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Extreme edge of Lo-Tech

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  • Extreme edge of Lo-Tech

    I went to clean up my pig dirty lathe this morning, which is covered in cast iron chips and dust from my recent engine build. First thing to do is vacuum up all the stuff I can access. Second step is to use a chip rake to pull all the crap out from under the lathe so I can clean it up too. But wait---I don't have a chip rake!! However--I have a piece of 14 gauge stainless scrap, and a piece of 1/4" threaded rod, and a length of dowel---Why heck--I can make one in five minutes. So here we have it, without even making a 3D model and drawing. Ta-Da--My newest tool.---a chip rake.
    Brian Rupnow

  • #2
    What the &*$?%! is that crescent wrench for? That better be a home made crescent wrench, then it's OK

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    • #3
      Originally posted by 3 Phase Lightbulb View Post
      What the &*$?%! is that crescent wrench for? That better be a home made crescent wrench, then it's OK
      Actually, that crescent wrench is primarily used for holding the top square end of my drawbar when I change my R8 tooling. It doesn't get overworked, because I don't change tooling all that much.
      Last edited by brian Rupnow; 05-04-2018, 02:48 PM.
      Brian Rupnow

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      • #4
        Happiness is--a clean lathe. Well, at least a much cleaner lathe than it has been for the last month. Iron dust is bad ju-ju for lathes and for mills, but if I had to stop and clean it after every machining operation I'd never get anything done.
        Brian Rupnow

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        • #5
          Originally posted by brian Rupnow View Post
          Happiness is--a clean lathe. Well, at least a much cleaner lathe than it has been for the last month. Iron dust is bad ju-ju for lathes and for mills, but if I had to stop and clean it after every machining operation I'd never get anything done.
          Yes, but make sure you take a picture of it tomorrow as I'm sure you're going to go crazy now and fill her back up with chips before the day is over

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          • #6
            I've got you beat on the "lower tech" side of things. After finally wearing out a scrap length of "knife edge" hemlock cabinet trim that I'd used for 25 years to sweep out the curlies and chips I recently made a replacement out of some 1x1/4 12" oak scrap I had. Don' need no steeenkin' HANDLE! ! ! !

            I do feel guilty looking at your machine though. I did some cast iron the other day and the machine is a total black dusted mess now. I'm afraid to even move the carriage until I get the worst of it away. Baby needs some TLC to maker 'er shine again.
            Chilliwack BC, Canada

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            • #7
              Okay--I defer to your lower techness. Cast iron is really such nice stuff to work with, but man, it's dirty. I don't think that a "once in a while" cast iron job really hurts anything, but I have been warned by others with far more machining background than I have, that leaving cast iron dust on the "ways" is one of the seven deadly sins.---Brian
              Brian Rupnow

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              • #8
                Use one of the many "ductile iron" instead of generic "cast iron". No black gritty dust, beautiful machining material, strong.

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                • #9
                  I also made a low tech chip rake yesterday, but can't figure out how to insert a picture in a reply with tapatalk. I've printed George's instructions for uploading to and posting from an album on this site.

                  I'll try posting after studying post #11 of the how-to.
                  Jim

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                  • #10
                    I keep an old margin trowel (rectangular blade) at the lathe to scrape the chip pan. If I get chips to break properly I can clean up with the shop vac and never need the trowel. Birdsnests need to be scraped out.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by lakeside53 View Post
                      Use one of the many "ductile iron" instead of generic "cast iron". No black gritty dust, beautiful machining material, strong.
                      I totally agree. But us hobby types that get our "mystery metals" for free or super cheap take what we get. And there's no real way of knowing which is what until the first cut. And a lump of the lousey stuff in the jaws and ready to machine beats a known commodity on some supplier's shelf that is a few days away.
                      '
                      Chilliwack BC, Canada

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by brian Rupnow View Post
                        Brian,
                        Your dowel "handle" will last longer and not split if you fit a metal band or "ferrule" around the end where the rod is inserted. Or perhaps wrap with steel or brass wire. And it will look a little classier, too.
                        Weston Bye - Author, The Mechatronist column, Digital Machinist magazine
                        ~Practitioner of the Electromechanical Arts~

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                        • #13
                          I too recently cleaned my lathe and went one step further - I cleaned my mill as well! I keep a shallow metal pan about one inch deep and 12” square under the ways near the headstock that catches most of the swarf and oil. Makes it handy when small items drop down to retrieve.

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                          • #14
                            We---ll that looked easy till I tried to do it. Trying to resize the pictures kept crashing my laptop. Switched to the desktop and kept after it till I have an album with two pictures in it!

                            I took the picture after seeing how Brian made his rake. Mine is just a piece of galvanized sheet bent in the vise and attached to a scrap of oak with two screws. The notch was free, but I had to make the hang-it-up hole.

                            Jim

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Weston Bye View Post
                              Brian,
                              Your dowel "handle" will last longer and not split if you fit a metal band or "ferrule" around the end where the rod is inserted. Or perhaps wrap with steel or brass wire. And it will look a little classier, too.
                              Could have just re-purposed and old file handle....

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