What to do About Table Saw’s Protective Coating?

What to do About Table Saw’s Protective Coating?

Recently I was given a new Craftsman Evolv 15-amp table saw. It does the job well enough. However, the coating seems to prevent wood from sliding easily when making a cut, and it tends to leave blade marks in the wood. I’m hoping you can offer a solution to resolve this. I’m in the process of making a sled, but the miter gauge slots have the same protective coating, which also prevents a smooth, continuous movement. – Jonathan Marble

Chris Marshall: Sears’s description for this saw doesn’t point out what that coating is, specifically. It might a Teflon™-type material which, ironically, would be there in order to lower the friction and make wood easier to slide across it, not harder. But, it’s also possible that the coating is just thick lacquer paint, applied poorly.

Either way, what a nuisance! It’s also potentially a safety hazard if you can’t feed material through a cut without feeling like you’re shoving it along. The cutting action should be silky smooth. Your miter gauge should also slide in its slots without resistance. So, if the saw is still covered under Sears’s standard warranty, I’d take it back and get a replacement. If the next one also has too much coating on the tabletop, I’d get my money back and buy a different saw. Two strikes would seem more than fair.

If you have no choice at this point but to keep the saw you have, I’d try to remove the rough surface of the coating without damaging the metal underneath it. To do that, I’d wet-sand the surfaces gently with 400- or 600-grit automotive sandpaper and a flat sanding block. That might knock off enough of the roughness to lower the friction without even removing all of the surface coating. (Smoothness is the goal here, not appearance.) Then polish the tabletop and miter slots with paste wax to help make the surfaces as slippery smooth as possible. Eventually, the coating would begin to wear through anyway from normal use. You’re just speeding up time while making the saw more pleasant and safer to operate. Good luck!

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