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Teeny, TINY needles produced while milling

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  • Teeny, TINY needles produced while milling

    Hi guys,

    Several months ago I fabricated a piece on my mill. I was cutting 4140 and taking very small cuts using the side of the carbide cutter. When finished, "metal powder" covered the part, my indexing head, and my table. Using my Shop Vac I did my best to remove all the "powder-like cuttings".

    To make a long story short, the "powder" was tiny needles. These needles are so small that to see them requires the use of surgical lopes. I spent hours, over the next several days, locating and removing tiny slivers of metal from my hands and finger-tips.

    Having a need to fabricate another part using the indexer, I grabbed the indexer and placed it on the table. Though I *thought* I had brushed and vacuumed my indexing head clean, I found MORE needles last night as I am still digging those things from my fingers this morning.

    QUESTION: What is the best way to remove tiny dangerous particulate from surfaces that will be touched from time to time? I considered using a magnet but feared that I would perhaps magnetize areas on the table, or indexer, or vise causing a "trap" for other pieces of metal to attach. I wouldn't dare use compressed air!

    Suggestions for eradicating needles from machine surfaces would be greatly appreciated.

    Harold
    For those having fought for it, Freedom has a flavor the protected will never know.
    Freedom is only one generation away from extinction.

  • #2
    How about spraying the surface down with something like lps or wd40 and wiping down good with paper towels. the lps will make the metal pieces clump together and be easier to remove.

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    • #3
      Best way to NOT make those tiny little needles is to make them big needles....
      take bigger cuts. If you are side milling, depending on material, you are going to make needles, really no way around it. Don't be so afraid of using compressed air, just be careful to direct it and don't use real high psi.

      Comment


      • #4
        yep, tiny cuts make tiny needles. Many times I use a magnet to remove most the swarf on the mill and then blow the rest of it off. I have a piece of heavy plastic drop cloth on the wall behind the mill to keep the wall clean. Every shop I worked in had extremely dirty walls behind the mills and I didn't want that in my shop.
        It's only ink and paper

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Uncle O
          Best way to NOT make those tiny little needles is to make them big needles....
          take bigger cuts. If you are side milling, depending on material, you are going to make needles, really no way around it. Don't be so afraid of using compressed air, just be careful to direct it and don't use real high psi.
          Knowing how to prevent making needles is of no help at this time. It's already done. Now clean-up needs to be addressed.



          Thought I would show just how small these "needles" really are. The reason I have been fearful of using compressed air is fear of getting these things in my eyes. Yes I wear safety glasses but even glasses would not ensure particles this size from getting in, under, and around these protective devices.

          Harold
          For those having fought for it, Freedom has a flavor the protected will never know.
          Freedom is only one generation away from extinction.

          Comment


          • #6
            You can try duct tape. Put it on your finger, let it sit for about 10 seconds and pull off. It doesn't work well for big splinters and slivers, but for those little guys, they're probably not dug in that deep and they'll probably come out with the tape. You might have to try pulling the tape off from a couple of different angles in case one sliver goes in one way and another is pointing in the opposite.

            As far as getting them off your tools, put a magnet in a Ziploc bag that has been turned inside out, go over everything and you'll pick up all the bits, then turn the bag back the right way, zip it up, remove the magnet, and toss the bag in the trash.
            Stuart de Haro

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            • #7
              Originally posted by hwingo
              Knowing how to prevent making needles is of no help at this time. It's already done. Now clean-up needs to be addressed.
              with a response like that, figure out how to get rid of them yourself


              Mo

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              • #8
                LPS and WD 40 is a plausible option. Although I have used WD40 several time (which may require even more applications), I haven't yet given LPS a go.

                The plastic bag trick is also a good idea. However, is it possible that areas on the table or indexer (where the magnet is used), might become magnetized serving as a means of attracting more particles at a later date? I really don't know what it takes to create magnetism.

                Harold
                For those having fought for it, Freedom has a flavor the protected will never know.
                Freedom is only one generation away from extinction.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by hwingo
                  LPS and WD 40 is a plausible option. Although I have used WD40 several time (which may require even more applications), I haven't yet given LPS a go.

                  The plastic bag trick is also a good idea. However, is it possible that areas on the table or indexer (where the magnet is used), might become magnetized serving as a means of attracting more particles at a later date? I really don't know what it takes to create magnetism.

                  Harold
                  If you are only using the magnet for cleaning up and not leaving it stuck to the table 24/7 then residual magnetism won't become a problem.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by websterz
                    If you are only using the magnet for cleaning up and not leaving it stuck to the table 24/7 then residual magnetism won't become a problem.

                    That's the answer I was needing! I will give this a go along with another good cleaning.

                    Thanks,
                    Harold
                    For those having fought for it, Freedom has a flavor the protected will never know.
                    Freedom is only one generation away from extinction.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I've taped a really powerful small magnet on my finger overnight more than once on splinters I couldn't find or get out. I think it pulls them out sometimes. Feels like I'm doing something besides suffering anyway.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by hwingo
                        Knowing how to prevent making needles is of no help at this time. It's already done. Now clean-up needs to be addressed.



                        Thought I would show just how small these "needles" really are. The reason I have been fearful of using compressed air is fear of getting these things in my eyes. Yes I wear safety glasses but even glasses would not ensure particles this size from getting in, under, and around these protective devices.

                        Harold

                        Well then, A pair of pointy tweezers will work, just grab enough of the skin to assure getting the needle too, or the old standby, a pointy needle.....hmm
                        the irony of it all.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          23 blade

                          Harold.

                          Use a surgical scalpel with a number 23 blade.

                          Keep the blade upright and scrape it sideways over the splinter as you would a razor when shaving.

                          You will soon feel when the blade intercepts the splinter.

                          Scrape the skin so that it goes "under" the splinter and not "over" it and you will feel the blade "snag" on the splinter. Then use the blade and/or a set of surgical tweezers to "winkle" or pull the splinter out.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Slivers

                            Every machinist that I have known had a loupe and a really good pair of tweezers that he had fine tuned by filing the jaws to mesh at a sharp point. That is the first line of defense. For getting the fine stuff out of your hide I start with my magnetic base (125LB pull) in a lunch baggie. Any that won't come out with that I try the duct tape. When I worked in T and D we often used die grinders with carbide burrs to make small mods to flange horns and such. These produced slivers the size of a hair that went everywhere. THey were miserable and hard to remove once they were pressed into the skin. Thats the best advise I can give.
                            Jim (KB4IVH)

                            Only fools abuse their tools.

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                            • #15
                              I second the scalpel scraping. I've used it often with excellent results.

                              Bill

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