Aluminum table saw top

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EricRN

Member
Joined
May 16, 2019
Messages
149
Hi all, I’m wondering if I can improve my job site table saw by waxing the table top. Will that make it smoother? The aluminum is a bit tougher than cast iron saws I’ve used but I don’t have the space for a cabinet saw so trying to make the job site as good as possible. (To anyone in a similar spot—an aftermarket miter gauge with sacrificial fence goes a long way in terms of improvements.)
 

jttheclockman

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Joined
Feb 22, 2005
Messages
13,550
Location
NJ, USA.
First aluminum is softer than steel tops so it is possible it is dented or pitted. You should sand the top to take out any scratches that may cause things from sliding easily. Can use a random orbital sander or pad sander. Then clean and use a paste wax that is made for aluminum such as for aluminum wheels. The problem when using polishes and waxs you can contaminate the wood and hinder it from a good finish later down the road. To me I would just buff with a 0000/ steel wool pad or equivalent non woven pad. and skip the wax. Remember there is a fine line between being too slippery and have some tooth to be able to control the wood. I do not recommend butchers wax for aluminum. I use this on my steel. It will gum up in aluminum.
 

mick

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Joined
Mar 13, 2005
Messages
2,262
Location
Decatur AL, USA
I've got a Bosch table saw with an aluminum top and have used an orbital sander to smooth it up periodically and it really helps as does waxing but as JT says you run the risk of foreign matter contaminating the wood although I do keep my t tracks waxed. The biggest improvement you can make to any saw is building a sled. With a sled the piece being cut is held stationary sends the sled moves this is much more accurate for cross cuts. There are plenty on plans online and on YouTube.
This may sound odd but a little baby powder on the saw top can help on rip cuts.

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MRDucks2

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Joined
Jul 17, 2017
Messages
2,024
Location
Washington, IN
I have one of the Rigid contractor saws with an aluminum top and use good old fashioned Turtle Wax Hard Shell on it. When applied and buffed properly the risk of it “contaminating” wood is pretty minimal. I have never had any issues in 5 years. Not sure I would use any of the creamy waxes they make these days but that is just me.
 
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