What is the best procedure to use to restore the engraved scales and
text on all the various locations of an old lathe?
So far I have used a light wire brushing and WD40. My primary purpose
is to be able to read the scales and text engraved on wheels and
spindles. Have I done wrong so far?
Rust and buildup is the result of 20+ years of practically non use.
12" Atlas Model 101 27430 lathe
Here's a post from last month:
I had some rust to remove, on a lathe bed that couldn't be submerged in
acid, my usual rust removal technique. Thinking of Ted Edwards'
electrolytic swabbing technique, I looked it up. He uses Sodium
Carbonate, Sodium Hydroxide (lye), Trisodium Phosphate, & Sodium
Silicate, in certain proportions. All I had was some TSP & some already
mixed lye that I'd used to strip paint.
WTF, I had nothing to lose, so I tried it with just the lye. It worked,
very well. So well that I would certainly not bother to get all those
other ingredients and mix to the recipe. I don't doubt that the
official recipe is superior, but it couldn't be that much better.
Perhaps its real advantage is in other cleaning situations.
BTW - all I did was attach negative to the lathe bed, dip the (positive)
swab in the lye and rub the rust. Poof!, it was gone. (Well, maybe not
"poof", but very quickly.) Thanks, Ted.
I was about to hit "Send", when I thought "Maybe just TSP would work".
Well, it does. And just as well as lye. Maybe better - it doesn't foam
as much. This is good - that lye is nasty stuff.
Feeling that I was on a roll, I tried using a wooden dowel in place of
the carbon rod, thinking that the electrolyte-saturated cotton might be
enough of a conductor. Nope - you need the carbon.
and a reply
This appears to be Ted's de-rusting technique:
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