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  • De-oiling?

    Just purchased a big ol' clunk of a Leblond lathe that had set unattended for ten yrs or so. Looks like the lathe is in pretty good shape under all the crud, but it came with quite a bit of tooling that was somewhere pretty damp. There is surface-to-deep rust on a lot of it, but fortunately? quite a bit of oil, dirt, and usual shop grime, too. I'm planning on trying the derusting thing from a few weeks back, but I'm looking for a reasonably efficient way to de-grease and de-grime the parts before I put em in the bath. I'm worried that if I steam clean 'em, they'll rust again before I can get to them to derust. (Time is rather intermittent.) Does a week or so in paint thinner or similar then a hot soapy water bath before derusting sound possible? Looking for any good ideas here. Thanks


  • #2
    I don't do this offen but one of my favourite tricks is to put items in a 5 gallon pale of varsol. Don't let it touch the bottom though. That way what ever comes off will be at th bottom and not on the part. Whatever does not come off, will be softened up by the varsol.



    • #3
      I second the Varsol followed by Greaselightning,ZEP,or your favorite degreaser to get rid of the film left by the Varsol.
      I just need one more tool,just one!


      • #4
        Thanks. Lower 48 here - WTH is varsol? Same thing as paint thinner, or lacquer thinner? or what?


        • #5
          "Paint thinner," I think. Mineral spirits.

          Another thing that works is lye. Get some lye drain cleaner, mix it up (NOT!!! in an aluminum container!!!) and put the parts (NOT!!! aluminum parts!!!) in that for a while. It will also take off the paint, but you were planning to repaint the thing anyway, right?

          Or oven cleaner.
          Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
          Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
          Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
          There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
          Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
          Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie


          • #6
            Degrease (or de-oil) by what ever means you find convenient (I prefer a solvent wash tank - or for steel or cast iron, the hot tank at the local automotive machine shop) followed by evaporation, followed by a wire wheel to remove rust. Only then would I remove the remaining rust and corrosion with an inhibited acid pickle, neutralize in hot sodium carbonate solution, a further wire brush, followed by a phosphoric acid metal prep.

            The phosphoric acid dip leaves a chemically neutral surface that actrively inhibits rust for some time and provides a good "tooth" for painting.

            Aluminum and potmetal parts can be attacked but some of these powerful aqueous cleaners and steel in contact with bronze and brass may be galvanically atttacked. So sort with care and procede with caution. Tossing possibly difficult to replace parts in a bucket of colorful cleaner is not wouout its hazards and dismal consequences.


            • #7
              Varsol is the same as mineral spirits, ditto Stoddard Solvent. They may be deodorized or perfumed, but are basically the same animal.

              If you are using the electrolysis method of derusting, a great deal of time in precleaning is not needed. Scrape off the heavy accumulation of crud, get a spot of clean metal to connect the battery charger to and put it in the tank. The remaining crud will either float to the surface, where it can be skimmed off, or sink to the bottom where it will not interfere with the process.

              Part of the beauty of electrolysis is that is will remove anything, including paint with no need for any other chemicals or solvents. It may take a little longer depending on the thickness of the crud, but it will be less than soaking for a week in solvent and then having attendant disposal problems.
              Jim H.


              • #8
                I have recently cleaned up a Bridgeport Mill, a Sheldon Shaper and several other pieces of equipment and learned a few things along the way. My old standby degreaser was Gunk SC (Super Concentrate) mixed with kerosene. This same stuff is available pre-mixed in a spray can as Gunk Engine Brite (not the foamy type).

                I found that the best results were achieved by using the Engine Brite as an initial pass to soak into heavier grease deposits, but that the caustic based cleaners ( a purple jug) did a much more thorough job of removing the last traces of oily residue, getting you closer to being ready for paint where necessary. Lye and a surfactant (soap) may be all this is, but it is in a relatively safe concentration that still does the job.

                In the case of the mill, the previous owner had used mist coolant which, IMHO, is the equivalent of wallpaper paste. The thing was covered in what seemed like a mixture of wallpaper paste and swarf. Petroleum based stuff would not cut it since the coolant was water based. With solvents, in general, likes cut likes.

                I was in a position to use the Castrol cleaner followed by pressure washing. I disassembled quickly thereafter and used forced air from a powerful fan to dry things out as well as compressed air to get where the fan could not. This only worked because I was going to then thoroughly disassemble and clean. Otherwise, the pressure washing could have been a disaster. If you can take the thing apart, at least into sub-assemblies, and then clean, then I really have to recommend something like the water based cleaner (which must be rinsed off under a strong stream of water) even though it might seem like it would be less effective.


                Paul Carpenter
                Mapleton, IL


                • #9
                  I recently went through the process with a 15 inch shaper - bits big enough that i was glad i had a chain hoist but not too big.
                  I stripped every thing down , put a loop of wire on the bit, fitted it into a 55 gallon steel drum,filled with water and TSP, to coverthe bits, and lit a gas burner under it til the water almost boiled , the left it to cool.retrieved parts and power washed
                  This gets off all the paint ,and most of the oil and grime,it is not too toxic either.
                  go on to wire brush,coat with phosphoric acid ect


                  • #10
                    Throw them in the dishwasher on "potscruber" when the wife isn't looking. I had to overhaul a 25 year old gearbox for my racecar, a little extra CASCADE in the dishwasher and the trans case came out beautiful....use jetdry if you don't want water spots.


                    • #11
                      I rigged up a used dishwasher with a 6gal. electric hot water tank, recirulating pump and use citrus based cleaning solution, works like a champ. I first clean everything in the solvent washer, let dry and then run through disherwasher, remove and rinse in utility sink.
                      "four to tow, two to go"


                      • #12
                        Hewland box?

                        For the rust, best thing I've found is Evaporust. Relatively new product, removes rust right down to bare metal after soaking for 2 hours or more. Fair expensive at around $18/gallon retail. But it doesn't mind a little oil, and is re-usable until it looks nasty and just quits working. If nothing else, it's great for all the small tooling that is a PITA to use electrolysis on. But then since I ran across this stuff, any electrolysis is a PITA


                        • #13
                          Rex, a friend of mine recently found and tried Evaporust. I saw the small parts he cleaned and it did an excellent job on them. Like you said, kinda expensive but it does work well!
                          Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada


                          • #14
                            Thanks, gang! Most of what I gotta do is the smaller tooling-type stuff (tapers, toolholders, live centers, etc.) Looks like I may get by with just the electrolysis on most of it. The painted stuff aint too bad looking. Don't have the lathe proper home yet, just the loose stuff. (This thing is about 9 or 10 feet long.) Gonna take a fork truck and flatbed to move it. Leblond 13".
                            Appreciate the tips, will post with what seemed to work best.
                            Is this evaporust parts store, paint store, hardware store, where do I go to gettit?

                            [This message has been edited by MikeyR (edited 03-14-2006).]


                            • #15
                              Thats a lot of info.

                              Never paid much attention to it before. Being third shift, and using acids and caustics sprays to clean things at work...

                              A few "extra" parts usually were not a problem

                              Today I will gladly share my experience and advice, for there no sweeter words than "I told you so."
                              Today I will gladly share my experience and advice, for there no sweeter words than "I told you so."