Whats everyone else doing for chip managment?

This little mill can really chew threw some Al6061 so Im using one of those cyclon seperators that fit on 5 gallon drums and Im liking it so far. Im curuois what other are doing.


Wet dry vacuum when I’m done. That seems to be the best solution for me.


I was going to use my old wet dry vac until I opened it and nearly threw up. Who knew what a few years a me barely cleaning up could stew to be. So I got the cyclon thing so the chips would be saveable for my local scrap yard.

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I let it mostly dry before I clean it out. Get the bulk with a brush and small dust pan, the rest I bought one of those cheap 5gal bucket vacuum heads and use it only for chips. Then clean everything after to keep the scrap separated.


I got a small squeegee with a long handle and a kitty litter scoop it actually works amazing! Scrape everything to the front scoop up the chips let the coolant drain in the maching a sec then toss the chips out.


the kitty scoop is a good idea!

See if you can get one that has pretty small holes most of the time everything is okay but sometimes the chips fall through if they are really fine.

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I’m toying with the idea of putting in one of those big shower drains in the back area of the enclosure and just washing the chips down there into this coolant / chip screen setup from tormach:

I use a shop vac.

I’ve run into this. What I do now is keep an old filter just for “wet” purposes, and if I have to vaccum a lot of water I empty the vac first, change to the “wet” filter, take care of work, empty it immediately and let it dry back out before putting in my “dry” filter. Wet/dry vacs can do both, but mixing them makes a stinky mess.

With just a dry diet of mostly aluminum chips the vacuum is very easy to clean and manage.

The downside of using the vacuum is that it mixes my chips up with everything else that I vacuum, so I can’t recycle them. I machine a mix of metals, so I’d have that problem anyway. If I were running the same material and types of parts (like all aluminum) I lot I would use a dedicated system to collect chips and recycle them.

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