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Cleaning a new PM mill upon arrival

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kb58

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I've seen some suggestions but want to see what people are using. I think I've seen ones like Simple Green, some orange-based degreaser, all the way up to acetone (which seems like a bad idea all around). What have you used and are happy how it turned out? I have no idea what to expect for what's been slathered on the machine and how hard it will be to remove.
 

7milesup

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I don't remember what I did with mine. Might have used lacquer thinner, which I would not recommend. In fact, I am really getting away from that type of product (lacquer thinner, paint thinner, acetone, etc.) to clean stuff. I have since switched to products like Super Clean to accomplish these tasks now. Wear gloves though because it takes every last spec of oil out of your skin and your hands will be like Brillo pads, at least that is what my wife said.
 

DarrylN

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1st pass: low-odor mineral spirits, red cotton shop rags
2nd pass: low-odor mineral spirits, terry cloth towel.
3rd pass: WD40 and paper towels.
 

darkzero

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Same here, I've always just used WD-40 & works fine for me. No worry of damaging painted surfaces either. WD-40 is just about the only thing I use it for... cleaning.
 

Jeff.64

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I just finished cleaning the PM30. I used nitrile gloves, odorless mineral spirits, an old tooth brush, paper towels and Starrett M1.
I poured small amounts of mineral spirits on the table and thinly spread it on the yellow anti-rust material. Let set for a few minutes. I gently scrubbed the table with the tooth brush and wiped the anti-rust away with paper towels. Repeated two more times to get the anti-rust removed from the table. The last step was spraying the table with M1. I had the luxury of performing this in a large heated open area with plenty of ventilation. If you are doing this in an enclosed area (basement or garage), you need ventilation and/or a VOC rated respirator. Even though the odorless mineral spirits is supposed to have a reduction in VOC's, I would not take a chance in a small enclosed area without a respirator and of course the nitrile gloves.
I do not know what the anti-rust material is composed of, but it does stain the white paint where is it was applied heavily at the factory. I did not have any issues with damage to the painted surfaces using the odorless mineral spirits. I just made sure not to leave it on the paint for more than 5 minutes.

Before:
IMG_0560.JPG

After (95% clean):
IMG_0565.JPG
 

mcdanlj

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@Jeff.64 I also experienced it staining the white paint as well as the scales.

I used WD-40. Sprayed it on, waited 5 minutes, wiped it off; again and again and again. On my PM-30 I found there was a lot of the yellow preservative under the chip excluder on the right of the table, so I had to pop the excluder and clean under it and inside the coolant outlet. I have also found that the way oil still comes off the ways suspiciously yellower than it went in the oiler ports, so I think the oil ways probably were also at least partially filled.

I also had paint overspray on the column. Using steel wool on a wooden stick, plus 20 minutes of elbow grease, cleaned that up nicely.
 

WyoGreen

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If I recall right, my PM-30MV came with anti-rust paper over a light coat of oil on the bare metal parts. Really wasn't hard to clean at all, just wiped off with a paper towel and a little mineral spirits. It came with the DRO installed, so maybe PM cleaned it up when they did the install.

Steve
 

mcdanlj

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@WyoGreen Interesting, I think I was in the next batch after you (arrived last September), and mine also had DRO installed at PM, but mine definitely had the metal liberally coated with the thick yellow anti-corrosion sauce.
 

phazertwo

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I also used WD40 to clean my mill. Works great, and you don't have to worry about it messing up paint and what not.
PZ
 

Gunnermhr1

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WD-40 here too. On my 1340GT lathe though. I bought a used mill, WD-40 there too.
 

kb58

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WD40 it is. Probably buy a gallon plus a squirt bottle, and a lot of rags and paper towels. It's due to show up next Wednesday :)
 

mcdanlj

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I used slightly less than 12oz of WD-40 to clean my PM-30MV, so a gallon should be overkill. Also, like @Jeff.64 said, nitrile gloves. HTH
 

NortonDommi

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WD-40 must be really, really cheap in USA by the amount you guys use! I used good old Kerosene for a lot of clean up, very effective on just about everything and it is at a price I can afford.
 

kb58

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The catch is that I'll be cleaning it in a garage which also has a gas water heater, so flammable fumes are a no-go.
 

Firstgear

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The catch is that I'll be cleaning it in a garage which also has a gas water heater, so flammable fumes are a no-go.
open the garage door...
 

kb58

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I ended up going with WD40. Due to the quality of the paint, I'm glad I did, as it seems rather delicate. Anyway, it wasn't nearly as hard to remove as I read about, and a single spray can would have handled the entire machine.
 

