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Nice plastic machine covers

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  • Nice plastic machine covers

    I bought a clear plastic shower curtain liner that makes a dandy instrument or machine cover . The liner is crystal clear, and so flexible it's almost limp. It's a "PEVA Shower Liner" from Wally World. PEVA is a type of plastic that is being touted as safer for the environment than PVC. The liners I bought are 70 inches by 71 inches , large enough for small to medium machines . They're 5 mils thick, and just heavy enough to stay put by themselves. I hate to hide my restored machines under covers that aren't completely transparent or are too stiff in cold weather, and the sawdust from the woodworking side of my shop gets everywhere. These PEVA covers solve those issues. I did a brief burn test on a sample, and the PEVA melts, but does not support a flame. I've had a PEVA cover over my oscilloscope next to a window all summer, with no apparent UV degradation yet. They cost about $7 each. Take note, however, that other shower liners marked PEVA in the same store display were not as flexible or as clear, so buying them online sight unseen would be tricky.
    Last edited by Bill736; 12-08-2010, 11:13 PM.

  • #2
    I found another dandy use for them - chip blocker on the mill!

    I got tired of crawling all around the side and back of the mill getting all the far flung chips off the floor after using a fly cutter, so seeing something similar on my friends mill, I used a shower curtain... I was a bit concerned about hot chips, but after some length of time, its not a problem.

    If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something........


    • #3
      Wow, that is a great idea! i could see several jointed extensions to the arms to let it wrap around the end of the table, with perhps a slit for the X crank handle.
      Several magnets on the outside at the base would let the chips drop to the base for easy vacuuming.

      thanks for the idea.


      • #4
        Should indoor machinery covers be breathable or not?

        Some cold-weather climates are subject to temperature/humidity inversions (Fall/Spring) that can result in high humidity in a room full of cold machinery.

        Right now, I keep my machinery well-oiled, and covered in cloth: a couple layers of old sheets and on top, heavy canvas drop cloths.

        One April we experienced an inversion, and I found that huge droplets of water (about 5/16" dia) had condensed on my anvil - it looked like it had rained in my garage.


        • #5
          Like ideas.

          Who do I think you are...?


          • #6
            Whether indoor machine covers should be breathable is indeed an often discussed subject. Some approaches work better than others for some shops and climates. In my own shop, about twice a year I get a dramatic temperature and humidity change that condenses water onto my machines, and plastic covers do help keep the warm moist air away from my cold machines. As we've discussed before, if the surface temperature of your machine is below the dewpoint of the inside air, you will get condensation, provided the moisture inside can get to your machines. That's the basic plan of insulating air conditioning ducts; if you provide a water vapor barrier around the duct over the insulation, moist air cannot find it's way to the cold ducts and condense . If the cover is transparent, I can see if moisture is condensing on the inside, and remove the cover. Sometimes, enough moisture can wick up through concrete floors to condense on the inside of plastic covered machines. The only significant problem I have with plastic covers is outside where ground moisture will condense on the inside of plastic tarps I use to cover piles of lumber and assorted stuff, even though my piles of stuff are on concrete blocks up off of the ground. It's only a problem during certain times of the year. Providing some ventilation through the covered piles does help , and it's important not to let the plastic tarps contact the ground and trap moisture.
            Last edited by Bill736; 12-09-2010, 02:11 PM.


            • #7
              "Sometimes, enough moisture can wick up through concrete floors to condense on the inside of plastic covered machines"

              I've got the same double-whammy: atmospheric moisture + ground moisture penetrating through the concrete slab. Since my garage has a 50" deep X 96" long pit in it (used for automotive service by previous owner), I have increased surface area and an increased dose of ground moisture.


              • #8
                tlfamm- Your description of your pit in your workshop immediately reminded me of the pit I used to have in my garage. The third bay in my garage had a pit that was about 28 inches deep, and the width and length of nearly the entire bay. It was designed to contain an automotive frame straightening machine that the previous owner never installed. It did have a concrete floor, but moisture, and sometimes even puddles of water, often invaded the pit.
                I used that pit for storage, and had wooden ramps over it to store my boat. Finally, in 2007, I decided I wanted the floor space more than the pit, and I filled it in and poured a concrete floor. Sadly, a lot of the stuff I had stored in the pit had been damaged or destroyed by all of the moisture.


                • #9
                  Similar situation: I've had the occasional puddle in my pit during periods of heavy-rain, and I also use it for storage - but keep everything in air-tight or semi-air-tight containers. If I filled the pit in, I'd have to find room for all of that stuff - including several hundred pounds of cribbing timbers.

                  The previous owner put a 1-gallon container of roofing tar on the woodstove to warm it, and then went off to the local bar with his buddies. They not only neglected to take the lid off the can, but they completely forgot about it. On their return they found the can had exploded, setting the garage on fire. When the firemen arrived, the owner said, "Watch out for the .... pit" - but before he could finish the sentence, a fireman fell in. Fortunately he was not seriously injured.

                  Another time the owner, laboring under sufficient inebriation, drove a Volkswagon Beetle through the _closed_ garage door into the pit. The neighbors heard him hollering and rushed over to extricate him. I don't know how they got the car out of the pit - but it wasn't present when I bought the house.

                  Well, that's the story of the pit in my garage/shop


                  • #10
                    I find that gas grill covers work fine for covering your machinery. I got a 72" cover for my Rockwell 10 X 36 lathe for a little over 10 bucks from Lowe's, at season end clearance. It's a real nice and substantial cover.