lathe help

newbie - hobbyist here,
I was grinding a hardened shaft on my lathe with appropriate rags covering
everything to protect the lathe from the grinding dust.The lead screw snagged
the corner of one of the rags and pulled it out from under the grinder dumping
all the crud it had collected onto the lead screw and thread dial. I stopped and
disengaged the thread dial. Then I used a squirt bottle (dish detergent type)
with #1 fuel oil to deluge the lead screw and thread dial several times.
Turning the dial with my fingers, it still feels like I'm lapping a valve in an
engine. Any suggestions as to what else I can do to get it cleaned? Thanks in
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Take apart whatever you can. Vacuum. Then put on good eye protection and air-blast from a compressor.
Regarding the lead screw, one way to clean them is to take a piece of heavy cord, soak it in solvent (anything from kerosene to WD-40), wrap it once or twice around the thread grooves, and run the leadscrew slowly under power while holding on to the ends of the cord. I prefer to do this with a strip cut from an old T-shrt, so there is some extra material cleaning the tops of the threads.
Then, in the future, use paper or aluminum foil instead of rags to cover the bedways when you grind. Spray with WD-40 or spray oil so the grit will stick to the covers. Use masking tape if you need to, to hold paper in place. You also can do some creative carving on a gallon milk bottle, so it fits around the grinding head, and attach a vacuum cleaner to that.
Better yet, don't grind on a good lathe. Learn to get good at lapping.
Reply to
Ed Huntress
I learned this the hard way, got rags wrapped up pretty good in my lathe which messed up a few parts. I now use the paper sheets they stuff in boxes as packing material to catch messes.
Reply to
Cydrome Leader
That's a neat tip about treating the paper to trap some of the loose grit. Thanks.
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