Aluminum top smoothing - Router Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 09:22 AM Thread Starter
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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!
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 10:24 AM
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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.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 12:51 PM
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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....

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-13-2019, 01:05 PM
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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...

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 09:11 AM
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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.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-01-2020, 10:31 PM
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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.)
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