Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Cleaning and restoring sliding surfaces

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Cleaning and restoring sliding surfaces

    Virtually every clean up or restoration project I have ever seen showed the sliding surfaces, ways, cross feed etc, in near pristine condition, and I'm asking how you guys do it. Mine look stained after I've done all I can to clean them up. I use 3M pads and steel and bronze wool on them, but, I'm wondering if it's OK to use a grinder mounted wire wheel or another mechanical method, or just what is your secret?
    olcop

  • #2
    Staining is no issue, I would not use "violent" methods like wire brushes for a purely cosmetic improvement on sliding surfaces ("ways").

    Leave them alone, or, if needed, scrape them back into alignment.

    If you need to remove light rust, the use of a fine grade of "wer or dry" type sandpaper, along with light oil, will do the least harm . About 400 grit, with a rigid flat sanding block, and a good solvent wipe-down afterward.
    1601

    Keep eye on ball.
    Hashim Khan

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by olcop View Post
      Virtually every clean up or restoration project I have ever seen showed the sliding surfaces, ways, cross feed etc, in near pristine condition,
      that is potentially is a big warning sign of at best a hack job, at worst a snow job. Those bearings surfaces are the the integrity of the machine tool (machines where they never fit properly have no integrity lol). Over time, mostly because of less than perfect lubrication, they wear and frequency exhibits marks and scores from that wear.

      Restoring a machine tool can mean anything - a bucket of paint. However reconditioning a machine tool means returning those bearing surfaces to their original accuracy - both in alignment, flatness and how they mate. This is done by scraping or grinding and is a quite involved process. If the lathe has been properly reconditioned, those surfaces could be shiny, however there are some ways to tell. Do the bed way surfaces look ground? its different finish than achieved with say emery? Do the cross slide surfaces looked scraped? If these fail, I'm suspect....plus the seller/owner is usually going to be front and centre with the fact that it is reconditioned and bragging how perfect the alignment is etc

      If not undergoing a reconditioning, Jerry is correct; there is no reason to mess with those surfaces. There's about no way to get them clean and shiny without taking abrasives to them which means you're removing metal. You'd never do that; potentially worsen the integrity, to make it shiny.

      So, if the lathe was reconditioned, that fact would be proudly forefront in discussions, and should be somewhat obvious (ie scraping of the cross slide would be obvious with its telltale finish). If not from reconditioning, then they are shiny because someone took abrasives to it to make it so. That is done by a hack who doesn't know any better.....or a unscrupulous selling/machinery dealer trying to hide the wear. There is one in Toronto who paints everything two tone green who does that for example, other vendors file and polish. Bad bad bad.

      All offered as "probably"; general statements don't preclude exceptions, you'd have to make a call on a case by case basis.
      .

      Comment


      • #4
        There are machines and then there are machines. Let's consider a floor-standing drill press with machined base. Not a critical slideway, in fact, not critical at all. Now let's say you are restoring this machine, and the base has crap, filth, rust and patina on it. What to do?

        I like to take a random orbital sander and put on some coarse sandpaper. Then use that to drive a 3M pad. I use kerosene for fluid. After I go all over once, I stop and wipe off the black mess. Then start again with clean kerosene. You can go through various grits of 3M pads if you like. It will come out shiny and clean. If you like, put on a coat of paste wax.

        I regularly remove the vise jaws from the the table of my horizontal bandsaw and clean the coolant stains with the above method. Works great for me.

        metalmagpie

        Comment


        • #5
          On the subject of abrasives.....

          With 400 grit, and any reasonable size of area, like lathe ways, you would work a long time before you removed a measurable amount of metal. I have made the experiment, and it took a LOT of work to remove a thou from an area of about 1/4 of a square inch (0.5 x 0.5 inch). WAY more than is needed to remove light rust or rust staining.

          The more important point is to use a "closed coat" paper like the 3M "wet-or-dry" paper, so that it does not shed abrasive all over the machine.

          Some get concerned about "charging" the surface with abrasives, but remember, fine quality machines often have the ways ground with abrasive wheels, which do shed particles. That does not damage anything if the ways are cleaned afterwards (as they of course are).

          But I would not bother with ordinary stains, there just is no reason to fiddle with them.

