These are the latest updates to my Shapeoko XXL:
The most important: a new 2HP air-cooled brushless spindle: The Bosch was quiet for a router, but this spindle makes very low noise. If it wasn’t for the shop-vac, I could listen to music while operating the CNC. I strongly recommend to stop cutting using routers, they are not made for continuous use.
2nd most important - an updated dust shoe. This compact version is a improved version of the previous one I made for my Bosch router. Since I have updated my spindle, I had to make a new one. Same as before, this dust shoe has the main advantage that it could be set to travel or not on the Z axis. Most of the times I just set it to stay at a constant Z while the spindle travels up and down. This is very useful, because I could shorten the bristles to a minimum of 1" and so I optimize the suction of my shop-vac.
With the dust shoe, came the challenge of dust management. I designed and made a cyclone from two 5 gal buckets. This helps collecting the fine dust before it gets into the shop-vac. Lately I had to cut massive amounts of MDF. I can say I had no dust whatsoever on the dust shoe, so the laptop was spared as well.
Next update was an MDF T-slot table. After struggling for the last 2 years to attach the parts on the table, I have designed and completed an MDF T-slot table. The main reason for this is that it can be easily surfaced so I can keep it level at all times. I made a file for surfacing it, and it takes less than half the time it was taking me before to surface my table. I use a 1.5" knife and I believe it takes less than 3 minutes to surface the entire table. Another feature of my table is that it allows to be moved forward for cutting pieces that are 32"x32". For brackets I use polycarbonate fixations with 1/4-20 mechanical screws. Why I chose polycarbonate is because it does not break (like wood) and if the cutter touches it by mistake, it will not damage it.
A custom-made Z probe, because I was fed up waiting for the back-ordered original. I also didn’t mention the red plastic fence around the perimeter of the CNC, because that was the 1st improvement I did to the Shapeoko. At the time I had no dust shoe, it really helped keeping everything inside. Since plastics tend to statically adhere to everything, it was a necessity to design the dust shoe, the underside of the gantry was always full of plastic shavings.
Here is the finished table, scroll down for details of the construction:
Making of the T-slots (notice the rudimentary fixations):
First slot and checking of clearance of the polycarbonate nut:
Advancement (I checked the clearance every time):
Back of the CNC (you can see the advanced table at the back fence):
The table screws are accessible between the slots:
Example of stock fixation on the new table:
Here are some examples of projects I made:
HDPE 1/2" (you can see the dust shoe in action - no plastic escapes):
That’s is for now, thanks for checking my post, feel free to ask away, I will share if you’re interested to replicate.