Another Tip to Keep Your Work Surfaces Smooth

In one of the Tricks of the Trade, Theo van der Schans wrote about using graphite to make his power tool surfaces smoother.

This is a great trick but not one I would use for woodworking. The graphite can easily get into the pores of the wood, thus making finishing a bear. There are several aerosol products that will do the same thing.  Some other alternatives include a light coat of floor wax, or polishing the surface of the tool to a high gloss using a process similar to blade sharpening.

If graphite is to be used, it should be used only for dark woods where its appearance is minimized. For light woods, sprinkle the machine’s top like a baby’s bottom with baby powder or talc.

There are all sort of products on the market that will make your machine tops slick. When using them however, it is extremely important to remember not to use products that contain any form of silicon and/or grease.

Phil Rasmussen, US Army-retired
Hendersonville, NC

Posted in:

  • bcbob

    I’m in the printing industry where graphite would be a huge no-no . . for machines that don’t have an air table we use good quality car wax . . . makes it smoother than a babies behind and slick . . . no residue

  • BobB

    I use the same wax that I use on my woodworking projects. Because the wax is made to be used for woodwork, I know it does not contain silicon or fine grit etc… The wax also prevents the macnine tables from rusting. This way I save money as I don’t need to buy additional products to protect my machines. I also use the wax after I clean my table saw blades for rust protection and smoothness.