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  1. #1
    stuball48 is offline Stainless
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    Default Cleaning Dials on Lathes and Milling Machines

    I need some advice on cleaning the dials on my lathe and milling machine so they will be more legible. I know my eyes are not young eyes but there has to be a way to make the dial marks more clearly visible. What steps and products would you use for this? Thanks

  2. #2
    Sean Myers is offline Cast Iron
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    First polish them on a buffer till they shine( use blue/plastic polishing compound). Then take a black or red crayon and work it into the marks and wipe it clean leaving only the wax in the dial markings- will only work on dials that have indented dial markings. It Is simple and works well for me.


    Sean

  3. #3
    loggerhogger is offline Stainless
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    instead of crayone, you can also use black paint. wipe it on, and wipe off the excess. the rest will stay in the marks.

  4. #4
    toadjammer is offline Hot Rolled
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    If they are satin chrome do not buff them, that will make them harder to read. If possible a light glass beading will give dials a similar appearance and then follow with putting paint into the numbers and markings.

  5. #5
    stuball48 is offline Stainless
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    They are on a 15" Leblond--1966 vintage.

  6. #6
    Mike C. is online now Diamond
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    Good scuffing with scotchbrite does wonders.

  7. #7
    J_R_Thiele is offline Hot Rolled
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    http://books.google.com/books?id=mqm...esult&resnum=1

    Markal paint stick. The above tells you how.

    They talk about a "hard cloth". What you need to do is remove what is on the surface and leave it in the engraving. I would try soft wood flats to "pack it in" let it sit a bit to harden up, then something like new denim to remove the excess.

    My opinion- NO BUFFING, no scotchbright, no "soft abrasive. You need the edges of the engraving to remain sharp. I would consider a fine girt hard bodied polishing type stone. Something which will polish off tarnish- but remove minimal actual metal- and not sink into the engravings

  8. #8
    Steve in SoCal's Avatar
    Steve in SoCal is online now Stainless
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    Quote Originally Posted by J_R_Thiele View Post
    http://books.google.com/books?id=mqm...esult&resnum=1

    Markal paint stick. The above tells you how.

    They talk about a "hard cloth". What you need to do is remove what is on the surface and leave it in the engraving. I would try soft wood flats to "pack it in" let it sit a bit to harden up, then something like new denim to remove the excess.

    My opinion- NO BUFFING, no scotchbright, no "soft abrasive. You need the edges of the engraving to remain sharp. I would consider a fine girt hard bodied polishing type stone. Something which will polish off tarnish- but remove minimal actual metal- and not sink into the engravings
    I wouldn't use anything more aggressive than fine steel wool and lacquer thinner or MEK. I have used a sturdy rag and brass scratch brush with lacquer thinner to clean some awful looking stuff. The little extra time it takes to clean using this method, preserves as much of the original detail as possible and will make the dials look great.

    This dial was covered in muck that resembled rust; it was dried coolant, and ? A half hour of cleaning resulted in this. I don't have any good before pictures.

    Steve

  9. #9
    EPAIII is offline Stainless
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    Even a brass brush can be too harsh for cleaning such places. And lacquer thinner can remove some finishes. I would try a toothbrush with some mineral spirits or alcohol first.

    I never throw a used toothbrush away. They go directly to the shop.

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