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How's that way frosting workin' out for yah?

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  • How's that way frosting workin' out for yah?

    I see, in various places people who have bought a machine mentioning proudly how much of the "way frosting" is still visible. This iis generally assumed to be good, indicating that the ways are relatively un-worn.

    So, a while back I bought a Benchmaster mill, horizontal, which I have finally got around to working on. It's going to become a vertical, but not with original Benchmaster equipment.

    Anyway, I bought it because it was going quite cheap, figuring that I would have to do quite a bit of scraping and alignment work on it. Recently, I noticed that the column ways were "frosted", and that the frosting, which was a bit above the usual crude scrapes, was intact over the whole way surface. This was interesting, although I was pretty sure Benchmaster never had scraped, let alone frosted, the ways of their machines.

    Some might have considered this indicated something good, presumably un-worn ways, etc. But since I am a suspicious spoilsport, it didn't indicate anything much to me. I fully expected it to mean that the ways were bad (I'm a machinery Grinch, I guess).

    So, I got out the smaller granite flat, blued it up, and spotted the ways.

    Hah...... the picture below shows the initial spotting...... So much for frosting as an indicator of goodness...... good thing I had no such idea. I went and had a good look at the mating portion of the knee, and it confirms the story..... it has wear only in the areas where the blued areas of the column ways would touch it.

    Evidently, the (now deceased, I understand) previous owner simply decided to frost it as a cosmetic measure, without doing the preliminary work of scraping.

    So, don't count on frosting of the ways as indication of anything other than at best, the work of a wishful thinker.

    1601

    Keep eye on ball.
    Hashim Khan

  • #2
    Funny..... There was a pic I saw that showed the over zealous use of "frosting". It was comical. I like to call it metal shaving. It was done over the ENTIRE part of the bed of the machine, on parts of the machine that was not a bearing surface.

    Some folks use frosting over board like some guys use engine turning. And some engine turning examples are just as funny.

    Give a guy a tool and the freedom and time to do what he wants and he will. JR
    My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group

    https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...port_mill/info

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    • #3
      Originally posted by JRouche
      Funny..... There was a pic I saw that showed the over zealous use of "frosting". It was comical. I like to call it metal shaving. It was done over the ENTIRE part of the bed of the machine, on parts of the machine that was not a bearing surface.
      thats the front ofmy big chevelair T&VCG table (the KO LEE knock off), makes me think they're a bunch of twits every time i look at....its in line to be scraped so i know its sqaure. Having it square will be very useful!

      JT that is terrible...but doesn't invalidate the usefulness of checking frosting when inspecting. Your machine ways might be the shape a banana however they exhibit very little wear! lol
      .

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      • #4
        Notice that the middle area between the ways is also "frosted" at top.... that area is not touched by the knee, but is, of course, visible...... from there up to the spindle clamps (A Benchmaster horizontal has the spindle clamped in what normally would be the overarm clamps, and the overarm is above that on a bracket)
        1601

        Keep eye on ball.
        Hashim Khan

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        • #5
          I posted before that I grabbed a Biax power flaker and scraper that was offered for sale as a pair on PracticalMachinist.

          I happened to see it, about 30 seconds after it was posted, and grabbed it. I got a *ton* of private messages from individuals who were not frequent contributors on PM, asking to borrow or rent the half-moon flaker.

          Not a single person asked to borrow the scraper
          "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

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          • #6
            Why isn't there more bluing remaining in the valleys of the frosted area?

            Originally posted by J Tiers

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            • #7
              Originally posted by noah katz
              Why isn't there more bluing remaining in the valleys of the frosted area?
              JT's point is that while dressed up, the bearings surfaces are not flat and present almost no area of contact - the proverbial lipstick on the pig. Ideally you'd want a speckled pattern of blue all over the bearing area. if the flaking is a low area, you'd expect that to be area that would get the least blue, none really unless a thick coat of blue was used.

              Robert that is both funny and a bit depressing. To maintain some faith in the species I'll chose to believe many of them had scrapers but sought the rarer froster to complete a job
              .

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              • #8
                On any decent machine exposed ways should never ever ever be frosted....

                Frosting on exposed ways is a sign of amateur hour..
                Precision takes time.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by .RC.
                  On any decent machine exposed ways should never ever ever be frosted....

                  Frosting on exposed ways is a sign of amateur hour..
                  Well, you would be in the minority..... outvoted by such notable 'amateurs" as the Brown & Sharpe Company, etc.

                  They commonly frosted the visible ways, and sometimes visible non-way areas, of machines for the pictures in their catalogs, etc. They probably didn't do it for their normal production, but they might have, I never ran a new machine back in the "scraping era", so I don't know.

                  If it were "amateur hour" to do that, then their catalogs would have made them laughingstocks....... but the funny thing is they weren't and aren't.

                  Maybe it is really YOU who are the laughingstock?
                  1601

                  Keep eye on ball.
                  Hashim Khan

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Frosting

                    One place I was at bought a new Bridgeport mill. The ways had so many u shape cuts to retain oil, there was no flat bearing surface left. We had to send it back and get another one.
                    Kansas City area

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                    • #11
                      The V-ways on my Sheldon lathe were originally frosted, as were nearly all the reference surfaces and dovetails on my Nichols mill- including the face of the spindle head.

                      Nichols only made a coupl'a million of those little millers, which sounds pretty good for an amateur effort.

                      Doc.
                      Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Doc Nickel
                        Nichols only made a coupl'a million of those little millers, which sounds pretty good for an amateur effort.
                        Especially since back in the day, all the promotional brochures for Monarch, Bridgeport, Hardinge, Rivett, et al showed exquisitely flaked machines. I wonder where those shop queens ended up?



                        Edit: sorry Jerry, I missed this comment. What Jerry said

                        "They commonly frosted the visible ways, and sometimes visible non-way areas, of machines for the pictures in their catalogs, etc."
                        Last edited by lazlo; 12-19-2010, 10:46 PM.
                        "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Mcgyver
                          ...if the flaking is a low area, you'd expect that to be area that would get the least blue, none really unless a thick coat of blue was used.
                          I still don't get it - it can't all be so low that only that thin area of blue is left??

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by noah katz
                            I still don't get it - it can't all be so low that only that thin area of blue is left??
                            OH YES IT CAN.....

                            The mating ways on the knee show contact only out there, with essentially no contact inboard of that "strip". Inboard areas still show machining marks. Apparently they didn't grind or scrape, or at least the last people to touch it didn't.

                            It does not take much to keep cast iron surfaces from actually touching. And the vertical ways on the column are not subject to that much wear.... the knee isn't moved as much as the table is, by a long shot.

                            Holding a straight piece of metal (straightedge of the 'ruler" type) against the surfaces, you do not SEE any particular space, but the blue surely shows it. I didn't find any grit or divots that actually stuck up enough to make a difference... I went over it with a burr file first.

                            obviously I have work to do, if I really want to convert this for my own use... the original plan was to spin it, since I got it cheap. But then I decided I wanted a second mill, and I would convert this to a vertical. Benchmaster made a vertical head system, the mill was made to be convertible, and if I can find one before I get too far into making a head for this (with quill) I may just nab it. But I want that quill, so.....
                            Last edited by J Tiers; 12-19-2010, 10:36 PM.
                            1601

                            Keep eye on ball.
                            Hashim Khan

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                            • #15
                              Have you spotted the column face with a straight edge, or surface plate?
                              Harry

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