          Yeah, I did not want to call the wire brush idea a "hack job" (being polite, I was), but as long as McGyver already kinds did that, I will agree. Wire brushing tears up the surface, rounds over corners, and is just the wrong way to go altogether. It's not as bad as the "angle grinder scraping" I have seen in ebay ads, but it's not good.

          For non-[recise surfaces, like a drill press table? A sanding block and medium paper will do all you need, and no damage. A wire brush could be acceptable if not leaned on too hard.... I do like the table to be flat, but it is a long was from needing to be as flat as lathe ways.
          Last edited by J Tiers; 11-30-2017, 01:18 PM.
          1601

          Keep eye on ball.
          Hashim Khan

          Comment


          • #6
            Headed down to the shop to throw my wire brush away!!
            olcop

            Comment


            • #7
              a Craytex Bar or stick is great to remove stains and no damage to the surface
              Rich

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by olcop View Post
                Headed down to the shop to throw my wire brush away!!
                olcop
                You will want it for the big stuff... But at that point, there is enough rust pitting, etc that a bit of brush damage is not even noticed.......
                1601

                Keep eye on ball.
                Hashim Khan

                Comment


                • #9
                  I've used 1500 or 2000 grit wet / dry sand paper and WD-40 to polish up surfaces like that. You won't hurt anything and it will remove light staining as long as it's superficial. It will also put a little shine to the surface and that seems to be your goal.
                  As the other guys have said avoid any aggressive methods like wire wheels etc.

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

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Also for removing rust from flat machined surfaces, try a cheap paint scraper (this sort of thing: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Linic-Win...0AAOSwG-1WwuJR) - they take Stanley knife blades. Soak the rusted area in any old oil, let it soak for a while, then use the scraper. There's a sweet spot angle where it neither skids over the surface nor digs in - you find it very quickly. Works for me.

                    Ian
                    All of the gear, no idea...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      My lathe was covered in rust completely. The ways were not really rusted however as the old oil had oxidised into a varnish/dust paste. I used a stiff plastic scraper and some 90/10mix of old motor oil and gasoline to clean out the ways. I followed it by wiping with degreaser and then water and then a clean layer of 30wt followed. Once clean I used a razor blade to get any real rust spots out and a 1500grid stone to clean out any burrs from the ways, very carefully using fresh 30w oil as lubricant and not allowing the stone to dig in.
                      12x16" Delta 3d printer (Built from scratch)
                      Logan 825 - work in progress
                      My Blog - http://engineerd3d.ddns.net/
                      Youtube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVY...view_as=public
                      Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/engineerd3d/?hl=en

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Using a knife blade like engineerd3d suggests is the best way to remove rust from cast iron surfaces, in the UK we call them "Stanley knife blades". There will be staining left, but the all important surface dimensions will not be affected.
                        Removing the staining is strictly for morons.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The blade may get most of it.

                          I found it required a bit more, and the closed coat paper will not remove enough material to measure.... When dealing with rust, you are no longer in a mode of (as I have seen it said) "preserving the precious precision surfaces", instead, you are in "make this machine work effectively" mode. The "precious surface" is gone in the rust... that ship has sailed.
                          1601

                          Keep eye on ball.
                          Hashim Khan

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The museums drill mill was bought as a basket case, having been left in a back garden under a tarpaulin for three years in the UK, not the best of conditions. The water had done some damage to the R8 taper, which had a collet in it with matching corrosion, the lower taper roller was scrap and the bed was red rust all over.
                            The bearing had to be replaced, the spindle taper, despite the corrosion has never slipped or run more than 0.001" tir, and the bed with only scraping with a blade and oiling is fine, despite the discolouration.
                            For a total of £300, including tooling worth more than that, it has been great. The German made switchgear failed after a couple of years, replaced by Chinese which has been ok so far.
                            Last edited by old mart; 12-01-2017, 03:44 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I got my clean surfaces by using electrolytic cleaning, water and fine steel wool to remove the black residue, and then coating the surfaces with oil or M1. Until the surfaces are very clean and you can see minor dents with raised material beside them that need to be worked off, abrasives and scrapers were kept in the cabinet.
                              A tall waste container held enough water to do half of the lathe bed at a time.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X