Best way to clean out G10 from a VMC
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    Default Best way to clean out G10 from a VMC

    I just finished running a 6month project all in G10/FR4. Im going to have the guys empty the coolant vacuum every last bit of glass out, flush the line and do it again
    My question/concern is these dust like particle got into the ball screws and will wear out the machine much faster.
    So i was going to remove the way covers and clean it out as well.
    As for lubing the ball screw back up what should i use,
    the machines are a mycenter 3(uses way lube) and an okuma (grease ports)...is this all i need to use or should it be a heavier grease?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tay2daizzo8 View Post
    I just finished running a 6month project all in G10/FR4.

    Im going to have the guys empty the coolant vacuum every last bit of glass out, flush the line and do it again


    My question/concern is these dust like particle got into the ball screws and will wear out the machine much faster.

    So i was going to remove the way covers and clean it out as well.
    As for lubing the ball screw back up what should i use,
    the machines are a mycenter 3(uses way lube) and an okuma (grease ports)...is this all i need to use or should it be a heavier grease?
    It might have been useful to filter the coolant before you started.

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    DO NOT OVER GREASE LINEAR WAY BLOCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The hydraulic pressure will blow the end caps/ ball returns right off. Check your wiper seals, with a feeler gauge, as the glass may wear them faster. Other than that a thorough cleaning and hope you made good money on the glass filled parts as it may be hard on the machines. How hard totally depends on guarding. You should have at least had bag filters between your machine and coolant tanks.

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    shoulda woulda coulda doesnt help with my worry now. sure a bag would have protected my pump but they dont stop chips(fine powder actually) from getting into all the places they shouldn't get. its a 21 year old mycenter and a 15 year old okuma...the covers are bent, the wipers dont wipe etc...they are great machines and i want to keep them that way

    It started out as a small one job 8 pc lot and expanded into 18 different parts some being 24"x 12"X 2" so i didnt plan on having to worry about it but now i do.

    i have looked thru the 15 okuma books i have but i cant find where/how/if i grease the ball screw and with what.
    Can i use that Red hydraulic grease? lithium chuck grease? the grease for the grease ports in the okuma?

    Im not trying to rebuild the whole thing, just pull back the covers clean it out and re-lube

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    Bent covers and garbage wipers. Too little too late comes to mind. My condolences for your loss.

    Clean as well as you can, then get those wipers fixed immediately. Hopefully it's not already too late. It astounds me the number of shops I've been in that ignore the wipers. Take care of your equipment and it will take care of you...

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    Oh man, I feel ya.We run that shit about twice a year, but we've dedicated an older machine to that material.
    It makes a fucking mess, and it gets EVERYWHERE.
    I mean inside of everything lol. We had our bellvills replaced on that machine and the repair guy took off the Z cover and I was shocked at how much was inside of every little nook and cranny that was completely covered up.
    We don't use coolant (can't on those parts) so the dust is insane. The best we can do is an exhaust blower into a bag. And then shop-vac out once in a while when the chips build up.

    Using the normal recommended grease should be fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtndew View Post
    We don't use coolant (can't on those parts) so the dust is insane. The best we can do is an exhaust blower into a bag. And then shop-vac out once in a while when the chips build up.

    Ouuuuuch.

    That just means you're spreading GLASS FIBRE dust throughout your whole shop as the dust goes through the holes in the 'bag'. A normal bag type dust collector will catch the big chips (which aren't going to get into your lungs anyway) while spreading the fine dust everywhere, and that's the stuff that will hurt you.

    You could not pay me enough money to work near a setup like that unless I was wearing a P100 full face respirator 100% of the time. Glass fibres in the lungs simply cannot be good for you.

    I machine G10 every day. The only way to do it safely is to plumb a vacuum system into your machine, with a nozzle right next to the cutting zone. The vacuum should at the very least be a 'HEPA' type, but remember putting HEPA on the box just means the filter media is HEPA, it doesn't mean the dust collector/vacuum has actually been leak tested and HEPA certified. A collector with full-unit HEPA certification would be much better. I use a 'dust cobra' from Oneida Air Systems.

    The dust collector will not be able to pull in all the big chips, but they are not the issue as they will settle downward immediately. The issue is the fine dust and the dust collector will get all of that. As I said I machine G10 every day, usually for at least 2 hours a day, on my Fadal VMC. After years of doing this there is ZERO G10 dust under the way covers.

    Here's some photos of my dust collection setup. The large loc-line nozzle is connected to an ABS pipe which is attached vertically to the spindle cover by magnets from McMaster. The pipe is connected to a hose which runs along the cable chain to the back of the machine and down to the dust collector. The dust collector is switched on and off by M-code.



    The large loc-line nozzle is the dust collector, the small one is for air blast when cutting steel. They are never used at the same time, and the air blast is never used in a cycle after cutting G10. All G10 chips are vacuumed out using a HEPA shop-vac in between cycles. This machine always runs dry, no coolant.



    The nozzle is kept as close to the spindle nose as possible while still allowing clearance for the tool-changer. It clears the tool-changer by 1/16" or so.

    A side note: to cut G10 stock into blanks ready for the CNC use a wet tile saw with a diamond grit blade. Lasts 1000x longer than a chop saw with a carbide blade, and does not produce any dust.

    Also, buy a respirator.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tay2daizzo8 View Post
    I just finished running a 6month project all in G10/FR4. Im going to have the guys empty the coolant vacuum every last bit of glass out, flush the line and do it again.
    Is there any reason one cannot use a water based coolant that has no oil in it? This will control the dust and probably make the cutters last longer. What comes to mind is pure water with some washing soda in it to control corrosion of ferrous surfaces.

