Cleaning belts and VWheels


(Anthony) #1

What do you use to clean your belts and VWheels with? I vacuum and blow the dust off of mine between jobs, but the finer dust serms to really attract and stick to them. I wipe it down with a barely damp rag once in a while because I don’t want to dry out the rubber, but think there must be a better way to clean them.

I also noticed that I am starting to get minute scratches in the wheels…


(John England) #2

Hmm, just thinking out loud here. I wonder if some kind of delrin-friendly anti-static spray might help prevent that kind of build up.


(William Adams) #3

I clean my V-wheels off w/ a cotton swab after any run where mere vacuuming won’t do.

For the belts, I’ve usually been able to just vacuum them off w/ a bristle wand while moving through the full range of motion — anything which seems stuck then I scrub at w/ a cotton swab. There are cleaning products specific for rubber — if all else fails use one of those?

There are some further notes and an unofficial video on the wiki: https://www.shapeoko.com/wiki/index.php/Operating_Checklist#Maintenance


(Bill Johnes) #4

I clean mine with a plastic cleaning brush. Just like the steel ones but the bristles are plastic.


(Craig) #5

Scrub with an acid brush and denatured alcohol.


(Stacy Boncheff) #6

I am not sure what Lewscrew is referring to as an acid brush but I do use rubbing alcohol (or as the chemists in the room would call it - isopropyl alcohol). I put it on a Q-tip and it works reasonably well to remove the pitch and dust from the v-wheels. I havent had to use anything on the belts to this point but would think it would be fine for that too.


(Craig) #7

Acid brush.

I trim the brush to a wedge shape to a length of 1/4" overall to get in the v-groove.

These are cheap and also great for glue.


(Stacy Boncheff) #8

I would call those glue brushes. Thanks for the clarification! Most shop folks probably have those around the shop already.


(Henry Ellingsen) #9

They’re sold as acid brushes, Harbor Freight, 3 dozen for $3. :slight_smile:


(Stacy Boncheff) #10

Guess it is like life. Most of it is based on your point of reference :smile:


(Luke) #11

I attached brush strip above most of my wheels - that they when they turn they clean the wheels automatically :smile:


(Anthony) #12

I would like to see that. How do you have them attached?

Thanks everyone, I picked up a handful of those acid/glue brushes.


(Luke) #13

I used some door brush, I just hot glued 1" strips to the frame in various places. It keeps the majority of dust out/off the wheels really useful when milling wood when not using a dust boot. I installed these on all top wheels including those on the Z


(Christopher Crawford) #14

That is an awesome idea! I am glad I took the time to read this post! lol I have just kept an old 1in paint brush I use to brush everything while I vacuum. Now I am going to do this too. I think I am also going to try putting one where it can brush the track also.


(Luke) #15

Thanks, I still give them a clean every now and then but this works pretty well. I think something like toothbrush heads would work really well.

I’m in the process of designing something that will keep the dust out of the Y axis gaps - that go front to back - I’ve seen some folk use card or similar but I want something a bit more robust.


(Jude Marleau) #16

I got tires of pulling out the machine to reach every where and super glued the heads of dollar store tooth brushes above the 6 upper v wheels. Plenty wide to cover the whole wheel and stiff enough for tarter should be fine for saw dust. I also made an enclosure around the axis plates so dust will have a hard time getting to the pulleys. Just plastic and tape so I can see the action and when I need to get inside, just tear it off and tape on new “plastic”. I had some aluminum flashing around (as always) and folded side shields like others did with duct tape. I’ll still have to vacuum after each job but at least the moving parts are protected better than nothing.


(Jude Marleau) #17

Gotta be careful with placement of the brushes, I had one too close to the v wheel and got a jamup.


(Henry Ellingsen) #18

That’s right, if you went to Harbor Freight and asked for glue brushes they wouldn’t know what your talking about. Ask for acid brushes and your in. :relaxed:But I agree with what you are saying, we’re talking about the same thing.


(Richard Cournoyer) #19

I use a combo brass and nylon bristle brush to clean my V-Wheels. I also have to admit that I almost never clean my wheels and notice NO difference in precision or performance. So relax guy, run the machine, it’s a great design.