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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Like the title says, I am interested to find out what dust collectors have worked well for a small-ish CNC router, and possibly what solutions to avoid? (I am about to finalize the purchase of a ShopSabre 23 w/ spindle.)

Bottom line is I don't know how big is big enough. I want something that will pick up close to 100% of the chips, but I don't want to get carried away and buy something way bigger than I need.

I talked to Oneida. They recommend their V-3000 model. It is also quite a bit bigger and more expensive than what I had imagined getting. But it is 2 stage, which seems like a good idea.

I know there are a lot of smaller/ cheaper alternatives. Where is the point of diminishing returns as dust collectors get bigger? Curious what people are using, what works and what hasn't worked.
 

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I would also speak to the people at ClearVue. From a cost viewpoint, remember depending on what type of system, stationary and piped or mobile and using a single hose or 2, cost can go up quickly on additional materials to use it for your needs. Efficiency and performance will make a $$ difference as will the filtering ability. What is the unit rated in micron size collection possibilities. The lower the number the better, 7 micron versus 1 micron or even smaller. And capacity will make a difference. I don't have a CNC but I can imagine it makes a ton of sawdust/chips so having something that doesn't need emptying multiple times during a project might figure in as well.
 

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David - Machinist in wood
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I have the HF 2HP unit with Wynn filter and it picks up all of the chips and dust on most cuts, leaves a little if the filter isn't clean. This photo is obviously before the Wynn filter but this is my setup and it works good enough for my needs.
398077

David
 

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Whether or not all the chips get cut depends more on how you are cutting then your dust collection.
Cut fast and deep, and chips will pack in the cut so tight that no amount of dust collection will pull them out.
We have a 10HP monster with a 10" hose completely enclosing the spindle. It'll suck the shirt off your back, but won't get the chips that are packed into the cut.

Having said that, the minimum you want would be about 1-1/2 to 2HP, at least 1000-1200CFM.
I also have a 2HP Harbor Freight, and it works far better than a smaller 600CFM collector I have.

The key to getting all the loose dust and chips is a shoe with a brush that reaches down to the table. Chips can fly off the bit at very high speeds, and you can see a roostertail of chips flying 5 ft or more. The brush contains the chips so the collector can suck them up.
 

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Mike
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Whatever you decide to use as your dust collector remember hard ductwork is better than spiral ducting. You get less draw when using spiral ducting and it will also buildup static charge that could cause electrical issues. Be sure to ground the ductwork to help bleed off that static buildup.
 

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I started out with a shiny new Jet that worked great but after a few years I turned it into this. The suction is the same but now I can just pull the garbage can out and empty it. Much easier than messing with the bags. The Super Dust Deputy is amazing, I never have to empty the plastic bag. I just use the cheap green 4" pvc for plumbing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Whatever you decide to use as your dust collector remember hard ductwork is better than spiral ducting. You get less draw when using spiral ducting and it will also buildup static charge that could cause electrical issues. Be sure to ground the ductwork to help bleed off that static buildup.
Flex pipe is almost never the answer!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I would also speak to the people at ClearVue. From a cost viewpoint, remember depending on what type of system, stationary and piped or mobile and using a single hose or 2, cost can go up quickly on additional materials to use it for your needs. Efficiency and performance will make a $$ difference as will the filtering ability. What is the unit rated in micron size collection possibilities. The lower the number the better, 7 micron versus 1 micron or even smaller. And capacity will make a difference. I don't have a CNC but I can imagine it makes a ton of sawdust/chips so having something that doesn't need emptying multiple times during a project might figure in as well.
Thanks. I just found the Bill Pentz website about dust collection. And I figured out that while my search didn't come up with many dust collection threads under "CNC router", there is a bunch of stuff in the main forum....Doh!

Does anyone know if Oneida stacks up against ClearVue? I am seeing that the website was (Dust Collection Research - Home) was created in 2000, so I'm wondering to what extent the industry has caught up with the indoor air quality issue?

I am debating between putting the unit inside vs outside. I have a 3 season parch where it could go. But I live in Minnesota, so I'm wondering if sub-zero temperatures will be a problem. I inquired with ClearVue and am awaiting their response.

I could also make room inside the shop. But after the research I have done so far, I am concerned about the fine dust issue. I will be cutting and trimming carbon fiber parts, and I know I don't want to be breathing that!
 

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the cnc won't care what dust collector is supporting it, at it's 4"/390 cfm port. the critical point for dust collection, is as Ger21 mentioned, is at the dust shoe/cutter area. lesson quickly learned that if your bit extends below the dust shoe bristles, the dust collector WILL NOT be able to suck up those chips flying sideways. so, the cutter end must be above the bristles to give the dc a chance. with carbon, you may even want to experiment with different dust shoes/bristles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
the cnc won't care what dust collector is supporting it, at it's 4"/390 cfm port. the critical point for dust collection, is as Ger21 mentioned, is at the dust shoe/cutter area. lesson quickly learned that if your bit extends below the dust shoe bristles, the dust collector WILL NOT be able to suck up those chips flying sideways. so, the cutter end must be above the bristles to give the dc a chance. with carbon, you may even want to experiment with different dust shoes/bristles.
Just so I'm clear in my thinking, you're drawing a distinction between collecting the dust and the filtering/ separating that dust, right? I was carelessly combining both aspects into the same question.

