Upgrade weekend - diffuser, t-track and dust hose management

My main concern would be all that extra weight and how it would impact the carve. Have you done any test carves to see how it performs with the new setup?

Hi Stuart, there is a small increase in weight to the z-axis though it’s minimal (the Openbuilds linear actuator is a heafty beast). The remainder of the weight is distributed to each side of the x-axis and down into the Y. The sideboards are bolted to the y-axis rails and then to the base frame of the machine, so the weight transfers directly downward. Again the additional weight is minimal, it’s a few pieces of PVC pipe, a small length of hose and a couple of HDPE bracket pieces. I have weighed a 0.5m length of the pipe, a 1m length of the guttering and an offcut of the HDPE and aluminium composite (all used in the x-axis component) and it comes to 626 grams. I haven’t weighed the hose but now you’ve got me thinking…?!

The calibration was always good and hasn’t been affected so far. All of the cuts I’ve done since have been fine. I may write up a build spec of all the parts I used in case anyone else wants to try it. I had the hose already so the build cost me just under £12.00 (or under $15 in american money). That excludes the spray painting of parts which is purely cosmetic. In time I’m guessing I spent about 6 hours making, painting and building once I’d figured out the design.

I recently changed all the belts to 2.5 and pulleys to 2.5/20t so I’m not sure if the performance would be the same had I stuck with the original belt/pulley setup, but that’s guessing. I’m no expert on belts and pulleys.

I tried dust collection, made a shoe etc… but found it such a pain to setup, I opted for guarding the V rails as best I can and vacuum up after each job. With your solution I think it would be much easier. How is it for bit changing and visibility?

Bit changing is simple enough. The Kent CNC shoe comes off with a turn of an allen key, leaving the normal process for the DeWalt spindle. Visibility of the cut is fine if you’re looking from directly above but it isn’t great, which is why I have a boroscope setup to display the cut on a separate monitor. It’s not essential but I like to be able to glance across and see how it’s doing rather than have to peer over.

I strongly recommend investing time in a good dust collection system. It makes the whole process quicker, by virtue of eliminating all but the most determined spoil, and cleanup is minimal.

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What size is the hose, 3" or 4"?

The hose has an internal diameter of 50mm (1.9685 inches). It’s sold as PU clear flexible ducting hose on Amazon.co.uk, and I buy 5m lengths at GBP 18.00 (US$ 22.36). The US Amazon site has the exact same hose but in a 6m length, priced at US$ 103.65 (GBP 83.45) which seems nuts. There must be something wrong somewhere, unless the hose is manufactured in the UK and shipping to the US costs a lot. I thought the Chinese made everything these days?!

Looks like the dust collection system is not grounded and running next to the wires.
Any issues so far with static electricity?

Hi Joe, before I built this system my ‘ceiling hanger’ was grounded. Grounding for this setup is on the list for the weekend (a long holiday weekend in the UK), and fortunately the hose I’m using is designed to make it simple with a nice copper wire forming the loops. You’re right to point it out Joe, because not everyone appreciates the importance of grounding the hose. Static build up can cause some serious problems as I found out during my early learning phase. I was getting some bizarre behavior from the machine and couldn’t figure out why until I found a thread talking about static affecting the signal from the controller to the motors. Sure enough, once I grounded the hose, moved the shop-vac further away and upgraded to a better shielded USB cable all my problems went away.