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Antique Engine Archives All archived posts from 1999 to 2004 when SmokStak was on EnginAds. This is a read-only board.

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Lathe Question


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  #1  
Old 07-28-2004, 01:45:56 PM
Ralph Leonard
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Default Lathe Question

Topic? Well, its an engine lathe It has become magnetized. The cuttings cling to the work and the cutter bit, covering it so I can't see to start next cut. I've been using it about six years but it just started this recently. The local machine shop folks say they dont have this problem and therefore dont know how to deal with it. Thanks in advance for any suggestions on how to demagnetize it, Ralph in NC
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  #2  
Old 07-28-2004, 03:03:05 PM
Rob Charles
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Default Re: Lathe Question

Never had a lathe do that but we did have a radial drill that would magnatize drill bits.You have a poor ground somewhere in your electrics.You can buy/borrow a demagnitizer that is normally used with a surface grinder.Maybe be holding it on wherever parts on the lathe you can get to you might be able to help it some.Rob
  #3  
Old 07-28-2004, 03:26:35 PM
Jim Tremble
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Default Re: Lathe Question

Hey Ralph

Out of curiosity, is the chuck still magnetized when the lathe is turned off ?? Nothing in it ??

I have been around this equiptment for many years and have never heard of this.

As Rob stated, try to ground the lathe with a seperate ground wire and let us know what happens.

I have no answer for you. Very interesting!

Jim
  #4  
Old 07-28-2004, 04:10:14 PM
Randy Hart
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Default Re: Lathe Question

I once bought a Three Jaw chuck off a lathe at the junk yard.. Turns out it must have been picked up with a magnet at some point because it would turn into a fuzzy ball of turnings after a short while.. I told a friend about it and one day while I was out he came over and did something to it and now it is fine.. could yours have been picked up that way at some point ? Randy Hart Ohio
  #5  
Old 07-28-2004, 04:23:42 PM
Mac Leod
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Default Re: Lathe Question

If iron becomes magnitized it can be de magintized by a shock (drop from 2 story building ) or heating (Into the blast furnace it goes). Just trying to help... Mac Leod
  #6  
Old 07-28-2004, 04:28:43 PM
Jim Tremble
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Default Re: Lathe Question

Randy

Sounds like he took it off of the headstock and smacked it with a hammer to demagnitize it.

I have done that with other tooling but not a chuck. Can't see where it would harm it any.

The sudden impact seems to, for some reason, release the magnetism.

Jim
  #7  
Old 07-28-2004, 04:43:33 PM
Ken Majeski
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Default Re: Lathe Question

Well, I must live in the Magnetic capitol of the Northern Hemisphere as my Tool Bits and screwdrivers are always getting magnetised. What you need is a Degausing coil. Small things can be demagnetised by passing an Electric soldering gun around them and withdrawing it in a circular motion before turning it off. They used to have large degausing coils for the early Color TV sets but now most have built in coils for this purpose... Hard to see what you are doing if your tool bits, Drills ect have a big ball of Fuzz on them...
  #8  
Old 07-28-2004, 06:19:41 PM
David Swa nson
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Default Re: Lathe Question

A freind of mine "rescued" a mill (not a Bridgeport but a decent one) from a scrap metal yard. It too had been picked up by a magnet, and to this day he has the same problem. A BIG degausing coil would probably work & should be easy to make.
  #9  
Old 07-28-2004, 07:35:36 PM
Ralph Leonard
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Default Re: Lathe Question

Well, at least I've got some things to check now. Its a Jet 13/40 gear head made in chop suey. I bought it new and its been setting in the same place since 97. It was in a wooden crate when I brought it home so dont believe it was ever picked up with electric magnet. Just had a thought, its lined up exactly north and south.

