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rwf71
02-12-2007, 03:49 PM
Howdy folks,
just got my first surface plate, 24"X36"X6" with 2 ledges + stand with leveling legs. 1 small chip on back edge , I can live with that. Paid $150.00,howd I do ? Found it local & picked up myself so no shipping,20 bucks for gas & couple hrs. it was in my shop. Here's the question, is there any special care for this? Looks kinda "dry" to me, oil,furniture polish, just soap & water? any suggestions welcomed, Thanks Rick

SGW
02-12-2007, 04:01 PM
Don't oil it!!!! Dry is fine.

Starrett (and others) sell special surface plate cleaner. You ought to be able to get it from MSC www.mscdirect.com and others. A quart will likely last you forever. If there are things like aluminum smudges that won't come off, cautious use of a pencil eraser may help.

Make a cover to protect it when not in use.

Make sure it's sitting on a solid, uniform surface.

ERBenoit
02-12-2007, 04:03 PM
I see I have been beaten to the first reply. I'd say a good score. Caring for your surface plate, see below:

http://www.starrett.com/pages/860_granite_surface_plates.cfm

Tin Falcon
02-12-2007, 04:29 PM
Like the other guys said special cleaner. Water and alcohol cause rapid cooling and distorsion. Water gets trapped in pores.
Tin

mochinist
02-12-2007, 06:50 PM
Don't oil it!!!! Dry is fine.

Starrett (and others) sell special surface plate cleaner. You ought to be able to get it from MSC www.mscdirect.com (http://www.mscdirect.com) and others. A quart will likely last you forever. If there are things like aluminum smudges that won't come off, cautious use of a pencil eraser may help.

Make a cover to protect it when not in use.

Make sure it's sitting on a solid, uniform surface.A granite plate should be set on 3 point's.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v471/mochinist/surfaceplateinstall.gif

jdunmyer
02-12-2007, 07:02 PM
My surface plate is a 12" X 18" cast iron outfit that I found in the junk outside where I used to work. A friend who worked in a large shop at the time took it to work and surface ground it, as it had rusted.

How do I care for this plate? I have a plywood cover over it, and it's not rusted in my heated and air-conditioned shop.

FWIW: I know this isn't any kind of super-accurate reference, but it's good enough for what I need and the little bit I use it.

halac
02-12-2007, 08:32 PM
The previous cal lab I worked at used Go-Jo to deep clean granite surface plates, then followed up with a good quality glass cleaner such as Windex. This was an approved method by both Starrett and Rahn. We also had the capability of lapping in plates that had irregularities which were out of spec.

elcaminos
02-12-2007, 08:56 PM
Just remember that it's for measuring and not for storing your tools on. Wish some of my co-workers could figure that one out.

charlie coghill
02-12-2007, 09:00 PM
A nice plywood cover would be nice addition. Good job wish it was mine.

bob_s
02-12-2007, 09:28 PM
My surface plate is a 12" X 18" cast iron outfit that I found in the junk outside where I used to work. A friend who worked in a large shop at the time took it to work and surface ground it, as it had rusted.

How do I care for this plate? I have a plywood cover over it, and it's not rusted in my heated and air-conditioned shop.

FWIW: I know this isn't any kind of super-accurate reference, but it's good enough for what I need and the little bit I use it.

Ferrous surface plates are generally coated with oil for use. When dealing with this type of surface plate you must first coat your hands with oil (perspiration is highly acidic due to the bacterial content). Thickness gauges and test pieces are then wrung onto the surface plate and measurements taken. Always finish up by reapplying a fresh coat of oil to the surface plate.

Mcchin Jig & Fixture
02-12-2007, 10:12 PM
Surface plate cleaner is basically soap and water. Height gages, V-blocks, height masters, i.e., ANYTHING that is placed on the granite plate has to be DRY. Body oils, hand and finger prints, lubricants, of any kind, will make your gages stick to the plate. When your plate and gages are clean, you'll notice that they will move around fairly easily on the surface. Conversely, if they stick, that will indicate that there are contaminants on your plate.

Too_Many_Tools
02-12-2007, 10:15 PM
A related question...

I just came across a nice surface plate for next to nothing...

....the catch...it has been sitting outside in the open for the last year.

Does this degrade a plate?

TMT

Your Old Dog
02-12-2007, 10:34 PM
Enco is selling these things really cheap and with free shipping. My 12X18 weighs 80 pounds and the shipping was free with order of $50.00 . The plate was something like $24.00 if memory serves me right. No reason not to have one in a machine shop at those prices!!

Paul Alciatore
02-12-2007, 11:27 PM
A related question...

