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Dust collector for CNC router

kb0thn

Member
Hi Guys,

I have a ~5' x 10' Weeke Optimat CNC router that I am re-controlling and bringing online. It appears to be a fairly serious machine with an 8 HP water cooled router spindle, 11 other spindles, grooving saw, etc. The dust collector shroud terminates to an 8" diameter round hose port.

It's not going to be a production machine and I am thinking that it will probably get used 1 to 10 hours a month. Mostly wood and maybe some sheet plastics.

I'm trying to figure out what to do for dust collection. I obviously need to suck the stuff away around the spindles.

I'm not to concerned about heat loss and trying to keep conditioned air in the shop. For the amount I will be running it, if I have to dump conditioned air outside, that's not the end of the world. Similarly, if some wood dust makes it outside, that is also not a problem. I just want something that can suck all the chips out of the way and put them in a container.

I bought a Jet JCDC-3 3HP dust collector, but Jet fucked me and shipped me a JCDC-2 2HP collector. Which is just a baby machine. The little bucket the wood goes into would probably fill up in 30 seconds. And Jet won't make it right and give me what I purchased. So while credit card dispute and BBB complaint and probably small claims work their way through, I still need a dust collector!

The machine (it's 14' long, for scale):
20190216_161618.jpg

The baby dust collector that I know isn't big enough:
20211212_164022.jpg

I'm not a wood worker and have never done any wood dust collection beyond a shop vac. So go easy on me!

Thanks,

-Jim
 

DDoug

Active member
My dumb rule of thumb says that if the machine has an 8" port, get pipe and a blower
all with 8" inlets.
 

D Bronson

Member
Jim:

The 2hp should be good for 800-900 cfm. A router running a single spindle needs about 500cfm at minimum. It should work ok if the router is the only machine running. Make sure you transition gradually from the 8" outlet to, say, 6" piping. Nice looking machine. Bye the bye - there's a company here in MN that has parts for the vacuum pods. Nemi.com

Regards,

DB
 

Scruffy887

Active member
^^ I was wondering were the pods were too. The 2hp will help keep the air clean but don't expect it to pick up all the chips. We have an older Weeke and you WILL sweep up around it a lot.
As you learn the machine you will no doubt whack the pods with a bit a few times. Pod looses vacuum, part goes flying. Bondo is what we have used to repair a pad or two.
What size vacuum pump?
 

kb0thn

Member
The 2hp will help keep the air clean but don't expect it to pick up all the chips.

Is there a size dust collector that will pick up the chips?
and/or
How much dust does get sucked up? The baby (wrong) 2HP collector I have seems to save something like a 20 gallon bag. Is this going to last minutes or hours or days while doing profile routing?

As you learn the machine you will no doubt whack the pods with a bit a few times. Pod looses vacuum, part goes flying. Bondo is what we have used to repair a pad or two.
What size vacuum pump?

I believe it is a 10HP vacuum pump. I have it sitting on top of the cabinet and I haven't look at in since 2019 when I got the machine. I bought the machine to do cabinets for the house my wife and I are building. And now the house is just about ready for cabinets, so I need to get the machine going!

I have a punch of pods. The seller (cabinet shop with a bunch of routers) suggested that I ditch the pods and go with a phenolic vacuum table with MDF spoil board. While I am converting the machine and getting started, I was going just to bolt down a piece of MDF and use plastic Raptor Nails to hold things down. Then play with the pods once I have a little bit better idea of what I am doin. Then decide if I want a traditional vacuum table. There will be extra learning for me as I have, for better or worse, embarked on replacing the NUM 1020 control with a LinuxCNC control.

Thanks!
 

Scruffy887

Active member
We had a 5 hp and it would get a lot, but not all. And 10 HP is a fairly small pump for a full spoil board machine of that size. Num is a fairly powerful control, is it faulty? Next big question. Do you know what type of cabinets you want? Going to use nested base fabrication? I am pretty sure Weeke still uses Woodwop software to run that machine. Simple to use and very fast to use right on the shop floor.
 

kb0thn

Member
We had a 5 hp and it would get a lot, but not all. And 10 HP is a fairly small pump for a full spoil board machine of that size. Num is a fairly powerful control, is it faulty? Next big question. Do you know what type of cabinets you want? Going to use nested base fabrication? I am pretty sure Weeke still uses Woodwop software to run that machine. Simple to use and very fast to use right on the shop floor.

Hi Scruffy,

Thanks for the response.

The NUM control was a big unknown for me. The machine sat for many years before I got it. The battery was unplugged from the control and it would not communicate. I was able to plug in the battery and get the control to talk to the Windows ME computer. But I was not able to find any software to see what was going on with the NUM controller. The machine just wouldn't do anything. I think it was interlocked somewhere. But with no information at all from the controller, I never got anywhere in the 20 hours I spent working on it. There doesn't seem to be any way to access the ladder or see IO states or anything. Basically all I got was a Windows ME program that wouldn't do anything.

So then the machine sat for 2.5 years. Now with a need for it, I made the decision to re-control the machine with LinuxCNC. I figured that with 100 hours of work, I might be able to get it working with the NUM controller. But I'd still have a dead end with a 20 year old Windows ME computer. And it's a machine that it seems like I would like to keep for 20+ more years. I know that once I've gotten the machine on LinuxCNC control, I can support the machine "forever". At that point I will have figured out the wiring and the logic and even if I have to re-control the machine again, the hard work will be done. Or at least that is my hope.

So far I've been very impressed with the quality of the electrical and the very straightforward way it is wired. All of the inputs go right to two input boards. And all of the outputs are driven by relays from two output boards. I've mapped out the connectors so I can build new cables to connect those to my MESA boards. And the 3 axis are driven by fairly standard looking servo amplifiers. And the spindle is driven by a fairly standard looking VFD. Most of the auxiliary mechanical stuff is pnuematic with the pneumatic solenoids and limits switches just landing nicely on the previously mentioned boards. What is probably the most helpful is that Weeke labeled each physical sensor, motor, etc with big yellow and black labels. So I can actually find the parts!

I regret that I will loose the woodwop conversational programming. I really like the conversational programming I have on my Mazak machine tools and it's going to be a bummer not to have something similar on this machine.

I'm not really sure what nested base fabrication is. I was just assuming this thing would be like a laser cutter and everything would just get nested onto flat sheets. I am planning on doing frameless cabinets so I can save making face frames. I've bought a shaper and am figuring out how to do rail and stile cabinet doors. I have a Kreg foreman jig. I am hoping I can just blast euro hinge pockets and dowel pins and what not into my panels and then dead blow hammer and screw the panels together and magically have cabinets. I have a handheld edge bander, but my goal is to get my wife on board with just have a nice tight plywood grain showing.

I really know nothing about cabinet construction. I spent a while touring and talking with the owner of the cabinet shop I got the machine from. He was banging out millions of dollars a year of commercial (school, doctors office, etc) cabinets with just routers, a big edge bander, and a Kreg machine.

Thanks!
 








 
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