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Surface Rust on Welding Table

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  • Surface Rust on Welding Table

    I'm finishing up fabrication for my welding table at home and have a piece of 3/4" plate that I purchased from a metal scrapper/seller here in town. The plate had been sitting outside for who knows how long and had some fairly heavy rust. I've ground, sanded, and wire brushed majority of the rust off at this point. Most forums I've read through generally recommend using something like a light coat of WD-40 once all the rust is removed then wiping down the table to prevent future rust. However, if I were to use a couple light coats of a rust converter/primer would it impede the electrical current if I ground my mig to the table, or would there be any other issues while welding on it?

  • #2
    Surface Rust on Welding Table

    I wouldn't use oil, it will destroy ur garage with very heavy fumes from WD-40 for a long time. Not big on any primers or clear coat paints, will definitely effect ground conduction. Then you'll get lots of shocks/burns as arc will like you as ground better.

    Just keep a belt sander handy, try to limit moisture in garage.



    • #3
      Light surface rust is good, I set my tables outside from time to time so they will rust so I can mark on them with soapstone, Dont put anything on the table, grind it smooth and use it.


      • #4
        I always wipe my tables down with a wet sponge the day before I build stair rails or a funky stair. This will give you just enough surface rust to make marking easy, but a wire cup in a grinder will clean it right up when you are done.
        I only do this with my steel fab table. If you also work with aluminum or SS on the same table, I may take a different approach.


        • #5
          Try Concrete Etcher.

          It contains roughly 20-26% Phosphoric Acid. It will turn the rust black.

          It will neutralize rust because it's the active ingredient in products like Naval Jelly which are made to "revert" rust into Iron Phosphate rather than Iron Oxide. Only it is twice the concentration of Phosphoric Acid than in these products.

          You can wipe it on with gloves and a mask (don't put it in a spray bottle, it will dissolve the rubber trigger gasket). It is carcinogenic, so just take caution when utilizing.

          After 10-15 minutes of letting it percolate on the surface of the table, you can wipe it off with 5 to 10 drops of dish detergent in a gallon of water.

          I had a set of car doors that I had stripped to bare metal and coated with concrete etcher in a garage that had an excessive amount of moisture on spring mornings. The only item in the garage that didn't have rust for the 2 years they were stored there were the car doors that I hung up in the corner... Covered in moisture/morning dew, but no rust at all.

          As for utilizing rust as a substrate for marking and plotting on... use a silver sharpie, or a Markal Silver Streak pen... or the good old fashioned sharpened soap stone.

          No need to find a case for rust unless it's going on something artistic or your desire is to lower the value of something.


          • #6
            a great product. I dont really use it for the anti-splatter but more about tool and welding table cleaning and conditioning.

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            • #7
              I will throw my opinion in the ring. I use Eagle brand Anti-Spatter, their soy based version, on my welding tables and have not had a problem with them rusting up. This kills two birds with one stone. Protection from rust and bb's while welding.