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Dirty South Bend

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  • Dirty South Bend

    I picked up a Southbend A (9 x 29) today with motor, countershaft. and taper attachment--- and it is caked with dirt from being stored in a basket factory. I had to bid some work from a Box and Basket factory today (I have worked for them before and it is always interesting). The lathe was bought new post WWII and taken out of service 15 years ago. They have a Bridgeport, horz mill, 20 X120 Leblonde and 10 x 36 SB as well as surface grinders and lots of other tooling. The owner/mgr says that the newest machinery used in making baskets was produced before 1920 and all parts must be produced in house.
    My problem is simply lots of dirt. There is no rust and no nicks or loose fits. But upstairs in a factory with dust has it coated. What is the best solution--tear it completely down, pressure wash and oil, clean for a week.--all suggestions welcome.
    I also picked up a Ammco 7" shaper in like new shape--neat find.

  • #2
    Congratulations on your "finds"! I would first give it a good bath with mineral spirits and a scrub brush and then go from there. This will get rid of an amazing amount of crud.


    • #3
      Ya what he said use the mineral spirits first then brush scrape pick what ever.I have also had good luck with a product called simple soy,no its not health food but a soy based degreaser can be had from McMaster-Carr Supply a bit pricey but it makes a good final cleaning.Ilike to dry everything off real good with a heat gun or similar and apply a good coat of paste wax for a rust preventer.
      I just need one more tool,just one!


      • #4
        If you are not going to disassemble, kero, mineral spirits, etc is good. Water-based is bad.

        For prevention of rust, nothing seems to beat the oil that ought to be on it anyhow.....
        Paste wax sounds too much like show cars to me, and I dunno if it really works.

        For really dirty machines, I am predjudiced towards a tear-down, with a bath in purple cleaner or kero for the pieces.

        As you do it, you will probably find out all the yokel-rigs that were done to the machines, as well as dislodging the grit that is waiting to grind itself into a precision surface. Then you can fix them.


        • #5

          Boy I've tried everyting and what I've found for me is ZEP Citrus cleaner. Get it a Home Depot for about $7.50 per gal. Put it in a spray bottle and just spray everything until wet. Let it sit for as long as you like. It will not rust, damage labels, or take off paint but it will cut through just about anything else. On small parts like steady rests I will put them in a tub and spray them a couple of time a day for a few day and then either rinse in hot water or wipe down and your done.
          It is safe, smells great and really does the job!!! The key is to let it work for awhile and spray to keep it wet. If after you spray it on and the crud starts to run off it, then just wipe it dry. Thats it!
          Hope this helps

          P.S Tell Thrud not to drink this stuff!!!!
          Every time he does his farts smell like oranges ( wait a minute, this could be a good thing!!)



          • #6
            Picked up the citrus cleaner today. Spent the evening in the shop taking off parts, covers ect to wash in the parts washer. May wind up field striping more as the deeper I go the dirtier I find. Thanks for all the help--I am real proud of this find as I don't have much cash in it. May have lots of time, but time does not mean much to a hog.