t-slot covers?

When I arrived at my current job I found the leftovers of a roll (?) of a soft plastic t-slot filling material. It pressed into the t-slots leaving a
surface flush with the table top which kept the chips easy to just brush off. I haven't been able to find anything like it. Anyone know who might sell it? Randy
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It's easier just to make a couple of covers for your table. Most of us keep out vice in the same place all the time, so ya just contour the ends ta match it's profile. Several of my friends us masonite, one has aluminum that he put a rubber top on to be nice to tooling. Plastic works well too. I've been thinking of making some new ones out of the masonite that's got a white plastic coating on it.. Then I could scribble 'white borad' notes right on the table.. LOL...
FWIW my lathe has T-slots on the cross slide, but has plenty of room at either end so I made super long T-thingies to slide in it...
Dave

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Dave August wrote:

I got a masonite one with a strip of wood on the bottom that fits in the t slot. the wood holds the masonite on the table and it wont move or slip.
John
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john wrote:

Digital, or analog masonite??
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Steve Saling
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Garlicdude wrote:

Metric
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Masonite resists oil and coolant?
--Mitch
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john wrote:

I got a couple of heavy plastic food serving trays (they come in lots of sizes) and contoured the ends to fit around the vise as you suggest. On the bottom I put a wooden key that engages the center T-slot so they don't fall off. They allow you to put tools and parts on the machine without knicking up the tables, and keep chips out of the T-slots. They're easily cleaned with a shop vac, or just by dumping into a trash container. I've been using the same pair for over ten years.
Most of these ideas don't work well if you use a lot of coolant, especially 'flood' coolant. Most mill tables use the T-slots as part of the coolant drain system. Most of my work is done dry, or with brush or spray botttle applied coolant, so it's not a problem.
Dan Mitchell ===========
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Dave August wrote:

Dave, I take it your refering to Bridgeport type mills. In my opinion a better stratagey is to move the vise off center on the table in the X axis. Alternate sides every so often to spread the wear over a longer length so when you need to do some longer work you don't develop a rotator cuff problem.
Extra points for moving ram in and out occasionaly to spread the wear over the Y axis.
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Steve Saling
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Garlic dude,
Set the vice over some ammount, (pick your number)
When ya swap it , swap the covers :-)
Dave

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Is it either of the items on the right side of this page?
http://www1.mscdirect.com/CGI/NNPDFF?PMPAGE43
Best Regards, Keith Marshall snipped-for-privacy@progressivelogic.com
"I'm not grown up enough to be so old!"

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I use the rubber (vinyl) T-moldings you use to make countertops. Works like a champ, cheap and I got mine at the cabinet shop around the corner for a six pack.
Pedroman

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No those are things to cove the ways in the back of the tabel (whick I also have even though the BP has it's cool sliding covers)
Makes it really easy to clean up after working, ya don't have to dig stuff outta the dovetails :-)
Dave

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Oops, I missed that the 1st 2 were way covers. I was mostly looking at the 3rd one down on the right. It's called Table Guard & Tote and is made to cover the table and fits into the T-slots. Doesn't sound like it's the same as what you're looking for but seems to serve the same purpose.
Best Regards, Keith Marshall snipped-for-privacy@progressivelogic.com
"I'm not grown up enough to be so old!"

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as I recall I got my slot covers from www.use-enco.com

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I saw those and might get some. The stuff I'm talking about is like a soft plastic rectangular tubing. I've used masonite before but I think it might dissolve in coolant. Maybe I could press some lengths of garden hose in the slots or some flat bars of PVC or something cheap. Randy
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Check with some of the extrusion manufacturers, i.e. Bosch, 80/20, FlexLink, etc. They offer plastic covers for the T-Slots in the extrusions, maybe you can find one that will work on the mill slots. These will be in a double-leg T or square U, with little lips on the ends of the legs to hook into the T
--
Anthony

You can't 'idiot proof' anything....every time you try, they just make
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A cheap alternative are the T type aluminum pieces that are used in drop ceilings. They can be cut easily and can be found in most dumpsters or landfills. :)
Geesh, I'm startin to sound like Gunner now. But, hey if its free its for me!
Bing
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Keep in mind that you don't just have to "close up" the slots. You can cover the "entire top" of the table and just have one or two "guides" mounted to the bottom of the "table top" to fit into the T-nut slots (it doesn't even have to be a tight fit). This way, the entire top (except for the vise or other holding fixtures) is covered and can easily be brushed into a dustpan or whatever. I don't think I would want to fight with individual little "slot covers" when an entire top would protect the whole table top from falling bits, wrenches, etc. Ken.
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I machined a whole bunch out of mahogony. The wood is very porous and absorbs oils and coolant. Teak would also be good. Works great. Lasts a long time (over 15 years on some). Cost is nil.
Boris
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Boris Beizer Ph.D. Seminars and Consulting
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