Cast iron table top protection?

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Established Member
27 Jun 2023
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York or surrounding
I'm going to New Zealand for 5 months over winter and I will be leaving my machines in my unheated workshop.
What can i clag on the cast iron table tops on my router table, saw table etc to protect them from rusting? Don't mind something thick that I will have to remove when I get back. But wanted something more than the normal day to day stuff people use

Something I can buy local, screwfix etc would help
Just normal black bison paste wax or similar. Or if you want to really go belt and braces grease.
The other option would be a paper impregnated with a rust preventative often machines are delivered with this on the beds but you must be able to buy it somewhere.
Slideway oil for lathes and mills is thick and sticky. It works pretty well but after applying it, i'd press a sheet of bubble wrap or something down on the table top to stop temperature fluctuations causing condensation on the top.

On my own table saw over winter, it gets metalguard first, liberon anti rust wax second, then I put a sheet of something (ply, mdf, whatever) on top of the metal because the real damage is caused when warm damp atmosphere hits cast iron that has chilled down from a few nights of sub zero temperatures. Gotta keep that warm damp from reaching the cold metal.

Industry is used to this problem so the other option is to use an industrial product like Ambersil 31628


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In addition to the above suggestions, go to your local charity shop and get some used curtains to throw over tools to keep the dust off.

If you feel really keen, sew rare earth magnets into corners so they "stick" to the metal.

For five months, a dehumidifier may be too expensive and hard to empty, sadly.
I would have thought some liberion machine wax and a thick curtain would do the job. I don't wax mine that often.

I wouldn't fancy leaving something electric on for 5 months unattended even if it was a rated and self draining