CNC Dust Shoe Replacement

A while back I bought a new dust shoe for the CNC machine. I used it very little, and put it under the cart to try at a later time.

Well tonight was that trial. I switched out the boot on the machine with this new one, a design that directs the vacuum more towards the bit. I flattened a live edge slab, with 2 epoxy rivers. I have never had less clean up from the CNC before. Flattening slabs with my 2 inch bit and the existing dust shoe has always thrown debris everywhere, and caused a lengthy clean up time. Tonight I could barely tell I was using the machine. It took less than 2 mins to clean the machine afterwards, and the dust collection bin had all of my debris in it.

It does have a metal frame and uses a hex screw to clamp around the spindle. The frame splits in 2 with some spring clamps to allow easy bit change. Even my 2 in bit got nowhere near the frame, and the bristles help up great to the drag against my material.

I left it on the machine, and left the existing one on the side of the cabinet. I’m not sure if others will agree, but I think its an improvement.

@zackg I did zip tie the new air assist up higher on the z axis, so I could try this out. I’d be really curious if it cleared out aluminum chips better, but if memory serves me, you don;t use the dust collection while cutting. It didn’t seem like the air solenoid was permanently mounted, i hope you don’t mind me moving it.

Tagging @JoeN and @dannym, let me know what y’all think.


Yeah, I’m concerned the metal chips might damage the vac system. So I figure better to be safe then sorry.

One thing to consider when placing the air valve, due to the wet shop air it produces a moderate amount of water, at the valve body and on the nozzle arm. We need to make sure the water doesn’t get into the spindle.

I did leave the location flexible, so I’m glad you were able to make use of it. I figure there’s multiple needs, so we need to find a placement that works well.

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Very cool!

I can see where it’s a better profile for the bristles than what we’ve been using.

Steel dust shoes concern me a lot though. Reason being, if a steel shoe falls, then it’s quite plausible the carbide bit will strike it which can throw really hot sparks and cause a dust collector fire in seconds. I would say steel dust shoes just should not be used for safety reasons. I looked it over the other night, my feel of it was the attachment system didn’t seem reliable for its weight. That head can do some way aggressive motion at times and coming off seems like a very real concern.

I’m looking at similar ones maybe like this on Amazon

This one appears to be plastic. Non-sparking, lighter, and looks like better flow dynamics than the steel one. The front does come off to give access to the spindle taper.

I agree with the concerns about a steel shoe. I will say, i was running it last night at 300 inches/sec and the bristles had a decent about of drag on them. The shoe seemed very secure, and never came loose.

I like that plastic design, and it seems like the best of both worlds. I can purchase it if we’re in agreement on it.

I did measure the spindle- it calipered at 72.5mm, so I don’t quite know if the 70mm or 75mm option is best. Odd, that should be a common spindle size there.

Ah, had another thought.

The Z-axis can drop while unpowered, which is why we never leave the shoe on the head when we’re done. The front part of the bristles is designed to be easily removed, but another part with bristles stays with the head. Adding this to machine setup/closing procedure would require a hex wrench, keeping track of the loose bolt and nut, and also detaching the 4" dust port. That seems problematic for the broad user base here to install/remove every time and not lose parts. But we might come up with a stand or something? There are shaft brakes but they’re primarily designed for double-shafted stepper motors which we don’t use

FWIW, I did notice the spindle come down on the shoe, and the bristles seemed to hold it up well. For $30, and the huge savings on time, I’d be willing to provide one multiple times a year if it even wears out that fast.

I think the boot coming off should not be a big deal. The operator should be near the cnc router as it is running. I have spare bristles if we need to replace. I’m using a plastic version of the metal one and like it very much

Yeah. I got to look at it yesterday and it looks great. My only question is how do I take it off for when I want to go shoeless?

From the amazon listing, it looks like unscrewing the hex bolt will let you take the boot off, is that right? I use clamps on my jigs and the other boot interferes enough that I cannot use it. I’m guessing I’ll need to be able to remove this one as well.

One hex screw releases it from the spindle, same as the original shoe.

The metal dust shoe has more clearance when removed vs the current acrylic plate. The clearance issue only came into play when I was flycutting the table. The disconnected hose when the metal dust shoe is removed might be a problem

It was easy to take the metal shoe off. I put the old one on just to give the hose somewhere to go. Lets keep the hex wrenches in the plastic collet bin so there are always tools available to switch them out quickly.

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