Introduction: Magnetic ShopBot Dust Skirt

Picture of Magnetic ShopBot Dust Skirt

I work at The Mill, a makerspace in Minneapolis, MN. We've got a shopbot and it's a fantastic machine.

The original dust skirt on our ShopBot took one too many hits and frankly I wasn't a big fan of the design. This one is built using some scrap 3/8" polycarbonate, a 2" #8 bolt and nuts, and 16 3/8" x 1/4" cylindrical rare earth magnets.

There are 2 pieces to the design.
The first is the main shoe that clamps onto our spindle.
The second piece is used as the spacers as well as the dust skirt. You can create as many spacers as you need for the length of bits you use. I made 2 to start.

This system makes it extremely easy to remove the skirt for bit changes, z-zeroing, or operating without the hood altogether. It stays out of the way of the Y gantry when the z axis needs to be raised. It also eliminates the need for that silly thumbscrew that held on the factory dust hood. You could rarely get to it when you needed to and it was located in a potential pinch point.

I've included the DXF files so you can take this to any cad/cam combo you like.

Step 1: Create a Jig to Hold Your Polycarbonate Blanks

Picture of Create a Jig to Hold Your Polycarbonate Blanks

I created this using some scrap 5"x12" polycarbonate pieces so I used a jig vacuumed to the table and generous amounts of double stick tape to hold the polycarbonate down in the pocket. I cut the pocket 1/4" deep out of 3/4" MDF. The pocket is "dog-boned" at the corners so the square blank fits.

I cut rounded corners at the ends of the main shoe and skirt pieces but left the long edges at the full 5" width.

Step 2: Cut the Pieces

Picture of Cut the Pieces

I used a 1/4" single flute / "O" flute bit. The cuts were clean. You can use many different types of bits to cut polycarbonate but "O"flute and straight bits are recommended.

I've included 3 files. One contains all of the vectors combined. If you are cutting this from a larger sheet of material, you will need to do a few edits to weld the long straight edges into the skirt and main shoe pieces.

Step 3: Fit the Magnets Into the Holes

Picture of Fit the Magnets Into the Holes

Be sure they are inserted with the correct polarity. I redrilled the holes with a 1/4" drill bit after they came off the shopbot to enlarge the holes slightly. The fit was just tight enough that I didn't need to use any adhesive. If you need adhesive, loctite brand plastic epoxy is said to work well.

I got the magnets from K&G.


D46-N52

1/4" dia. x 3/8" thick
Grade N52 - Nickel Plated
Axially Magnetized

Step 4: Drill a Hole for the #8 Bolt

Picture of Drill a Hole for the #8 Bolt

I used a 5/32 bit for the bolt to slip through. The things to be conscious of are getting the hole at a perfect 45 degree angle, leaving enough material above and below, and drilling the hole so the bolt slides freely. I'd recommend a drill press and a vise if you have it. A steady hand and a drill will work as well.

Insert the bolt with a washer and lock washer at each end. Thread on the nut and finger tighten.

Step 5: Attach the Skirt Material to One of Your Skirt Pieces.

Picture of Attach the Skirt Material to One of Your Skirt Pieces.

I re-used the vinyl skirt material from the original shopbot dust hood. I drilled holes slightly smaller than the original mounting screws found on that and simply let the screws tap themselves as I screwed them in. Test the fit on a piece of scrap so you get it just right for the screws you are using.

Step 6: Attach the Main Shoe to the Spindle

Picture of Attach the Main Shoe to the Spindle

The spindle should fit snug inside the hole without tightening. Tighten the bolt but DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN. Adjust the shoe so the dust collector hole is in front of the spindle so that it will not be in the way when you raise the z axis. You will need to reroute your dust collection hose.

Step 7: Attach the Rest of the Pieces.

Picture of Attach the Rest of the Pieces.

The magnets do a great job of aligning all of the layers without the need for any other indexing mechanism.

I didn't bother gluing the dust collector fitting into the shoe but you may want to seal that with some silicone adhesive.

Enjoy!

Comments

camarillojohn (author)2015-07-25

A simple and practicsl design, I like it, snd will make one for my machine

Bob CVA (author)2015-07-05

I have seen some of your posts on the shopbot forum and that lead me to this site. Thanks! I am looking to improve my dust collector because of 2 issues, the thumbscrew you mentioned, and the vinyl, which tore up the surface of my work in my first work in styrofoam. it appears you have rerouted your vacuum to the "front" (user side) of the shopbot? Is that inconvenient?

gerg (author)Bob CVA2015-07-05

Bob,
I should tell you that I'm not using this setup any longer. I am using the new dust foot that shopbot asked me to test out. It has it's problems as well. As far as having the dust port at the front, I found no issues. It stayed out of the way just as it did coming off of the back.

The new dust foot design from shopbot allows for height adjustment from the front, replacing that dang thumbscrew. It also make the brush foot removable from the bracket that holds it for situation where you can use dust collection.

bobobob2 (author)2015-01-10

It looks nice and the magnetic part seems to make a lot of sense since you're able to zero the bit and just attach it when you're done. The vinyl part worries me though as it doesn't bend equally in all directions like a brush and also, if it gets stuck in a cut, wouldn't it tear off the magnetic part?

I really wouldn't want to be in the shop when that thing comes off and gets in the routers way. Are the magnets really strong enough?

gerg (author)bobobob22015-01-11

Hi,
The vinyl skirt was actually part of the original dust skirt shipped by Shopbot. It's pretty flexible stuff and I've never had it get stuck on anything. The magnets are more than strong enough to hold the skirt on securely.

nateinvestor (author)2013-06-04

How well did the vinyl work for the skirt?

I am interested in making something similar, but probably not with magnets.

gerg (author)nateinvestor2013-06-04

The vinyl worked great.

nateinvestor (author)2013-06-04

Also, how thick is that vinyl?

gerg (author)nateinvestor2013-06-04

The vinyl is about 1/16 thick. It's the skirt that came with the ShopBot.

amandaghassaei (author)2012-11-15

nice, I like your use of magnets here!

About This Instructable

25,030views

58favorites

License:

Bio: Independent maker of things. Big fan of ShopBot CNC.
More by gerg:Magnetic ShopBot Dust SkirtShopBot Dust Skirt
Add instructable to: