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Wood Dust and My HF 44991 Mini Mill

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ctgull

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#1
I have a HF 44991 coming in 5 days and I plan on mounting it to my workbench in the garage. I'm not thrilled with it being exposed to the temperature and humidity extremes. There's an outside chance I might be able to fit in my inside work space if I eliminate some stuff. Of course I'll build a rolling stand with lexan guards to contain some of the chips. There's usually wood chips on the floor anyway. If you haven't read my Intro, I fix acoustic guitars for fun. The mill will be to make wooden parts and metal/plastic tools/fixtures. I'm a Tool Designer by trade.

Along with the environmental extremes, I'm concerned about the amount of wood dust I make. I use my band & miter saws, and various sanders a lot. Not daily, but the amount of wood dust adds up. I don't want that fouling up the ways and other moving parts of my new mini mill.

My thoughts are to throw a sheet/blanket/tarp over it when I'm not using it. Another idea is to build a lexan enclosure that I can close and semi seal. Obviously the enclosure takes up space and will get in the way of operation. It will also eliminate air movement and possible promote rust.

Any suggestions?
 

stupoty

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#2
I have a HF 44991 coming in 5 days and I plan on mounting it to my workbench in the garage. I'm not thrilled with it being exposed to the temperature and humidity extremes. There's an outside chance I might be able to fit in my inside work space if I eliminate some stuff. Of course I'll build a rolling stand with lexan guards to contain some of the chips. There's usually wood chips on the floor anyway. If you haven't read my Intro, I fix acoustic guitars for fun. The mill will be to make wooden parts and metal/plastic tools/fixtures. I'm a Tool Designer by trade.

Along with the environmental extremes, I'm concerned about the amount of wood dust I make. I use my band & miter saws, and various sanders a lot. Not daily, but the amount of wood dust adds up. I don't want that fouling up the ways and other moving parts of my new mini mill.

My thoughts are to throw a sheet/blanket/tarp over it when I'm not using it. Another idea is to build a lexan enclosure that I can close and semi seal. Obviously the enclosure takes up space and will get in the way of operation. It will also eliminate air movement and possible promote rust.

Any suggestions?
Summery of overly verbose answer "cotton drop sheets from builders merchents" ;)


I have a small subteranian outdoor workshop with a cement rendered celing/wall (it's arched), I got into dust covers when I realised how much concreat dust fell on the lathe ways I use the cotton drop sheets from a builders merchent. They are not to expensive and are quite durable.

They arn't moisture proof, which I believe helps with not having condensation issues. If it's been very wet or I think they might have a hint of dampness I hang them up to dry.


Stu
 

francist

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#3
I'd forget about any rigid enclosure and use the drop sheet idea too. I have a small blanket over my lathe that's easy enough to throw on and off whenever I use it.

From another post I see that milling machine is pretty compact. This might sound goofy, but you may even be able to find a large pillow case at the thrift store that would slip over top. Having the fabric sewn into the bag shape to begin with makes for less ball-up of excess around the base. Much neater appearance.

-frank
 

homebrewed

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#4
For years I had my 7x12 in an unheated garage. Our damp Oregon winters meant there was a high risk of rust. When not using it, I put a heating pad underneath it and put an old blanket over it. Kept it nice & warm, no rust. And a lot more pleasant to use that time of year!

I guess that's one advantage of a benchtop-sized lathe. They're small enough to do something like that.

Now the 7x12 lives in a new, dry basement so I don't need the heating pad (at least not for the lathe) any more.
 

hman

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#5
I lived in Oregon for quite a few years, with my shop space inside a detetched, unheated garage. I'll gladly endorse everything homebrewed said. Spring and fall were the worst - everything near freezing cold for weeks on end, and then a wet warm front would roll in. Every metallic surface would condense enough water to drip and run off! Had too many machines and things to go with heating pads, though I really should have. One thing that did work for me was to use either Boeshield T9 or Fluid Film on the machines. I'd spray it onto a rag and wipe on a light coating, thus avoiding a large build-up.