I just came across a nice surface plate for next to nothing...

....the catch...it has been sitting outside in the open for the last year.

Does this degrade a plate?

TMT
Granite. No.

CI. Yes, but any rust should be fairly obvious.

I doubt that exposure to the elements would cause any significant warpage in either type (other than rust). However, mechanical damage from objects that came in contact with it may be present. Granite would only be damaged by chipping or abrasion. CI could have warpage if left under an uneven load for a period of time. Like a heavy machine or part on top of it or it's own weight improperly supported.

Doc Nickel
02-12-2007, 11:45 PM
A related question...

I just came across a nice surface plate for next to nothing...

....the catch...it has been sitting outside in the open for the last year.

Does this degrade a plate?

Granite has already been buried outdoors for 400 million years. 'Couple rainy days aren't gonna hurt it. :D

But, you'd be wise to have it checked if you plan on using it for high-accuracy measuring.

Doc.

rwf71
02-13-2007, 03:27 AM
I asked this question at the last minute before leaving for work, got home to find many replys & suggestions. Thank you all ! I checked out the link to the starrett care page, I really have not checked out my plates mounting super close (I will tommorrow) but it's in a shop built angle iron stand & has bolts running up into the bottom of the ledges where the plate is supported by the stand (I presume it has factory installed threaded inserts that the bolts are going into ? ) On the bottom of the legs are welded large nuts, 3/4 I think, with bolts threaded into them from the bottom up to serve as levelers. I looked for a manufactures tag to determine grade & maker but could not find one (maybe covered by the angle frame ? ) I like the sound of the gojo & windex care method as I already have those on hand.
I was a little surprized to hear oil was a no-no. I have been working as a cnc lathe set-up man in a gear producing shop for a little over a year now. We have many plates at work and they are all covered with oil (leftover coolent & such) I've never seen one of them cleaned or checked, guess that's why I thought mine looked a little dry ! Doesn't surprize me though that they may not be getting the proper care & maintence as I see many things in that shop that fit that description. But gotta make a living ya know? That's why I asked you guys how to do it right cause I didn't know and not sure the "experts" at work know either. They wouldn't take time to do it right even if they did know cause it's not PRODUCTION ya know?
I'm pretty new hear,been lurking a while , learning from the experience of others. Been activly working on putting together a home hobby shop for about 6 months now, have a 20 yr old enco BP clone, logan 12X36 lathe,boyar -schultz 6-12 manual surface grinder. Been trying to get some tooling as funds permit. Slow process for a poor working man ya know. Done a little playing with my new to me old machines but figure it's gonna take another 6 months or so to get enough equipment & the shop organized to the point where I can really make some stuff, I can hardly wait !!! Till then I be reading & learning from You guys. Thanks again for your time & help & keep puttin up those pics, I LUV EM, Maybe someday I'll have something to show that won't embarrass me to badly. Rick

Alistair Hosie
02-13-2007, 07:07 AM
I would like to know whether your new plate is iron or granite there are a couple of good granite ones on offer on ebay is 3inches better than 2 inches or doesn't it matter.or should I just buy a new cast iron from vertex on special for about 20 more see here check the cheap shipping price Alistair


http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ih=012&sspagename=STRK%3AMEWA%3AIT&viewitem=&item=220080161001&rd=1&rd=1

BudB
02-13-2007, 08:26 AM
With a cast iron plate I'd think the wooden cover with a sheet of VCI (volitile corrosion inhibitor) paper inside would give good protection. McMaster-Carr sells a 36" x 300' roll for $96. This stuff is great for any steel item.

rwf71
02-13-2007, 11:32 AM
My new to me , used plate is 2ft X 3ft X 6 inches thick granite, plate & stand combinded weigh 620 lbs. I'm no expert but I figure the thicker it is the more stable it is , plus there's plenty of meat there to relap if needed. Rick

RPease
02-13-2007, 01:45 PM
My new to me , used plate is 2ft X 3ft X 6 inches thick granite, plate & stand combinded weigh 620 lbs. I'm no expert but I figure the thicker it is the more stable it is

Plus.........makes it harder for someone to tuck it under their arm and walk off with it........LOL

Swarf&Sparks
02-13-2007, 01:53 PM
"VCI" ?
is that what we used to call brown paper dipped in diesel?

rwf71
02-13-2007, 02:41 PM
Your right about that RPeace, gonna take a bigger man than me to walk off with it. I used a nylon sling & my "cherry picker" engine hoist to get it inside. Right now its sitting on the legs of the picker so I can roll the whole thing around as a unit. Once I decide where I want to place it I reckon that will be its "permanet" home.