7x12 Metal-Lathe Apron Modification

The handwheel gear and the pinion gear are exposed, so chips and debris will get into the apron gear housing, and stick on the greese. Sadly, it cannot be cleaned. To tackle this issue, I came up with my version of a chip guard by using a piece of aluminum sheet metal to protect the gears.

 Here are the steps to modify the chip guard:

ApronMove the saddle to the right at the end of the lead screw. Loosen the screws and detach the apron from the saddle. Remove the apron from lead screw.

chip guardUse a piece of AWG 19 gauge (0.036" thick) aluminum sheet (thinner material will be easier to work with).

First to make a hole slightly larger than the diameter of the pinion gear, then cut the aluminum sheet along the shape of the apron. Drill three 0.125" holes on the plate; the drill holes must be on the wall of the apron for mounting screws.

depressThe handwheel gear is higher than the wall of the apron. When the chip guard is mounted on the wall, it will interfere with the gear. Use a piece of 1.125" round steel rod to make a 0.1" deep depression on the plate.  

tap holeUse the holes on the chip guard plate as a template to drill and tap three #4-40 holes on the wall of the apron.

finishThe finished chip guard is mounted on the apron.