Dust collection of my shapeoko 4 pro XL

Good Morning,

I’m trying to find a good method of dust collecting for my CNC. Many of the jobs I do have about an hour run time and the shop vac that i have, which was a Mastercraft, has died. It got me to thinking, is a shop vac able to run continuously for an hour or more, or is there a more efficient way of dust collecting? Any thoughts?"

Lots of folks including me use this:

Stealthsonic Quiet 12-Gallons 5.5-HP Corded Wet/Dry Shop Vacuum with Accessories Included https://www.lowes.com/pd/DEWALT-12Gal-5-5-PHP-Quiet-Vac/5013026391

I used to use my large ClearVue cyclone for the CNC but I didn’t like it running for hours. This is super quiet. I paired it with a cheap cyclone separator from HF and added a 5 gallon bucket.

I think this does a better job than the larger one which has tons of ducting everywhere and it’s quiet and cheap.

The smaller 9 gallon one has a smaller hose, so watch out.


Perfect, I was actually looking at this one today, but was not sure how long they could run continuously. Thanks, I will be picking one up today!

I recommend using the Deep Sweepy boot with it. The curved interior leads to a quieter airflow than the hard 90 degree angle of the regular Sweepy.

This shows how I have mine rigged up. I eventually replaced that bucket with a different one because this one had weak walls that collapsed.


Many people here on the forum use shop vac type vacuums. If you consider the purpose of a shop vac it runs for a few minutes intermittently to clean the floor and work benches. Many of the shop vacs are cooled by the motor turning and are not really meant to run for hours on end. Some can but many will burn out the motor on prolonged runs.

I have a Jet 1.5 1300 CFM dust collector and an Onieda Super Dust Deputy to make my Jet a two stage dust collector. I have friends that use PVC pipe to plumb their whole shop. Some like it and some think it is a waste of time and money. My Jet sits in a central location and I use a Rockler 20 foot expandable hose and just hook up the hose to machines. Now my shop is unique in that only a few machines have a stationary location. All of my equipment is on mobile stands and I have a central alley way in the center of the shop. So my jointer, bandsaw and so on I move to the center alley and hook up the dust collector. When done I clean them up and roll them back to one side I call the tool coral. This works for me. If you have your equipment stationary a plumbed system might work but just getting long hoses you can hook up your machines one at a time. I am a one person shop so I can only run one machine at time so my method works.

A dedicated dust collection is the way to go if you are doing a lot of woodworking. A shop vac will work but shop vacs wear out and are consumable. My Jet DC 1100 is over twenty years old and is still running strong.

If you decide to get a dedicated dust collection I would recommend a two stage. That is usually some type of cyclone in front or integrated into the dust collector. Since stage ones like mine can be modified with a cyclone but an integrated unit takes up much less space.

Most modern dust collectors have a pleated filter. Dust collection bag type spray fine dust into the air. That defeats the purpose of dust collection. Yes you collect the big chips but the fine dust is what is really bad for you to breath in. I also have a Jet air cleaner that is suspended from my ceiling. The combination works well.

Lastly there is no cheap solution for good dust collection. A shop vac sprays fine dust out the exhaust port so if you go with a shop vac get one with a hepa filter. Long term exposure to dust is bad for you and should be avoided.

So my final answer depends on what type of woodworking you do. If you do a few hours a week a shop vac is adequate with a hepa filter. If you are working many hours a week then I would recommend a dedicated dust collection with a good quality filter. Dont cheap out on the filtration. You will be sorry later.

Buying good tools makes you cry once and not every time you use a cheap tool.

1 Like

Cullen, I approve you 100% specially that I have a very similar installation :wink:. I have two dust collection systems. One with a ClearVue cyclone on 6" ducting to all the big machines and a 2 1/2" system for the orbital sander press drill and other small tools to which I also connected my Shapeoko Pro XXL. A year and half ago, I replaced my twenty years old very noisy Craftsman vacuum by a Stealthsonic Dewalt vacuum reducing the noise at least by 2. It is also connected to a cyclone separator.

