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Machining cast iron - do you cover your ways?

12bolts

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#32
Chips? Well then Ron, you must be taking bigger DOC than I do.

Cheers Phil
 

Desolus

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#33
I cover everything that isn't rotating or cutting and lay a damp terry cloth towel under the spindle and I stuff a big wad of oiled paper towel into the spindle bore, too. In my defense, I do this not (only) because of paranoia but largely because I'm lazy. It is sooo much faster to use a brush attachment on the vac to get most of the chips off, then carefully remove the plastic sheeting to reveal a clean lathe underneath. A quick cleaning of the entire lathe and I'm done. Oh yeah, I throw a plastic sheet (those cheap painter's cover things) over adjacent machines, too. I'd say this is just the smart thing to do but it's really just more laziness.

I also have a rubber apron in front of my cross slide so chips rarely even make it to the way wipers - this makes me feel better because my lathe is my baby.
I think it would be more accurate to call this industriousness, a lazy person will just leave them dirty and keep going with no regard for machine wear.
 

Groundhog

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#34
To me there is a big difference between keeping your lathe clean and covering ways each time for protection.
 

Scruffy

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#35
This scruffy Ron , I would like to apologize to every one on this forum. I'vebeen really stressed out about my mid 80's parents.
I'm really not a d--- k.
Thanks scruffy ron
 

Scruffy

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#36
I would like to thank the moderator's for not letting my alligator mouth override hummingbird butt. By deleting my posts.
Thanks scruffy ron
 

Desolus

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#37
I think we all get our turn in the barrel... one of the great things about this forum I've noticed is that despite the fact we are all human, and occasionally personalities clash everyone always seems to be willing to take a step back and reassess.
 

GLCarlson

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#38
A very long time ago, my first shop teacher pointed out that the problem with CI isn't the clean-up, it's the risk of embedding carbides in wipers or ways. And then grinding your ways every time you move the carriage. He was right rude about compressed air, same reason. And covering ways when machining weldments, or even dirty/rusty metal.

He wouldn't let us use cloth or plastic film, either. Paper was OK, but he preferred aluminum foil for way covers, and magnets to hold. Al foil has the advantage that it can be formed to the ways, and it will tear fast if it gets grabbed. It is also completely impervious to dust, cheap, and can be balled up to discard, containing the debris. The small rare-earth magnets will also do a great job holding the foil to the carriage, ways, etc- while letting it flex. Put them under the foil, not on top.

Overcautious? Perhaps.
 

crazypj

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#39
Only factory I ever worked in did a load of cast iron motor bodies. We didn't even attempt to cover ways (almost all machines were induction hardened beds) Never use compressed air for 'cleaning' machine, it just blows dust in places you can't remove it without machine 'out of service' for monts
 

Buffalo20

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#40
I use the aluminum foil trick, as others, as a matter of clean up as well as to keep the grit out of the lathe’s moving parts. The wife keeps getting upset with me, as I use her Reynolds aluminum foil, once roll goes out into the shop, to her its unfit for cooking use. I now have 3 or 4 rolls in the shop.
 

th62

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#41
I've never machined cast but I do protect the way from swarf, when I remember that is, using a roll out blind I constructed. The blind rolls up as the carriage is moved toward the chuck via a cord attached to a weight enclosed in a PVC tube and a couple of pulleys. Been using it for a couple of years now and it still works fine keeping swarf from the bed. There are commercial concertina blinds made of a rubbery material which would do the same job.
 

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Moper361

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#42
I normally do mainly cause it makes clean up easier. As Groundhog said, I don't machine cast iron enough to where I think it will cause accelerated wear on my lathe. But sometimes you just can't cover up enough or prevent mess unless you want to stop & clean up every so often or sit there with a vacuum.

I'm actually machining some cast iron today, taking a break, it's lunch time. I didn't even bother covering anything nor did I use a cutter upside down. I just let the chips fly & I'll deal with the mess after. Plus I wanted to see how much of it gets past my new delrin/felt wipers.


