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.
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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.
bobobob25 months ago

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)  bobobob25 months ago
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.
How well did the vinyl work for the skirt?

I am interested in making something similar, but probably not with magnets.
gerg (author)  nateinvestor2 years ago
The vinyl worked great.
Also, how thick is that vinyl?
gerg (author)  nateinvestor2 years ago
The vinyl is about 1/16 thick. It's the skirt that came with the ShopBot.
nice, I like your use of magnets here!