My shop is under my double cars garage and I made a closet under stairs where I have installed the Stealthsonic with the separator. There is enough slots for the air return but and it still reduce the noise a lot. I almost don’t ear it. My ClearVue 5 HP (real) is upstair at the back of the garage and it is much more noisy and wouldn’t want to use it for long run on the CNC.

The previous owner installed the home central vacuum in the shop. I installed a trap in the shop and use it to clean the floor ans the tools, benches… As you can see I don’t like noise neither dust :slight_smile:

Lately I redone my table saw sled with enhanced features founded on the web to which I added a very efficient and practical dust collection which I designed. The sled and dust collection were built mainly with my CNC. I don’t know if alot of users on this site have a table saw. If there are some interests I could create a post on this project.

Sounds similar. With my ClearVue running can hardly hear the router going :joy:

I have dust collection above the blade with a shark guard and below the table on my saw. I don’t typically use sleds just because of the space needed to store them but I have an idea to slide them under the right side table. So sure, I would love to see your plans.

I’d sure like to see that table saw sled with dust collection added. My table saw, by far is the messiest thing in my shop.

Ed I would disagree with you about the table saw being messiest. By far in my shop is my drill press. I have one of those rockler dust collection attachments but my drill press throws chips everywhere. The only thing messier is my 6x48" belt sander. I use one of those big mouth hoods but it still seems to spread dust every where. Everyone’s shop is different but my tablesaw is the least of my dust worries. It also makes a mess but I have a dust port at the bottom but the spray off the blade sprays me pretty good. My slot where the tilt handle is I bought a magnetic For Sale sign and put that over the big hole. Of course I forget about when I tilt the saw and it gets pushed off.

Lets face it a wood workshop is just a messy place. Everything you do to mitigate it helps but I have never seen any dust collection system that is without fault. All you can do is your best. Some of my friends shops look like a dust storm blew through and dont even try to stop the dust. They just a heavy duty clean up every once in a while.

I have seen a Tee Shirt that says “Sawdust is Man Glitter” How true.

I have a friend that has a custom cabinet shop shop, it is insane how dusty it can get in there. Next time I get by there I’ll have to ask about his dust collection system, or lack of it.

A couple years back my wife gave me a clear Christmas ornament filled with saw dust. It’s hung on the tree every year.

go on marketplace or craigslist. Buy a used dust collector they are cheap.


Also have a Shark Guard on my table saw which I appreciate and use it most of the time. It is my inspiration for designing my dust collection on the sled.

Cullen and Ed,

I will present my sled soon in a topic that I will name “Woodworking sled for table saw mostly CNC built”.


This was my first dust collector. It may be inspirational for some.


1 Like

Ha. I could argue that virtually everything in my shop (and house for that matter) is a dust collector.



So you have several options here. I have a Grizzley 1200CFM ducted in my garage and its a little noisy but I use earbuds when I am working and noise cancelling but its still not that noisy. I got the Seepy kit with my Shakepoko 5 Pro and it works fantastically.

If you are using a shopVac then you need two things.

  1. you need to get a dustbag with a filter down to .1Micron.
  2. You need to get a defuser on the back of the shopVac that connects to the exhaust port. I have that on my shop vac and that makes a big difference.

The issue with ShopVac’s is they do not last long running for hours at a time, partially people do not change the filters often. I would even consider a dust separator which is an excellent device. I made a whole PVC stand, that stands in my shopvac and my dust collector sits on top of that which works excellently! I can send you some photos of the shop vac setup

The thing is you can get into a shopVac pretty cheap but you want a larger container with the dust separator. Considering all of this my 1200CFM Grizzly cost me less than $700 with a 1Micron filter and that is way cheaper than Rockler was and I was not happy with the performance of Rockers dust collector.

So there are a lot of options my friend for dust collection, a shopVac is going to be a temp thing but you can make them last longer if you keep them clean, new filters, defuser, and a dust bag

1 Like

It’s a wood shop, it gets dusty. But there are ways to mitigate some of the problem.

