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How to preserve mill/lathe stored in unheated/unairconditioned garage

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python50

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#1
Hi all,

I am a hobby machinist located in Ohio. I have a grizzly G4000 lathe and will soon have a G0755 Milling machine. Soon they will be moving to an unheated/unairconditioned garage that is subject to wild variations in temperature and humidity. The machines will be operated somewhat regularly in the garage.

I would like to know what I can do in order to protect my machines from rust.

The components I am most concerned with are:
  • The ways of my lathe
  • 3-jaw chuck , 4-jaw, and faceplate
  • The tailstock quill and chuck
  • The ways of the mill
  • The mill table
  • The mill's quill
  • The milling vise and rotary table
For the ways and the quills, the only thing I know I can do is to oil or grease them regularly. Is there a specific type of oil or grease product that would be best to protect against humidity?

With the mill table I will be working mostly with a vise and a rotary table rather than directly on the table surface. Would something like a removable paint or varnish be a good idea for protecting the table from rust?

Lastly, when a chuck is in service is there anything I can/should do beyond wiping it down with oil?

Thanks,
Jason White
 

SSage

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#2
Hi all,

I am a hobby machinist located in Ohio. I have a grizzly G4000 lathe and will soon have a G0755 Milling machine. Soon they will be moving to an unheated/unairconditioned garage that is subject to wild variations in temperature and humidity. The machines will be operated somewhat regularly in the garage.

I would like to know what I can do in order to protect my machines from rust.

The components I am most concerned with are:
  • The ways of my lathe
  • 3-jaw chuck , 4-jaw, and faceplate
  • The tailstock quill and chuck
  • The ways of the mill
  • The mill table
  • The mill's quill
  • The milling vise and rotary table
For the ways and the quills, the only thing I know I can do is to oil or grease them regularly. Is there a specific type of oil or grease product that would be best to protect against humidity?

With the mill table I will be working mostly with a vise and a rotary table rather than directly on the table surface. Would something like a removable paint or varnish be a good idea for protecting the table from rust?

Lastly, when a chuck is in service is there anything I can/should do beyond wiping it down with oil?

Thanks,
Jason White
My shop is heated, but no air conditioning. I just wipe down everything with way oil, cover unused equipment with cloth sheets. No rust, but the machines get used regularly. The lathe needs the most attention, I use a paint brush to apply the way oil on all unpainted areas.
 

middle.road

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#3
Oil it, oil it, and then oil it some more.
I'm using iso32 and iso68 from tractor supply.
and even then the rust gremlins sneak in and nail everything. Watch for extreme temperature changes where the iron is colder
that the ambient, and moisture forms.
I finally figured out that a heavy sheet or a blanket helps. (at least I think I have. we'll find out here soon.)
 

magicniner

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#4
Get some covers made up and make some safely wired and earthed biscuit tins with low wattage incandescent bulbs inside to go under the covers, by doing this you will keep the machine above the dew point in your workshop.
The same trick will work in a steel cabinet with thin insulation on the inside surfaces cabinet for storage of tools and accessories,
Regards,
Nick
 

Mitch Alsup

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#5
Paint the ways with ISO 68,
Paint the chucks with ISO 68,
Paint the vises with ISO 68,
<catch the drift...>

And by paint, I mean get a 1"-2" wide paint brush and don't stop until every square mm is covered in oil.
 

fradish

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#6
I've heard people speak highly of "fluid film" spray. I've used LPS-3 for bare metal that isn't a wear surface.
I've never found WD-40 to be of any use for long-term bare metal protection.

For ways I've been using Mobil Vactra #2. From what I understand this used to be much tackier in the past
but was reformulated a while back. I probably will just buy ISO 68 from Tractor Supply when I run out. For
someone who uses their machines professionally it might make a difference, but I don't think it is worth it for
what I do.