I also did (and still do!) a bunch of woodwork in my shop, including occasional wood cutting on my HF44991 mini-mill. After each job, I'd use chip brushes and a mini vacuum cleaner to get rid of the sawdust (woodswarf?), then re-apply some protectant if it seemed necessary. I also kept covers on the tools. Didn't think of using a pillowcase (as per francist), but that's a great idea for a mill! I plan to make use of it in my current shop. We have a couple major dust storms (haboobs) every year, and even with all the doors closed, enough dust gets inside the shop to be visible on surfaces.
 

John281

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#6
My wife made some custom covers for the mill and lathe using cloth-backed vinyl material. I know they're working because there is a fair amount of dust on them. I told her she could probably make some money selling custom fit covers to others. :)
 

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NortonDommi

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#7
I use old fitted bedsheets for lathe and mill covers. The elastic makes them easy to fit and they stay in place. Spring is officially here and I have a new shed to build but come next winter I intend to have one of the newer infrared heaters in place. Picking up an industrial dust extractor tomorrow as a good vacuum system goes a long way towards good health for man and machine. Just rigging up a vacuum cleaner through a cyclone or Thein collector is a big help. Have a look at some of the Silicon lubricants for ways and bright pieces as oil and wood dust are better than Neodymium magnets for attraction.
 

homebrewed

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We have a couple major dust storms (haboobs) every year, and even with all the doors closed, enough dust gets inside the shop to be visible on surfaces.
Sounds like quite a change from the Oregon clime! Going from rust to dust, eh? :D

I had heard about Boeshield but wasn't sure how well it would work when things get _really_ damp. Good to know -- thanks!
 

dtsh

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#9
I'm another who uses dropcloths and sheets on my equipment. They're cheap and do a good job of keeping crap out while still being "breathable" enough to not build up moisture underneath.
 

ctgull

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#10
An old sheet sounds good enough, while it's in the garage.

I'm trying to figure out a way to fit it (on a rolling stand, lexan on 4 sides to contain some of the chips) into my inside work space. It's very tight but there are a few things that aren't used and could be eliminated (if I don't tell the wife!). I'd build an open stand so I could roll my chair under it, instead of standing. I'd have the option of rolling it into the garage if I'm really going to make a mess, although the 5 inch drop could be a problem.
 

C-Bag

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#11
We live on the coast and the motorcycle enthusiast across the street was the one who turned me on to old sheets. We had some sunbrella cloth left over from a project and my wife made a cover for my 9x20 lathe and a one for my 14" Starrett height gage. Both are rust free after 4yrs in the unheated garage. The sunbrella cloth is nice and stiff almost like a tarp and is water resistant but not water proof. So it breathes and doesn't condensate which I found out the hard way is no good. I also use a shop vac with a homemade cyclone and that's amazing for keeping dust down and for cleaning machinery without clogging the HEPA filter.
 

C-Bag

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#13
It was an experiment which worked a lot better than expected. I did a half way description on another home made tools site. It's all out of 8" ducting, 2" PVC and a 5gal bucket. I do a lot of powdercoat and not only does it go everywhere, it clogs a HEPA filter in a heartbeat. So the cyclone was way to get the powdercoat before it got to the shopvac. Can't believe how good it works for not knowing what I was doing :)
 

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tcarrington

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#14
Same here as NortonDommi - fitted sheets to keep most of the particles off. Going to wipe it down every so often anyway.
Keep your workspace at least 5 degrees warmer than outside OR keep the humidity inside low enough that the machine is above dew point. Condensation occurs when the machine is below dew point. Rainy days are the hardest.
 

yendor

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#15
There are some pretty nice extra large GRILL Covers that will cover a pretty good sized lathe.
Look in Patio Furniture Covers and there is some stuff that could be re-purposed.
 
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