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How do you clean up a mill's t-slots

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  • How do you clean up a mill's t-slots

    My clausing 8520 Mill needs either cleaning and/or mil work to get my t-slots where the t-nuts can slide all the way from one side to another.

    I've use the t-slot metal tool and got a bunch of gunk out. But it's not enough.

    What would you do to fix this problem. clean, scrape, mill?

    thanks
    Rob

  • #2
    I use a thin rag wrapped around the metal T-slot cutter to have a closer fit for cleaning.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Ken_Shea
      I use a thin rag wrapped around the metal T-slot cutter to have a closer fit for cleaning.
      I did that but still no joy. thanks
      Rob

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      • #4
        Ah, you have rust build up, can you make a heavier metal that is more of a chisel, there is nothing in the T-Slot area that needs to be precision.

        Might even be able to use a T-Slot nut sharpened then put on a bolt to slide back and forth to scrape the scale.
        .

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        • #5
          Nah! The problem is the lower corners of the slot are burred out to partly obstruct the slot preventing passage of the nut.

          The solution is to "blind" the face of a flat file with cellophane tape so the tape extends just below the upper edge of slot, drop the file in the slot, hold it against the side, and dress the burrs from the lower corner of the slot. The cellophane tape will prevent the file from attacking the sides of the slot and focus the stock removal at the burred lower corner. The tape may poop out while you're filing and smear adhesive in the slot - always a huge PITA. Therefore replace the tape sooner than later.

          The slot itself may be rusted up, gunked up, burred, and bruised but this is a place for a slim slip stone and careful restrained stoning of the damaged places only. You do not want to remove metal from the slot itself.
          Last edited by Forrest Addy; 03-16-2011, 11:30 PM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Forrest Addy
            . You do not want to remove metal from the slot itself.
            Thanks for the clarification Forrest, the width is generally precision, I should have been clearer.

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            • #7
              I ran a file through mine. Turns out all I was taking out was a ridge. Smooth now, no binding. I got the file in at an angle to start with, to take the sharp off the bottom corners of the lips so I wouldn't cut myself. Then went for the sides, touching up the bottoms of the lips at the same time. I filed from both directions to pass file teeth across the full length of the milled faces, and kept the file flat against the faces.
              I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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              • #8
                You could always run a t-slot cutter thru them.

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                • #9
                  I bought a used mill-drill. The seller assured me that it had been used in a wood shop as a drill. He lied; dont they all? Anyway, I found what I thought were casting imperfections along the T-slots. The lower edges were were sort of intermittently lumpy. It turned out that this was iron crumbling from the edge. I assume that someone had previously used whatever would fit the slots as T-bolts and reefed them too tight.
                  I cleaned the edges up with a combination of scraping and a fine-cut flat file.
                  The result looks pretty poor, but the slots are now true. it sure was a lesson on knowing what to look for BEFORE buying. I now use ONLY T-nuts that fit the slots, although I am thinking of making a set of custom T-bolts for the vise and rotary table
                  Duffy, Gatineau, Quebec

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Ken_Shea
                    Thanks for the clarification Forrest, the width is generally precision, I should have been clearer.
                    the other thing is the sides of the T slot should be parallel to the front of the table and to the axis of motion to a fair degree of accuracy, you don't want to upset that.
                    .

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                    • #11
                      I use a Shop Vac with a small nozzle, It really work well!!

                      Martin

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