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Keeping Clean with Cast Iron

by John Meacham

When machining cast iron on your lathe or mill, that fine black powder swarf gets into and onto everything in the shop, including you. I have cut down on a lot of that swarf by hanging a small magnet inside a plastic baggie near the cutting area (making sure there is no interference with the tool or work). A lot of the iron powder will stick to the magnet, rather than falling on the machine. Then, when you’re done, you simply put the baggie over your swarf can, peel off the plastic, and the powder will fall into the trash can. You won't get it all, but every bit helps.


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