How to Make an Excellent Dust Collector Shoe for Tormach CNC
The Tormach milling machine is setup with a wet coolant system for machining metals. When machining plastics, wood, composites, and other non metals, fine dust can be generated, and combined with the chips, it can make a mess in the coolant. A better solution is to use a dust collector that vacuums up all the dust and chips.
I found that a 4in PVC water pipe fitting was almost a perfect fit for the top of the spindle on the Tormach PCNC 1100. We removed a little material on the ID using the lathe, until it fit snugly over the spindle. The pipe fitting was also shortened just a little so that it would not extend too far down. The tools need to be able to reach the work piece with ease.
The lower portion of the fitting was also trimmed back, and a 3 inch brush was wrapped around it. The brush is held in place by clamping it using a large hose clamp. To prevent the brush from slipping on the PVC, a 1/4in thick adhesive backed foam was wrapped around the PVC fitting prior to the brush being clamped around.
1/4in thick foam with adhesive back
How well does it work?
I was shocked at how well it's worked, and how reliable it has been. It picks up all the dust. My main concern was that the brush would get all messed up, but the brushes are still in perfect condition after a lot of use. The brushes get pressed down pretty hard with some of the shorter tools, but they are incredibly resilient and always return to their original shape. Great Success!