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Hi There Darkzero , this has nothing to do with machining cast iron but I saw your pictures and Noticed you have the same machine as mine , I also see you have a quick change tool post ,I want to change my 4 way post to a quick change and have been looking at various types, May I ask what brand that tool holder is and model number etc also what size tool can the tool carrier hold as my main lathe tools I use at the moment in my 4 way post are 20 mm shank can these fit in this type of tool post ?
 

darkzero

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#43
Hi There Darkzero , this has nothing to do with machining cast iron but I saw your pictures and Noticed you have the same machine as mine , I also see you have a quick change tool post ,I want to change my 4 way post to a quick change and have been looking at various types, May I ask what brand that tool holder is and model number etc also what size tool can the tool carrier hold as my main lathe tools I use at the moment in my 4 way post are 20 mm shank can these fit in this type of tool post ?
My toolpost is a Dorian brand. The size is BXA. For Asian import QCTP size 200 would be the equivalent to BXA. For BXA standard holders you can use up to 5/8"/16mm shank tools. With oversized BXA holders you can use up to 3/4"/19mm tools. Dorian does make 1" capacity oversized holders for BXA but you will not be able to use 1" shank tools on this lathe, they will not site low enough to reach spindle centerline.

If interested this is my PM1236 lathe thread: http://www.hobby-machinist.com/threads/my-pm1236.11475/

If you would like more help on choosing/buying a QCTP for your lathe, feel free to send me a PM. More than happy to help.
 

Dan_S

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#44
Something I've gotten a ton of flack on YouTube for, was using cutting oil when drilling and tapping cast iron. People seemed to have missed or ignored the fact that i said i was doing it to cut down on the fine airborne dust.
 

darkzero

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#45
Something I've gotten a ton of flack on YouTube for, was using cutting oil when drilling and tapping cast iron. People seemed to have missed or ignored the fact that i said i was doing it to cut down on the fine airborne dust.
That's cause when it mixes with fluids, that creates a slurry that is bad for sliding surfaces, can clog tools & parts, and is also harder to clean up. The high graphite content is why you don't need lube. I rather vacuum up all the dust than try to clean up slurry & sludge.

If it works for you then that's all that matters but it's not common practice & people will always tell you something about. I personally would rather use a vacuum to cut down on airborne dust. I also use dry wall bags in my shop vac which acts as an additional filter & keeps the inside of the vacuum as well as the filter clean. Just throw away the bag & replace.
 

Chuck K

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#46
I cut a chuck mounting plate yesterday. I just layed a piece of cardboard across the ways. It caught the majority of it. Used the shop vac when I was done. The lathe was built in 1942 so I'm guessing it's had CI cut on it before. It does make a mess. I dont usually wear gloves when machining but in this case I had the disposable gloves on. That stuff is hell to clean off your hands.
 

Alan H

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#47
Just used a fly cutter on some in the mill. I used towels to cover the ways. During cleanup I the towels out in the yard to shake them off. The stuff went in my shoes, eyes and shirt pocket! Aluminum foil next time! Roll it up and through it away.
 

darkzero

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#48
The stuff went in my shoes, eyes and shirt pocket!
Wait till you get it down your pants! It feels good, trust me! ;) And when you take big cuts & the hot chips fly on your head it feels good too! Luckily I got really short hair so no problem blowing it off my head. I don't wear an apron all the time but for CI & brass, I always do now! Oh and have you ever machined wearing slippers? I know bad idea but I do it sometimes when I just need to do something quick.
 

Alan H

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#50
Sometimes I machine small stuff wearing flip flop sandals. I certainly don't recommend it, but sometimes laziness overcomes what is smart...
At least you are admitting it Bob! I wear a pair of Nike slip ons on in the shop so I can take them off when I go upstairs and sometimes do the same thing. BTW, I have learned not to machine hard steel without proper shoes since those blue chips and curly ques burn.
 

Wreck™Wreck

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#51
I do not cover the ways as it would be impractcal as cast iron chips get everywhere when turned fast enough.

