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I have recently become the owener of a used table saw. The saw is in great condition but there is rust on the top of from some kind of spilled liquid. Suggestions for removing the rust and treating the top to prevent further rust issues later?
Start with 400-grit wet/dry sandpaper & work your way up to 800-grit, either sanding by hand (with a block) or with a palm sander.
When the rust is gone, give the tabletop a coat of automotive paste wax. Be sure that the wax doesn't contain silicone though. Silicone can transfer to the wood that you're cutting, making it nearly impossible to accept stain or paint.
I had the same thing on my saw. I looked into it and purchased a product called top saver system by Empire manufacturing. The website is www.wmpiremfg.com. It comes with rubber gloves (I never used) two scotch brite pads, and two shop towels, a rust remover lubricant in a spray bottle, and a Surface sealer/ conditioner. It worked wonderful and made the saw table top look new and made the wood and tools like sling on glass. Dave is right anything that has oil or wax will eventually penetrate into your wood. But I suggest this product first it was easy unless the rust has damaged the surface then I would do what dave suggested. I purchased my at a rockler wood working store. But I am sure it is available from anyone that sells woodworking tools and supplies.