New Shapeoko Pro Enclosure

I’m trying to figure out

a) the hole diameter for air intake into the enclosure?
b) the hole diameter for air venting of an enclosed shop vac?

With both holes, I planned to create a baffle system to reduce noise escaping the enclosures.

My assumption was that because my hose is 2.5 inches and my shop vac exhaust was 2.5 inches, this was the answer to both ‘a’ and ‘b’ is 2.5 inches. Can somebody smarter than me confirm?

I am actually hoping that I will be able to use a hole smaller than the ~1.625" outer diameter of the hose purchased for dust collection on my Nomad 3, but instead something more like to the ~1.25" narrower diameter in-between the ribs — I’ll turn the hose into the hole and the hole fitting in-between the ribs should hold things securely and make for a better seal.

But I’ll start with some test holes in scrap.

There are two different issues with an enclosed vacuum used in an enclosure.

  1. The vacuum pulls air from inside the enclosure and there fore you need to get air into the enclosure. You do this through a vent to outside air. You may get some noise but you need air to get the chips evacuated from the enclosure. It is a trade off of noise vs efficiency.

  2. The shop vac enclosed needs air flow to keep the motor cool. Motor cooling is separate from the vacuum of chip extraction.

So the enclosure needs a vent to allow air to flow most efficiently inside the enclosure. This allows maximum effective air flow but also introduces fresh to cool your router and to a lesser extent your electronics.

The enclosed shop vac has a fan on top of the motor on most shop that pulls air into the motor assembly and keeps it cool. Heat is the enemy of all electronics. So you need a vent and a way to exhaust excess heat from the shop vac enclosure. The air that the motor pulls through the enclosure is not used to cool the motor because the motor has its own cooling system. So if you sound insulate the cavity where the shop vac is it will mitigate the noise it generates but it still needs fresh air or you will shorten the life of your motor.


For a simple system, matching the hole diameters is the minimum you should do, but ideally the air intake is multiples larger than the shop vac intake. Especially if you are going to add baffling, since you will incur losses that make the shop vac work harder or result in reduced performance. Same thing if you add filtration, the smaller the filtration holes the more losses will be incurred (even if added up they are larger than the shop vac intake). All that to say that looking at cross-sectional area is not enough to design the system, though it does give you a starting point.

Baffling the exhaust side means that backpressure is introduced to the system, so you’ll want that to be as open as possible too. Guy brings up good points about cooling the shop vac and router too. If you come up with a design, you can post it here and get some feedback before you build.

Edit: Apologies for the very handwavey explanation. There are a lot of variables to consider and you’ll need to decide if you want to optimize for system longevity, o’all noise reduction, build complexity, system size, vacuum performance, etc.


I’m a little jealous of the switch box shown in one of your photos. Is it custom made and hardwired for those appliances?

I’ve used a wall-mounted trailing lead with individual switches, but would love to know where I could get something like yours from!

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Peter, Thank You
The control panel is custom built and wired by me. I installed switched receptacles by each of the appliances (router, shop vac, lights, and cnc machine). I also added a usb/receptacle on the side of the control panel for my tablet which worked out perfectly.


I am looking to start my enclosure build in the next month. Can you please list the dimensions that you used? It would give me a good idea of how large I need to make mine.

Here are the dimensions:
59" wide x 48" long x 32" high
Note: This does not include the front door dimension to the overall length of the enclosure. The door adds another 3.25".
Hope this helps.


Thank you very much.

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Never one to turn down an offer for advice :blush:

I’ve uploaded the baffle for the vacuum cleaner cupboard. It is going to go against the back wall of the cupboard as I have depth, but not height.

I altered the airflow intake to be a 3inch x 3 inch entry point, and made sure to keep the width of the tunnel 3 inches throughout the maze. In terms of height, I was hoping to get away with just 2 inches, but can make it higher if need be.

I realize it is not the sexist baffle design, but was hoping that with enough turns and length, a lot of the sound would be lost


Based on your design I am going to try and make one with some modifications for vertical clamping in front of the machine so I can do dovetails and other joinery. I think I am going to inlay some extruded aluminum t-track on the vertical front below the CNC so I can use clamps to secure the vertical pieces.

I am using Sketchup to do the design, but I am very new to the software and will have to figure it out as I go. This is what I have so far.

I left part of the inner top uncovered so you can see what I am planning. The “blue” is high density foam insulation. It it will be inside the walls on all six sides. I am also going to install at least four dimmable lights inside so I can video a project being worked on if I want to later.

I also plan to add doors with windows on either side that will allow me to access the machine for maintenance if needed. I do need to figure out the best way to incorporate the dust/chip collection. I have a Shop Fox W1685 1.5-Horsepower 1,280 CFM Dust Collector, just need to figure the best way to use it.

If anyone has some suggestions, I would be more than grateful to hear them. I will upload the Sketchup file once I get it all figured out in case someone else wants to try and build one or improve upon it.


This is why I wanted to share my project with the Carbide 3d forum family…to inspire others, share ideas and engage in constructive discussion.
Your plans look very nice and I hope your ideas turn into reality. :+1:


I did something similar only mine is framed from 80/20 aluminum extrusion with 1/4" polycarbonate walls and top. I am using a ShopFox vac system for dust and chip collection on the ShapeokoXL as well all my other power equipment. An enclosure makes a HUGE difference in dust control.

How much sound reduction did you get using the extruded aluminum with the polycarbonate?

Do you have any pictures?

While that’s a good “old school” dust collector, you need to research more on the filter and cyclone additions you can add to that. Those older style collectors really add fine dust to your shop that escapes through the bag. (No matter what they claim in the literature.)


There is some sound reduction although the ShopFox adds to to it. I will post a couple pics later today. I have the front hinged of course, but I also have a hinge 2/3 of the way back on the top. It makes things much easier for access and no need to duck under a solid ceiling. The polycarbonate also allows the cameras on the ceiling of my garage a better view in case I’m called away for some reason.

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Exchanging that dust diffuser bag for a canister filter should help in the cleaner air department.


I really like this control panel and it’s given me an idea on how I want to build mine. But I have a question for you. You wired it all 120v and not through some motor control 12v system, correct?


Yes, the whole system is wired in standard 120 volt. I also ran two separate circuit so not to draw too much on the switches since there only rated at 11 amps each and taking into account for the router, vacuum cleaner, lighting, cnc machine, and any other miscellaneous equipment I decide to add later on.
Hope this helps.


@Boss302 for starters great job on the enclosure, looks very well built with great vision of what’s going on inside the cabinet which is probably a lot of fun just watching it at work. I’m going to take the leap as well and get my hands on one as soon as I can successfully place an order but in the mean time I decided to start learning/working with Fusion 360 to get the hang of it and put plans together for an enclosure. Somewhere you mentioned the dimensions of the cabinet being

Is this enough space to clear the dust boot when the gantry is all the way up front (work area and bit setter)?

Also I was planning on building a frame allowing to remove the side panels to access the machine if/when needed. With this strategy do you feel like the extra space on the sides can be reduced to make the enclosure more narrow or is that space needed to allow room for the wiring and/or other stuff?

As for the dimensions on their website (Footprint: 50" (X), 42" (Y), 19" (Z) ) can you confirm this includes the space for the drag chains?

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