CNC Vacume

So the first thing I discovered is Yes, you absolutely do need a vacume. So I ran down to Harbor Freight and bought a cheap dust collecter and then I attached it. I found that the dust collector does not have enough suction. So I tried my shop vac and it worked. I didn't want to commit my shop vacume so I looked online and found that Shop Vac makes a unit that sits on a 5-gallon bucket. The motor is the same as my big shop vac. It has a paper and filter system that looks even better than what is on my shop vac. You can find it for about $40 on Amazon by searching for "Wet / Dry Vacuum Head Power Lid Kit".

I also found a partical separator that mounts on a 5-gallon bucket. This was also on Amazon under the name of "Woodstock W2049 Mini 2-Stage Cyclone Separator" or "Big Horn 11142 Cyclone Separator, 5 Gallon" for about $18. This traps all of the larger wood pieces in one bucket and leaves the finer sawdust for the other. I'm not sure if it buys me much as the real issue is the smaller particles clogging up the main vacume filter. But I guess if I carved a lot then it would pay off.

So here are some pictures showing how I snaked the host along the outside of my wire trough. This seems to work good but it is a little bulky.

I then made a dust collector out of 1/4" plastic. This took a number of attempts until I got it good enough to work. There is a top flat piece that bolts to the bottom of the Z-Axis. It has a hole for the router bit and one for the vacume hose. It also has four small round magnets glued to the top of it. The bottom piece also has four magnets so it can be easily removed for replacing and homing bits. It has a chamber and a brush attached that surrounds the carving bit.

I am going to do a little more redesign on this. Once I do that I will get new detailed pictures. The current one works well but I have the following issues:

  • I have to have a lot of clearance around the cutter. This is an issue in getting my clamps setup. If the vacume housing hits a clamp while running it can really mess things up.  
  • The brish is about 3/4" thick. This makes it difficult to carve deeper than that unless I play with extending the bit down past the brush.