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Mill table help

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robert1352

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Hello everyone I am in the process of restoring my little atlas mill and I have a question about cleaning up the table and ways. How do I go about getting the table and ways to shine without doing any damage to the parts? Scotchbrite pads and WD-40? What about emory cloth? If you take a look at the attached picture of my table you can see that it is almost black,can that even be polished up at all? Thank you for you advice and suggestions,Robert.

millTable 002.JPG
 

GK1918

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Well Bob, with a litlle elbow grease, Id done a few, first get it clean, then in auto body supply there is an
metal etch or rustoleum metal prep rubbed on with a rag. I smell some acid in that stuff. Clean that
off lac. thinner or something. Then I lightly block sand with 360 black paper (lightly) using carb., cleaner
clean, then block sand with 600 + carb cleaner, then finer paper that should start looking good. Now
there will always be spots or blemishes, then I rub in silver never seeze, then buff with paper towel.
Then go home. Tomorro lightly mist with ? say wd 40 and buff with paper tower. Now note, this is not
perminant fix, its only brightining it up. Time to time rub more never sneeze buff, call it like waxing a car.
Or like back when the car is beyond, we would wipe it with kerosine in the 50s wow. Trick is once you
get it there ya gotta stay with it.

A little time back, I took all my handwheels of everything, filed, sanded and sanded. Then 3 stages of
buffing. Looks like mirror, BUT it does not last unless once a wk. I have to appy chrome polish, cause
its buffed steel not chrome. check this out I bought this not abused but unused, not rusted just
dull - see the table and hand wheels which were grey now chrome. I keep cardboard on the table.

cincinnati 1B.jpg
 

robert1352

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I have never really tried to do something like this before so GK1918 can I ask you what the metal etch /metal prep is suppose to do? Thank you.
 

GK1918

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It gives metal a fine etch your eyes may not see it but it gives paint grip. Many products even in the
local hardware stores. We even use to use vinagar. Perhaps try some ketchup does wonders with
copper. All have some kind of acid in the mix. Then as said, a never seize rub down, but let it stand over
night so oils dry and leave the silver, and buff with paper you will be impressed. Being cosmetic it
has to be done time to time.
 

robert1352

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Forgive me if it sounds like I am asking the same question all over again,but if I apply the metal etching primer first then use the 360 black paper followed by the 600 grit sand paper as you suggest wont I just sand away all of the etching primer? Or am I missunderstanding your previous post? Thank you.
 

iron man

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I would just soak it in evaporust easy and safe... Ray
 

GK1918

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Good question, it really isnt a primer its more like a conditioner. It gets in the scratches nicks blemishes,
making it clean. I dont think it matters to block sand first or treat and sand and treat again. Block
sand mearly knocks burrs down and I use carb or brake cleaner so its cleaning while sanding. I have
done this many times then comes, the problem I now dont want to put anything on it. So I think
with some elbow work. Same with auto paint block wet sand 360-400-600 and so on then compound
then wax awful lot of work then it looks like glass. Not sure then try it on a saw or drill press table.
 

Richard King

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For every-ones info. If the table has some really ugly groves in it I will sometimes fill them with Devcon Plastic Aluminum Metal. Then sand it down using the similar methods mentioned before. The filler is strictly cosmetic mind you. It's not for scratches or minor holes, its for when the last owner didn't tighten the end mill enough and it worked out of the collet and went into the table or he drilled a hole into the table. I would say it has to be at least 1/8 deep or wide. I also clean it oit as good as possible and in a straight hole I will tap a smaller hole in the bottom of it or grind the bottom of the hole wider then the top to anchor the epoxy in so it doesn't pull out. I have tried the Steel plastic filler, but it turns darker then the cast iron and you can see it. The Aluminum looks shinny and it's hard to see.
 

robert1352

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Well my table is in pretty good shape I mean it doesnt have any drill marks or any thing like that so I wont need to use the Devcon Plastic Aluminum Metal that Richard King spoke about. But I am intrested in giving the etching primer a try if you guys think it would produce a nice finish. Any particular brand of primer you would recommend?
 

Happycamper

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Yes, phosphoric acid. The same stuff in Coca Cola. That’s why coke will remove rust off stuff soaked in it. I sometimes do gun parts in phosphoric acid to give them a French style finish.
 
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