Table Saw Cleanup Time! – THDProspective Season 1

 In Tool Reviews
The article below contains affiliate links

clean a dirty cast iron table saw

So its time for your seasonal table saw cleaning, let me help.

Every year with the changing of seasons we are reminded by those little oxidation marks and rust spots on our table saw the seasons are changing. Whether it be from Summer or Winter, the humidity will get you.  Any way you look at it, the table saw cast iron top is a little less than a gleaming patina. It is important to keep your tools clean, to prevent them from breaking down, or becoming inaccurate even.  Let me show how to do it quickly and easily with the Makita LXT Cordless Vacuum and Dremel Power Cleaner.

I used to use the cheapest palm sander I had on hand, which at the time was a Ryobi ¼ sheet sander, not that there was anything wrong with my Ryobi sander, but I have recently had the new Power Cleaner from Dremel come in my shop as part of #THDProspective from The Home Depot.

So let me show you how I clean my table saw NOW…

First: Remove the Grime & Dust

Over the 3-6 months most people usually go between cleanings a lot of NASTY builds up on you table saw top. I used to use a bench brush to clean up dust around the shop.  This just puts the dust into the air, your lungs, and on your shop floor. Trading your bench brush for a cordless handheld vacuum like this Makita 18 volt LXT Compact Cordless Vacuum can do great things for your shop cleanliness and your lungs. The Makita runs for a solid 15 minutes on a 2ah battery or even longer with a higher capacity battery. It has tons of suction for picking up chips, sawdust, and other junk on you shop surfaces or floor. It even has an air filter in the canister to ensure that it is spitting out clean air.  Those micro particles are the ones that will get ya.

I also spray a little degreasing spray to breakdown the pitch and residue built up over the year. Then I just give it a quick wipe to get it ready for the next step.

Step 2: Remove the Rust

The next part of table saw cleanup is where a lot of people will go WAY OVERBOARD.


This is where the “little power cleaner that could” really finds its purpose in the shop. This thing is far from a uni-tasker, it is great for cleaning those deep baked in messes inside as well. You may find it stolen in the cleaning supplies closet if you are not careful, the Dremel Power Cleaner is basically elbow grease in a can.

In the shop and around the wood shop, this thing is great. I use the green pad attachment and some WD40 penetrating oil to get all of the deep rust out of your table saw top. The Dremel Power Cleaner comes with a 2 different attachments; a brush for scrubbing and buffing and a hook and loop pad for the included “magic eraser” scrubbing sponge, and Brillo pad.

The other nice thing about the Dremel Power Cleaner is that it comes with a detachable wet cleaning shroud. This way you don’t spray yourself with grime and cleaning fluid while you are cleaning. The one knock I have on it is that the battery only last about 15 minutes of run time. This is a trade off for the light weight and feel in the hand.  I just wish it had about twice the battery life.

Final Step: Waxing the Top, Protecting Against Future Rust


The last step in restoring you table top to working order is applying some sort of rust preventative and lubricant. Some folks use Teflon spray, others use floor wax, there are even some specialty products from companies like that are specialized for just such an application. Personally, I tend to use whatever I have on hand, but I think all of these products have their merits.

This time around, I used the Dremel Power Cleaner and the brush attachment to buff in a good quote of paste wax, but you do you.

Finally – GET TO WORK!

What are you still doing here? No really, get to work!

Really though, this is a good opportunity to double check and tune your table saw.  Check the squareness of the blade to the miter slots, double checking the saw fence, and checking plumness of the blade to table top.

I did a whole video on this if you are interested in taking your saw through its whole seasonal checkup.

Let me know in the comments if you have any questions,

This article is part of a paid partnership with The Home Depot, all thoughts, words, and impression expressed within are my own.


Keep your tools sharp, and your mind sharper


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