How to Clean and Lubricate a Metal Turning Lathe

What You'll Need
Lubricating oil - the single grade engine oil
Compressed air
A screw driver
Pieces of cleaning Rags

A metal turning lathe needs care and maintenance like any other machine. You need to take out the chippings daily or they might clog your machine and it will soon produce inaccurate products. Remember to check the level of oil in the reservoirs daily before you start using the machine.

Step 1 - Getting the Metal Turning Lathe Ready

Unplug the machine from the power supply. Unhook any metal held between the tail-stock and the spindle. Use the brush to sweep off any chippings lying on the bed. You can move to the other side of the machine and do the same.

Step 2 - Pushing the Chipping Out

Since some of the metallic chippings may be lodged in the machine, turn on the compressor air pump and blow the lathe beginning with the spindle to the lower shelf. You can repeat this until you are sure the parts are clean.

Step 3 - The Cleaning Process

With the chippings off the machine, dip a rag into the kerosene and wash all the traces of chippings off. Work on the lathe, the tail-stock, the spindle and the lower shelf too. Rub it generously and change the rag if it smudges. The essence of this process is to clean the machine.

Step 4 - Lubricating the Parts

Dip the rag into the lubricating oil and run it over the winding screws below the tail-stock. You can unscrew the part to reveal the lock knob. Lubricate all the joints in the locking system. Since the machine works on metals of varying thickness, the screws may slacken off if the alignment of the metals is haphazard. This will rid the machine of any strain that may come up due to the friction. Move to the spindle and the headstock and perform the same process. Make sure you lubricate all the joints of the metal turning lathe.

Step 5 - The Protective Layer

Dip another rag into the oil and run it over the metal lathe to polish the machine. Do not smear it with oil. This process will make it easy for the chippings to stick on the surface and you can easily wipe them off every day. Let it settle for a while and then polish it with a dry rag. Remember to remove the chippings daily and to wipe off the accumulated grease before it covers the machine and reduces its efficiency.

Step 6 – Re-assemble the Machine

Replace the tail-stock and other parts you have cleaned. Check the level of oil in the machine and add some more if it is below level. Plug it back in and check whether it is working. If it does not, check the connections again. Before you start using the machine, always heat it up for some few minutes to allow the spindle to get up to speed.