Preventative maintanance - International Association of Penturners
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Old 09-01-2017, 05:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
Woodchipper's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2017
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Default Preventative maintanance

I posted this on another website but wanted to share this with you.
"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!"
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Old 09-01-2017, 05:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Thanks for this!! Still being a relative newbie, I've been wondering what kind of stuff like that I should be doing. I'm sure there is a ton of info on this forum but I just haven't taken the time to search. My lathe rails and tool rest are starting to show some rust. I'm assuming from a combo of humidity and wet sanding.
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Old 09-01-2017, 06:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Fine sandpaper (400) with some WD40 does a good job of bed cleanup. Wipe off when done. I use paraffin wax on the bed, banjo and tool rest. Just rub some on(not a lot) and buff off with a rag or some shavings. I also clean/wax the bar inside the banjo for smooth operation.
Metal to metal such as with a tool and tool rest will drag if not lubricated in some fashion. Also, remove sharp edges from tools like parting tools and skews as they will dig in on the tool rest. File tool rest smooth and wax. If the tool slides smoothly on the tool rest, you will get much smoother cuts!
Charlie W.
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Old 09-01-2017, 08:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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As much wet sanding as I do this is a constant battle for me. I tried some Boeshield on the bed last time and it was a real let down how fast it allowed rust to show. It's a rock star on the table saw but didn't hold up on the lathe. Probably going to just stick with wax there.
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Old 09-01-2017, 08:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Never use sandpaper on your ways, use a brass brush, it is non abrasive. If you have let it go too far use a Scotchbrite pad, the blue looking variety. The sandpaper will not only remove the gunk and mess, it will remove metal.
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Old 09-02-2017, 02:23 AM   #6 (permalink)
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When I bought my bench lathe, it came with rough cast rails (or ways).
I sanded it with 600 grit silicon oxide sandpaper until it shined like chrome.
I wrapped the sandpaper around a block of walnut wood so it wouldn't create waves on the ways. Then, I applied Slip-It to the ways & rubbed it in well.
Once it dried, I buffed it off & did it again.

Slip-It silicone free is the bomb when it comes to lubing & protecting the steel or cast iron on the tools you use every day.
It's slicker than owl chit on a Sunday morning.

*Walnut is a hardwood that doesn't deform like softwood when sanding."
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Old 09-02-2017, 05:53 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by keithncsu View Post
My lathe rails and tool rest are starting to show some rust. I'm assuming from a combo of humidity and wet sanding.
When wet sanding, protect the ways with a sheet of fun foam from the craft store, or solid thick tool drawer liner. Any closed cell foam will keep your lathe ways dry. DON'T use cloth, it just keeps the water in contact with the ways longer.
Randy S.
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Old 09-02-2017, 06:58 AM   #8 (permalink)
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dogcatcher, I know what you are saying but I wanted to smooth the bed, tailstock, and banjo. I don't think this will be necessary to be done again for a loooong time. I did notice that the banjo was painted before final grinding. There was a low spot on one end where the grinding didn't remove the paint but still even. When looking at a lathe, it might be wise to look at the bottom of the banjo and tailstock to check on the overall quality. This might be the difference between brands, even though the lathes might be made in the same factory with different paint jobs. I am pleased with this Rikon 70-050VS- discontinued model. Good turning to all!
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