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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Gippsland Victoria
    Posts
    704

    Default Cleaning Cast iron surfaces : Mill Table & Lathe Ways

    It seems to me that my mill table and lathe ways are always grungy gray compared to the almost silvery shiny surfaces I see on forum photos.

    Scrubbing with a kerosene soaked rag is all I have ever done to clean these surfaces, it helps a bit but its not great.

    Today I used some 1200 grit emery paper backed by a file, with some kerosene - that made a huge difference on an obscure part of the mill table that is almost never used. Compare the top two "beams" of metal in attached photos, in the improved photo they reflect far more light compared to the lower beams.

    I don't think I will damage the mill table if I do the whole lot with 1200 paper but happy to be told off if that's a silly idea. Mill is 30+ years old and has had previous owners.

    Am aware that some people rub their cast iron surfaces with fine stone.

    What do you do to clean and maintain mill table and lathe ways ?

    Bill
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  2. #2
    BobL is offline Member: Blue and white apron brigade
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    5,248

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by steamingbill View Post
    It seems to me that my mill table and lathe ways are always grungy gray compared to the almost silvery shiny surfaces I see on forum photos.
    Scrubbing with a kerosene soaked rag is all I have ever done to clean these surfaces, it helps a bit but its not great.
    Today I used some 1200 grit emery paper backed by a file, with some kerosene - that made a huge difference on an obscure part of the mill table that is almost never used. Compare the top two "beams" of metal in attached photos, in the improved photo they reflect far more light compared to the lower beams.
    I don't think I will damage the mill table if I do the whole lot with 1200 paper but happy to be told off if that's a silly idea. Mill is 30+ years old and has had previous owners.
    That's what I use, It's not like my gear is precision anyway.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    melbourne
    Posts
    44

    Default

    It looks to me like the table top surface is planed rather than ground which really means it will never look much better.
    I use a fine stone on my table surface to remove small dings not to made it look nice.

    Robert

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Age
    52
    Posts
    581

    Default

    If you can do to whole table consistently I don't see a problem as 1200 will remove minute metal, add a bit of kero for lubrication and to flush away the crap. I've done this in the past.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Newcastle
    Posts
    170

    Default

    Steel wool or scotch Brite are other options.

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