Vacuum Solution

Just had an idea that maybe yall might have some insight on. Would it be possible to have an enclosure around the cnc with a port that evacuates all the chips rather than use a dust shoe. Would solve noise and dust issues, not sure the dynamics around the necessary air flow for such a thing the size of the 30x30 machine. Thoughts?

Chaosweaver, my thinking on this is you would have to have a very large dust collection system to get the vacuum needed. You might get the finer particles but the larger chips are not likely to be removed.

I would have to agree with MikeH.

Perhaps drawing the air (and chips) down through the table would make sense? There would need to be a series of holes that totaled, would equal close to diameter of the hose attached to extraction device.
It’s what I do for my laser engraver, to vent the smoke and fumes. It works very well for that.


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@Chaosweaver IMHO, this is a non-starter. With any woodworking machine, the design of dust/chip extraction calls for the inlet to be as close to the tool as possible and have lots of air volume. A dust shoe on our CNC routers does that. Complicating things even further is that you are trying to capture chips created over a large area. Even if you found a way to have the inlet in the very centre of the table, you would be trying to extract chips created, at its max, 15" in X and Y from the inlet. Add the Z distance to that, and things get even worse.

You can easily see if/how this would work. Put a pile of chips at the X0Y0 location of your table. Turn on your dust collector/shop vac. Hold the inlet at a height so that it is above where the router would pass under it. See if it picks up any of the chips. I don’t believe that it will, but I am very open to being proven wrong. :grinning:

The idea of a downdraft is done with sanding tables all the time and it works very well. However, in this scenario, you are not trying to extract fine dust created with sandpaper or smoke from the laser. You are trying to extract chips. Even if you cut dozens of fair sized holes in your spoil board and table - which would of course make holding the material down difficult and likely introduce flex in your table - you would be covering some/many of them up with the project material.

If I may ask, what problem are you trying to solve? Have you had bad experiences with dust shoes?

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I have mixed feelings with the Sienci dust shoe, it clogs easily, has a pretty large footprint and also doesn’t accept some of my surfacing and large 150 degree vbits (so carving out the plexiglass was the fix). Im always looking to improve stuff in the shop.


@Chaosweaver Do you have the Mk1 or Mk2? I made a shoe and brackets for the Mk1 that gave me better collection and less loss of X travel. Mine does have a large footprint, but it is mostly in front of the machine.

I can’t imagine that you would ever be able to get the required air velocity to keep chips moving toward the port…

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I have a large dust collection system and the dust shoe on my MK2 works great. The system would pull dust from an enclosure but not even come close to pulling chips from an enclosure.

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What would happen if you made the machine vertical instead of horizontally the chips would then fall to the bottom of the mc and could be sucked away It is what I have been thinking of doing as my shop is the size of a one-car garage and already to little space

If you can set up your CNC and have it work well I don’t know why it would not work.

Definitely going to try it,

this is the space I have

My Longmill build so far

Going to use the small cabinets as extra hands

The only thing I can think of is that the y-axis in the upward movement is slower due to the weight of the support arm with the router.

@GeorgeV You can search on this forum and on the Sienci Youtube page and read about LM users who have done this. Some have added springs, some have added counterweights. Pretty much all of them have set $1=255 so that the motors stayed energized all the time to prevent the X gantry from slowly falling.


I now believe that almost anything is possible. :grin:

Thank you I will definitely set the $1= 255 in the firmware

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@Neville You’re welcome. Be sure to keep on eye on the motor temperature. They will run warmer since you are keeping them powered up all the time.

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It has been done and works. I’ve seen YTs with vertical mounted Longmills. They claimed they could detect no change in accuracy. {Don’t have any links to share though}

I made one from 2020 extrusions and plexiglass.
It worked great but I still hate the noise from the vacuum.
I more or less sealed it against the table surface and
added a 3" diameter hole at the top so the air flow allowed
free movement of the chips and dust.

@Chasosweaver I have a MK 1, used the Sienci dust shoe for a while, hate the bracket, bought a $19 shoe off Amazon that mounts on the router housing and have been using it ever since. Shoe

It’s not perfect but does the job and since the diameter is small suction is great. It has a magnetic mounted brush which works great for tool changes and i did remove some internal rings which allowed for a l;ittle more vertical adjustment. I have the hose hook up in the front on mine.

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