Three Ways to Maintain Your Machine Tools

    Milling machine parts

    We may associate machinery with the Industrial Revolution of the 19th Century, but machines were in fact used as early as 1200 B.C. These weren’t the efficient, automated machines of the Industrial Age, and they certainly couldn’t provide proper welding machine repair, but they laid the foundation for today’s means of production. The lathe, for instance, a machine tool still prominent today, is believed to have originated in Ancient Egypt. A lathe rotates a material on its axis, which is useful for cutting, sanding, and shaping pieces of equipment in a symmetrical fashion.

    While today’s lathes are powered by electricity, they originally were operated manually. During the Industrial Revolution, the development of water wheels and steam engines allowed lathes to operate more efficiently and without manual labor. These machine tools, in ancient times and today, are staples for those who build and repair machines.

    But even machine tools can break or diminish in effectiveness. These tools must be physically hard in order to operate correctly. The more they are used, their hardness can decrease. Here are three important tips for keeping your machine tools effective.

    1) Don’t Forget to Clean

    Like maintenance of any kind, cleanliness is the most basic step to keeping things running safely and smoothly. Working with machine parts can result in build up of particles, dust, and rust that, if left unattended, can severely damage a tool. It’s also important to keep your tools dry, as exposure to moisture can result in increased oxidation and other issues.

    2) Avoid Friction

    When a tool meets an object, there’s naturally going to be friction. But unnecessary friction should be avoided, as it can damage both the tool and the equipment being worked on. Within a lathe itself, the gibs should be adjusted on a regular basis to reduce friction between the components. Whenever using a lathe or machine tool, ensure that proper lubrication is applied to components that typically rub against one another.

    3) Listen Well

    Our ears are useful tools in the machines that are our bodies. We tend to know instinctively when something doesn’t sound quite right. So if a tool of yours is making noises you’re unfamiliar with, have it inspected by a machine tool service provider.

    Fortunately, there are shops that specialize in machine tool repairs, as well as welding machine repairs, lathe repairs, and so on. These tips are meant to provide preventative measures, but in the event that something does break, as always, seek professional help.