Another Coverup
Neoprene Shrouds for DRO

© Frank Ford, 2006; Photos by FF

My mill's X-axis DRO scale has a nice little steel roof to keep chips and coolant from dropping onto it.  But, chips often bounce up and stick around under there where they oughtn't to.
I took a piece of 1/16" soft neoprene and glued it to a stick into which I'd set a few small rare earth magnets.
Now I have an easily removable shroud that keeps everything out - no drips, no bounces.
Since I was on a roll, I decided to attack all my DRO scales.  This was the most tricky - the knee axis. If you look closely at the top of the mounting bracket you can see the 1/2" thick steel block I bolted in place there.
I made a rubber shroud for the scale, and glued it to a flat plywood piece that had a strong magnet it it.
The shroud sticks easily in place. I made a slit in the corner to keep the cable from bunching up the rubber.
The cable slides right up and down as the knee height changes.
A simple sheet of neoprene covers the exposed are of the table so I can drop tools or whatever right there without nicking the table.
The Y-axis scale had such small clearance, I wasn't able to use neoprene, so I made a little cap from  some thin aluminum sheet.  It, too, is held in place by magnets
I added a really wide sheet glued to a stick and held up by imbedded magnets to cover the entire column.  It also drapes around the Y ways. I can use my airhose to blow chips off without any danger of sending them into the ways.  I have a separate regulator on that air hose to keep the pressure to less than 40 lb.
After a day's chip making, I pull back the sheet, and there's nary a chip in there.
Here's the Z-axis scale on the front of my lathe.
To make its cover, I glued a sheet of rubber to a stick just as I had for the milling machine X-axis.
Since there wasn't clearance for a wider sheet, I had to deal with a stiffness issue. To make the sheet bend smoothly, I scored halfway through the rrubber with a razor blade.
Now it hangs nicely.
Held in place by the magnets, the rubber sheet keeps the entire scale clean.
The X-axis scale already had a bit of a cover.
And, here the rubber sheet I use for a way cover does double duty, keeping the scale completely covered.
It's held in place by magnets I set into aluminum.  The large aluminum holders help keep steel chips from sticking all over the outside of the holders.

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