COMachinist

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I ended up going with WD40. Due to the quality of the paint, I'm glad I did, as it seems rather delicate. Anyway, it wasn't nearly as hard to remove as I read about, and a single spray can would have handled the entire machine.
KB
Plus one hereas well. The paint on the PM. Machines is very fragile. It chips really easy, and that white is just horrendous to get matched for touch up. Ihave a 932- pdf mill as well as a new 12x36t lathe and had to repaint the mill blue it was so chipped. I just don’t under stand why PM hasn’t upgradedthe factory paint. I would be willing to pay extra for goo quality paint. Hey Matt you listening?
CH
 

SamI

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I realise I'm a little late but thought I'd add my experiences for anyone else who may be in your situation.

I used citrus degreaser and plastic scrapers when unpacking my machine. To be honest i wasn't expecting much from it but I was pleasantly surprised. I bought a gallon and still have in excess of 4 litres! I found using the degreaser to soften the rust inhibitor before scraping with a plastic scraper worked well, then just a rag with a little more on for a final wipe down. Then just dry and apply a light coat of way oil to all bare surfaces.

I was really impressed how little time this took me. I had anticipating it being a nightmare of a job. Best of all, with the citrus degreaser there were no fumes, unpleasant smells etc and cleanup was very easy.
 

Nyala

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I just cleaned my new PM-25 about a week ago and used WD-40 at the recommendation of those here. I sprayed it on, left it over night, and easily wiped it off the next morning. Easiest cleanup job I've ever done. WD-40 softened the rust preventative that only a paper towel was needed to cleanup.
 

B2

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I am not for sure what it is that they coat the machines with for the long trip across the salt water. It reminds me a lot of LPS-3 or LPS-4 rust inhibitor which is thick and remains tacky when "dry". I know it does not take a lot of solvent to clean a machine, but at its price using WD-40 seems to be a waste of money! I cleaned my PM 940M with naphtha. A lot cheaper at ~ $20/gallon or ~$7 a quart at Home Depot. It worked well and like all of the cleaners you just need lots of paper towels. Toluene also works as does Acetone. However, acetone evaporates so fast it is not very effective and you breath a lot of fumes. If you look up WD-40 I think you will find it is largely composed of kerosene, mineral oil and naphtha, Wiki says that in the EU the safety data sheets list something similar as containing mostly heavy naphtha. (Many years ago, I found that if I mixed Toluene with Acetone (50:50) I could dissolve Butvar and Formvar (the polymers that are used in car safety glass) that neither Acetone nor Toluene by themselves were effective at dissolving! The lesson is that combinations some times work better.) I suspect that even a light weight motor oil would tend to take it off without evaporating very much.

Anyway, with all of these you just want to avoid breathing much of it and of getting it on the painted parts of the machine. They are all used in paint solvents. Also, I recommend that you avoid much direct skin contact with any of these. Prolonged or repeated exposure can result in developing an allergic reaction which can be quite bad.

Side story: I once had a tree limb fall on my car fender in the winter time. It knocked the paint off of an about 4 inch diameter area. I did not have time nor facitilty to repair and repaint it in the Rochester winter so I just sanded it a bit and then sprayed LPS-3 on the area so that it would not rust too soon. I was going to repair it in the summer, but then I wound up being two years and winters later. When I cleaned it off with Naphtha the metal was still shiny! I became a believer. I even used it to undercoat (rust proof) a car and put it in the rocker panels and doors! It seems to be better than the rust proof treatments from the car dealers!

Hint: If you want to keep your hand tools from rusting during storage wipe them down with a little LPS-2. It is much lighter weight oil than the LPS-3 rust inhibitor.
 

Paul Bird

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My PM-30mv arrived Wednesday and in two hours I had it totally taken apart (awaiting CNC kit) and cleaned. Very easy with WD-40. 1/2 a can and a roll of paper towels was all that I needed.
 

petertha

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Somewhat related. I'm finding more & more uses for these plastic razor blades / holders around the shop. They are great for getting under things like stickers & labels or post-paint cleanup. They have a nice thin semi-rigid edge but aren't so hard as to scratch underlying paint like metal scrapers. Plus they are dirt cheap.

They would work great for the flat surfaces like mill table, but not well for rougher painted castings. I found the more of the preservative wax I can remove mechanically beforehand, the easier it is for the dilution chemical to remove the rest. Years after using my mill I was still finding the gunk in the T-slot nooks & crannies & it makes a nice sticky substance for hanging onto grit. I finally made some dedicated wood 'scrapers' & got all the mung out.

SNAG-2-15-2019 0002.jpg
 
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