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Best Vacuum for CNC

Posted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 4:40 pm
by for_the_birds
I'm looking to build a cart on casters with my shapeoko, its vacuum ,and all the electronics on it. The idea would be to make the setup a single quiet, clean, contained, and somewhat movable unit.

What is the smallest vacuum I could get away with?

Right now the plan is to run a flex hose right next to the spindle into dust shoe, but I might also pipe out the vacuum for work holding and hand cleaning. I'd use blast gates to turn the suction off and on.

Let's talk shop vac. What size? What HP? What works? What doesn't?

Re: Best Vacuum for CNC

Posted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 4:59 pm
by WillAdams
I don't think one needs much vacuum at all --- I use an old household vacuum which has a slider to adjust its power settings and for most jobs I can run it at way less than half power, maybe even as little as a quarter and still get pretty much all the dust w/ my dust shoe.

The one I was considering to replace it was the Home Depot bucket-top vacuum:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Bucket-Head- ... /202017218

I was thinking that I could then easily have multiple buckets for multiple materials and maybe manage to recycle the stuff (make machinable wax out of HDPE...)

Re: Best Vacuum for CNC

Posted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 5:06 pm
by LouisV
This is just my two cents so take it with a grain of salt, but assuming you're using the stock Shapeoko 2 I'd imagine a little cheap shop vac rated at 2.5 peak HP with a 1.5 inch diameter hose would work decently enough depending on what material you're cutting.

Re: Best Vacuum for CNC

Posted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 5:14 pm
by for_the_birds
WillAdams wrote: I was thinking that I could then easily have multiple buckets for multiple materials and maybe manage to recycle the stuff (make machinable wax out of HDPE...)
This is a cool idea. Wood shavings/ dust is a great absorbent for spills, aluminum can be recycled, etc.

I thought about using my household vac, but I'd like to put it in something to contain the sound, which would be difficult for my upright.

Re: Best Vacuum for CNC

Posted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 5:18 pm
by tjshape
I probably went overkill, but I wanted a very quiet vacuum that could run for hours without worries. I chose the Fein Turbo II, which works wonderfully. A little pricey though - paid $260 for it. It's rated at 66dBs, which is about the level of a normal conversation. I have it and the Shapeoko in a mobile cart I built where the Shapeoko itself is enclosed for safety/sound purposes. I could have also enclosed the vac to reduce the sound, but for reasons I cannot remember, chose not to for now.

Re: Best Vacuum for CNC

Posted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 5:30 pm
by for_the_birds
tjshape wrote:I probably went overkill, but I wanted a very quiet vacuum that could run for hours without worries. I chose the Fein Turbo II, which works wonderfully. A little pricey though - paid $260
Looks like those are up to $400 around me, but man do they look good, especially at 66db. WillAdams suggested a vacuum <$30. Im willing to spend more than that, but since it is going to be dedicated to the CNC, $400 is a lot. But 66db...

Re: Best Vacuum for CNC

Posted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 5:37 pm
by tjshape
for_the_birds wrote: Looks like those are up to $400 around me, but man do they look good, especially at 66db. WillAdams suggested a vacuum <$30. Im willing to spend more than that, but since it is going to be dedicated to the CNC, $400 is a lot. But 66db...
My apologies, it's the Fein Turbo I, not the Turbo II. You should be able to find the Turbo I easily for $300 or less. The 66dBs is great, I love not having to wear ear protection - espeically while running a long job.

Re: Best Vacuum for CNC

Posted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 6:31 pm
by JayTeague
Myself I am re-using my shop dust collector (a Harbor Freight Special at $150)... Needed some hose reducers, but it certainly gets the job done, and is relatively quiet - or at least quieter than the shop vac :)

Re: Best Vacuum for CNC

Posted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 6:51 pm
by twforeman
I bought a Craftsman shop vac on sale for $99. Much quieter than the last shop vac I bought, but still loud.

I do have a real dust collection system for my woodworking tools that I could plumb it into, but it's on the other side of the shop, and it's still pretty loud when it's running.

Re: Best Vacuum for CNC

Posted: Fri Dec 05, 2014 7:32 pm
by for_the_birds
twforeman wrote:I bought a Craftsman shop vac
Do you remember the model or HP?