Remote Dust Collection

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  David Walling 2 months, 3 weeks ago.

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    Dave S

    Has anyone considered a solution for remote dust collection?   I was thinking about adding a dust shoe and vacuum hose, but from what I can tell I will lose some of my available cutting area (currently 13.6″ x 13.6″) due to the hose coming up along the router (as most seem to do).   I plan to build a full enclosure to reduce the noise and dust since I am in my basement shop.   So I was thinking if I just had a lightweight air hose  (running off my compressor) blowing the chips as it cuts toward the back of the enclosure where I had a dust port open to a vacuum, it might do a sufficient job of collecting.   Wood/plastic dust anyway.   Then again it just might make a great dust cloud machine!   Thoughts?




    Are you using something like a shop vac?  I wonder if you could hook a second hose to the exhaust port and create a loop with it blowing air in one side and sucking out the other of your enclosure.  I suspect you wouldn’t really get much dust collection from this, but it might be a reasonable start.

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    I have played with this same idea for a while.  I have even tested it to a limited degree.  It does work… I think.  The dust gets collected but the larger chips get left behind.

    Here is how I tested it.  I used a 40MM high speed high CFM 12 volt DC fan.  This thing came out of an old server.  It really moves air.  I set that fan off to side and pointed it at the wood I was cutting.  The wood was about 8 inches square.  On the opposite side I placed my shop vac hose.  My MPCNC rides a little low so the Gantry would hit the hose.  So the hose had to sit about 14 inches away from the DC fan.  So the idea was the air would flow from the fan across the wood toward the shop vac hose.

    Like I said, many of the larger chips just scattered across the table.  But the dust was almost completely captured in the shop vac.

    I would like to make the following permanent changes:

    • Attach the fan so it follows the bit.
    • Enclose the MPCNC
    • replace the shop vac with either a leaf blower or a larger fan / dust collector.

    I don’t think I would need to make it so the vac follows the bit.  The chips are not a problem as long as they are moved far enough away as to avoid the bit.

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    Kelly D

    Aaron, I’d been contemplating an air assist setup on the MPCNC (not the laser one) to forcibly blow the chips at least away from the cuts. Especially when I need color fill in any ice carving projects which then require me to blow out the snow. Only makes sense to use the same air blast to blow chips. A good cross flow in an enclosed machine might help move some chips away (though still likely not “out”). Someone this winter mentioned it could even be a pulse from a solenoid – you don’t need a steady stream of air….no compressor would keep up with that. It’s on “the list”. One day maybe.

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    Eric H

    If you are already building an enclosure, you might get away with just the air blast. The majority of chips may go in the direction of air flow, but as soon as you start cutting pockets and slots, you are going to be redirecting the flow direction and spraying them everywhere. If you have an enclosure though this is no big deal, really easy to come by with a vacuum after the job and clean up (way better than trying to follow the cut and keep it clean).

    As a side note: I have been using a heavy-duty aquarium/hydroponics air pump for an air blast (1.6CFM), and it has worked great so far with wood, acrylic, delrin, brass, and even aluminum with some cutting oil. The air pressure is quite a bit lower than you would get with a compressor, but we aren’t generating the big, heavy chips you’d get with a mill so I don’t think it is necessary. The big advantages are that it is basically silent (compared to the router), costs ~$30, and is designed to run continuously for years, so a 4 hour job is nothing.


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    David Walling

    I have an enclosure. You still want the dust shoe.

    The fine dust that the air would blow around never really goes where you want it to. The dust port on a shop vac would only suck up the dust that floated near it. If you have a higher flow dust collector, then you’d get better results as they pull move air volume through than shop vacs do.

    The dust shoe can leave quite a bit of dust behind, but it’s always the larger pieces that don’t go floating around the enclosure. It takes me just a few seconds to run the shop vac over the piece after I’m through cutting to pick up the rest of the dust left behind.

    A small air-assist with the dust shoe would be the best combination.

    If cut size is important to you, just increase your x/y lengths by 2 inches to accommodate the hose. I used a piece of 1.5″ PVC for my dust shoe with an adapter on top for the shop vac hose. I custom printed mounts for the spindle to hold the PVC pipe. I offset the PVC pipe and I only lost about an 1″ in x direction and none in the y direction.

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