Began a job today, 6 parts in class 40 cast rounds, the stock is 12" diameter X 5" long roughly 125 Lbs. each. When finished they will weigh around 50 Lbs. each or 400 Lbs. of chips created. The estimated lathe time is 29 hours.

So it begins, choose the tools wisely, in this case a 2 1/2" HSS drill and a Manchester face groove tool, by the way Manchester makes excellent tools for this sort of work.


Not a terribly sharp drill but good enough for CI roughing and also the largest one that I found that still had the tang unbroken.
 

4gsr

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#52
Oou! That's a rough looking finger nail!

That G-2 DuraBar loves big hunky drill bits.

Thanks for sharing.
 

Wreck™Wreck

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#53
Oou! That's a rough looking finger nail!

That G-2 DuraBar loves big hunky drill bits.

Thanks for sharing.
30 + years in the machine shop will do that to you.

One side of the first part done, 7 hours including set up, chuck change and setting tools and planning the order of operations.
One thing happened that I do not recall ever experiencing in the past, had to use a left handed face groove tool upside down with the spindle in reverse, the vibrations loosened the QCTP clamping mechanism and the entire tool holder lifted in the slot and exploded a Manchester face groove tool. Fortunately this did not damage the part only the tool, I will now be wary when running the spindle in reverse with such a tool holder.

If you are curious, 1/4" wide inserted face tool, the feature is .688" deep X 1.688" wide with a 29 Deg. taper ending at 10.625" diameter.
Roughly 400 FPM at .005" IPR when grooving.

 

Scruffy

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#55
Nice work. The local Amish called me about 3 yesrday afertoon to see if I was home. Now keep in mind the local Amish are hard core no phones, no buggy lights, ect. Theirs been 6 alto buggy crashes on the last year.
now to machining. A buggy showed up. A shaft 78 in long by 3 1/2 diam. And 2 9 by 9 cast iron bearing holders donT know what to call them because their wasn’t ever a bearing.
Shaft looked like a rapid grinder had chewed on it on both ends. In about 4 inches from the ends. Long story short spent about 6 hrs welding the shaft up and boring and bushing the plates.
These parts were from a early 1900’s thresher that the use every year
Thanks scruffy ron
 

Scruffy

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#56
Sorry about rambling , between the cats iron the weld I turned brown and the bronze bushing,s I made their were proabbly 50 lbs of chips. When I was done brushed everything off and gave it a coat of oil. The lathe will put last all of us.
Thanks scruffy ron
 

Wreck™Wreck

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#57
The last lathe operation on these 6 parts is the bore, 3.435"/3.436" X 4.688" thru for a shrink fit on the shaft.

The large lathe that I did the OD turning, facing, face grooving and rough boring on will not hold the bore numbers as it was turning a .0015 taper, so off they go to a CNC lathe where I can program any taper out, will have to hold the 6 1/2" diameter in an 8" chuck, the large diameter is 11 1/8".

Likely to be an interesting morning, if successful the next step is a 7/8" keyway thu which will be a piece of cake in a keyseater.

 

projectnut

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#58
I don't do a lot of cast iron, mainly because I hate the stuff. It's dusty and nasty. However when I am forced into it I use a vacuum attachment like this one to minimize the mess:

http://www.practicalmachinist.com/v...ing-shop-vac-nozzle-close-drill-press-249070/

I copied this one from another site, and made an attachment block for both the mill and the lathe. I acquired another "new" lathe earlier this year, but haven't made an attachment for it yet. So the limited amount of cast iron work I do is still on my 1916 Seneca Falls #20 Star lathe. The machine is now over 100 years old and doesn't have excessive wear.

I do clean things thoroughly after each operation, but I don't use compressed air. In the shop where I worked using air to "clean" the machines was prohibited. All cleaning was done with a vacuum, a paint brush, and/or a rag. I use the same philosophy in my shop. To me blowing swarf or dust with air just repositions it. It's still on the machines, on the floor, or somewhere else other than the trash container.
 
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