Grounding advice

I have agree to carve SEVERAL gears out of styrofoam for a friend. He is working on props for a school play. He has supplied me with several sheets of high-density, pink styrofoam.

I am having trouble with all of the static electricity that is generated as I cut.

  1. The foam “sawdust” sticks to my X-Carve and fouls the belts and wheels.
  2. If I touch my machine while it is carving, I get a shock and my project stops.

I have never had this problem before working with wood. I am fairly certain it is a direct effect of carving the styrofoam.

Any suggestions?

Ground everything in a “star” topology to a common ground.

Use dust collection, and use a hose which

  • doesn’t touch the machine save at the connection point
  • is electrically grounded to the vacuum

Can you elaborate on all of those points?

I understand the words but not the concepts…I think.

There’s a bit more about this, and some links at: Shapeoko CNC Router, Rigid, Accurate, Reliable, and Affordable