again about the dust shoe


First of all I absolutely need a solution about the dust that the machine makes, because for a moment she will stay in my living room and I spend my days vacuuming :lol:

and as I walked the forum looking for a solution I also read the advice of Ryan stating that it is absolutely necessary to avoid fixing anything on the moving part of the Z axis and therefore on the spindle.

I wonder if it is more the weight of the shoe which is the problem or rather that of the pipe and even more the force that it can add by its length?

It is my understanding that connecting anything to the z-axis may cause some torquing of the mill end causing a slight distortion of the cut. For example a vacuum hoses weight and drag may cause the top of the z-axis to move 1 mm at the top but that movement is going to be multiplied by the length difference between the top of the z-axis down to the x/y tubes and the mill end up to the x\y tubes. so if the top half is 5 cm above the x/y tubes (pivot point) and the bottom is 10 cm below the pivot point you will have 1mm of drag above translating to 2mm at the mill end.

Some people have minimized this by having a separate frame to suspend the vac hose from but there is still a chance of distortion due to the hose just not being as flexible as the cords and wires. I am in the process of setting up a frame to suspend the power cord and wires just for a neatness point of view.

I tend to intermittently manually vac off the saw dust during a cut because YOU SHOULD NEVER LEAVE YOUR CNC UNATTENDED!!! (sorry, but I have seen too many posts on other cnc sites where something happened and started a fire)

My neighbor thinks I should build an enclosure to help contain the saw dust with vacuum pickup built along the back edge with a fan/blower set up on the front to blow everything to the back, but, I prefer a clearer view of the router and work piece.

Thanks, Jim

Something like the SuckIT is what we need. It would be best to attach to the gantry independent of the Z axis all together. There is one on thingiverse somewhere that looked promising. At the same time, your vac needs to be up to par as well, my old one spit the fine dust out much worse than the CNC itself. Now with a new vac I can see why everyone is so interested in a dust boot.

I am about to move but that was the project I was working on before I started packing and what I hope to continue on here soon after the dust settles.

I hope to continue on here soon after the dust settles.


Was that pun intended?! :slight_smile:


At the same time, your vac needs to be up to par as well, my old one spit the fine dust out much worse than the CNC itself. Now with a new vac I can see why everyone is so interested in a dust boot.
I had that issue with my little 1.5 gallon vac I tried first. Thought it was sucking up all the stuff, then realized it was shooting it all out. Forgot I had a spare shop vac hidden away in my garage that I was able to put a nice hepa filter in. That works much better.

Another thing that may help in the basement, is making an air filter out of a box fan. I think there are some thingiverse that let you clamp an air filter directly to a box fan, and other people build wooden frames to old them next to the fan. One of the wood working channels on YouTube did some tests with them compared to an actual dust filter, and the box fan actually moved more air.

It would be best to attach to the gantry independent of the Z axis all together.
Wouldn't it need to move up and down with the spindle though?

Not usually as your work surface stays constant, just your cuts go deeper. If you carve and remove a lot of material sturdy bristles can act as a flexible air dam.

The Suckit is stationary on the tool holder - you do have to adjust it up and down depending on the thickness of your material before you start.

I just found that due to a recent remix that popped up. Is that along the lines of what you are thinking?

Yes, just do not do the hose support on top. Connect it at the shoe, and the gantry only (XYZ piece).

And just to make sure I’m clear, then the best option would be to have SOME sort of solution to suspend the vacuum hose over the machine with ample slack for movement to all extents?

That’s how I do it.

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OK - Here’s what I think would make a potentially good solution. A remix of a couple of different set-ups on Thingiverse. My Fusion360 skills are meager, so chances are I’m not yet up to this challenge so I’ll share it here if anyone wants to take it on. It would take a lot less time to remix parts then to start from scratch.

I’m partial to the dust shoe on the Suck-It system. So, here’s a Thingiverse link that has the same shoe and connection system, but it’s designed for a Shapeoko.


Now, of course the pieces that attach to the part shown above that is blue with the magents - it won’t easily work for a MPCNC - it requires aluminum channel attached to the gantry. However, the distance between the ends of the blue pieces are very, very close to the distance between the two lower smooth rod clamps from this design:

I like the idea of the smooth rods over the plastic pieces in a channel as on the Suck-it, as the plastic sometimes wants to bind a little on one side or the other as you are adusting the shoe horizontally.

Someone would just have to create an adaptor that attached to the shoe, that would let hook to the smooth rods attached to the gantry. You’d then have a shoe that is not supported by the router/tool holder/vertically moving parts, is stationary vertically - allowing the cutting head to go up and down with no force being put on it by the brushes, is adustable to the height of your materialand which has magnetically attached shoe for easy changing of bits.

Am I missing anything here?

Anything new on this development?


Not on my end. I don’t have the Fusion360 chops yet. I was hoping for a volunteer who thought it was a worthwhile project.

a) A possible solution:

This can be height adjusted, is fixed to the gantry and should not stress the Z axis in any way. But, if you are using a Makita or any other spindle which blows its cooling air downwards, it might not be that efficient. The downward cooling air problem could possibly be addressed with a remix of something like this:

b) For a very small dust shoe footprint, what about this:

If you support the hose from the top somehow (?), so that it is hanging freely above the mill, could that perhaps be a solution, at least for cutting wood? I understand that it will perhaps put a little bit of stress to the Z axis…

My build is rather small (360mm x 270mm work area) and a big dust shoe is not a great solution in this case.