My Dad's South Bend 9C spent 50 years or more in an unheated/uncooled garage, but was well oiled and it
came through ok. There isn't any rust pitting, but all of the cast iron has that sort of red/brown patina I would
imagine is extremely fine surface rust coated with oil. The cast iron on my new lathe and mill are still silver gray.
 

dave_r_1

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#7
The lathe in my shop doesn't seem to need any special treatment. The shop is insulated, heated only when I work in it, and the temp varies from -35C in the winter to +35C in the summer. The only time I've had rust form on it was when I was using cutting oil that was mixed with water (as in, it specified being diluted with X amount of water), and I didn't wipe/clean off the whole lathe after using it. I've since switched to using TapForm cutting fluid and no rust anymore.
 

Jmanb13

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#8
LPS-2 works very well. It provides a nice lubricated film without becoming something you have to remove before use like LPS-3.

As long as your messing with the lathe every couple months is should be perfect.
 

4GSR

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#9
One not mentioned is CRC 3-33, basically the same stuff as LPS-3. The CRC 3-33 will leave a waxy film that gives you a fairly good protection for at good 6 months. After a while the film will more or less harden on the surface making it a pain to remove without some kind solvent. But no rust!
 

Jmanb13

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#10
The lathe in my shop doesn't seem to need any special treatment. The shop is insulated, heated only when I work in it, and the temp varies from -35C in the winter to +35C in the summer. The only time I've had rust form on it was when I was using cutting oil that was mixed with water (as in, it specified being diluted with X amount of water), and I didn't wipe/clean off the whole lathe after using it. I've since switched to using TapForm cutting fluid and no rust anymore.
Holy crap that is cold!
 

Cooter Brown

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#12
I met a guy that runs a small A/C unit in his garage almost all year to prevent rust, all his machine ways look like new.
 

gasengin

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#13
Do not cover machinery to keep the dust off. Especially in the spring when the metal is cold and the air temp in warmer, frost and/or condensation will form on the cold metal. Uncovered, it will dry off and be fine. A cover will hold the moisture around the machine. First hand experience here. If you are heating under a cover that is completely different.
 

Karl_T

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#14
I thin the oil with Diesel and put in a sure shot sprayer http://www.sureshotsprayer.com/

It only takes a second to hose it down. yep brushing it on works just as well, but takes at least five minutes per application and you still miss spots.
 

Silverbullet

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#15
I like to use a tacky oil , gear oil and 30 wt mixed and a sureshot sprayer to apply . Or a bar oil for chainsaw. I try to put cover over top but don't tie down and I use HF moving blankets. If you keep them oiled they won't rust , coat drill bits tools my shop has no heat , not lazy and I'm disabled so it's tuff on me to do more.
 

python50

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#16
Thanks everyone for all of the advice! I'll be trying multiple things to try and see what's best.
 

NCjeeper

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#17
Nobody has mentioned running a dehumidifier. I have one on 24/7 set at 60% in my shop. Works well to keep the rust away.
 

agfrvf

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#18
Marine engine fogging oil is made expressly for the purpose of storing machinery outdoors through the winter. Prevents rust and seizing. Lasts quite a while.
 

Woodsman 22

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#19
Take a tip from the firearms industry; VPHP (Vapor Phase Inhibitor Paper). Smith and Wesson (and others) used to (and still do) put a piece of this paper in with every gun they ship. In spite of those guns being carbon based steel, they do not rust. This product is also available in liquid form and you spray it onto the metal you want to protect from rust. I use both the liquid . paper and wax cube forms of this substance and have done so for more than 20 years. My shop is in my (very humid and prone to flooding) basement and in all those years there has been no rust on those tools treated with this product. The product gives off a fume that is odorless and binds with the surface of the metal to stop rust from forming. One brand of this product is called "Bull Frog Rust Preventive" . You put the specified amount on the ways or other surfaces you want to protect and then cover the machine with plastic sheeting or cover to seal the air inside. It works wonders. The product protects the metal surfaces for one year from date of use. It is the easiest form of protection that I know of.
 

