Bowls Again. Can't keep chips off rails

I’m back again with some issues making bowls. It seems I may have jumped the gun. Long story short, I have a woman that would like 100 them, maybe more (Photo 1). So I need to figure out some way to make them somewhat efficiently. Carbide Create allowed me to cut one out in around 30 minutes, no issues. But if I keep going, the chips and saw dust become too overwhelming, the v-wheels “clog up” (Photos 2 and 3) and then the machine starts to lose steps and messes up the part (Photo 4). As you can see in the photos, I don’t exactly have any dust collection (Photo 5). What I’m using is really just the best solution I could come up with on the fly, simply because it “vents” the vast majority of the chips out to the front and keeps them from being thrown upwards and onto the rails. I’ve tried using the Sweepy, but it starts to get really hot on the “inside” - where it’s cutting - and if I’ve learned anything about woodworking or machining, that’s not the best sign, correct? Does anyone have any suggestions? Bellows? Rail Covers?

I’m running a XXL, HDZ with the compact, trim router.

The tooling is:
3/4" Diameter
1/4" Radius
5/8" Height
1/4" Shank.

The material is just regular kiln dried pine, 9" x 5.5" x 1.375".

Depth of Cut: 0.2"
Stepover: 0.375" (sometimes 0.25")
Feed Rate: 60.0"
Spindle Speed: “18000” (6 on the router, if that even is 18000)
Plunge Rate: 15.0"

This is the bowl, right off the machine. Only 99 more.

I was so happy I found a way to keep the chips off the rails I forgot about the v-wheels.

Is there a way to prevent this?

I thought I had it. Haha

As simple as it comes. Worked for a bit. Oh well.

Hi @VetiTheYeti,

It sounds to me like you need a proper dust shoe, this should take care of the problem almost completely.

I’m intrigued, what exactly gets hot ?

If you don’t want to get a dust shoe for any reason, then you have the option to install guards of some kind on the sides at least, I did that on my machine for when I cut aluminium (which is a similar usecase: I have an air jet blowing chips away from the cut), they are made from aluminium corners and foam insulation material:


and do a great job of at least containing the mess inside the work area:


EDIT: original thread here

But really, for wood, a good dust shoe will do wonders for you.


As mentioned I think dust collection for this size project your doing is a must. If you dont want to spend a ton of money on a dust system you can use a dust deputy or cyclone attached to a 5gal bucket for ease of emptying chips. It also attaches to any shop vac type vacuum so you dont need to buy a large system. For 100 bowls this would help a ton. I find dust collection actually helps cool slightly as it is continually drawing air across the area.

Your heat buildup could be due to router speed. #6 on the carbide router is 31k rpm. #3 is 18k.


you could try these with dust collection


In addition to dust collection and checking the router speed, pine is evil. It’s the cheapest wood for a reason. It gums up everything. You’ll find that other wood dust doesn’t defy gravity to stick to the underside of the rails. I suggest exploring some hardwood options that will cost you a bit more but be nicer to work with.


When I’m doing a lot of cuts I will keep my air hose near by. Then after a few I will use it to blow off everything.

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I have a mini Dewalt leaf blower I use sometimes, just a couple clicks to just blow off the rails real quick every half hour or so, mine is in an enclosure though. A very powerful shop vac with lots of static pressure, and a Sweepy V2 really changes the game with almost no dust or chips escaping.

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First off, Nice work on the 100x bowls, thats a good gig!

In my opinon, dust collection is not really optional, especially if you’re cutting for production.

There may be a chance that the sweepy is getting warm, but keep in mind they designed and tested it and its very well proven. My advice is to put the sweepy on and run it through a dust deputy or similar.

There are other options - I use the PwnCNC V2 dustboot - its a Z-independant boot and didn’t cost much. I have cut jobs that created 5-6x more chips than your bowl would have, and I didn’t need to clean the rails or wheels once.

On a side note, do you plan on cutting multiple bowls at once to really take advantage of the work area? I have been slowly working up my efficiency, using a lof of principles from the video below. He uses a different machine but the principle of his layout is very useful

with deep cuts i use the PWNCNC v4 since it does not move with the z axis and i have little issues with chips escaping the dust shoe

I’m kind of a fanatic when it comes to dust collection! I agree with others when it comes to your problem. Spend a little time and study the requirements to have good dust collection for your application.

Some might say I went overboard on my S3 but I can tell you without reservation that it works like a champ! Does it look bulky… Yup! is it kind of ugly… maybe, did it take a while to build… Yup!

