Aluminum top smoothing - Router Forums
  • 2 Post By Nickp
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 08:22 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2019
Country: United States
First Name: N/a
Posts: 1
Question Aluminum top smoothing

I recently purchased a Bosch RA1181 router table which has an aluminum top. It's a little rough and grabbing the wood. Has anyone had any luck sanding something like this before? If so, what grit? Wet or dry? Power or hand? etc.

Or is paste wax sufficient here?
I have read that it is best applied with a heat gun and then power buffed for optimal hardness. Agree?
Is it usually necessary to do multiple coats for a first-time application?

Thank you!
Windburn is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 09:24 AM
Moderation Team
Cherryville Chuck's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2010
Country: Canada
First Name: Charles
Posts: 16,209

If it has burrs then they need removing. Those aluminum tops aren’t usually rough but it may be sticky so a coat of non siliconized paste wax may fix it.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
Cherryville Chuck is online now  
post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 11:51 AM
Forum Contributor
Stick486's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2013
Country: United States
First Name: Stick
Posts: 30,671

clean it, hand sand and then wax it..
if it's brand new.. call Bosch and have them deal w/ it...

This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!
"SNORK Mountain Congressional Library and Taxidermy”
Stick486 is online now  
Sponsored Links
post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 12:05 PM
Registered User
Nickp's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2012
Country: United States
First Name: Nick
Posts: 4,429

I have the 1181...I waxed the heck out of it with multiple coats. The more you buff it, the better. (Johnson's Paste Wax) I have not sanded it.

If you have raised scratches, etc, then you need to clean it up with very fine/extra fine paper, in the direction that you would run wood through, with a very flat sanding block...definitely not a ROS...


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
GIVE A MAN A FISH and you feed him for a day.
TEACH HIM HOW TO FISH and you feed him for his life time.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Nickp is offline  
post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 08:11 AM
Registered User
sreilly's Avatar
Join Date: May 2018
Country: United States
First Name: Steve
Posts: 1,557

Waxing any metal work surface on your tools will have multiple effects. 1, it will protect the surface from rust, 2, it will make it much smoother for the wood to traverse and lastly just makes it look better. But you want a wax that does not have silicon. Use a wax like Johnson's Paste wax (I think they called it bowling ally wax) or Clear Briwax. Make sure it's furniture wax and not automotive.

Welcome to the forum......
sreilly is offline  
post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-01-2020, 09:31 PM
Registered User
Bstrom's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2020
Country: United States
First Name: Brian
Posts: 495

I put a 320 grit sheet on my Bosch orbital and gently covered the bare tabletop until it was very smooth. Cleaned it well with a damp cloth and used paste wax to apply several coats - let it dry completely before buffing. Checked it with a straight edge and it is perfectly flat.

Also, due to a fanatical tendency to modify every tool I ever own, I replaced the two fence lockdown knobs with a pair of Rockler tall, soft star-knobbed holddowns - much easier to release and operate. (Also I used those holddowns on a router coping sled.)
Bstrom is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Router Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome