What are you using for dust collection with your CNC? I have been cutting a bunch of MDF and the dust and table cleanup is driving me crazy, to the point I am thinking of telling the customer I am not interested.
I have a Disa/Dantherm 7.5 hp dust collector. Is this sufficient? The tech said it was when I bought the CNC, but I am wondering now. Is cleaning the table with compressed air a good idea, or is this fine dust hard on the CNC?
Also, we are left with lots of waste as we are machining door skins. Has anyone tried to chip MDF into sawdust or wood chips for easier disposal?
From contributor M:
I knew of a house door plant that ran MDF panels in their paint grade doors. They only ran the panels at night because all the blow by in their dust system caused people to call the fire department thinking something was wrong. Point being, it is very hard to contain MDF and your dust system must not have near the get and go to pull the fine particles. I am also not a fan of launching dust all over the shop when blowing off the table, but if your system is leaving that much behind, I am not sure what you do. Make sure your bags are clean and get the maximum advantage of the suction you do have. Way back in the day our shop had a small 30hp system that we shut down every day at lunch to shake the bags, it made that much difference.
We use a hog for chipping solid wood edgings and it is 75hp and connected to our 125hp dust system. They make chippers for full size sheets that easily would handle MDF, but you are getting into the next level of infrastructure to handle it.
We use a floor brush with wand that we get from local vac dealers to clean the table. Much faster and cleaner than using valuable CNC time to sweep it, in my opinion.
We cut 2 sided MDF core melamine and Baltic birch and have very little dust problem other than human error. Since we are almost always using an up/down shear diamond bit on the MDF melamine and a Vortex 3185 on the BB, it is difficult to ever get a 100% dust/chip free toolpath if you are moving along at 700IPM or more.
I would love to put a small tube that would direct a blast of air at the bit, but the ATC makes it difficult to secure it. It could be done, if I made the time. There is one tool called Aero something and it creates its own little vacuum, but it is expensive. Almost everyone that has it says it is great.