Introduction: Axis Dust Cover for the CNC Mini Milling Machine

After being on this site for quite some time, and using other people's tutorials, I thought that I should contribute something that could help many people. If this design doesn't work for your machine, you can always change it so that it WILL work.

This is a neat way to protect the axis of your mini cnc milling machine designed by Honus. It is a simple way to keep dust, grit, grime, and bits from clogging up the axis's of your machine.

Please read each step fully before you start so that you do not waste material.

I am not liable for any mistakes you make, errors that cause waste in resources, damage to your property, yourself, or others. Knifes are sharp, if they can cut, they can cut YOU.

CNC Machines are dangerous and should not be operated by people that do not have experience, knowledge, or any certification in this field. Take precaution when using these machines for they can severely injure yourself, your property, or others. I will not be held liable for anything you do.

By starting any part of this project, you agree to the terms above.
Have fun!

Step 1: Materials and Costs

Keep dust, grit, grime, and bits from clogging up the axis's of your machine using inexpensive materials that are cheap and easy to find.


- Redishade Temporary window shade Size: 48" x 72" x 1" price: $12 from The Home Depot. (links below)
- Permanent Fabric Glue (fabric can be washed after glue dries)
- Wax Paper
- Popsicle Sticks
- Bolts or screws
- Thin strips of sheet metal (About 2" x 3/4" :::6 of them:::) (not needed if you just spread out the bolts/screws... it's only to keep the fabric pressed up against the mounting location)


- Clamps or Clothes Pins
- Scissors, Exacto Knife, Box cutter, Hacksaw, Knife; to cut out the fabric.

( i used a Mastercraft folding utility knife :


Redishade Temporary window shade is a temporary shade use to cover windows. It comes in Fabric form and Tissue form (for extremely temporary use). It does not contain any mechanism to raise or lower the blind;all it is, is a fabric sheet that has been creased to fold in a zig zag pattern.

In this instructable i am going to be using the fabric type because it will be more durable, and last longer. The tissue paper one might be usefull aswell because you can just throw them out after each use, which would be usefull if you are using coolant or other solutions and would want to dispose it easily... but then again, the fabric one can be washed to take out the chemicals. It's your choice ofcourse. I noticed that the fabric version was only a dollar or two more than the tissue, so you might aswell splurg for the fabric.

The window shade is a zig zag pattern of folded fabric. It is capable of collapsing alot, while also able to expand; perfect for this use.

Canada Link: I live in Canada but they dont have it posted on the Canadian website.... but the store had the same one as the USA website.

USA Link:

Step 2: Measure Your Strips (Top Cover)

First you need to measure the width of the axis. Mine is 4 1/8" wide, so collapse the window shade so that it is a compressed bar of fabric and draw out the shape. Measure along the bottom of the fabric 4 1/8" (yours might be different, seeing as my aluminum channel is not the same dimensions that Honus has for his cnc machine.


Read on before you do anything yet.

Next measure an extra 1" on either side; this is to mount the side covers(the window shade that i have has 1" folds. if your shade has 1/2" folds, only measure an extra 1/2" on either side).

Draw a line connecting the bottom row which is 4 1/8" long to the top row which would end 1" outwards. Cut it out and now you should have a piece that looks like this:

Step 3: Cut Out the Edge Peices

To make sure that dust doesn't find its way underneath the cover, I design to have more of the window shade on the sides, making it so that the only way for dust to get in, would that it would have to defy gravity. The hieght of my aluminum channel is 7/8" tall. For the sides to connect to the top dust covers you will need to have more material. Check out the drawing to understand.

Make sure that the angled edge has a flap that will go under the top cover so that the glue will be strong.

See how the top edge of the SIDE peice is NOT a point. It has some extra fabric to go under the top cover to glue them together

In the drawing, the green shape is the SIDE cover, the black dotted line shows the profile of the top cover, and the blue bar is where you are to put the glue, since the flap will attach the side cover to the top cover.

You will want to slice a bit of the fabric (about 1/8") on the SIDE covers so that they will fit properly under the TOP covers. Check the photos.

Step 4: How Many Zig-zags Per Axis

The number of bumps per axis needs to be different so they will be long enough.

For the x axis, since you are going to be mounting it to the table, you only need 6 bumps: ^^^^^^

But for the y axis, i have 8 bumps: ^^^^^^^^. since there is a longer distance between the mounting spots.

For the z axis, since most of the dust will be falling to the ground and the other axis covers, you only need to have one half of the axis covered; the bottom half (where the dremel or other cutting tool is pointing towards).

Step 5: Glueing

The first time glueing the sides to the tops, i used popsicle sticks inbetween, then i found out that when i took out the sticks, while the glue wasn't completely dried, the sides would lossen (since it wasn't finished drying). Later i tried covering one of the popsicle sticks with wax paper and it was alot better. Then i found that the popsicle sticks were too bulky so i decided to just use wax paper and to clamp it together.

Go to the next step to see how it was done more successfully.

Step 6: Clamping

This is the more successful way to clamp the edges of the Top and Side covers together. I have wax paper inbetween all the flaps. the wax paper that is INSIDE is keeping the INSIDE from sticking. The wax paper OUTSIDE is keeping the OUTSIDE from sticking. If you do not use wax paper, there is a high chance that the axis cover will stick completely together and will not be able to expand when pulled.

Step 7: After Finished Drying

After it has finished drying, unclamp and peel off the wax paper from the glued fabric. Do the other side now and then you will be done one of the axis dust covers.

This is what it should look like now that it's finished drying.

Step 8: Mounting It to Your Machine

To mount it to the cnc machine, i am going to be using screws and a strip of sheet metal.

Step1: Drill pilot holes into the front of the mill collumn 1/2" above the Aluminum Channel.

Step2: Use scissors, knife, hole punch, or something sharp, to punch holes into the side of the outer bumps of the axis covers.

Step3(optional):If you want to, you can use the sheet metal, but i dont have any with me so i am just going to spread out the screws, drill holes in the same spot as the mill collumn and axis cover.

Step4: Screw the axis cover to the mill collumn.

Step5: Do the same for mounting the axis cover to the X-Axis plywood base.

Step 9: Finished and Ready for Machining!

Now that it is attached to your machine, you can machine away without fear of your threaded rod getting clogged by wood, plastic, or metal shavings!!! Hurray!

Hopefully this was a tollerable instructable; for it was just my first. I hope to provide more later on.

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