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Degreasing...?

 
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jugadro



Joined: 27 Jun 2005
Posts: 17
Location: Northern Hemisphere

PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2006 3:40 pm    Post subject: Degreasing...? Reply with quote

I recently bought a new metalworking lathe at an auction, and it came with it's own perservative; 100 years of caked on oil & grease.

I am about to undergo a thorough cleaning, but I don't quite know what to use.

Regular soap & water?

Heavy-Duty engine degreaser?

Any tips would be swell. Thanks much.




P.S. Pics of the lathe will be here soon.
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nektai



Joined: 17 Dec 2004
Posts: 1019
Location: Long Island, NY

PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2006 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jugadro-

100 years of crud might be tough for any one method of degreasing. I would recommend scraping off what you can with anything that will not damage machined surfaces or paint (if it is savable). I would then turn to Kerosene or paint thinner. I had a chemical engineer as a student once and he suggested starting with the largest molecule solvent first and proceeding towards the smallest (he defined acetone and laquor thinner on the opposite side of the spectrum from Kerosene and Paint thinner). I think the idea is the bigger the molecule, the less damage to your brain from fumes and skin contact, but i can't quite remember? (I guess the advice came a bit too late for me)

Pictures might be fun.

Nico
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crzypete



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 1689
Location: New York State

PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2006 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Jared, what brand lathe did you get? We definitely need pics.

As to degreasing, for light stuff I have been enjoying using regular old fantastic from the grocery store. It sounds like you do not have light degreasing though.

I have heard of greased lightening and simple green as some industrial strength degreasers which might cut through that stuff without too many side affects to you.

I would recommend a plastic scraper, or perhaps wedges of wood. Also steel wool.

I have heard bad things about scotch brite and metal lathe ways- it seems the abrasive tends to linger and get worn in. that being said, I really like scotch brite for other non precise situations.

I would stay away from lacquer thinner as nico has suggested. Definitely start less toxic like denatured- remember just in brain cells this is a plus, and I think the higher test solvents have better skills at infiltrating your skin.

Use gloves and expect to get dirty.

Some machines you can actually power wash without too many negative affects. I have on occasion brought a machine to the car wash while on the truck to get rid of some nastiness and leave it with someone else.


Keep us posted as to what works, it seems to be different for everyone.

Pete
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jugadro



Joined: 27 Jun 2005
Posts: 17
Location: Northern Hemisphere

PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2006 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ahhh yes, I remember now that you suggested FANTASTIK when we were up there visiting you.

The lathe is a David W. Pond and I just posted a thread on it HERE.

I'm super excited. The book that you gave me has been EXTREMELY helpful, especially in identifying the various parts. Thanks again so much!

I guess the cleaning shall commence! Thanks for the tips. I'm sure I'll have a ton of questions regarding this ancient beast. It'll be fun doing some 'old skool' machining.
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