I hadn't thought about the max air flow through a given port opening. I didn't know the theoretical limit, but it totally make sense.

I am planning on purchasing the upgraded dust boot from ShopSabre. Their design has a circular brush that surrounds the spindle, with an air channel leading over to the 4" port.


When I mentioned trimming carbon fiber, I was thinking about doing it by hand. Because that's what I've been doing up until now. But your comment reminded me that the CNC router is totally capable of trimming the parts! I would just have to create a vacuum fixture to hold the part, which is easy to do when I have my own CNC router....

To the question of indoor air quality, and with the thought of trimming carbon fiber parts, I am now thinking about building an enclosure around the router. The ShopSabre 23 is small enough that this shouldn't be too hard to do. I'm thinking polycarbonate sheets with piano hinges for doors.

The theory is that if I can create even a small amount of negative pressure inside this enclosure, the air being drawn in will prevent dust from escaping. I would still use the dust skirt to collect the big stuff. I would add a second hose to the enclosure, probably 6" diameter to get more air flow.

But for this plan to work, I need a big dust collector. I'm considering the Bill Pentz recommendation of a cyclone with a 5hp motor.
 

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Like the title says, I am interested to find out what dust collectors have worked well for a small-ish CNC router, and possibly what solutions to avoid? (I am about to finalize the purchase of a ShopSabre 23 w/ spindle.)

Bottom line is I don't know how big is big enough. I want something that will pick up close to 100% of the chips, but I don't want to get carried away and buy something way bigger than I need.

I talked to Oneida. They recommend their V-3000 model. It is also quite a bit bigger and more expensive than what I had imagined getting. But it is 2 stage, which seems like a good idea.

I know there are a lot of smaller/ cheaper alternatives. Where is the point of diminishing returns as dust collectors get bigger? Curious what people are using, what works and what hasn't worked.
I tried several dust collection methods and then figured out there is no such thing as 90% to 100% collection of chips from a CNC 25x25 table. My solution after 120 projects this last year has 100% dust collection so no dust is entering the shop it all stays inside the enclosure. Here is what I came up with to fix the dust issue with CNC.
CNC Shark HD Blue Foam Noise and Dust Box - YouTube
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I tried several dust collection methods and then figured out there is no such thing as 90% to 100% collection of chips from a CNC 25x25 table. My solution after 120 projects this last year has 100% dust collection so no dust is entering the shop it all stays inside the enclosure. Here is what I came up with to fix the dust issue with CNC.
CNC Shark HD Blue Foam Noise and Dust Box - YouTube
Thanks! It's good to see other people thinking the same way.

My version will be a big more complex/ permenant, which is possible since I have the luxury of not having to compete with a car for floor space.

The ShopSabre 23 is quite substantial for the small bed size--it weighs 850# without a stand! So the plan is to build a heavy stand (on leveler feet) that doubles as a storage rack. And then create an overhead storage rack.

With that in place, all I will need to do is create sides. I'll probably use acrylic, just because scratches in acrylic can be buffed out pretty easy.

I will be enclosing a larger space, more like 4'x5'x3'. I'll do a video of it for sure, and probably have a thread of the progress as I go.
 

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Just so I'm clear in my thinking, you're drawing a distinction between collecting the dust and the filtering/ separating that dust, right? I was carelessly combining both aspects into the same question.
not really. i was trying to say that with a dust shoe, the bristles need to be longer/lower than the bit, so that the cutting action is housed inside the dust shoe - giving the dust collector a chance to catch the chips. then it does a relatively good job.

on the rare occasion i need to install a cutting bit which is longer than the dust shoe bristles, i get chips everywhere!
 

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Thanks! It's good to see other people thinking the same way.

My version will be a big more complex/ permenant, which is possible since I have the luxury of not having to compete with a car for floor space.

The ShopSabre 23 is quite substantial for the small bed size--it weighs 850# without a stand! So the plan is to build a heavy stand (on leveler feet) that doubles as a storage rack. And then create an overhead storage rack.

With that in place, all I will need to do is create sides. I'll probably use acrylic, just because scratches in acrylic can be buffed out pretty easy.

I will be enclosing a larger space, more like 4'x5'x3'. I'll do a video of it for sure, and probably have a thread of the progress as I go.
I made my enclosure light so I can easily move it out of the way for setup and cleanup and lube. Sometimes in the middle of a CNC operation I will find a part inside the middle shifting as the other parts are milled. So it's very coinvent to pause the process and pop the top and add a few support screws or blocks to it. After I have cut it a couple of times I know where this stuff happens and add the screws and blocks to it so I won't have to pause in the process. The dust enclosure is one of the best things I have added to the shop as far as clean air goes!

Just got a 3dprinter 2 weeks ago and have made some 30 projects with it. Some were CNC hold down clamps. It's hard to beat a screw with a washer. Lot's to learn but CNC with bits, plastic and lasers is fun stuff. Still use my router for quick and easy work often.
 

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I started out with a shiny new Jet that worked great but after a few years I turned it into this. The suction is the same but now I can just pull the garbage can out and empty it. Much easier than messing with the bags. The Super Dust Deputy is amazing, I never have to empty the plastic bag. I just use the cheap green 4" pvc for plumbing.
This is a really smart upgrade! I have the same dust collector, and after seeing this I want to do a similar conversion. I don't know how to weld, but I know a few people who do. Do you think an experienced welder would be able to figure out how to do this just from your image?
 

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