Waxing Machine Tops

Keep it simple. March 25, 2007

What do you use on machinery table surfaces – wax or powder? Do you clean the table tops with kerosene, and then use powder or steel wool tool surfaces with wax and buff out?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor M:
I use paraffin wax and have for years. We tried a can of topcoat but it seemed to not last long, so we went back to the wax.

From contributor F:
Butchers Bowling Alley or Johnsons Paste are as good as it gets, and no silicone content for metal tops. Wipe it on and wipe the excess off and you're done. Most applications are less often than once a week.

From contributor V:
There will be an ad along shortly for a commercial preparation, but a lot of us just use paste floor wax. Apply it with a small piece of cloth, let it dry and then buff it out. I rewax my tool beds anytime the wood feels like it drags. I wax planers, jointers, shapers, tablesaws, router table tops... any surface that wood slides on. If you have a corroded surface on one of your tools you can give it new life by sanding with fine silicon carbide paper until the metal is shiny again.

From contributor R:
I use a product made by Sprayway called Woodworkers Dry Lube. You clean your machine bed, then just spray it on and let it dry. It leaves a non-silicone wax coat on the surface that works great. You can get it from Lemmon & Snoap Company.

From contributor J:
Bowling alley wax as previously stated - simple, easy, cheap… What more could you want?

From contributor I:
Does the wax not make for more sanding prior to finishing to remove residue so the stains, paints, etc. bind properly?

From contributor C:
I've been using paraffin for 30 years. Carry a chunk of canning wax in my nail apron to swipe tables, fences, hold downs, hand saws. Never had a problem with finish - solvent or water base.

From contributor P:
I do just what contributor C says and have been doing so for about 20 years. It's never caused me any problem. About once a year I'll take some steel wool and clean up the tops and then use a power buffer to buff the wax in. Makes the tops smooth as glass.