Dont hold back Elden, jump right in here,

Ralph in NC
  #10  
Old 07-28-2004, 07:47:51 PM
Craig Anderson
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Default Re: Lathe Question

If you have a bunch of wire you can wind it around the ways and put a 200-300 watt light bulb in the circuit to degauss the lathe. I have never heard of an entire lathe becoming magnetized. Another solution would be pretty much the same as above but use an AC welder and do a little LIGHT welding using the wound up wire as the conductor. There is almost ALWAYS more than one way to skin a cat......I don't know WHY I use that expression 'cause I really LIKE cats~~~~~~~~Craig
  #11  
Old 07-29-2004, 07:10:09 AM
bruce zantjer
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Default Re: Lathe Question

Have you checked the material you are turning it may be the problem.
  #12  
Old 07-29-2004, 09:46:47 AM
Ralph Leonard
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Default Re: Lathe Tests

Jim, I sprinkled saw dust on the empty chuck and it became a fuzz ball. The field is strong between the chuck and the tool post. Saw dust dont stick to the ways or the tail stock. Also, the piece of 1018 I was working on is not magnetized.

I'm getting ready for the Carolina Flywheeler show then I'm going to try some of those suggestions to demagnetize it. Ralph in NC
  #13  
Old 07-29-2004, 09:53:19 AM
edurand
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Default Re: Lathe Question

Hey Ralph!

What makes 'ya tink I'da knowed how to fix yer fuzz problem??!!

In fact, I do have a suggestion and it runs along with the welder idea. First, is just the tool bit magnetized or is the chuck, toolpost, etc. also collecting shavings?

If it's just the tool bit, you can take the tool bit off the lathe and wrap some wire like one conductor of lamp cord around it. Make as many turns as you can fit on it.

Now hook this coil up in series with a large (500 Watt, 1000 Watt??) light bulb or parallel string of them. You should also be able to use a 1/2 to 1 HP induction motor (with no mechanical load) to do this. Use one that doesn't have a centrifugal starter on it so the starting current will fade as the motor attains speed. I think the motor idea will work better for larger parts because the running current is higher.

When you plug this series circuit into the wall, the bulb will act like a short circuit for the first instant because a cold filament is very low in resistance. This will cause a few cycles of high current AC to flow in the coil making a strong AC magnetic field.

As the bulb lights up or the motor gains speed, the current through the coil will drastically reduce because the hot filament of the lamp will have a much higher resistance. By the same token, the rising counter EMF within the motor as it speeds up makes the current fall.

The purpose of this is to hit the part with a strong AC magnetic field for a short time, then fade the field away to keep the poles of the teensy (that's a scientifick term that means "smaller than itsy-bitsy") internal magnets randomized just like a Tee Vee degausser does.

If you just "flash" the coil with full current and turn it off, chances are that the circuit will be broken when there's substantial instaneous current flowing in the coil and all you'll do is to re-magnetize the part.

If the whole lathe is magnetized, you could probably take off everything that's not critical to alignment.

The frame of the lathe could then be wrapped with wire and done the same way but probably using a larger number of lamps (the same motor will probably work) to get the required inrush current. Since it will take a lot more wire, you should use a heavier gauge (maybe 14 or 16 gauge) wire so the ampere turns will be about the same.

On a huge scale, during WWII, the British demagnetized whole ships using the same idea. Their reason (faulty, I think) was to make the ships harder to be detected by the U-boats.

If you do decide to try this, let us know how it works. If you happen blow up the world......never mind letting us know 'cause we'll be blowed-up along with you.
:-)

Take care - Elden


Elden's Junky Web Page
  #14  
Old 08-01-2004, 06:25:30 PM
Ralph Leonard
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Default Lathe update

With lots of good help both here and e-mails the lathe is demagnetized now.

I wasn't making any progress at first so I made a tooth pick size bar magnet on a thread to test with. The chuck tested a strong north pole and anywhere else on the machine a weaker south pole.

Removed the chuck to isolate it from the lathe and it was perfectly clear. The culprit was the spindle. All the other lathe parts were just magnetic conductors.

When I wound the demag coil around the two inches of spindle sticking out of the gear box, bingo--success.

This is another example of getting help with a problem. Thanks everyone and especially Harry,

Ralph in NC
  #15  
Old 08-01-2004, 06:35:42 PM
Jim Tremble
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Default Re: Lathe update

Good job, Ralph. Now find out why it happened and let us know.

Jim
  #16  
Old 08-01-2004, 06:38:03 PM
Mike in NC
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Default Re: Lathe update

Ralph, that is good that you got it fixed. It was nice to meet you on friday. We hope that you enjoyed the show.
 

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