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  • Restoring 13x40 Lathe.

    Recent picked up a nice 13x40 lathe. Torn it down completely, and in the process of working on the bed.

    Decided to use Evapo-Rust. Used the wet paper towel method on a lathe bed. It had slight surface rust and a dark patina. I soaked the blue shop paper towels in Evapo-Rust and laid it on the ways. Made sure no bubbles existed. Wrapped it cling wrap and let it set for 3 or 4 days. The surface rust was gone and most of the patina was too, however I ended up with black splotchy areas all over. (See top of the attached photo). I then did another paper towel treatment for 12 hours (middle photo). Still had the black splotchy patches, but was reduced. I then built a small tank out for wood and 6mil plastic and submerged the top of the lathe for 8 hours and then an additional 24 hours. Still have the splotching (bottom of the photo) and now the metal is starting to turn a dull gray. Can anyone offer any advice on how to proceed? I don’t want to use abrasives on the lathe as that can damage the precision. Just trying to get rid of the black staining that's left over.

    Thanks, Connor


  • #2
    Not sure of the method you are using ---this does not mean you are wrong--I just not familiar with it, but
    I am very leery of having wood or paper in contact with machined surfaces for periods of time. There are so many chemicals that
    can cause issues with both, I steer clear.
    If you want to "polish" up the stains, or get rid of them, try Cratex. ( Fine ) It is a rubberized abrasive that removes stains on the surface of iron and steel. it will not affect the accuracy of the lathe as it removes sub-microns only on the surface

    Rich
    Green Bay, WI

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    • #3
      Conner, what brand and model number is the lathe. Curious because I own a Jet GH1340A lathe.

      Tim
      Last edited by tmc_31; 09-04-2019, 06:42 PM.

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      • #4
        Evaporust does this, ignore it and move on.

        allan

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        • #5
          Connor,

          I've refurbished several 13" lathes, Each having significant rust but each one has cleaned up nicely. No pitting of machined surfaces but all had dark splotchy areas that just wouldn't clean up. I suggest you take kitno455's advice and move on to more important refurbishing/rebuilding tasks.

          Customers that buy machines from me are never concerned about the splotchy areas. They want complete (all parts and pieces accounted for), clean, smooth and accurate machines. I don't paint them either because I don't want customers questioning whether I'm hiding something and second because of time and cost to do a nice job.

          Forget the splotches and move on.

          Ron

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          • #6
            Originally posted by tmc_31 View Post
            Conner, what brand and model number is the lathe. Curious because I own a Jet GH1340A lathe.

            Tim
            It's a older MSC 1340. Made in Taiwan. Dashin-Prince Is the series. Looks like the OEM is Jesco Machinery Ltd.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Rich Carlstedt View Post
              Not sure of the method you are using ---this does not mean you are wrong--I just not familiar with it, but
              I am very leery of having wood or paper in contact with machined surfaces for periods of time. There are so many chemicals that
              can cause issues with both, I steer clear.
              If you want to "polish" up the stains, or get rid of them, try Cratex. ( Fine ) It is a rubberized abrasive that removes stains on the surface of iron and steel. it will not affect the accuracy of the lathe as it removes sub-microns only on the surface

              Rich
              They say for larger items, soak the paper towel (again, I'm using the blue auto shop ones) in evapo-rust and put over the item and cling wrap it to keep it from evaporating, and to smooth out the bubbles. I did that, step by step. I'm just wondering if I dunk it longer in the tank for a few more days if it will pull all the staining out..

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              • #8
                Nope, that's just what you get with that method. Don't worry about it.

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                • #9
                  You could try never dull on a seldom used area. It should just clean things up without removing more than a dusting of material.

                  I would expect that there'd be a known procedure to follow after the evapo has done its job. Maybe the company has a website with some info.
                  I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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                  • #10
                    Steel wool will remove some of the staining and polish up the ways. If the discolouration is "just" a stain
                    I wouldn't worry about it; it won't have any effect on accuracy...
                    Keith
                    __________________________
                    Just one project too many--that's what finally got him...

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                    • #11
                      If it's starting to grey the surface I'd stop with the Evapo-Rust. I've used ER too and it doesn't restore the areas completely to a nice shiny look. After all the rust was eating INTO the surface. So some staining like this is to be expected where it likely ate a touch deeper.

                      If you want to try making the ways shiny again with no risk of removing metal try some Bar Keeper's Friend cleaning powder used with a scrub sponge. The ways will need to be wet with water then sprinkle on the BKF in a coverage that would be similar to what you'd use for cleaning a fry pan. Work over about a couple of feet of just one way rail at a time and rinse away before moving on to the next. It should make the now dull grey areas shine up a bit and if the stains are truly just stains it'll clean away most or all of the stains.

                      I suppose that anything which "cleans" metal can be considered as somewhat abrasive. But the BKF when used on my stainless cookware or when I've used it on steel items in the shop for similar cleaning as you're doing does not go grey or black like we'd expect if the action was primarily abrasive in nature. Instead it apparently contains a good dose of boric acid which reacts with rust..... and does a pretty good job on baked on food oil films too.... So it's mostly a chemical cleaning like the ER you've used already aided with a bit of mechanical scrubbing from the scrub sponge.
                      Chilliwack BC, Canada

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                      • #12
                        STOP. Cast iron stains. You are eventually going to do more harm if you keep messing with it. Sounds like you got the rust off. Now oil it up and use it. It's a tool. If you have a to have a show piece, take it to a bed grinder and have each surface ground. Only way you will get to fresh metal. And within a year it will have stains on it so it is a moot point.

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