Dust Collection for outdoors?

Hey all!

I’m new here, and just got my Maslow in the mail!!! I’m looking to build everything and get a cut done by the end of next week, and I’ve been doing some preliminary research on here, but am left with a few questions still.

I will be using my Maslow outside in a carport. I’m not worried about the weather, but I am worried about it being damaged by passersby. 1How viable is it to remove the sled when done each day and locking it inside the house? I will probably cover the frame with a tarp and just keep it near the house. Followup Are calibrations done often enough already that I’m going to be a pro at them, or will it just be a hassle every time? (I know Z axis ones are done often)
2 Since I’m using it outside, is it still recommended to have a dust collection? I have experience with a flat top CNC, and I know that the dust can get really packed into the cuts, even with an industrial dust collector. So it could still end up being a problem here.
Like most people I’m trying to keep the cost down, but I’m realizing that I’ve already reached the $500 benchmark for how much I expected to pay for it all, so I’ll have to wait a while to save up and be able to use Maslow safely if it is going to be a deal breaker without the dust collection.
3 Will my neighbors be upset with making too much noise all the time? (I have no idea how loud all of this will be, and again, I’m concerned about it being outside. I will wear ear protection, but will my neighbors wish they had some? :sweat_smile: )

I realize a lot of this is a fun personalization experiment, and here are build details I want to go with:
Frame: Bolt Together Maslow Frame (from community garden)
More Functions: Making the sled into a router table
Sled: Sled With Center Alignment (from community garden)
Switching to Triangle Kinematics (eventually): undecided on which system to go with
Z-axis Kit: I already have it, but I’m debating about whether or not to install it right away, I’d like to understand the machine in it’s basics before adding even more complexity. Thoughts?

Is there anything else that I’ve missed in the forums/community garden that is key for a new Maslowian? Something you wish you had started out with in the beginning?

Eager to cut some designs soon!

Taking the sled inside is one possibility, taking just the router motor inside is another possibility. You know your neighborhood and what can be left out.

If the chains are left in place outside there wouldn’t be a need to recalibrate. I often remove my sled and use a pair of spring clamps to tether the chains to the top of the workarea until I bring the sled back and hang it again.

If you need to take the chains in as well, there is a way to mark them during the initial calibration process so that you can do a short-cut ‘manual calibration’ every time you have to remove and restore the chains - quicker than the ‘SetChainLength-Automatic’ process. It’s a bit of fuss stringing the tensioning gear for the slack ends of the chain, but only a few minutes and no precision required.

Don’t hesitate to install the z-axis, you’ll soon tire of standing by to change the bit depth without it!

Use one of the Triangular Kinematics versions, the accuracy is better and the calibration simpler.

The noise is a tough call. you could take the router out to the car port today and run it to see. That’s the big noise maker unless there is a dust collector/shop vacuum as well. Maybe cut a house number sign with their name on it for the neighbors? Holiday yard cutouts?

Thanks for the quick response!

I will probably leave the chains in place based on this information.

I also love the neighbor noise fix :smile: I’m sure they would appreciate cute name/number signs!

So do you think the dust collector won’t be needed in my case?

The ‘dust collector’ is really more of a chip collector in this case. Outside, a shop vac will do if you have one. If not, do some cutting without and see what you think about the result. The noise of a vac or dust collector might be more bother than it’s worth.

Welcome to the forum!

Regarding dust collection, I have a pretty powerful dust collector, but when you scale the hose down to the size of the connection on the Ridgid default router, the effectiveness is really throttled. Also, when cutting large pieces and the sled gets into the lower corners, the dust collection hose can pull the sled off course if you are not on top of the process 100%. I have considered moving my Maslow outside (I added wheels to my rig, and I am not sorry) for long cuts, and ditching the dust collector. I honestly think you are better off without it, so long as the dust can easily be cleaned up. Do consider top quality breathing protection, even when working outside… the most dangerous thing in your wood shop for your health is wood dust.

Regarding noise, the router is pretty loud, even more so when it is cutting. Hearing protection is needed inside, and probably outside too.

Enjoy building your machine! Getting the Maslow to work for me was one of the most challenging things I have ever done, but really satisfying.

I haven’t been able to cut as much as I’d like but when I was cutting I noticed that too deep of a cut made the router scream. A more shallow cut and it was a slight hum from the motor. When that was the case I could comfortably not wear hearing protection. I’ve been working on a vacuum silencer and almost have all the kinks ironed out (over heating). My set up involves the vacuum silencer, above it is my dust cyclone, which kicks my hose above the frame and then I have my vacuum hose hanging down like the cords are to the router. No cords or hoses are on the ground. I’m hoping to not have to adjust the hose like @Dustcloud mentioned which I was also fighting. I’ll post pictures when it’s complete. When everything is hooked up I have absolutely 0 noticable dust. I’m happy with it.

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