Dust Collection Question

Hey everyone,

I’m planning on enclosing my 1000mm xcarve, to cut down on noise, dust, etc. I currently have a dust deputy and shop vac, but as a shop vac isn’t 100% duty cycle (and LOUD), I’ve been thinking of an alternative, and want to get your thoughts on it.

As the xcarve will be enclosed, spindle noise isn’t a concern, but dust buildup on long cuts is.

So my thinking was getting some sort of bathroom exhaust fan (probably around 100cfm) ~$35, and putting that on top of the dust deputy and having it pull from the enclosure with some sort of spread out suction over the width. Now, I know this alone won’t be enough, but what are your thoughts of putting the exhaust from the fan (blowing) back into the enclosure, and “pushing” the dust from the otherside?

Now with a shop vac, I wouldn’t do this, as overtime, the vac heats up quite significantly, and starts blowing hotter and hotter air out. But with an exhaust fan, I’m not sure if I’d run into that same issue. Anyone have any experience with this sort of setup, or even just using a bathroom exhaust fan as a vac?

If you have a dust boot for the X-Carve and run your vac every time you use it, you shouldn’t have much of a dust problem at all. I have a Suckit Dust Boot hooked up to a Delta dust collector and have almost no dust after any of my carves. If I hook to my shop vac, not much of a change.

If noise is your primary concern, I’d build a sound deadening enclosure for the shop vac and reduce the amount of noise that produces. The X-Carve with the DeWalt 611 is quiet compered to the shop vac.

The bathroom fan is not going to produce the CFM your going to want plus, I wouldn’t try to push air (and potentially dust) past the 611. You want to keep the air intake at the top of the spindle clean and clear of dust. The spindle in an enclosure that has dust moving about will just be sucked into the spindle which will lead to other problems.

Just my 2 cents…

An exhaust fan will not move nearly enough air to make any difference when cutting material. Over the long term you will be much happier if you go ahead and purchase a dust collector. You can purchase the Harbor Freight 2HP unit for well under $200 (with coupon). It can run for 24 hours straight without getting warm. Plus the sound level is much much less than a shop vac. Normally HF equipment is not the greatest but I have had this DC for about 3 years and it has never had any problems, the online review seem to confirm that most people really like it.



A dust collector like the Harbor Freight unit is definitely one of the best ways to go. If you don’t have that kind of space, check out either a Fein or Festool vacuum. They fit the ShopVac form factor, but are designed for long duty cycles. They are on the pricey side, though.

Building a full enclosure for your X-Carve isn’t a waste of time, though. I have my X-Carve in a spare (otherwise unused) bedroom in the house, and it’s surprising the amount of dust that still builds up around that room from using the X-Carve, even though I have the Inventables dust collection setup. I’d recommend keeping the suction localized to the machining area (near the spindle/bit), though - if you try to vent the whole enclosure, you’re not actually going to clear out that much of the cut material.

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I have the same one, and agree it works very well, and is much quieter than my shop vac. The only thing i suggest is changing the filter bag. 5 microns is actually pretty big. I changed to 1 micron bag, and the amount of dust escaping and returning to the shop went down dramatically. It was only $35 ordered through the big orange box store.

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Good point, the 1 micron bag is much better. I found mine on Amazon for $30


I also have the same harbor freight dust collector with the 1 micron bag. It is one of the best purchases for my workshop, I generally have no cleanup after carving on the X-Carve with the dust collector running.