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Cleaning ways and sliding surfaces

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olcopper

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The ways on my lathe and the sliding surfaces in my mill have become stained over the years and, I was wondering what is the best way to clean them, I'm aware that I shouldn't take a side grinder to them, but, is a wire brush in a hand drill OK? How about a 3M pad? or, is there a chemical that will clean them up and not damage the ways or surfaces?
olcopper
 

benmychree

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A 3M pad with some solvent is ok, NO wire brushes!
 

markba633csi

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One of those blue non-scratching Scotch-brite pads and some oil and elbow grease is all I would use, maybe a little liquid polish for stubborn spots like Simichrome or equivalent
Agree with John, no wire brushing or heavy abrasives- no power tools
Mark
 

Bobby Bailey

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I would use a razor blade to "shave" off any built up areas. Other than that I would do nothing to staining. To remove staining, which is just another form of oxide color like bluing, requires the removal of some metal. It might be just a very small amount but, it is still removal. Not a good idea IMHO for just "looks".
 

markba633csi

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Agree with Bobby, even light rubbing removes some molecules and ya want to remove as little as possible
 

olcopper

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Thanks guys, for the help and info--
olcopper
 

olcopper

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I recall something waaay back in time of either cleaning or lapping ways with a tool with a long handle, was I cleaning it or lapping it, mostly remember it was hard work.
oc
 
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