Monday, August 13, 2007

Let There Be Swarf...NOT!

Ever since I decided to get into this hobby, I knew I was going to have to figure out what to do with all the swarf. I'm not talking disposal, I'm talking the avalanche of swarf that accompanies any use of the lathe. In my limited machining time, I have been pelted with it, burnt by it and to be honest I'm not thrilled by it. Clean up can be a bear and swarf gets everywhere! My first step in the war against swarf was placing my Taig inside a shallow plastic storage container I bought for $7.00 at Wally World. That was a big improvement. After cutting some metal, I just use a paint brush to sweep all the shavings off the lathe and base inside the container. When there's a large accumulation, I take the lathe with base out of the container, dump the swarf in the trash and put the lathe back in. However all is not well; turning metal launches chips up around and behind the lathe so the swarf problem is still there to a different extent. My next solution has resolved this and has worked great. Only spent about $10.00 to do it. Here's some pics:

This is the lathe in the container with chip shield

This is a better shot of the chip shield

The shield is made from a piece of 8"x10" Lexan cut in two, attached to a copper angle bracket that's predrilled. The bracket is actually bolted onto my lathe back tool post which is bolted into one of the T-Slots on the headstock. It works great and is very adjustable. Swivels away easily. Chip control is vastly improved and that makes me a happy camper.

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