Machine Restoration Tips 1
These pages contain tips to be used in the restoration of machine tools. I don't know if I'll ever get around to doing a restoration, but I wanted to gather up the worthwhile tips I see along the way.
Cleaning Rust from Tables and Beds
Several recommended products: "A Must for Rust", toilet bowl cleaner (!), Zep industrial purple. There are also electrolysis-based methods that involve current from a battery charger. Frank Ford has a good write up on his "FRETS" site.
After cleaning, stone the table to remove nicks and burrs, and then oil it to protect it.
Use a Die Grinder to Resurface Ways
Rig up a mounted die grinder and use a small cup wheel. It must be made rigid to the ways as best you can make it. Use a 40 pitch screw ( or finer) as a down feed stop. Feed down to the screw, then to lower the wheel more, you back the screw out ...slowly. You want a positive load against the stop at all times to eliminate error and vibration. This will give very fine ( like .0003 ) downfeed moves.
I got this method from a man who had to deal with a lathe that was really worn on the outside carriage V ways. The tail stock was never used, so he took the tailstock top off, and mounted a 45 degree angle plate to the base. Then he removed the toolslide from the carraige and mounted it on the angle plate, allong with a die grinder. Using a cylindrical wheel he ground both sides of each V.. till spark out. This gave outside ways that were totally matched to the inside ways, which were then scraped to finish, which he says was more deco than work. Just make sure the grinder has NO endplay.
Do you want to be a better CNC'er?
Get Better Tool Life, Surface Finish, and Material Removal Rates.