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    No, the bag would keep it from recirculating. Since you don't care about your machines why start now?

    As others have said it is amazing how well glass fibers work their way through filters. I have worked with it enough to know not to, nasty stuff!

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    I have run G10 on and off for years
    I have run it wet and dry
    I have found no evidence that it wears the machine more than anything else.
    Perhaps on a lathe where it falls on the ways and gets run over immediately, but on a machine with way covers, not so much

    IF you run it dry don't use air, brush it off wipe it off, vacuum when done.

    I found Glastic much more pernicious than FR4

    IF you run it wet keep the coolant off of the ways as much as you can. I found most of the fr4 turns to mud at the bottom of the tank

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    Quote Originally Posted by gustafson View Post
    I found most of the fr4 turns to mud at the bottom of the tank
    That's one of the reasons why we don't/can't use coolant.The other is that the customer says we can't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aarongough View Post
    Ouuuuuch.

    That just means you're spreading GLASS FIBRE dust throughout your whole shop as the dust goes through the holes in the 'bag'. A normal bag type dust collector will catch the big chips (which aren't going to get into your lungs anyway) while spreading the fine dust everywhere, and that's the stuff that will hurt you.

    You could not pay me enough money to work near a setup like that unless I was wearing a P100 full face respirator 100% of the time. Glass fibres in the lungs simply cannot be good for you.

    I machine G10 every day. The only way to do it safely is to plumb a vacuum system into your machine, with a nozzle right next to the cutting zone. The vacuum should at the very least be a 'HEPA' type, but remember putting HEPA on the box just means the filter media is HEPA, it doesn't mean the dust collector/vacuum has actually been leak tested and HEPA certified. A collector with full-unit HEPA certification would be much better. I use a 'dust cobra' from Oneida Air Systems.

    The dust collector will not be able to pull in all the big chips, but they are not the issue as they will settle downward immediately. The issue is the fine dust and the dust collector will get all of that. As I said I machine G10 every day, usually for at least 2 hours a day, on my Fadal VMC. After years of doing this there is ZERO G10 dust under the way covers.

    Here's some photos of my dust collection setup. The large loc-line nozzle is connected to an ABS pipe which is attached vertically to the spindle cover by magnets from McMaster. The pipe is connected to a hose which runs along the cable chain to the back of the machine and down to the dust collector. The dust collector is switched on and off by M-code.



    The large loc-line nozzle is the dust collector, the small one is for air blast when cutting steel. They are never used at the same time, and the air blast is never used in a cycle after cutting G10. All G10 chips are vacuumed out using a HEPA shop-vac in between cycles. This machine always runs dry, no coolant.



    The nozzle is kept as close to the spindle nose as possible while still allowing clearance for the tool-changer. It clears the tool-changer by 1/16" or so.

    A side note: to cut G10 stock into blanks ready for the CNC use a wet tile saw with a diamond grit blade. Lasts 1000x longer than a chop saw with a carbide blade, and does not produce any dust.

    Also, buy a respirator.
    It's not like we work in a sardine can, we have sufficient ventilation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtndew View Post
    That's one of the reasons why we don't/can't use coolant.The other is that the customer says we can't.
    I'm betting that the customer's reason is that many kinds of plastic are chemically vulnerable to oily substances, and will crack or craze after a short time in service. This is why I was suggesting plain water, or very close.

    As for mud in the tank, some kind of cloth bag filter may be needed.

    Another approach is a vacuum system where the dirty air flows through a water trap before being exhausted to the shop environment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Gwinn View Post
    I'm betting that the customer's reason is that many kinds of plastic are chemically vulnerable to oily substances, and will crack or craze after a short time in service. This is why I was suggesting plain water, or very close.

    As for mud in the tank, some kind of cloth bag filter may be needed.

    Another approach is a vacuum system where the dirty air flows through a water trap before being exhausted to the shop environment.
    Fr4/G10 won't be damaged by much of anything, but it is also difficult to clean perfectly

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    I'm curious what circuit board houses do. They drill and route FR-4 by the ton and don't seem to have any problems with it

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    Thanks for the replies...but the million dollar question is what type of grease to use specifically on the ballscrew

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    One thing is that much of the circuit board machinery is "gantry", so they have gravity working for them.

    The stuff is horribly abrasive to most metal cutters, wears out an HSS drill in short order. Not as sure what it does on ways, glass takes more passes to wear things than, say, grinding wheel dust. Athough in 6 months of working I can see possible issues.

    I agree that the GPO3 stuff (glastic) is worse, and it stinks like fresh fibreglass, plus the layers come apart much more easily, waterjet just blows it apart. And the fibres are really itchy, they get everywhere.

    The glass fibres are not actually horrible, if they get into you, they get dissolved in a day or so, at least that is what the medical folks say. Still not great. I'd be more worried about the plastic material that comes along with the fibres, though.

    As for cleanup, you don't want to hear this, but soapy water is the best I have come up with. It "wets" the fibres and can wash them away. Otherwise the water just flows over the dust. The rest of the lubricated parts that dust gets into need disassembled and the lube washed off and replaced.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tay2daizzo8 View Post
    Thanks for the replies...but the million dollar question is what type of grease to use specifically on the ballscrew
    I would use Mobil SHC 007

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    Quote Originally Posted by gustafson View Post
    Fr4/G10 won't be damaged by much of anything, but it is also difficult to clean perfectly
    Hmm. Good point. Is the customer planning to conformal coat or paint after machining?

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    Or could be vacuum or cleanliness or....


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