how nice it will look with out taking any material off.It's a lot of work but the pay off is there.I used this technique on a Delta Unisaw and an import jointer.


                          • #14
                            A friend of mine, years ago, had a similar situation. The table was not unusable, but the ugly-factor bugged him. I bought a ceramic floor tile and epoxied a handle on the bottom. Then I made a slurry of grinding compound in heavy oil. Just a bit more liquid than a paste. I brushed compound onto the table, laid the tile on it and began rubbing it back and forth, round and round, up and down. It came out all shiny and bright and was smooth enough that you couldn't feel any thing when running a finger nail across it.



                            • #15
                              When you get table cleaned up heat it a little with a hairdryer and rub in a good layer of paraffin. There should be a little to much wax on the table then so use a block wood to scrap it off an burnish the table. This will fill the pits and scratches and make them much harder to see. The wax will protect table from rust and also make it very slippery. This makes the saw much easier to use.