You know it's a noob when you get this question...
A) How bad are chips on ways of a lathe? I have an 8 by 12 SEIG ( like a mini lathe, but with metal change gears and less junkyness). I want to know just whether it is OK to have some small chips lying around-they get wiped up by the wipers. Currently I am kind of obsessive over de-chipping the ways, especially because the tailstock lacks wipers and I do not want to get swarf under it. Should I be even more obsessive? Should I just brush off the ways frequently and wipe periodically?
B) What is a good way to keep chips out of the house? Do any of you have tricks for preventing the creation of swarfy messes other than just having a door-mat and cleaning frequently?
C) Are expanding mandrels worth the cost? Can you make your own with a lathe and mill with indexing and slitting saw?
D) Is there a good substitute for brass as far as being soft and nonmarring and free machining but not expensive? Butter-steel maybe?