Preventive maintenance for my lathe

Discussion in 'Tutorials and Tips' started by John Torchick, Sep 1, 2017.

  1. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    I'm sure this is nothing new to this group but wanted to share this for anyone taking time to clean up the shop. I have spent the last three days cleaning up the shop, organizing items in like function or use, and looking at what needs to be done next. My project this evening was to clean up the lathe. I took a sanding sponge from HF and wrapped 400 grit wet/dry sandpaper around three sides (that's all I had in the sandpaper organizer- more on that later). I went up and down the bed several times. I had removed the tailstock and banjo to get a good, uninterrupted run. I then wiped it down and put a good coat of Johnson's Paste Wax on the rails. I got the idea of doing the bottom of the banjo and the tailstock. Same, same. When I wiped off the wax, I was pleasantly surprised at how smooth the banjo and the tailstock moved! Now to do some turning!
     
    Bill Boehme and Fadi Zeidan like this.
  2. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    That's very interesting. Apparently the wax had built up and become gummy. Did you use anything to prevent rust ... If you're in a humid location.

    If it's OK for me to describe what I do in your tutorial it's basically the same thing except I don't use sandpaper to initially clean the surfaces (at least, not on my Robust ... where I borrow a silk hankie from Mrs. B ... j/k, maybe... :p). I use mineral spirits on the rag to get everything clean. Then I follow your procedure for waxing, let it dry, and buff it out.

    I tried getting fancy and using Chestnut Microcrystalline Wax. I've noticed an observable difference... the microcrystalline wax is definitely more expensive. Being basically cheap, I haven't carried on this experiment to see if the high-dollar stuff is slicker or holds up longer. Maybe the AAW would fund a research grant to pursue this important matter. :D
     
  3. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    I used the sandpaper to smooth out the metal. The bed, tailstock, and banjo had the swirls from the grinder which, to me, is indicative of a Blanchard grinder. I was only smoothing out the metal. The castings could have been smoother but that would have added additional operations to the product and extra cost. I used the paste wax to lightly coat the parts and then vigorously polished/wiped it off. Humidity is no issue as my shop is in the basement and has heat and AC.
     
  4. Glenn Lefley

    Glenn Lefley

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    image.jpeg I use this on my bandsaw, drill press and lathe . Its like a super slide after application. Made by boeing and not that expensive.
     
  5. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    I have something similar to that- Ballisticol All Purpose Sportsman's Lubricant.
     
  6. Dean Center

    Dean Center

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    For routine maintenance, sandpaper seems pretty aggressive. A green scotchbrite pad works well for me in this role and hopefully is safe long term. Boeshield also makes a rust remover that has the absolute worst rotten-eggs smell of all time, but quickly gets the rust off without abrasion. (If somebody knows what they put in there, I'd love to learn.) I've used both Johnson's paste wax and Boeshield, and can't say I notice a substantial difference in effectiveness, rust prevention, or persistence.
     
  7. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Could be sulfuric acid with a reaction byproduct of hydrogen sulfide.
     
  8. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    Hi, Dean! I used a very fine wet/dry sandpaper of about 400 grit and lightly sanded, not aggressively like I would a rough piece of wood. Came out slick as greased glass.
     

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