First time in the new machine shop

I finally made it in to the New and Improved machine shop today and it looks great. It still needs some more organization and some more tables and stuff, but those who have been working on it have done a fantastic job. If we need a work day (if allowed) let me know and I’ll be there.

I did have one problem. I worked on the Colchester lathe and every now and then when I pushed the start button, the gear box made a clunking sound like it was not falling in to a gear right or something. It worked just fine but that noise was not right.

Also, how can I get certified on the Shark lathe?

One more thing, how do we sanitize a lathe? I saw a bottle of alcohol and wiped down the handles, controls and chuck with that but on the way home I thought about all of the other things I touched like wrenches, cutter holders, tail stock, table tops, etc. I figure the cutting fluids will kill anything on the lathe itself. We may need a reminder poster of thing to remember to wipe down and with what.


If it were me? I’d use a light oil, wipe it on, then wipe it off and call it a day. Not much will live in the oil, and specifically COVID-19 doesn’t live well on surfaces. I’d be extra careful about using alcohol on the equipment and then not following it with some oil.


First off, let me say that the whole sanitizer thing does not seem valid to me. What I do see as valid is:

Wash your hands.
Don’t touch your mucus membranes (nose, eyes, mouth) unless you’ve just washed your hands.

Sanitizing is all fine and good, but it’s awfully tricky in places that were not designed to be sanitized. Like the lathes…

To me, you’d do better if you washed your hands before and after you started. If you just washed your hands before, then you could only be spreading germs/virus if you had it (early non-symptomatic stages – I trust you not to show up if you realize that you’re sick), and you coughed on something while you were there. And, if the last person was sick, and didn’t clean, washing your hands afterward would keep you from getting it.

Someone mentioned last night that the case for contact transmission of the virus is called “the Berlin patient”. That implies only one known case who got it by contact. I have read speculation that there are 2 reasons that sanitizing was pushed early on. 1. Nobody was completely sure how it was spreading, and that was a “better safe than sorry”. 2. Masks, which help reduce transmission by air significantly, were in short supply.


So this happened in less than 6 hours after sanitizing.

It is most of Machine Shops opinion that you will likely have oily hands while machining. Thus you will not likely not touch your face.


oh noooooooo

Just use oil if you need to sanitize something. Please.

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Alcohol is a degreaser. Covid Hand Sanitizer is at least 63% ethanol. Ethanol is also hydrophilic, so besides removing the protective oil film it also attracts water. Plus it is corrosive to some metals, remember all the damage to cars when they started using 10% ethanol fuel? If under 40, you may not remember Leaded gasoline as you weren’t driving yet when mandated in circa 1988.

All metal needs to be wiped down with a moist rag/towel that s a preservative on it, oil or WD40 (which is good for displacing water).

This is a great example and should be added to the training deck about clean-up of machines. Fortunately these aren’t Ways on machines.