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Cleaning new lathes

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  • Cleaning new lathes

    Hi long time lurker here.
    I remember reading here that new chinese lathes should be cleaned and overhauled before use. For the life of me i can not find what should be done, I seem to remember sand blasting gears of all things.

    My new lathe is second hand and probably has not had this done.

    Also this lathe has had a bit of missfortune and it looks like someone had a crash, breaking the carrier for the back gears and maybe bending the output shaft from the gearbox (I don't know its correct name).
    How is it held in? i have removed circlips and the gear but is is firm.

    Thanks in advance


  • #2
    new to you lathe


    Congratulations on your new to you lathe, What brand and model? I bought a new Jet GHB 1340A lathe about 2 years ago. After I set it on it's cabinet, I spent a few hours cleaning the cosmoline like substance off of it using varsol and a brush. I then emptied and flushed the oil out of the headstock, QC gearbox and Apron. I got a lot of metal filings out of l the headstock and apron, not so much out of the QC gearbox. Then I refilled the boxes with the recommended oil which I found locally. At that point I semi leveled the lathe using a craftsman electronic level that measures down to a tenth of a degree and then started making chips. The machine has performed very well except for some self induced (by me) difficulties. The "sand blasting of gears" probably refers to casting sand left in the headstock, QC gearbox and apron during manufacture. This is another good reason to flush out these boxes and refill with fresh oil before use.

    I recently purchased a better level and found that my lathe is not as level as I thought. I am going to spend some time leveling it in the coming weeks (it's a process).

    Again, congratulations, I hope you enjoy your lathe as much as I have mine.

    Last edited by tmc_31; 10-19-2009, 10:01 AM.


    • #3
      Just curious, why is it critical to level a lathe?


      • #4

        Please verify this response from some other sources as I am a relative newbie to machining myself.

        That said, You level the ways to eliminate any twist that may be in them. Set your level across the ways near the headstock and note the bubble location. Then set the level across the ways near the tailstock. Ideally, the bubble location should be the same. You adjust the leveling screws on the lathe or lathe cabinet until the bubble remains the same in either location thus eliminating any twist in the ways. The longer the lathe bed is the more prone to twisting they are.

        If the bedways are twisted, the lathe will cut a taper. By leveling the lathe in this manner, you eliminate one source of error as to how straight the lathe will cut.