Have to store a couple machines outside. Cover, corrosion spray, and moving skates.
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    Default Have to store a couple machines outside. Cover, corrosion spray, and moving skates.

    A multi-facet post. We are going to have to move some machines out of a building and the new one is not done yet. We do not have any choice on this. Decision was made to just purchase older semi flatbed trailers to use and store machines on them so they can be easily backed in later. Storage time is prob about 2-3mo.

    1. I am looking for a means to spray all critical surfaces with a corrosion spray. I have used Fluid Film in the past but we need to ensure that whatever is selected is specifically designed for this. We want to spray all screws, guides, spindle tapers, etc, and any other measures that might be recommended.

    2. We are considering heavy, semi transport type tarps but also considering better options that might come recommended. Still not sure if some type of shrink wrap would help before tarps are installed? Other ideas? Also, because we are storing on a soil surface, we considered building a temporary shelter over them to eliminate any water from getting on tarps.

    3. Moisture is our primary concern here. Spring time will bring rain and cooler temps at times, giving optimal conditions for condensate. We have considered Damp Rid under the tarps but I am concerned that is a waste of money as moist air does not actively move through this product. ? Have thought about adding heat under the tarps and dehumidifiers but have to consider the practicality of this.

    4. Moving skates. We have always borrowed these in the past and used several types. We are looking to just buy some and curious which ones you guys like? We seem to always fight with them trying to squirm, turn, etc. Have used both the nylon roller types and the steel track roller types. Riggers around here like the ones that don't turn. Not sure why....

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    can you have them stored inside? your going to load them onto a truck anyway

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    Can't you shove them in a shipping container? Rumor has it they can be had cheap these days.

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    I think we have exhausted most practical alternate options. Either places don't have enough space, or cannot accommodate door opening requirements. We looked hard at shipping containers but they just are not big enough. The other issue is safety on them. I don't want people inside in a potential crush situation.

    Just running out of options and only have a few weeks to solve the problem.

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    I bought some of the cheap china machine skates with pallet jack wheels for cheap on eBay. ($50 each) they worked better than I expected. I was planning on buying the more expensive type but didn’t want to hurt my epoxy floor. The Chinese ones worked great and on 3 skates 2 people could push around a 6k machine. I bought them to move light machines but I bet they would be ok on my heavier equipment. But the top plate has exposed bearings for the rotation so grit could easily get in there and the welds look rough. But I couldn’t buy the rollers for the cost of the thing.


    On the machine storage I recommend something like lps3 I recently found out it can be diluted and more easily sprayed but for your application I would go full strength.
    McMaster has some vci cups I recommend you throw a few in all electronics cabinets and maybe a few in the machine for good measure. Then tarp well. Make sure to pad corners of sheet metal the wind and rubbing will quickly cut through tarps. If you can I recommend like a portable car port type deal over tarped machine.

    I haven’t stored something long term outside but I was planning to and that was my basic plan.

    Take note the clean will be a pia and there is no way something won’t end up with problems. It’s honestly false economy to do this with newer machines worth $$$. But on older or manual machines it’s no big deal.

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    I had to stuff all my big machines in an 1800 sq ft pole building then I tore the roof off and built a 4K sq ft steel building over the top of that. My machines sat essentially outside from July to December.

    I tarped them, but I also had to use them. I ran one of my CNC mills in the pouring rain. I mean like 2" of rain in a day pouring rain and it didn't care. Just overflowed the coolant sump.

    All said and done what I found was that the bigger and less greasy machines fared worse. I think the bigger they are the slower they warm up and the more condensation they get. The smaller machines like sub 20K lbs were all nice under the way covers, no rust at all. My big behemoths around 40k lbs or so had some rust spots here and there on the ways. Ballscrews were fine. The verticals got it the worst at the tops of the Z ways.

    In my fairly experienced opinion on this I'd say just throw cheap tarps over them and put lightbulbs under the way covers that you can plug in during warmer/more humid times (or just leave on) and hose the way covers down with oil or a wipe with light grease.

    metal cutting CNC's are way tougher than people think. If you slather the whole thing in cosmoline you're going to have a fuck of a time cleaning it all up to run again.

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    The absolute best rust protection I have personally found. Added benefit is that I already liked it for its intended purpose!

    Amazon.com: Maxima Racing Oils 74920-2PK Chain Wax, 27. Fluid_Ounces: Automotive

    It will require removal from slideways and the like as it sets up stiff and hardens over time. Into a candy coating of waxy goodness.
    I tried that fluid film lanolin stuff and was less than impressed.

