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Excellent, clever design project! I know you painted it before deciding on a backing, but perhaps completing the entire project before painting would be a good idea if done again?
Thanks, jimustanguitar, for making the effort to photograph and document your de-rusting of this Craftsman table saw. I have one that is very similar, 10" blade, about 40 years old, and it was stored in a shed for the past 15 years or so. I was pondering about how to remove the the light rust on the surface (not nearly as bad as yours was) when your article popped up on the website. Great article!