Cleaning Grease off New Lathe Bed

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Hey All

My back is killing me but I finally have my Laguna Revo 18/36 220v assembled and my garage wired properly.

The only issue is that the lathe bed has a lot of factory grease left on it and I think I should clean it before turning any wood.

My question is, what should I use to clean the lathe bed? I was thinking of using Denatured Alcohol, but I’m not sure. Any advise is appreciated.


“Pen Turning on the Rock”
 
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Dalecamino

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Hey All

My back is killing me but I finally have my Laguna Revo 18/36 220v assembled and my garage wired properly.

The only issue is that the lathe bed has a lot of factory grease left on it and I think I should clean it before turning any wood.

My question is, what should I use to clean the lathe bed? I was thinking of using Denatured Alcohol, but I’m not sure. Any advise is appreciated.


“Pen Turning on the Rock”
I used odorless mineral spirits. Congratulations!
 

Dalecamino

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Not to hijack your post but an added question.


What is the best to lubricate the ways (once they're clean) so the tail stock slides easier?
I use motor oil. A thin coat will do it. To be more precise, I use motor oil on the metal lathe, and paste wax on the wood lathe. Learned that from my teachers.
 
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monophoto

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Interesting question.

Many lathes, especially those manufactured in Asia, are dressed using paints that won't withstand petroleum-based solvents that we normally think of as degreasers - gasoline, kerosene, mineral spirits, etc. So you might want to take the precaution of testing the solvent you plan to use on a hidden area on the lathe to make sure that it won't attack the paint. I tried mineral spirits when I was prepping my new lathe, and found that the paint was coming off.

So that leads me to suggest that you consider one of the more environmentally-friendly, non-petroleum solvents that are typically sold at supermarkets. I don't have any personal experience with any of these, but some of the names that come to mind are Simple Green, Howard's Clean a Finish, Meyer's Multi-Surface Cleaner, etc. And my wife swears by ordinary household vinegar.

Another possibility is WD-40. I know that's not what it was made for, but people tend to use it as a general-purpose cleaner.
 

monophoto

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What is the best to lubricate the ways (once they're clean) so the tail stock slides easier?
I've used both silicone and teflon spray lubricants, and also paste wax. But I think the best results have been from white lithium grease (the stuff that they sell for lubricating garage doors).
 

KenB259

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Not to hijack your post but an added question.


What is the best to lubricate the ways (once they're clean) so the tail stock slides easier?


I use Mil-Comm TW25B. It’s pricy and designed for firearms, but a very small amount goes a long way. If after applying it, you can see it, you used to much. It is the most amazing lubricant I have ever seen.


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Woodchipper

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I have a Rikon lathe. At first, I cleaned the bed several times with DNA and applied a thin coating of Ballistol Sportsman's Oil with a folded paper towel. I finally got around to carrying this one step further. I removed the tailstock. I lightly dressed the bed with 400 wet/dry sandpaper( my father used to refer to it as crocus cloth). Wiped it several times to clean it and added another coat of Ballistol. Next, I turned the headstock upside down and did the same thing. Now the HS slides with minimal effort. Even as smooth as the machine surfaces were, they were still a bit rough.
 

monophoto

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I removed the tailstock. I lightly dressed the bed with 400 wet/dry sandpaper( my father used to refer to it as crocus cloth). Wiped it several times to clean it and added another coat of Ballistol. Next, I turned the headstock upside down and did the same thing. Now the HS slides with minimal effort. Even as smooth as the machine surfaces were, they were still a bit rough.
This is good advice. Over time, the bedways pick up nicks, and also drops/smears of whatever finish you use. I periodically remove the tailstock, and then buff the bedways using crocus cloth wet with WD40. A green scotchbright pad is just as effective. Fair warning - this is a messy process, and your hands will get dirty. Then, I reapply my lubricant of choice (currently, white lithium grease, but paste wax is also very good).

And while you are at it, use sandpaper or a file to smooth the top of your tool rest. Also, disassemble and clean the ram in the tailstock. Over time, the edge of the groove that the ram locking pin rides in gets buggered up and I find that it is often necessary to use a file to smooth down the edges of the groove.
 
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So, I set in cleaning the lathe tonight and it was a breeze with a little bit of simple green. 20 min tops and a quick coat of Silicon Lube and we are in business.

I examined the bottom of the motor, tool rest and tailstock and they are flawless. I have to say I’m very impressed with Laguna’s quality so far.


“Pen Turning on the Rock”
 
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Curly

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You should not use silicone oils, lubricants and mold release in the shop. If it gets on your wood and you try to put a hard finish like laquer it may mess it up. It causes fish eyes or orange peel of the surface. Just use paste wax on the bed of the lathe.
 
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You should not use silicone oils, lubricants and mold release in the shop. If it gets on your wood and you try to put a hard finish like laquer it may mess it up. It causes fish eyes or orange peel of the surface. Just use paste wax on the bed of the lathe.


What type of paste wax? The same paste wax we use on cars?


“Pen Turning on the Rock”
 

Curly

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Johnson’s paste wax for floors or if you cannot find it then Minwax Paste Finishing Wax.

You’d need to see what is in the car wax because I have no idea. Haven’t waxed a vehicle since the late 70’s.
 

rherrell

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Mineral spirits or WD40 for cleaning and I use parafin wax to help the tailstock slide. You can buy it at the grocery store as "canning wax", two bucks worth will last a lifetime!
 

randyrls

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To join the thread; Any abrasive you want to use on the bed should be attached to a block/backer of some kind and you want the backer to span both front and back ways. You do not want to put any waviness or crown in the bed. With a wood lathe this only a minor annoyance, but on a metal lathe it is death.
 
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