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Way Covers & Chip Removal

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  • Way Covers & Chip Removal

    Way Covers & Chip Removal

    Alrighty now. The old Blue Beast was brought back into operation yesterday. (My Hurco KMB1 retrofit) When I got it the machine had rubber way covers on the Y axis. They were pretty much thrashed. I replaced them with similar rubber way covers and they lasted maybe a year. Less after I started really using it. I've tried various things including the heavy clear plastic you see being used for air barriers on cold rooms that allows a forklift to drive thru.

    I suppose I could put an accordion way cover on the front, but there really isn't room on the back. So what material is going to last the longest and be flexible enough to do the job? Should I just accept a very limited life and buy a roll of the material? If so where do I buy a roll that doesn't break the bank?

    Speaking of accordion way covers. Three of my smaller high spindle speed mills came with accordion way covers. The rear Y axis one on all three machines has failed and I am now using a piece of rubber on them until I find something better. The rubber I am using (the toughest of about 3 formulas I have) starts to split after about 3 months of use. Should I just start installing them with snaps and learn to live with it? LOL.

    Now lets talk about chips. When the Blue Beast went down a year and a half ago I just left it set pretty much the way it was and learned how to do steel milling on a high speed machine. Today I started the road to actually putting the machine back into real world service. Part of that was removing a gallon of so of 4140HT steel needles that seem to have the affinity for human flesh of a jumping cholla cactus. Using scrapers and paper towels I removed the bulk of the steel chips. Still its far from clean. Every T slot and the table drains have lots of them left. I learned last time around that a shop vac really isn't up to the task, and I sure as heck don't want to blast those little missiles of torture & destruction all over my shop with compressed air. I'm not really set up to do a wash down, and I'm not ready to fill the coolant tank back up just yet. Still I'd like to get every last one of those little buggers off the mill. Then when I get it mostly cleaned... I've found even then before I put a vise on the table the only thing that seems to remove the last chip from the surface is my hand. The thought makes me cringe.
    *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

  • #2
    You can use a telescoping steel cover in a very tight space by having the one end attached to the Y axis behind the bed and the other end attached to the Z column below the extent of head movement. The mountings have to deal with the angle change and you do need a little space for chip clearance behind the bed but this arrangement can fit into quite tight spaces.
    I use an ash vacuum attachment with 40mm ID pipe and hose for chip tidy up, it seems to deal with most things.
    If you benefit from the Dunning-Kruger Effect you may not even know it ;-)


    • #3
      I noticed on one of the Stefan G. YouTube videos he used a sheet of leather on a manual mill. I'm not sure how it would hold up on a CNC mill but I'm actively looking around for a piece to go on my little ORAC lathe.

      "Accuracy is the sum total of your compensating mistakes."

      "The thing I hate about an argument is that it always interrupts a discussion." G. K. Chesterton