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    being from the motorcycle side, I am familiar with chain wax and OMG does it stick! Probably not ideal for this!

    Just a thought here guys, I do have an ENTIRE 5gal bucket of Mobile full synthetic grease that was given to me. Never had a use for it. Wondering about going the manual route and throw a glove on and rub things down? What I am more concerned with is things I cannot see or get to. Inside the ball nuts, thrust bearings, etc.

    Very much from experience, I have seen what a non-vented propane heater can do to metals! just pumping that water in! Propane heat is probably much cheaper than electric, but I guess electric is MUCH easier on something like this.

    Biggest machines are 7ft tall and 20ft long, 2 of them. And on top of a trailer, that will be a BIG car port!

    I will be so very happy to finally get them in and reduce my heart attack concerns!

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    I have seen flatbeds with hoops covering the entire trailer and tarps stretched over them. Something like that with an externally vented furnace to keep the inside warm and dry. Best to not have tarp touching any of the machines.

    Tom

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    I like where you are going with that Tom! Maybe someone has pics or specs on that idea. The hoop would give good water shedding and wind performance. The structure of the trailer is substantial enough to use such that the tarp structure would certainly fail before the trailer would flip or something crazy.

    Also like not having tarps touching machines. That seems to damage machines and tarps.

    Of course a curtain side trailer would solve this but MY GOD are they pricey, even used. We just cannot break the bank on trailers and we have no need to drive down the road with tarps on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by huleo View Post
    I like where you are going with that Tom! Maybe someone has pics or specs on that idea. The hoop would give good water shedding and wind performance. The structure of the trailer is substantial enough to use such that the tarp structure would certainly fail before the trailer would flip or something crazy.

    Also like not having tarps touching machines. That seems to damage machines and tarps.

    Of course a curtain side trailer would solve this but MY GOD are they pricey, even used. We just cannot break the bank on trailers and we have no need to drive down the road with tarps on.
    By a standard trailer and get a non-ferrous blade for your skilsaw. Make your own. Semi trailers are cheap, tarps are cheap. If you go flatbed you might look at green house hoops. Search craigslist. You can buy tons of them for cheap used.

    I would not use grease on the ways or screws. That sounds like a nightmare to remove. If it's an area of the machine where air can't move, like deep inside a cavity where the ballscrews and nuts sit it's pretty safe.

    On a VMC you will see rust on the top of Z ways and top of X ways under the way covers and Y ways behind the saddle. On a slantbed lathe you will see rust on the top of the X ways.

    Seriously though, rust comes right off with diesel fuel, a fine stone and a rag. Can't tell it was ever there.

    I think a lightbulb to help keep vulnerable areas warmer than ambient would be more than enough to prevent rust on a tarped machine.

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    One rule if you store them outside, save a step and call the junk man...Phil

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    Quote Originally Posted by GENERALDISARRAY View Post
    The absolute best rust protection I have personally found. Added benefit is that I already liked it for its intended purpose!

    Amazon.com: Maxima Racing Oils 74920-2PK Chain Wax, 27. Fluid_Ounces: Automotive

    It will require removal from slideways and the like as it sets up stiff and hardens over time. Into a candy coating of waxy goodness.
    Smells like candy too! (I am also a chainwax user, LOL (for its intended purpose)).

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    Quote Originally Posted by huleo View Post
    A multi-facet post. We are going to have to move some machines out of a building and the new one is not done yet. We do not have any choice on this. Decision was made to just purchase older semi flatbed trailers to use and store machines on them so they can be easily backed in later. Storage time is prob about 2-3mo.

    1. I am looking for a means to spray all critical surfaces with a corrosion spray. I have used Fluid Film in the past but we need to ensure that whatever is selected is specifically designed for this. We want to spray all screws, guides, spindle tapers, etc, and any other measures that might be recommended.

    2. We are considering heavy, semi transport type tarps but also considering better options that might come recommended. Still not sure if some type of shrink wrap would help before tarps are installed? Other ideas? Also, because we are storing on a soil surface, we considered building a temporary shelter over them to eliminate any water from getting on tarps.

    3. Moisture is our primary concern here. Spring time will bring rain and cooler temps at times, giving optimal conditions for condensate. We have considered Damp Rid under the tarps but I am concerned that is a waste of money as moist air does not actively move through this product. ? Have thought about adding heat under the tarps and dehumidifiers but have to consider the practicality of this.