Woodsman 22

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#21
Probably not a welcomed idea, but you could move a drier climate.
Probably not a welcomed idea, but you could move a drier climate.
Well, I don't live in a "wet" climate. Pennsylvania is not exceptionally humid. It just happens that my house is built over a high water table- that is the reason for the humid basement, and not a reason for moving to a "drier climate". The info about the VPHP is offered as an easy and reliable, industry proven fix for the rusting problem. Just one of many choices, whether appreciated or not.
 

Woodsman 22

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#22
Well, I don't live in a "wet" climate. Pennsylvania is not exceptionally humid. It just happens that my house is built over a high water table- that is the reason for the humid basement, and not a reason for moving to a "drier climate". The info about the VPHP is offered as an easy and reliable, industry proven fix for the rusting problem. Just one of many choices, whether appreciated or not.
And the fact that my basement is humid (and subject to occasional mild flooding - like when it rains hard and the sump pump fails) was intended to show the effectiveness of the anti-rust properties of the product.
 

tackit

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#23
How about oiling and wrapping machines in an electric blanket? I live in a humid area and have used Corrosionx on my guns and tools for years and it's never let me down.
 

Coomba

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#24
My shop is located in my barn. It is heated and air conditioned only when I’m in it. It may at times be left unused for a couple of weeks. I noticed then, a covering of rust would appear. So what I do now is, using a paint brush,I give everything I want to protect a coat of way oil. Since I started doing this I’ve had no problems with rust.
 

Rick S

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#25
I have used Boeshield on some of my equip that lives in the tool shed. No room in the shop for it. Boeshield was developed by Boeing for preserving parts in storage. Kind of expensive at 18.00 for a spray can but worth it. Easy to apply, lasts about a year. Also use it on the big table saw. It's available at Amazon and I'm sure other places. Have yet to find any negatives using it
 

jouesdeveaux

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#26
Ballistol is great because it does not attract dust. On moving parts, there's very little build up of gunk. I use it for storing and lubricating firearms and it's perfect for any tools with moving parts like my lathe.
 

pineyfolks

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#27
No heat no air. I oil everything and run a ceiling fans year round. If you keep the air moving it keeps the condensation way down.
 

GA Gyro

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#28
Good thread!
Sometimes, I do not get down into the shop for extended times... mostly in the summer when the AC business is 'very busy'... grin!

My shop is in the basement... technically part of living space (finished, insulated, included in the HVAC ducting)... however it does get humid down there in the summer. My solution is to put a portable de-humidifier in the shop area... set it at 40%... and let it run from about Easter until Halloween...
Long story short... it lowers the humidity in the shop to protect the machinery... and a bonus of about 10% lower RH in the whole house!
Note: even with the dehum... I still oil the bare metal on the machines every time I use them... 'cheap insurance'... grin!

Generally, I buy the models at the big box store which have a built in pump to move the condensate out...
So far, I get 3-4 seasons from a dehum... then just get a new one.
One of them... the pump broke. I put it on a small stool and put an AC condensate pump under it... worked for another year until the compressor quit.
Advise: Get a model with air filters, and clean them regularly... airflow over the coils is important!
 

middle.road

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#29
Good thread!
... trimmed...
Advise: Get a model with air filters, and clean them regularly... airflow over the coils is important!
This is me headed into the basement to check our filter. Thanks for reminding me. Ours is going on 5yo.
 

GA Gyro

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#30
Yeah...

Anything that pumps air... needs filters to stay clean and function at its designed efficiency...

Being in the heating and AC business... it is amazing how many folks ignore this simple reality... :(

Free advise: For the home system... a media style filter (special filter holding box, with a 4" or 5" thick filter element)... is a good investment.
Equipment lasts a lot longer, the house may be a little less dusty, and the air you breathe is cleaner (one sleeps better with cleaner air).
We prefer the 'AirBear' style filters (anything that takes an AirBear style 5" filter)... the simple reason is the filters are available from many manufacturers and cheap!
We generally let our customers order the filters and stock them... easier for us as we do not need to carry around lots of larger filters in the van... :)
 
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