Top Tips for Cleaning a Sticky Bed

Our lathe beds come under all sorts of punishment from constant sliding up and down of banjos and tail stocks to sprays, colours and oils. In this post, I share my top tips on keeping your bed smooth with the use of a dry lubricant.

Cleaning Your Lathe Bed

Tip One – Clean it Up!

Every week or two, I clean the lathe bed using methylated spirits (denatured alcohol as it is known in the US). I spray quite a lot on and let it soak into the surface (or any gunk on it) for a few seconds, and then clean it thoroughly with paper towel. If there is a lot of dried oil or colours or whatever, I’ll clean it up with an additional spray of meths and a rub with 0000 wire wool. Then, one more spray with meths and a wipe over with a paper towel.

Tip Two – Use a Dry Lubricant

The nice clean lathe bed may feel nice and smooth to the touch, but it is now bare metal and will quickly attract the gunk again if you don’t protect it. I used to use a furniture wax on the until I discovered the benefits of a spray on PTFE dry lubricant.

-It’s easy to apply and not messy,
-It dries quickly,
-It leaves a transparent dry film,
-Its dust and ‘crud’ repellent.

Now it takes me generally less than 5 minutes to clean and lubricate my lathe bed.

The heavy banjo and tailstock now slide effortlessly along the lathe bed, and I couldn’t be a happier chap.

If you want to give a dry lubricant a try, click the image or here: and order directly from Amazon.

Thanks for reading!


If spraying a large quantity of methylated spirit when cleaning your lathe bed, ensure you wear appropriate PPE.

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