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Cleaning Lathe after use

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Jon Lawes08/08/2018 12:16:50
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324 forum posts

I'm getting worried about how much cast iron dust gets into the slide mechanism of my ML7, I've got a little guard that was made to keep the worst off the bed but its still worrying how much gets into places to cause abrasive mayhem.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how best to either keep it at bay or routinely clean everything after use? I don't have an airline, I've been flushing everything with duck oil or similar.

Suggestions welcome; its a hole in my knowledge I would love to sort.

Neil Wyatt08/08/2018 12:30:29
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Moderator
16562 forum posts
687 photos
75 articles

Do you have felt bed wipers?

Neil

Jon Lawes08/08/2018 12:34:10
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324 forum posts

No, it's just the way my trousers sit.

I don't, I wasn't aware such a thing existed but that sounds like a good idea, thanks.

Martin Kyte08/08/2018 12:37:22
1488 forum posts
24 photos

As far as the carriage slides are concerned using the oil gun on the top and rear sides will wash the dust out from under it. I suspect most of the debris will be on the bed ways. Airlines are just going to blow in all the places you don't want. No real proof for this but I suspect that most of the small particles are carbon. The felt wiper should keep much of it out anyhow. Maybe the biggest problems come from chilled spots and castings with a lot of castin sand embedded in them. You should really be dealing with both of these on the bench before you get as far as the lathe,

I would suggest that castings these days are better quality and have been cleaned up so don't pose so many issues.

Interested in others comments.

regards Martin

Jon Lawes08/08/2018 12:42:13
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324 forum posts

Maybe I should invest in a better oil gun. The one I have isn't that effective. Also I don't oil it that way every time, I think I'll start.

Thor08/08/2018 12:53:06
1116 forum posts
31 photos

Hi Jon,

I try to cover the bedways when turning cast iron, and my lathe carriage have felt wipers. As Martin says, don't use an airline, instead I use an old vacuum cleaner and oil well after turning cast iron.

Thor

Brian Wood08/08/2018 12:54:08
1966 forum posts
37 photos

Hello Jon,

Use a brush to sweep the worst of the dust and swarf away, the size I use is called a Bannister Brush. I often follow that up with a soft rag to fetch the fine dust that the brush can't shift fully Blowing the bed off with an airline is not a good idea as it can force fine particles into gaps where it gets up to mischief

Do fit a felt wiper to the front of the saddle and make a similar mounting to fit one at the front end of the tailstock

Regards

Brian

Mick B108/08/2018 12:55:20
1186 forum posts
66 photos

Or:-

Keep the whole thing as bone-dry as you can whilst machining cast iron, then use a good vacuum cleaner with a crevice nozzle in one hand and a clean, dry paintbrush in the other. Only oil-up once you've got rid of everything you can get at.

Mike Crossfield08/08/2018 13:25:09
191 forum posts
17 photos

Jon

Do you have swarf trays fitted? They help a lot in keeping debris off the bedways and out of the slides. My own are shown below. I also have a wiper on the front of the tailstock.

3b987f41-08f4-4933-b5a2-861704442ba8.jpeg

Bazyle08/08/2018 13:30:48
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4720 forum posts
186 photos

Off topic but that is a really good photo Mike. Nice lighting and clear image.

David T08/08/2018 14:00:13
71 forum posts
14 photos

Mike, that's very tidy. Are you using the mounting hole for the travelling steady? Sorry but I may just have to copy that.

Journeyman08/08/2018 14:25:49
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608 forum posts
93 photos

On a similar line but not quite as good looking a way protector for my WM250 lathe:

waycover.jpg

This is just a bit of flexible plastic (DPC membrane) clamped between two lengths of aluminium flat. Uses the two travelling steady mounting holes for fixing. I keep meaning to replace the hex bolts with knurled headed thumbscrews but never seem to get a "Round Tuit". Being flexible is quite handy as if working close to the headstock it just bends up out of the way. Easy to vacuum the swarf off the top.

