I've got a small Sherline lathe and mill in my personal model shop and the thought of dragging a steel T-Slot cleaner through comparatively delicate anodized aluminium T-slots on the table of the mill and cross slide of the lathe makes me shudder.
If you're not familiar, a T-slot cleaner is a small tool used to remove the chips of metal the accumulate all over the place while machining. Lots of chips end up in the bottom of the T-slots on the machine and it can be difficult to remove them due to the nature of the T-slot's shape. It has a smaller opening that overhangs a wider slot at the bottom of the channel. This is necessary to allow a T-nut to have something to be trapped under so it can be used with a nut and bolt to clamp parts to be machined (or tools in the case of lathe work) securely to the table. The picture below shows my custom T-slot cleaner fitted into its intended T-slot on my small mill.
I had some scrap acrylic plastic laying around and with the help of a laser cutter at TechShop Detroit it was a super easy process to produce a custom fit T-slot cleaner that wouldn't damage the machine parts.
Step 1: Take Measurements of Your Machine's T-Slots
I measured both the mill and the lathe and took notes in my project notebook.