[singlepic id=295 w=320 h=240 float=left]Some time last year, I found this link and went as far as getting in touch with Harbor Freight to try to order the telescopic metal way cover from the Sieg KX3 CNC machine. I dropped the project once I learned it would take months and cost a lot.
Last week I noticed that LMS was now carrying the cover, and I decided that would be a nice (if a bit pricy) upgrade to protect the dovetails and ballscrew of the Y axis. It wasn’t really any cheaper than dealing with Harbor Freight, but at least I know LMS had them in stock and it wouldn’t get lost on a boat in the ocean somewhere.
Fast forward through an evening of installing it on my machine, complete with lots of angle grinder action to fix the questionable fit in a few spots. I was wrapping up in the shop for the evening when I discovered (the gentle way, thankfully, not via a rapid crash) that the ProMiCA kit and the way cover interfere with one another!
The ProMiCA kit is clever and tucks the motor for the X axis behind the table; unfortunately, that’s the exact spot that’s taken up now by the telescopic way cover when X is as its minimum travel. I guess my only real choice at this point, if I want to keep the way cover, is to flip the motor around and rework a cover for the belt drive. That is going to add quite a bit of length on that axis, especially considering I’m planning to put a long table on the mill. I’ll have to think about this a bit – keep the way cover, or sell it?
I also discovered that the way cover, which is really intended for a machine with a taper gib arrangement (and thus no grub screws on the right hand side of the dovetail), doesn’t quite provide perfect protection of the ways on the X3. I tried an experiment creating a stepped cardboard guard that would sit along side the axis and help block chips from bouncing in or floating in on flood coolant.