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IndustryArena Forum > WoodWorking Machines > DIY CNC Router Table Machines > Would you run vacuum collection in my case?
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  1. #1
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    Would you run vacuum collection in my case?

    About to finish my machine. Still need to decide on a couple things. This will be for hobby purpose, occasional use. I'll be cutting aluminum parts and carbon fiber sheets. We all know carbon fiber is hazardous and needs to be dealt with but I'm wondering if just using a milling bath would simplify my setup rather than needing a loud vacuum, boot around the cutter, tubing for the vacuum, etc. Just seems like a milling bath would be so much easier and probably even more effective. I realize the water gets nasty pretty quick, but like I said this is hobby use. Might cut a few carbon pieces a month or so. What about the aluminum? I'm assuming you don't use vacuum for that right? I do plan to build a diy fogbuster type setup for milling the aluminum.

    What would you guys do in my case?

  2. #2
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    Depends...you can cut aluminum without a lubricant in some cases. Design your machine to do both...dust collection and milling bath. I'm still working on a dust boot for my machine. I cut mainly thin, 1/8", pieces of aluminum and I do that dry or with minimal lubrcant. So my dust collection will handle that.

    Quote Originally Posted by QuinnSjoblom View Post
    About to finish my machine. Still need to decide on a couple things. This will be for hobby purpose, occasional use. I'll be cutting aluminum parts and carbon fiber sheets. We all know carbon fiber is hazardous and needs to be dealt with but I'm wondering if just using a milling bath would simplify my setup rather than needing a loud vacuum, boot around the cutter, tubing for the vacuum, etc. Just seems like a milling bath would be so much easier and probably even more effective. I realize the water gets nasty pretty quick, but like I said this is hobby use. Might cut a few carbon pieces a month or so. What about the aluminum? I'm assuming you don't use vacuum for that right? I do plan to build a diy fogbuster type setup for milling the aluminum.

    What would you guys do in my case?

  3. #3
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    Re: Would you run vacuum collection in my case?

    What exactly do you mean by a milling bath? Flood coolant or a flooded work piece?

    To be honest i suspect you would need pretty heavy flood coolant to eliminate all dust. You would also end up with some dust containing mist migrating out of the mill. Of course a vacuum wont get 100% either.

    In my ming the big advantage of a dust collector is that it can sit outside or fairly far away.

  4. #4
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    Re: Would you run vacuum collection in my case?

    Quote Originally Posted by wizard View Post
    In my ming the big advantage of a dust collector is that it can sit outside or fairly far away.
    If you do not have the space for a largish, properly plumbed exterior dust collector, consider a traditional home central vac unit. For your size machine/operation, it sounds like a fit.

    Unlike some of your woodworking dust collectors with cloth bags or filters that dump air back into the room, a home central vac is a closed system until it exits outside in a very small vent. I am not familiar with the parts per million facts on when carbon fibre is toxic, so you may want to consider where exactly you vent to.

    I've always had a dedicated central vac on my CNC Router. They can be plenty powerful, certainly less noisy than 90% of the shop vacs out there, and are easy to empty and maintain. Watch craigslist for them. The last one I bought was a brand new one on craigslist that was removed because the home owner wanted a slightly larger head unit. Cost me a whopping $125. Better than any shop vac hands down.

    If you are concerned about moisture or coolant dampness, you can put a water trap cyclone in front of the central unit as well, but you still have to take into consideration coolant or moisture in the tubes and hose, making sure you have everything pitched to self drain.
    Chris L

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by wizard View Post
    What exactly do you mean by a milling bath? Flood coolant or a flooded work piece?

    To be honest i suspect you would need pretty heavy flood coolant to eliminate all dust. You would also end up with some dust containing mist migrating out of the mill. Of course a vacuum wont get 100% either.

    In my ming the big advantage of a dust collector is that it can sit outside or fairly far away.
    A milling bath is a square tub of water maybe a half inch or so deep. Just deep enough to fully submerge a sheet of carbon fiber. I've seen videos of it used on YouTube. Really simple way to capture 100% of the dust. You would think it would splash water around as the end of the cutter is submerged in water, but it doesn't. Check it out on you tube. To me it seems far simpler than a dust collection system if I'm only milling a part now and then.

  6. #6
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    Re: Would you run vacuum collection in my case?

    Quote Originally Posted by QuinnSjoblom View Post
    A milling bath is a square tub of water maybe a half inch or so deep. Just deep enough to fully submerge a sheet of carbon fiber. I've seen videos of it used on YouTube. Really simple way to capture 100% of the dust. You would think it would splash water around as the end of the cutter is submerged in water, but it doesn't. Check it out on you tube. To me it seems far simpler than a dust collection system if I'm only milling a part now and then.
    OK that would be a flooded work piece. I'm not convinced that a flooded solution is any easier to work with than a vacuum system. For example you end up with polluted water which has to be disposed of. Then water getting all over will lead to rust. It is an idea worth pursuing but like I said I'm not convinced that it is easier. Consider for example work in a shop where a vacuum is used, such a system can remain unused for months and not need maintenance. Contrast that with a water bath that wold need immediate servicing after each use.

  7. #7
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    Re: Would you run vacuum collection in my case?

    Hi - Carbon fibre is not toxic. Its biologically inert. Epoxy & other resins are irritants. Timber dust is probably worse then CF dust some timbers are very toxic. A normal dust extraction system is adequate for the job. Peter

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