View Full Version : How to rivive a dormant machine...

04-11-2008, 02:17 PM
Unfortunately, this is a question not a recommendation. My machine has been largely dormant for about four months. Now I'm a little concerned about throwing it back in the deep water of full-time use. One of the CW magazines (the downloadable lessons and tutorials) has an extensive service check-list. I'm tempted to go through it in detail with the machine before really firing it up, but the list of lubricant products that the machine requires is distressingly large and complex. I have the lubricant with molly for the flex shaft. Does it make sense to re-lube the shaft just because it's been a while?

Another possibility was just to do some light test projects - just some simple relief work on scrap wood - to "warm it up" and see if there's heat or signs of wierdness. Sometimes doing things "just because" can lead to more trouble than safety (especially when the technician is me, with my excess of thumbs).

For example, the last time I used the machine, my rails (both y and z) sounded a little..."rumbly". Is that sign that air and lubricant should be applied? Any suggestion would be appreciated.


04-11-2008, 02:28 PM
There are really only a few types of lubrication you really need.

1) Flex shaft lubricant (Chain lube with molly)
2) A lubricant for the check (I prefer a dry plate lube as I mentioned in the article, CW call for 2-in-1 oil)
3) A lubricant for the vertical guide rails (Lithium grease per CW, I use the dry plate lubricant above), you do need lithium grease for the crank clutch and jacking screws though.
4) Silicone spray to wipe the rails with (optional)
5) Bicycle chain wax for the bit plate contact area (could also use dry plate lubricant)

So, really you could just get by by adding some dry plate lubricant and lithium grease. I would recommend a good cleaning/lubrication/inspection before trying to use it. My own machine has sat for several weeks and it is kind of stiff trying to crank up/down. It only takes a few minutes to go through everything and then you know the machine is ready to go.

04-11-2008, 02:28 PM
Since I became disabled mine sat for about 3 months. Since I'm pretty picky about how I care for it, it was clean and lubed before the downtime. When I got it set up so I could use it again in my "current" condition, I went full tilt and she sang beautiful tunes. Still is with no troubles at all.

I'm not saying you shouldn't give it a once over but if it was clean and working, I don't think you'll have any troubles.

04-11-2008, 04:12 PM
Dry plate lube...nope, I'm pretty sure I have no idea what that is. Do you have a product name I could track down? I had to special order the chain lube with molly. Lithium grease I do have. I'll go through the check list.


04-11-2008, 04:13 PM
There are links in the article to all the lubricants I mentioned. A 'dry plate lubricant' goes on wet and then forms a dry film (so it does not attract dirt).

04-13-2008, 03:13 AM
I did a few light projects and was satisfied with the results. The only thing I did in the way of service was to make sure the bit plate was loose enough (I had had trouble with that a while ago). Even the edge sensor was well behaved (which is almost never true for me). I used a new sled design and everything went off without a hitch with over an hour of full-time pattern-carving.

Over the time I've had the machine, I've replaced the chuck and both belts, but compared to some stories I've heard, I know I've gotten off easy. Each time I had a failure, the lessons learned helped me have more confidence that I new WHY things were in good shape (or not). I'm beginning to have the unfamiliar sense that I know how to use this machine (but don't tell anyone).


04-15-2008, 05:21 PM
Now..you have the feeling.... .that if it breaks ,no big deal I can fix it. I know that's how it was for me. Besides it feels good to go up against a fairly complicated machine that we have had no training and fix it ourselves.