Pictures are worth a thousand words so… This is what my machine looks like after I use it.


@hkyswim This would make sense, because although I am getting good chips and evacuation there is still a great deal of dust being created. I will turn it down to 3 or 4 and see if that helps with the dust at least.

@Able I saw these, and the user reviews are not bad. I’m planning on ordering some when/if they become available again. I guess right now they’re out of stock. (kicking myself for selling my 3D printer… lol)

@krtwood Honestly, I wish I could go the hardwood route but the customer wants pine. And on top of that, I’m in Ontario and we’ve just been handed a stay-at-home order again (hard eye roll) so now the lumber stores are either closed or they’re only doing online orders. Our local stores are already back ordered a week.

@Gonefishing I had two vacuums going! haha

@CNCInspiration An enclosure is next on the list for sure! It must be done.

@stutaylo Thanks! She wants more than 100 too, this is just her first order! But regarding the PwnCNC V2, unfortunately, right now I’m severely limited on funds. I’ve been on their website too, their purchase options confuse the heck outta me. But I have been keeping it in mind. Would I be crazy to think that for $110 (plus shipping) I could probably make my own? Like are there no plans out there for dust boots? And if so, where would I find these plans? I would wager I could make the boot before it ever shipped had I bought it online. And yes, I do plan on setting up 4-6 of them at once. Right now I’m just proofing everything.

@moakley8 Yeah, see I think for what I’m doing, the cavity that I’m cutting, is too big for the sweepy, and my vaccuum isn’t the best. Lots to improve upon!

@sixstring Honestly, I’ve seen worse! Yours is a bit bulky, but it’s not exactly ugly. I could deal withthat. And more research is in order, you got that right.

I can’t say it enough, you guys are all GEMS. Through and through. Thanks again for the replies! I’m going to see what I can put to use and what works best for me!


I sent an email to DIY Engineering to see when/if the covers would be back in stock, I’ll let the thread know what I find out. I may alternatively just make my own set, The covers look like they would be a welcome improvement to keeping the the wheels/ extrusion free of chips.

I was looking for the same thing, I sent them a message on YT never got a response.

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@sixstring I have yet to get a response to my email, if need be I’ll likely just design my own set.

FWIW: I went down that road, spent a few hours re-creating my own covers in Fusion, only to later realize that :

  • they limit my Y travel (the cover extends past the front Y v-wheels, so they collide with the front plate. And I need to squeeze every last fraction of an inch of travel on my S03)
  • they don’t provide 100% protection. Large debris don’t get in the wheels, but small gunky ones that adhere to the rail find they way in the wheels, and it quickly becomes a hassle to remove the covers, clean-up everything, reinstall the covers. It’s like the original situation with extra steps.

I then experimented with a simpler, flat design:

which worked OK-ish (at least it minimized my Y travel issue), but it fell off at some point and I never bothered to reinstall it, which I took as a sign that it was not really useful (to me)


You might take a look at the covers available from PWN CNC.

I just found them so haven’t ordered yet. Can’t offer you first hand opinion.

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I know that the Shapeoko is an entry level type of CNC machine but the wheel design is the most problematic part of this type of design. The only way to deal with it aside from running to a machine that uses lead screws is to keep them as clean as possible!

That said the wheel guards look like a cool solution but without a way to keep the rails completely clean while the machine is running it’s an exercise in frustration. With the inclosure I built I thought cutting slots in the Plexi near the Y axis rails would help keep them clean and it does to a certain point. It’s the really fine particles that are still plaguing me.

The X rail I can’t really do anything about. There needs to be some kind of wiper system to keep them clean that doesn’t get in the way of travel of either axis. I also thought of trying to incorporate air nozzles using a small compressor but seemed way to convoulted given the size of the machine.

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For the X axis, I happened to over-engineer a frame around my HDZ that ended-up covering the lower v-wheels and had wipers too, while not reducing the X travel.

In the end, I focused on good dust collection, which does 95% of the job, and then wipe the rails manually from time to time (which does not yet feel like too much of a chore), and I never had an issue where enough fine dust/debris accumulated in the vwheels that it caused a problem. But then again I don’t do production volumes with my machine, so that may be why this is enough for me.


To be completely honest with everyone, I’m really not sure what to do at this point. If I knew that a dust collection system was going to run me close to $1000 I would have never bought this machine. Not to mention they come out with the PRO model two months after I purchased this model. Story of my life. Let’s just say I’m not too happy right now. And there are no guided rail upgrade kits? Whhhyyyy?

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I’ve done dust collection on the cheap: