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Cathodic protection for cast iron

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TheTiddles

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If it doesn’t corrode… it’s not cast iron. Not sure how you are deciding what “quality” is, but I think Record have been made in China for a good few years now, not that makes any intrinsic difference to quality.

I’ve noticed all my cast iron machines get rust when I don’t look after them
 

Bojam

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Zinc dust might help! :ROFLMAO:

But I did think of trying to plate cast iron tables with Nickel. It is possible to buy nickel electrolyte and then use a sponge with electrode and second electrode is the table itself. Some rubbing (wax on, wax off) and very thin layer is there. Heck, you can even plate it with that zinc ingot that was mentioned before, just need some appropriate electrolyte for that. But usually people put copper layer first for surface bind and smoothness, then a bit of nickel, then layer of chrome. But I never heard of this being applied to woodworking machines tables for some reason...

Harvey make a bandsaw with a TiN (titanium nitride) coated cast iron bed. Sold by Axminster in the UK (see here). Apparently this helps prevent corrosion.

Also there's a thread here where a guy discusses having nickel or zinc plated components of his bandsaw in the manner you describe. So yeah, it can definitely be done.
 

David_Edge

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Quality would be 'fitness for purpose'. Even Axminster acknowledged that the Record is better. If the Record isn't CI then it must be some other material that weighs a ton, is capable of being cast and stays flat. What witchcraft that might be I don't know.
 

Distinterior

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I'm not too sure how one can technically tell a better quality cast iron from another....But, from personal experience, I can say I have 5 different machines with cast iron tops/ surfaces ( all different manufacturers).

The worst is my large foor standing Axminster bandsaw, by far.
Followed by my Charnwood Router table top.
Then my smaller Record BS250 bandsaw table.
Then my Hammer A3 31 planer thicknesser tables/ bed.
And finally, the best of the lot, is my Startrite Pillar drill base and table.

All of them will rust if not protected in some way, but as far as I can tell, the Hammer and Startrite are superior to the others and tend to need far less surface maintenance.

Edit.
I would never cover any of my machines in a plastic sheet, as all you're going to do is trap any moisture and prevent it from escaping.....It's going to exacerbate the problem, not solve it!
 
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Distinterior

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Are your machines also not listed in order of mass / available area to rust!

Largest surface area by a long way is the Hammer A3 31.
Then the Charnwood router table.
Then the Axminster bandsaw table.
Then the Startrite pillar drill.
Smallest surface area is the Record BS 250.
 

TheTiddles

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Harvey make a bandsaw with a TiN (titanium nitride) coated cast iron bed. Sold by Axminster in the UK (see here). Apparently this helps prevent corrosion.

Also there's a thread here where a guy discusses having nickel or zinc plated components of his bandsaw in the manner you describe. So yeah, it can definitely be done.
TiN can be deposited straight onto steel and iron and it bonds really well, hence cutting tools use it for improved wear resistance.

Nickel has to be deposited onto a copper layer and that doesn’t stick nearly so well, also being soft they wear through very easily too, but you can do it at home if you like that sort of thing.

They used to sell granite topped saws in the USA too which were lovely
 
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