Paste Wax for Table Saws & Machinery
In my recent postings, I’ve been writing about silicone oil and fish eye. So a few days ago I was having a deep discussion with a friend about paste wax, and it reminded me of the time I was in a friend’s shop and noticed him spraying Pledge on the top of his table saw. He explained that it was to reduce the resistance to boards he was pushing through the saw.
NO! Don’t do that.
Don’t use a furniture polish that contains silicone oil on any tabletops in your shop that may come in contact with wood (most aerosols contain silicone oil). In fact, don’t spray any aerosol furniture polish in your woodworking shop because the mist may float and settle on some wood you intend to use for a project. This may lead to the fish eye problem I’ve been describing.
If you want to make the tabletops on your stationary machinery (table saw, bandsaw, jointer, etc.) slicker, use paste wax. But stay away from paste waxes for cars because many contain silicone oil (for better shine and water repellence). Instead, use a paste wax marketed for floors and furniture. Manufacturers don’t include silicone oil in these paste waxes because the silicone oil will make floors slicker, making it more likely that people could slip and fall.
As I’ve written before, if you don’t need the added the color that many imported paste waxes contain, try common old Johnson’s Paste Wax. It’s my favorite because it dries rapidly, so you don’t have to wait long before buffing off the excess, and it’s cheap.
Don’t get drawn in by all the hype surrounding imported paste waxes. Except for the added color, the only significant difference in paste waxes is the evaporation rate of the solvent included to make the wax workable. I generally find that it’s easier to work with waxes that develop their resistance quickly, which tells you that it’s time to buff off the excess.