Making a Dust Shoe similar to KentCNC or similar... resistance from bristle?

Hi… My Shapeoko 3 XXL arrived tomorrow! Excited to start putting it together and setting up my area and machine to run some tests to become familiar with it’s operation.

The one thing I know I need and want right away is a dust shoe/boot. But, the Suckit is minimum of 3 weeks out on orders and the KentCNC model is a bit pricey. So I’ve decided it should be plenty easy to machine my own dust shoe very similar to the KentCNC model.

This type of shoe though attached to the spindle and it seems to me the bristles compressing down onto the wood might have potential to add some stress to the Z motor? Maybe it’s not an issue and in that case, great. But if it is, what can be done to limit that. The brushes that everyone seems to use in the YT videos all seem a bit on the stiff side when the Z axis lowers into the material and the brush compresses. The felt or other flap types don’t seem to have that problem but they also don’t look to contain the dust as well.

Just curious if there is a softer bristle out there? I don’t foresee needing Z depths deeper of 3/8" and most of my work is only around 1/8"-1/4" deep on the z axis… so maybe this is not a concern at all.

I just use transparency film cut into strips — first one I printed as a template at the local office supply store:

There are a couple of different designs at: and elsewhere on the wiki.

If you’re doing shallow cuts the bristles aren’t a huge issue as long as your plunge rate is not too fast. Having said that I had an issue with lost steps last year that I’m almost positive were caused by bristles fouling during plunge into a deepish pocket (had this happen several times on the same piece with about a 3/4" deep, but narrow pocket). Switching to a fixed height dust boot (Suckit in my case) solved that issue. I found at some point I was just leaving the brush off my previous boot so it wouldn’t foul, but not really catching all that much, so I tried the Suckit and have been happy with it. Also tried making a couple of my own and tried some different “brush” materials, forget everything I tried but usually softer materials would tend to get sucked in towards the vacuum inlet. One thing I did not try was to use standard brush, but trim some bristle “thickness” out of it. There’s about a zillion designs out there like the ones Will mentioned and thingiverse has a bunch more.

Enjoy your new machine and welcome to the forum!


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