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  • Way covers

    My Enco square column mill came with "accordian" type way covers. I'm not real crazy about them. I'm thinking about removing them, and making clamps that fit the existing mounting holes and hold felt wipers against the ways that I can soak in way oil.

    Thoughts?
    Definition: Racecar - a device that turns money into noise.

  • #2
    I replaced mine with sheet rubber from McMaster-Carr. Keeps me from having to clean them off to prevent chip packing. Much easier to clean the sheet rubber than the accordion type. Whatever you do you might consider selling the accordion covers; have you seen what those cost?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Horst View Post
      I replaced mine with sheet rubber from McMaster-Carr. Keeps me from having to clean them off to prevent chip packing. Much easier to clean the sheet rubber than the accordion type.
      Would you mind elaborating a bit on that? I need to work up something similar, though in my case there's nothing there to replace.
      Do you just let the material bunch up? ...or trail along after the saddle or knee?
      Lynn (Huntsville, AL)

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      • #4
        Make up some sheet metal covers? Personally I always liked the look of metal covers over rubber.
        Andy

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        • #5
          Originally posted by lynnl View Post
          Would you mind elaborating a bit on that? I need to work up something similar, though in my case there's nothing there to replace.
          Do you just let the material bunch up? ...or trail along after the saddle or knee?
          Yes, the rubber just bunches up (accordions but at a much lower frequency). I made up some simple mounting brackets out of 1/2" x 1/8" x 18" hot roll (two pieces per bracket; two brackets). I drilled one of the pieces and tapped the other, punched the rubber with sharpened brass tubing and sandwiched it using #8 button head screws. I drilled and tapped the back of the mill table and the column. I only added a cover in the back, the front of the saddle is not much of a problem to keep clean.

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          • #6
            I have quality accordian covers on my BP Knee and column.. Couldn't live without them. It's amazing how much swarf gets trapped and doesn't get to where it shouldn't!

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            • #7
              I clamped a sheet of vapor barrier polyethylene to the bridgeport main casting, and onto the table, with small neodymium magnets. It was a quick and dirty expedient fix for when I first got the mill. Here we are, a year later, still working fine. Ugly but fine. I just put enough extra material on there to not interfere with table travel.

              Finest regards,

              doug

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              • #8
                I'll second the McMaster rubber sheeting. My mill came with accordion type covers. I left them in place and added rubber sheeting everywhere, including separate shrouds over all the DRO scales. Much of what I do is maintenance/repair/short-order jig & fixture making, and I find myself working often with plastic, wood, bone, and other dusty materials. With my shrouded tools, I can simply go for it, and not worry about making a mess. Once I got used to them, I find they aren't in the way much, and they bunch up nicely because they're so flexible. It's easy to take the rubber sheets off and clean 'em, and rather rare for me to see much of anything deposited on the ways.


                [

                Same for the lathe:

                Last edited by Frank Ford; 07-30-2012, 06:50 PM.
                Cheers,

                Frank Ford
                HomeShopTech

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                • #9
                  I prefer the rubber between the table and the column, with a dovetail aluminum clamp on the column.
                  That way, when the table is up against the column, you can pull the rubber up/out to allow max Y travel
                  For the front, i use two clips screwed into the saddle and they hold a shop towel. The towel collects the chips and they don't fall on my feet, and the towel can be removed and shaken quite easily and returned into position.
                  Most important ! - it does not cover my hand with oil when i need to turn the saddle handle as it is very flexible and not in the way of reading the Y axis dial
                  For table covers on each side of the vise , I use Hardboard with wood keyway keys glued to the bottom.
                  No Tabl;e dings !

                  Rich

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                  • #10
                    Looks like EPDM rubber roofing which comesin .045 or .060.
                    "Let me recommend the best medicine in the
                    world: a long journey, at a mild season, through a pleasant
                    country, in easy stages."
                    ~ James Madison

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                    • #11
                      I use old shower curtains held in place by magnets.
                      John R

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                      • #12
                        A few thoughts:

                        1) The cheap accordion type ways aren't so bad as long as they're properly fitted. A pain if one of the keepers drops off the ways.

                        2) Use something like Buna-N rather than EPDM (rubber for roofing). The EPDM is tough and UV resistant, but lacks oil resistance. 1/16" thick is about right IMO.

                        3) I personally like thin top grain leather, soaked in oil, as a replacement way cover. It's fairly tough and withstands both hot chips and way/cutting oil. It collapses to pretty much nothing when trying to max the travel back to the column. It's also cheaper (from, say, eBay) than rubber. However, the Buna-N is better if you use flood cooling.

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                        • #13
                          I use what is referred to as spark barrier or fire blanket in welding shops. Thin fiberglass sheet that has been rubberized. It's flexible, strong and durable. Lasts forever but red in colour.
                          The shortest distance between two points is a circle of infinite diameter.

                          Bluewater Model Engineering Society at https://sites.google.com/site/bluewatermes/

                          Southwestern Ontario. Canada

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                          • #14
                            Of all the"rubber-like" sheeting, my preference is for Hypalon roofing membrane. Ask a roofing contractor, (nicely,) and he will likely have scraps of good size. I installed an ornamental pond about 20 years ago using Hypalon. The "scrap" measured about 30' x 20' and I had to practically twist the guy's arm to take a bottle of whisky in exchange!
                            Duffy, Gatineau, Quebec

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