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Mini Lathe Chip Guards - Other 3d Printed Tools - N00b Thoughts/thank You!

January Project of the Month [3]
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Active Member
Active Member
Dec 24, 2016
So I'm new to this forum but I've been doing a lot of reading/learning
and a lot of it came from this site. I've got some basic machining skills
from a couple machine shops I worked at as a kid and then I've been
building stuff for years with some solid physics and math/geometry skills
under my belt. I figured with all the awesome advice made available I
figured I'd add in a couple helpful bits myself to say thank you :)

Below are two really helpful tools I developed for my Grizzly G8688 7x12
Mini Lathe which so far has served me well. The biggest concern I had to
deal with first was chips getting in the gibs and gears. Both of these
are 3d printable objects and thus far work great for me. The brushes are
my favorite since they oil my ways for me while keeping all the swarf out
of the saddle. They attach with magnets too so they can be removed and
cleaned up easily. The apron gear cover was mounted with black RTV
silicone and stays on nicely. No need for a tear down and tapping holes!
All the details for these two are covered on the thingiverse site so I
figure I'll save some space and not re-explain it all ;)

7X12 Mini Lathe Way Rail Chip Guard Brush

7X12 Mini-Lathe Apron Hand Wheel Gear Chip

I also made a couple other items that are helpful.

LittleMachineShop.com has a telescoping lead screw cover that benefits
from two tools they sell to install them. I didn't order them by accident
so I just made them instead. Chris from LMS gave me his blessings and
linked the tools to my thingy as well. So I don't appear to be
advertising I won't post the link to the product to buy, but chances are
you know the product and thought about purchasing it if you haven't
already ;) http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1942609

The last lil useful tool is my no mod DRO setup but this is a remix from
someone else's work which a remix from someone elses'. Gotta love open
source design :) It's just a rest for your digital calipers with some
creative thought. It's not perfect but it's better than just a ruler or
your eyes and cheaper than any DRO system out there.

A couple useful ideas I've had too is using a sponge brush to clean the
ways while I use a bristle to clean everything else. The sponge gets all
the crap off and oils the ways while the bristle seems to be better at
getting all those nooks n crannys. This also lets me keep my bristle less
oily so it clears chips efficiently. The bristle seems almost useless
once it's oiled since it seems to displace chips in deeper crevices
rather than clear them.

I've also found setting a sheet of cardboard on my lap with an upward
bend towards my stomach keeps all those chips on the cardboard and not on
my pants. Since this is a hobby and not a living, I figure keep it simple
and I don't feel like buying special clothes to turn or mill some metal.
A shop apron is probably in my near future tho ;)

THANK YOU ALL for you very insightful advice and all the ideas/mods that
I've got slated for my lathe and my soon to be big bad mill :D


Active Member
Active Member
Dec 24, 2016
I will say though, the shop apron, with some velcro on the bottom of the apron and the bottom of your work bench is a brilliant idea as well! Just gotta find the velcro and attach it...
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