Shapeoko - retirement tool

As the years add up the possibility of some day moving to a retirement community looms.

I did not purchase my Shapeoko XL with that in mind but it occurred to me as I assembled it and cut out the first couple projects (just hold downs and clamps for the spoiler board) that this is a machine that could live in a second bedroom.

Is anyone in this situation and how is it working out ?

Thanks, Bill

I’m not far from it with my XL in the middle of a finished basement (my workbench is a small thing at one end of the laundry room).

Probably you’d want an enclosure, and you’ll probably want the enclosure to fit your vacuum as well.

Other possibilities are using the machine w/ alternative spindles such as a drag knife or diamond drag tools.

If you intent to use the Shapeoko indoors in living space you definitely need an enclosure that has sound proofing. Most interior walls do not have any insulation or sound proofing and the whine of a Shapeoko can be irritating to neighbors. I have seen posts on this forum about putting the shapeoko on the dining room table and cutting MDF and their significant other giving them grief about the mess. Along with the dust collection you need a relatively quite dust collector. The Festool, Makita and other HEPA type dust collectors publish their decibel numbers and you will need to get a quiet dust collector.

Fortunately I have a full wood working shop and can prepare my work pieces for cutting. You might want to see if any place you move has a shop facility on the premises or if that is not possible a makers space close by in your city.

That reminds me that the millennial’s call themselves makers like they invented making things. When teenagers discover sex they think they invented it. They forget how they were created by their parents and grandparents and so on and so on.

Good Luck and keep thinking ahead.

I have a enclosure made with 80/20 and the walls are 1/4 thick. I would estimate it cuts the noise in half. However it is still very loud depending on what you are cutting and the type of operation.
Also dust collection is also loud. Here is what I would suggest to build a in home system that would reduce noise as much as possible and hopefully not bother neighbors.
Build a sound proof room.
Build an enclosure with thick soundproof walls.
Get a water cooled spindle.
Build a sound proof box for dust collection.
Adjust toolpaths to be as quiet as possible especially at night.
I live in a country area on a square 1+ acre lot. When I am running a normal adaptive clearing operation on hard wood .2 doc, you can clearly hear it outside with the doors closed and 40+ feet away from the general area, but my only sound reduction is an enclosure.
Sorry to say this might be very difficult especially in a retirement community with lots of people that like to go to bed early and do not like loud noise…

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This is my setup in what used to be my office in our basement. It is a 12’ x 12’ room. The dust collection system is a VacMaster 5 gallon shop Vacuum with a decibel rating of 74 used with a Dust Deputy. Cutting MDF we can close the door and go upstairs and all you hear is a soft hum.

How this will vary with different material I cannot say.

The shop vac attached to a Dust Deputy with a Carbide3D Sweepy dust boot caught almost all of the dust from the MDF. I was very impressed with that configuration as I have worked with MDF in my home shop before installing a dust collector and my nasal passages tell me very quickly if that stuff is in the air.


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