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Can I hot tank a mill head w/o ruining quill bore?

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  • Can I hot tank a mill head w/o ruining quill bore?

    Short Story:
    Basically I'm looking for the best and least labor intensive method to remove painted over swarf and grime from my mill head without ruining the quill bore...I was thinking of seeing if my local automotive machine shop would be willing to hot tank it. Is that a poor choice? The head is stripped of all yellow parts and is the bare iron casting.

    Long Story:
    I was just going to replace hard parts, but I'll probably regret it if I didn't take the time to properly repaint the head now while it is apart. As I get into my mill I realize first hand every warning ever posted here about buying a second hand ebay mill...It was operated by gorillas, serviced by the primates who lacked the brute strength to strip threads and bust gears yet had enough "intelligence" to force grease anywhere that 20 weight oil is specified in the manual, paint looked great on ebay (sure warning)...Green Hammerite really protects the portions of exposed slideways from corrosion and keeps the swarf they painted over from falling on my shop floor. There's swarf deposited everywhere...even in the mill head, looks like it was cleaned with 100psi air "just like they teach you in the first lecture of shop class". Spindle bearings seem good but it looks like whoever replaced them used a punch and drift to remove the spindle retaining nut rather than fabricate an approriate deep well socket or wrench so I'm sure proper torque values were observed during re-assembly...

    A smart man would probably run at this point or button it up and put it back on ebay. But I'm more stubborn than smart ("A fool who persists in his folly"). I've got a great HSM board for support, my goal was to get a nice mill for $2000 actual out of pocket, with tax and transport costs...I've still got about $600 room before I exceed that mark and I'm actually sort of fond of this mill. So back me up guys (and gals), I've got a healthy fear, but I'm going in anyways...

  • #2
    i am fixing a pile of abused machines at the
    moment -
    i have put a lot of the parts in a barrel with tri sodium phosphate and boiled until the paint and crud fell away - which can be fairly quickly - 10 minutes - with no apparent effect on machined surfaces,make sure you wash with water and dry then wash with thinners after wards-

    i tried to do every thing in batchs so i could have a bunch of parts stripped prepped and painted in one day.

    [This message has been edited by thistle (edited 12-01-2003).]


    • #3
      abn, couple of issues back in the HSM, there was a recipe for cleaning in the article on the bridgeport nc mill. green goop,made from easily obtained products.
      Les H.
      The Impossible Takes Just A Little Bit Longer!


      • #4
        Short answer to hot tank question is that it will not hurt cast iron. Aluminum may be another matter.
        TSP, green goop as written up in HSM and electrolysis using baking soda are other means of cleaning heavy gunk and/or removing paint.
        Jim H.