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Cleaning a Machine...How do you do it?

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  • Cleaning a Machine...How do you do it?

    It's been a good day...you went to an auction and scored the machine you have been wanting for a long time...and only for a few dollars.

    Well now you have it home and in the glare of the morning light your beautiful acquistion is there...somewhere...under all that dirt, grease, oil, abrasive dust, rust, mouse poop, flaking paint.

    Now it sinks in that there is some work to do before her inner beauty will shine through.

    And you'll be darned if the wife will be proven right when she said you were crazy buying this piece of old iron.

    So how did you clean your machines to prove the wife wrong? ;<)

    TMT

  • #2
    TMT,
    I do it the old fashion way, elbow grease and a lot of rags.

    What I would like to have is a steam cleaner though.
    They would be the absolute best to clean through that old grime, grit and grease.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Too_Many_Tools
      It's been a good day...you went to an auction and scored the machine you have been wanting for a long time...and only for a few dollars.

      Well now you have it home and in the glare of the morning light your beautiful acquistion is there...somewhere...under all that dirt, grease, oil, abrasive dust, rust, mouse poop, flaking paint.

      Now it sinks in that there is some work to do before her inner beauty will shine through.

      And you'll be darned if the wife will be proven right when she said you were crazy buying this piece of old iron.

      So how did you clean your machines to prove the wife wrong? ;<)

      TMT
      Hose it down with kerosene and start scraping/wiping the next morning.

      Comment


      • #4
        vacuum the debrie and stray seeds the mice left behind, scrape off as much of the thick gunk, and kerosene for the rest of the gunk, then oiled or greased up again immediately to prevent rust, usally flushing with way oil and paper towls/cloths, and using cotton string soaked in kerosene and then way oil to clean out the leadscrews.
        Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.

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        • #5
          I found the following work very well (much better than kerosene): Oven Cleaner (don't use on aluminum! It can also affect paint), some brake cleaners (they too may lift paint) and Greased Lightning (very safe).

          And I absolutely hate cleaning old machinery. I'd rather pay twice more to avoid the chore. Unfortunately, it doesn't work this way.
          Last edited by MichaelP; 03-20-2010, 02:27 AM.

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          • #6
            I scrub into it with kero, then pressure wash it of. Then followed up with a detailed cleaning.
            Davo

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            • #7
              I usually use WD-40, rags and towels, and elbow grease. Steam cleaner would be nice, but I don't have one.
              Paul A.

              Make it fit.
              You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

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              • #8
                mostly I brushed off the big bits with a yard brush, then dragged it into a corner and use it...
                I did empty the rank coolent sump as well
                Make nice things, that impresses SWMBO more than a machine you could eat off.

                Dave
                Just south of Sudspumpwater UK

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Too_Many_Tools

                  So how did you clean your machines to prove the wife wrong? ;<)

                  TMT
                  Fitted a brand new shiny plug, switched it on and used it.

                  .
                  .

                  Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.



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                  • #10
                    If you have a place outside where you do the kero soak-and-flush process, go for it. But if you must work inside (and especially if your wife is fume-sensitive) try one of the non-pumice creame hand cleaners like GoJo. Brush on, wait a few minutes, scrub with soft brush and wipe down with paper towels. It works great on all but the most stubborn petrified gunk.

                    However, nothing beats stripping it down to bare castings for a fresh coat of paint. Except John's suggestion
                    Last edited by Bob Farr; 03-20-2010, 09:07 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Methinks Sir John forgot to add.... and called it a POS! lol
                      I spent most of my money on women and booze, the rest I just wasted.

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                      • #12
                        whats the best way to strip it down to casting. I would guess its lead based paint, so wire brush would not be the best idea would it? thanks. kevin

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                        • #13
                          Buy yourself a parts washer and start pulling the machine apart. There is much more to cleaning a machine than what you see on the outside.

                          JL................

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                          • #14
                            Depends on the machines condition. If it really is a mess and you will get to it soon, take it to the car wash before you go to the shop. Yeah its harsh, but if it has been sitting out for a couple years you aren't going to do much more to it by pressure washing for 15 minutes.

                            ArkTinkerer

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                            • #15
                              Reach into your pockets again and have the beast cleaned using dry ice. I saw this done in the old shop and was amazed how well it worked. The little chunks of frozen co2 hit the surface and remove a bit of dirt and then evaporate away. It left no damage to the machine. As for cost, well you didn't mention that the method had to be cheap.

                              Myself, the method all depends on what is on the machine now and what I am planning to do with it.

                              The old drill press was descaled with a needle scaler and that worked great. The only other thing I had to do was remove all of the goo from the sump. That was done slowly with heavy rubber gloves and a bucket. Why slowly? Once you get a bit anxious and get a cut finger from a long stringy chip that drags all that sump poop into the cut and have to nurse that thing back to health, you'll wish you went slowly.

                              The Van Norman? It has been a collection of different cleaning methods. Plastic bristle brushes with brake cleaner or krud cutter works for the greasy stuff. Rust is given the electrocution process noted on the board before. Some stuff needs scraped off with plastic putty knives. All of this is done with the machine over a plastic drop cloth.

                              Smaller removable parts might get sand blasted depending on their condition and what I am trying to achieve. The VN attachment needed blasted due to a coat paint that was in the gear area. This paint was flaking off and being chewed up by the gears. Not wanting this to continue, I removed all bearings and gears, masked off all machined surfaces and sand blasted the inside removing all the offending paint. Remove all the masking and throughly clean the item with solvent to wash away all traces of sand as well as compressed air to get into the nooks and crannys.

                              And then there is the old Darex drill sharpener. I took a chip brush to it so I could see the settings and then started using it.

                              rock~
                              Civil engineers build targets, Mechanical engineers build weapons.

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