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Cleaning my lathe

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petro1head02/09/2021 10:39:48
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Just wondering what youy guys use to give you lathe a good clean

pgk pgk02/09/2021 10:48:07
2317 forum posts
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Depends what you men by clean - brush and move the bulk of chips and vacuum the rest and a wipe down with oily rag (old t-shirt) is all I do cos it tends to be swimming in the stuff - partly 'cos every oil can I own leaks and none works well for vertical oil points without getting it around the oiler as well as in.

I rarely use coolant and rarely turn graphite or really messy non metal stuff...

If you’re talking pristine and smelling of lemon pledge....

pgk

Andrew Johnston02/09/2021 10:52:42
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Old paint brush plus dustpan and brush and kitchen towels. In the drip tray i have a rectangle of steel sheet for moving swarf around the drip tray, and over the edge into a bucket. There's also an old hacksaw blade for moving swarf from awkward places.

I aim to remove swarf and excess oil - not the slightest bit interested in the lathe looking pristine.

Andrew

Paul Lousick02/09/2021 11:01:53
1854 forum posts
661 photos

Old paint brush and vacuum cleaner and a wipe with kerocene on a rag. (aka Hoover and paraffin). Then a wipe over on bare metal with a clean oily rag. (It's a workshop tool not a Swiss watch)

Paul

petro1head02/09/2021 11:06:28
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749 forum posts
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Posted by pgk pgk on 02/09/2021 10:48:07:

Depends what you men by clean - brush and move the bulk of chips and vacuum the rest and a wipe down with oily rag (old t-shirt) is all I do cos it tends to be swimming in the stuff - partly 'cos every oil can I own leaks and none works well for vertical oil points without getting it around the oiler as well as in.

I rarely use coolant and rarely turn graphite or really messy non metal stuff...

If you’re talking pristine and smelling of lemon pledge....

pgk

Spring clean, so it looks good as new

Andrew Johnston02/09/2021 11:20:18
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Posted by petro1head on 02/09/2021 11:06:28

Spring clean, so it looks good as new

Never, but once or twice a year I do a more thorough clean, checking adjustments and oil levels. My lathe is ex-industrial so it's never going to return to showroom condition.

Andrew

JasonB02/09/2021 11:34:28
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I'm the same as Andrew except I have a bit of MDF to gather the swarf.

A rag soaked in diluted soluable oil seems quite good for removing built up grime. certainly leaves a clean patch when spilt

There is a member on another forum who covers his machines in clingfilm when working cast iron you may want to try that once you have cleaned it upcrook

Edited By JasonB on 02/09/2021 11:35:00

not done it yet02/09/2021 11:43:56
6319 forum posts
20 photos

A cheap baking tray, slid under the bed, can catch a lot of swarf, but my lathe will never look ‘as good as new’ while I own it! It’s there to get used, not to be just a display item.🙂

petro1head02/09/2021 11:50:30
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749 forum posts
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Posted by not done it yet on 02/09/2021 11:43:56:

A cheap baking tray, slid under the bed, can catch a lot of swarf, but my lathe will never look ‘as good as new’ while I own it! It’s there to get used, not to be just a display item.🙂

I modded my lathe a while ago and how have a swarf draw

Bryan Cedar 102/09/2021 12:49:35
82 forum posts
4 photos

Acetone cleans un painted cast iron very well. Brings my mill bed up shiny as new. Oil afterwards and wipe off.

JA02/09/2021 12:55:53
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If I have been turning wood or cast iron I get all the swarf off the lathe. Otherwise I just get most of it off. I then wipe the exposed steel (ways, slides, chuck, etc) with clean kitchen paper and put slideway oil, without wiping, on all exposed metal. I just leave the oil to spread over everything (clean oil will never hurt a lathe). When I come to use the lathe again this oil is not removed from most surface.

The "big" lathe has a large drip tray in which swarf gathers until I get fed up with it. The tray is also a puddle of residual oil (lubricating, slideway and neat cutting oil).

How often does it get a deep clean. Ever Easter?

JA

Howard Lewis02/09/2021 13:12:13
5298 forum posts
13 photos

+1 for a baking tray under the bed to catch most of the swarf..

The chip tray is lined with an offcut of cushionfloor, or something like it, to make sweeping up the "stray" swarf easier..

(Polythene sheet is melted into holes by hot swarf )

Howard

larry phelan 103/09/2021 10:04:17
1087 forum posts
14 photos

I clean off every scrap of dirt I can find, then I polish everything to a high finish before wrapping it all up nice and tidy and wishing it sweet dreams. !

Needless to say, I seldom switch it on No-N0-No, that,s not good for it, it,s only there to be looked at, not used !

However, in the real World, I use it to get the job done, then clean off the heavy muck before getting on with something else. I regard it as a machine to be used, not to be looked at. I can buy ornaments cheaper.laugh

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