Enclosure access suggestions

I’m planning an enclosure build, but I’m trying to figure out the best way to do so in a way that allows me easy access to all sides for maintenance issues. I see a lot of enclosures with only front access but i don’t see many with side and rear access. A few ideas I had in mind. First, perhaps I could create the enclosure external to the table and I could roll it in and out in the event I needed access to the sides and back. Second idea is to somehow lift the Shapeoko and put the base on rollers that allow me to slide it in and out like a drawer. Only issue with that is I’m not sure what type of rollers/slides would be strong enough to do that. The third option is to put the sides on hinges that either fold up or down on all four sides. Any suggestions? My main purpose for enclosure is for dust collection, second is noise reduction (less of a priority). I just installed a WEN filtration system and that seems to be catching quite a bit of dust in the air. It’s only been up for 2 days but I can see a huge difference. I plan to invest in a vacuum that is less noisy than my shop vac in the future, but until then, I simply don’t plan to run it constantly during cuts.

The Nomad 3’s side windows speak to the importance of access/visualization from the side.

There have been a couple of enclosures which have ports in the back and front to feed stock in for tiling — I know that when I set up my Pro it is going to go up against a wall with the Y1 rail against the wall, and the X-axis at a right angle to the wall to that material can be fed in from the front and out the back (I regret my XL having its back up against a wall, but that was the obvious place for it at the time.

Not wild about turning the vacuum on/off during cuts — creates a potential occasion for an EMI disconnect — just get a good set of earmuffs and use foam ear plugs and get a quieter vacuum at the first possible chance (don’t do like I do and impulse buy something in a noise-induced migraine-fueled rage).

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I would do this, it’s the easiest, not much added complexity.

But if you are in the mood for designing a fancy sliding design, here’s a great example (see pics in first post):

Maybe @Adam.B can provide recommendation as to the type of slides to be used.


I would opt for the sides on hinges. You are dealing with lots of dust which would get into the slides and have binding issues. Even if you have good dust collection, you will still have dust. I sometimes run without dust collection turned on if I’m not generating lots of duct, just to keep the noise down.

I did not do hinged sides on mine so have to take it out once in a while if I have to fix something. Has only happened once so far.


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