    4. Moving skates. We have always borrowed these in the past and used several types. We are looking to just buy some and curious which ones you guys like? We seem to always fight with them trying to squirm, turn, etc. Have used both the nylon roller types and the steel track roller types. Riggers around here like the ones that don't turn. Not sure why....
    Not had time to read other posts yet, but:

    From my experience - you doo NOT want to over-tarp it in the wet season.

    I have had a VMC outside and well tarped for a short time while we built a shed over it, but got a big dump and then 90* temps afterwards, and it started rusting quickly and the humidity seemed to take out the hard drive.

    I think that life would have been much better had we opened up the tarp and let it breath - other than during the rain of course.

    This was on concrete too!

    We did not have this treated in any way, but I have used Rustlick 606 for spraying down vulnerable surfaces when puting in storage, and that seems to work very well, and it's not like cosmo and needs to be removed from everything later. This would be just like LPS3 I think, but I've never used that.

    Having it up on a trailer is IMO a benefit - to help keep ground moisture from attacking it from underneath. I have had very good luck with keeping raw barstock stored under tarp on my gooseneck trailer - even in the hot/wet conditions - but my deck has 1/8" slots between the boards, and it breathes very well.

    Would be interested to hear your results this summer.


    ---------------------

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

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    Pretty much what Garwood said in post 11. A little rust won't kill a machine as long as you deal with it before you run it into your ways. I'd slather way oil on the lead screws and any other exposed metal and wrap them up. A light bulb will be a bit help if you can make it happen.

    I bought a cnc that had been sitting in an unheated building for a few months. The day that I picked it up it was dripping water. It had been under 20 degrees for days and now it was almost 60 with high humidity. I had rust on the z ways because they are more exposed than the x and y are. Once I stoned the rust off and cleaned it the problem wasn't a problem anymore. Next issue was that the spindle motor got swamped, most likely also from condensation. About $1,200 later I had a rewound motor.

    Condensation can be expensive.

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    What are the machines? If they are small enough that you could work them back into box trailers then you might also find the trailers for cheaper too.

    I have had 3 waterjets in storage under tarps for a few months now, and would be much more stressed out if they weren't waterjets. I just pull a new tarp over when the one on it starts getting ripped. Try to let them breathe when weather is nice. I'm in the desert though were it rains seldom, and more importantly dries out fast when it does.

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    Quote Originally Posted by huleo View Post
    I like where you are going with that Tom! Maybe someone has pics or specs on that idea.

    Conestoga Trailer: 10 Things You Need To Know - Fueloyal

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    LPS-3 is designed for situations like this. Not as durable as true cosmoline, but it also comes off a whole lot easier. Boeing has some Boeshield stuff that's similar, but I've never used it and don't know the number.

    Since you have whole machines to cover, I'd buy it as gallons of liquid (rather than relatively expensive spray cans) and use a cheap hand-pump garden sprayer to apply it. Should be totally safe for ways, screws, bearings, and paint. Don't know if I'd feel happy about spraying electronics with it.

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    1) LPS-3 is definitely the way to go. As suggested earlier, get a hand pump sprayer and use that to apply it. Make sure you LPS every piece of steel that isn't painted (including under the way covers, fixed covers, etc.) If any parts are removed and sprayed (e.g. waycovers) wrap them in foam so that the LPS-3 doesn't get everywhere.

    2) Put lots and lots of dessicant in it. We bought the bags of dessicant in 55 gallon drums. Put dessicant in every compartment and in all of the enclosures.

    3) Pad corners and sharp edges with foam (e.g. ULINE - Shipping Boxes, Shipping Supplies, Packaging Materials, Packing Supplies). Tape the foam on with boat wrap tape. It's the only tape we found that will reliably come off clean after a few months in a shipping container.

    4) Wrap the whole thing up with boat wrap and shrink it with a torch. Make sure you have it completely sealed and patch any holes that are created when you shrink it. It's usually best to have both 2" and 6" tape; life is easier with both sizes.

    5) After the machines are tied down to the trailers, tape up any holes that you had to open up for the tiedowns.

    6) I would still tarp it for mechanical protection more than anything.

    This advice is based on packaging for shipment in open-top containers on trans-pacific trips. Your case is a less severe environment, but a bit longer time frame. It will take a significant amount of time and money to package each machine properly and a significant amount of time to get them cleaned up and back in service afterwards. If there's anything you can do to avoid doing this, it will probably be cheaper and easier.

    For skates, Vestil is inexpensive and decent quality. I use their skates all the time.

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    Look up bow roof shed. Easy and fast to build. Would probaly work better than tarping them. A quick spraydown with LPS 3 or similar and bob's yer uncle.


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