John

thaiguzzi08/08/2018 14:41:59
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571 forum posts
130 photos

All good info above. Main point is airlines and machine tool cleaning do not mix.

Fowlers Fury08/08/2018 15:22:21
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323 forum posts
72 photos

"I'm getting worried about how much cast iron dust gets into the slide mechanism of my ML7, "

Buy some rare-earth magnets, put it in small plastic bag and attach bag safely near or on cutting tool - even on exit end of a CI cylinder if using a between-centres boring bar.
You'll collect a good %age of the CI dust which can then be dumped by taking magnets out of the plastic bag.

I bought a pack of these and super-glued 2 rows of 5 into drilled holes in a piece of brass = flat outer surface..
**LINK**

duncan webster08/08/2018 16:31:29
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2230 forum posts
32 photos

Positioning the hose of a vacuum cleaner near the tool whilst machining will pull a lot of it away before it even hits the bed. Any covering on the bed should be paper, not rags in case it gets caught up in the rotating bits

mechman4808/08/2018 16:56:05
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2451 forum posts
376 photos
Posted by Fowlers Fury on 08/08/2018 15:22:21:

"I'm getting worried about how much cast iron dust gets into the slide mechanism of my ML7, "

Buy some rare-earth magnets, put it in small plastic bag and attach bag safely near or on cutting tool - even on exit end of a CI cylinder if using a between-centres boring bar.
You'll collect a good %age of the CI dust which can then be dumped by taking magnets out of the plastic bag.

I bought a pack of these and super-glued 2 rows of 5 into drilled holes in a piece of brass = flat outer surface..
**LINK**

​Ditto... have a couple of these sat on my machine permanently.

George.

XD 35108/08/2018 18:18:36
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1326 forum posts
112 photos

I have used Nappa leather used to cover the bed , it was held in place with magnets and tends to drape down in the bed vally forming a pocket and scrunches up well - i got the idea from Stefan gotteswinter off his youtube channel i never had much luck with paper - always seemed to tear where you don't want it to .. You can also stuff a piece of foam in the chuck bore to keep the chips out of the inside of the chuck bore - a nerf ball works well for this . If you don't mind the noise the vacuum cleaner trick works well but as i have a wall mounted unit walking over to switch it on/ off is a pia ! I do have an old houshold unit around here somewhere that i may press into service next time i machine some cast iron .

Howard Lewis08/08/2018 18:32:45
2327 forum posts
2 photos

You are quite right to try to avoid having cast iron swarf on the bed ways.

A cruder version of what Fowlers Fury is suggesting is to place a strong magnet beneath where the swarf is going to fall, and then to drape newspaper over the bed, so that it won't get gathered up by the chuck. (Thin plastic sheet would do, as long as long as the swarf will not melt it and burn through).

When you have finished, or have so much that you need to unload it; shake/brush/push the swarf into a pile (most will be over the magnet anyway), then lift off the paper, without spilling the swarf, and tip it into a suitable receptacle.

This should keep most of it off the lathe bed.

Howard

John Rudd08/08/2018 18:43:41
1365 forum posts
58 photos

After removing most of the swarf with a brush and vacuum cleaner,I prefer to use an oil based fluid for my machines....be it WD40/paraffin or whatever....Wiping down after cleaning is bound to leave a least a thin film that ought to afford some protection against the dreaded brown stuff..

Pete Rimmer08/08/2018 19:00:02
420 forum posts
18 photos

A good shop vac is one of those essential tools IMO.

To clean up after turning cast iron I use a Numatic shop vac followed by washing down with brake cleaner in a pressure pot. The pots are 16 quid and 4 gallons of brake cleaner about £36 on offer. You can see it wash the finest particles away. you could use a trigger gun in a pinch but they don't last 5 minutes with brake cleaner in them.

After that re-lube with way oil.

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