I have a contractor style table saw and haven't invested in much dust collection, so there is a lot of sawdust stuck all over the lift and tilt mechanisms.

dusty table saw internals (Source: self)

Once I've removed this, how should I treat the internals of the saw? Specifically,

  • Is there something I should put on all inner parts to repel dust?
  • What should I put on the teeth of the lift and tilt gears and screws?

2 Answers 2


You've identified the conundrum- anything that lubricates the bearing surfaces will also collect sawdust. There's nothing in my experience that a) lubricates parts and b) repels dust effectively.

If your saw is hard to raise or tilt, try a spray lubricant containing lithium grease on the gears and the corresponding shafts. If that doesn't help, check the (usually) brass or bronze bushings where the pivots are, see if it's caked with fine sawdust. First try blowing it out with everything in the highest / most tilted position, then the opposite. Also try an old used toothbush. Fixing this might mean tearing your saw apart, but it shouldn't be something you have to do more than once a year or so.


A graphite lubricant like type used for locks would work well and typically has no solvent or has a carrier that flashes off immediately. But I imagine it will not last long because some of the graphite powder will be carried away by sawdust each time you clean the saw out.

EDIT: Paste wax will help to prevent rust buildup on exposed steel and iron parts. It will take an hour or more to dry to the point where it's not tacky, best to let it sit overnight. It may help lubricate parts but it will wear off quickly where steel is rubbing on other steel parts.

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