V wheels jamming due to chips

Hi all,

I’m cutting renshape (PU) and it produces large chips (and some fine dust), these are long mills, maybe 1hr+. I have a dustboot which remove some of the debris, however, plenty doesn’t. I clean up on regular intervals however it’s very easy for it to get into the Z axis V wheels. I believe this has caused 2 belts to snap. Multiple workpieces have been damaged costing $$$.

PU tends to cling to the v wheel more than wood dust.

Is there anything to shield them? Maybe something I can 3D print and add in?




they are a mixed blessing, must make sure there’s enough clearance with belt and other things


Which dust shoe do you have which isn’t catching the majority of the dust?

I was using a 3D printed design from Offaxis Labs on Facebook and it was at least 99% effective (and I’m hoping the Sweepy will be even better).


Apparently he also made a new version of the recently. I tried to run the old version on my xxl and the covers interfered with the homing switches and some I just couldn’t get to fit so I retired them rather quick.


I would say that you need to improve dust collection. I only have to clean the v wheels with a toothbrush once in a while. The only things that get there are very fine particles.


I’ll second what others have said:

  • the wheel dust covers are an option…but you may or may not like them. I didn’t (for the reason @Siggies said: interference with other parts)
  • but mostly, a good dust shoe AND associated vaccum system (shopvac + large diameter hose) will be so effective that nothing besides fine dust will settle on the wheels. I do exactly as @luc.onthego, toothbrush on the wheels every couple of weeks, and that’s it.

Thanks for the 3D print cover!

I have suck it dust boot. With a moderate extractor, the issue is I’m doing milling over 50mm depth, so the dust boot can’t be in contact with the surface all the time, it would crash into everything. Unless there is something I’m missing?

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After 30mins of cutting it’s already looking to be an issue. It’s the big chips that are the issue I think.


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Window ac unit bellow repurposed. The plastic was essential in my case due to the use of wd40 at the time. Hot glue is your friend lol


Instructions for folding your own:



Mmh, that’s the worst case scenario…a (very impractical) workaround would be to lower the Suckit height every 10min or so?.
One alternative I have looked at myself is a floating dust shoe, not sure how it would cope with 50mm depth of cut though. I also have hope in the pressure foot concept @themillertree has been experimenting.

It seems to me that when the cutting surface if far from the dust shoe, you get better results with a cylindrical shoe, maybe try a Sweepy or another 3d-printed router-mounted dust shoe, and see if it helps ?

Right now I am using a custom fixed Z-height dust shoe that is halfway between a Suckit (fixed Z height) and a Sweepy (cylindrical intake), and I am very happy with how it performs, even when there is, say, 10mm gap between the shoe and the stock. I’m sure it would not work well at 50mm gap though…

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Really appreciate all the detailed replies. Might try the 3D printed cover first (just for the Z axis wheels) as that might be enough to deflect most debris.

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if to you go the route of the dust covers be cautious, especially when homing and tool paths that use most of your machines travel.


Great suggestions and solutions! In particular I like Vince.Fab’s re-purposed accordion plastic! Very clever :wink:

Just out of curiosity, with how you have your V-wheels set on your machine are you able to spin them by-hand on their rails? They should be firmly gripping the rails so that the spindle carriage doesn’t shake-rattle-and-roll around but they shouldn’t be so tight that you can’t spin them by hand, that will cause your machine to get tripped up by dirty rails very easily.

On my machine I get all kinds of dust (which escapes my dust-boot as well) that builds up on my X/Y/Z rails and their respective V-wheels as well, especially with projects that last hours, but I haven’t had a problem with dust or chips tripping my machine up. The only problems I’ve ever really had were with my Z-axis not getting enough juice - which caused the stepper to lose steps when it was plunging or in a downward cut, exclusively when with a 1/4" end mill, and it kept cutting higher and higher as a result during those runs which was a dead-giveaway to me. It took a couple of different projects spanning a few months before I finally had my Z-axis juiced just enough for it to not give me problems anymore. I prefer to run my steppers on the lowest current possible to maximize longevity, which of course resulted in the experiences I had.

Those V-wheels should not be so tight that you can’t slip them on the rails when turning them by hand though. They’re just there to hold the machine together in a linearly-bearing’d fashion …as opposed to giving it a death grip that a speck of fibrous-carbohydrate-foam-carcass can trip up. Check your V-wheels’ grip on there (should be able to spin them with your finger with a tad bit of effort) and your Z-axis stepper’s trim-pot. You should be able to get whatever you imagine you can get out of your machine without too much trouble.

Hope this helps! Let us know how it goes and good luck!

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