To shoe or not to shoe .. that is the question

I’ve tried a couple dust shoes on my xcarve:


  1. Can’t see what you’re carving/etching as it’s done
  2. Heavy-puts extra stress on machine (really hard to get a perfectly perpendicular Z axis)


  1. Reduces (substantially) the dust.
  2. Dust and debris is reduced
  3. Cleaner work environment
  4. Did I mention the Dust??

I guess I am just not as confident in my work yet to not want to stare at my work as it’s created. I have built a semi-enclosure to “catch” some of the dust/debris but definitely no where near what a good shoe would do.

Any thoughts on this? I’ve had my shoe for about 18 months and used it maybe twice. The hose is too heavy too so it messes with the z-axis too much.

What do you guys use (if you use one)?


Personally, I’m not a fan of the shoe. I don’t want the extra weight and the problems it creates. I have many other tools in the shop creating just as much dust as the Xcarve and more. I use a central vacuum on most my tools I also have two shop vacuums that I use to clean. The air is filtered with a shop made filtering system with a old furnace blower. Works great to filter the air


I support the hose above the machine. Right now I use a bungie attached to the ceiling. I plan on building some type of arm to support hose.

I shoe on a 500mm build. Stock inventables offering

Haven’t noticed machine stress from it, but since it’s so compact it’s a little more rigid.
Also my hose is short since it attaches to enclosure so weight is minimal.

I’d like to pick up another shoe with longer bristles/brush to clear clamps. Be nice to swap between them.

I like keeping it clean and the enclosure ensures any mess stays contained.

I too support the hose from the ceiling, so there is very little extra weight, apart from the dust shoe, it works great

The typical 2.5" or 4" hose most folks use here is way too heavy. I bought and use 4" dryer vent hose; that silvery foil type hose that’s super light-weight. It works great and doesn’t add weight to my dust shoe.

Not enough for some, and barely at all with insufficient suction.

I used to shoe. Now my machines are in their own acrylic boxes. Makes clean up a snap and I can see everything. I have a ceiling mounted air cleaner though. I need to remember to use it.

That’s a must in my shop. Cleans the air very quickly

It’s either 1100 cfm or it’s not. If it’s less than that’s not what he’s talking about. My hose has a little extra slack but I see it lift and straighten out when I turn on the dust collector.