I use a shop vac under by cnc. I had an inline HD swirl separator atop a bucket but it never collected anything and haven’t figured out why not. So it’s gone. There’s not enough headroom for an official cyclone type so now I just empty the filter more often. My cabinet dimensions with shop space are limiting factors.

The shop vac is enclosed and controlled by a remote switch. I have a small fan for intake air which blows directly at the vac intake and another on the far side for exhaust so no heat can build up in the cabinet. These come on with the vacuum. Two years running, so far so good. The attached image shows my lower cnc cabinet though the HD bucket has since been removed. This is a virtually silent operation.

One reason I bought a SawStop table saw was for their dust collection system. The over blade guard works well and gathers a lot of blade tossings while not hindering most operations. It is simple to remove or adjust as needed thus gets used.

I have cyclone type separators for the table saw and another with detachable hose for the router/planer/band saw. They work well and I am casually thinking on how to accommodate one into my cnc platform.

To paraphrase Thomas Sowell (though I doubt he was thinking shop dust when he said it) “There are no solutions, only tradeoffs.”

1 Like

I have two shop vacs that I was using in my shop for my machine and all my other work being done. The dust that still flies around my shop after vacuuming is still too much, and it stands to reason, I should be wearing a mask, but my shop is also not temperature controlled. What it is outside is what it is inside, if not hotter.

I was looking into a good dust collection system, but didn’t want to pay the high price for one, but probably needed to for my health, to make sure I had a good system to collect the cuttings, dust, and micro particles. Well, I found a good dust collection system. A Central Machinery 35 gallon, 2 hp high flow high capacity dust collector. It is a used unit, but looking at the unit and all of its components, it was used very little, or very well maintained.

I paid $150 for the unit. The guy gave me extra replacement bags and an 8 foot flex hose that will fit on my machine. The micron filter bag is going to be a huge help keeping micro dust down as well. Now I have some plumbing to do inside my shop to pipe this unit throughout my shop.

I say this because, like I said earlier, I have two shop vacs in the shop that I use and one had begun sounding pretty sickly after turning it off. This shop vac was also the helper in me finding out that I had a main wiring issue from the power pole to the shop, which I had to dig up and fix. One can find some pretty good dust collection systems on Marketplace or other local selling sites that are trusted. Marketplace was where I found mine along with my 16" bandsaw.

1 Like

My Festool CT worked well except the bags would clog quickly on any longer jobs. But it was quiet.

At least for me, i’m usually doing other stuff down there so I just have my big DC pretty much on always. I’m on the other end of the spectrum as i have a Laguna Pflux 3, and it’s usually pulling from 2 machines at a time. My cheaper 1 stage DC never could pull any decent CFM’s at the CNC, i max out 4" tubing to the CNC now. I just have flexible 4" DC hose at moment, been meaning to hard pipe to the metal clamp stuff but just haven’t gotten around to it, it’s more efficient than the flexible stuff. The flexible stuff is actually terrible for CFM, but if you have a powerful enough system you can overcome the drops.

I wish i had gotten my Laguna a long time ago, i went with the Laguna because the bin system is clutch, i can empty and be back up and running in a couple minutes, no one else has that system. Yes, it’s a $4000 DC, but with how much i’m in the shop, it was worth it and i should have bought one a long time ago.

Moral of the story, buy the best DC you can’t afford, it’s a mess, it’s bad for your health. It’s probably the last thing we typically spend money on but it really should be the first thing.

If you don’t have big jobs a dedicated system works really well from a Festool or alot of people like that new Dewalt HEPA one as well, or a Fein.

I’ll second this, they are for sale all the time.

1 Like

That’s why I paired mine w/ an Oneida Ultimate Dust Deputy Cyclone (though these days I guess I’d get a Mullet).

1 Like

I disagree with comment that shop vacs spew dust from exhaust. They do if you don’t use a HEPA filter. My Rigid has a HEPA with a Onieda cyclone in front of it, works great. Vac is 6yrs old and have ran it continuously up to 7hrs on jobs without issue. I would not do that on a 100 degree day, but I’m not working in that heat anyway. The wires and metal tape disapate static, ground to steel cart and AC.