Quieter spindle and vacuum?

Now that I have my MPCNC up and (mostly) working, I’m running into a noise issue. The only time I really have available to play with this is at night after the kids go to bed… I need to find a quieter spindle and a quieter shop vac (or some way to muffle the current one), all without breaking the bank. Any suggestions?

I do not think a vacuum that “sucks” good is gonna be quiet. I just bought a nice 5 gallon 6 HP shop vac on sale. She sucks hard but is quiet loud.

I think some of the Chinese spindles are relatively quiet compared to the 660 roaring monster sounds.

Dust collection systems for woodworking are typically higher volume, and lower pressure than shop vacs, and they can be reasonably quiet. Quiet enough that you don’t need hearing protection anyway. There are a lot of people buying the harbor freight dust collection system, and editing it, adding a chip separator, etc. They are big though, because the impeller gets very large to move that much air. I have one in my shop that has to be 30 years old, and it is just a big barrel with an impeller on the top, and it’s pretty quiet and sucks enough. I don’t have any idea where to find something like that now. The big distinction is “dust collection” vs. “shop vac”.

Well I put in an order for a 500W spindle w/PSU last night… $82 on aliexpress. Hopefully it works out.

I’ll look into the harbor freight dust collection system. Thanks!

So it looks like the Harbor Freight dust collectors are pretty pricey… I’m tempted to just print a giant shield for a box fan, and connect it to a mesh bag on the other size to catch debris… I’m not really aiming for serious dust filtration here, just trying to move the debris out of the way in a moderately quiet manner. Though I suppose I could do some sort of water filtration if I really want to filter out the dust…

Yeah, you can frequently find 20% off coupons, so it ends up being $160.


Very cheap for a dust collector.

Have you thought of using compressed air? If you don’t have a compressor, still not cheap, but it’s at least useful for other things. Not fun for MDF, but it will do the trick.

If you want to go DIY, this is a very clever machine, and I bet you could run it from a boxfan motor:

Oops, I meant this one:

300W 48vdc. Still need to figure out a dust shoe.

Nice, the carving is louder than the spindle!

Nice! How do you like it so far? Did you have to slow down the cutting? Do you notice any difference in cut quality?

Yea, I’m thinking I’m about to piss off my wife. Just playing around with some 3d cuts, not liking it at all. It’s quiet, but I can’t get the feeds anywhere close to not chattering all over hell and back. It’s also stupid long. Basically a dc motor with a collet adapter stuck to the front of it. Sticks down about 2 inches before the end mills even start. Honestly the Dewalt cuts way better.

That’s a bummer… I have a 500W one on the way, so I’m hoping it’ll be able to keep up. I have no issue with the DW660/cuts, but the noise just isn’t an option.

David, please advise if you like the 500w you have coming. I’m interested in this as well simply due to noise. However I cut a fair amount with a 1/4 bit and need the power to do so. Thanks.

@Brian I got the 500W spindle working but haven’t played with it much. So far I haven’t seen a lot of difference in cutting ability, but I have only used a 1/8" bit on both the spindle and the DW 660. I’m not getting the burn marks from it like I did with the DW660, but I haven’t really pushed either to their limit in terms of cutting ability.

OK, thanks for the update. I’ll probably end up picking one up, just would rather buy right the first time and learn from folks who have used it.

Yep, I had hoped to do the same, but ended up getting impatient :slight_smile:

I’m planning on making a bookshelf this weekend. I’ll probably have a better idea of how well it works by then.

You can build a “sound proof” enclosure for your shop vac. I haven’t done it yet, but I have considered it.

Key points I’ve taken away from my research is that in order to significantly reduce sound, you need a lot of mass, mechanical separation and layers of different density/thickness. For instance, you could build a box out of 3/4" MDF or some other heavy dense material, then line the box with another material, like sheet rock or 1/2" plywood. The key is to mechanically separate the two layers and the way to do that is with a material like “Green Glue” (I’ve also read that Roberts 3095 carpet adhesive works really well at a fraction of the cost of Green Glue). You could then line the inner box with a mass loaded vinyl material.

Another key point is that acoustic foam (egg crate foam, etc.) is not really meant for sound proofing. Acoustic foam is hung in recording studios and whisper booths to prevent echos, not to sound proof them.

I found this blog post helpful/interesting: https://acousticalsolutions.com/soundproofing-small-loud-widgets/

A plywood box with baffles lined with scrap carpet works amazingly well for how inexpensive it can be.

The problem with putting a shop vac in a box is heat. They need air to cool themselves. You’d be surprised by how much heat they generate. I run pretty long jobs, overnight usually. When I check on it in the morning my shop will be warm. This is a 12-ish by 36-ish foot uninsulated room built into a 200 year old barn.

I’ve actually considered putting the entire machine into an enclosure with space for the vacuum underneath, but I live in a townhouse and my garage shares walls with two neighbor’s living spaces. I really don’t want to be a noise nuisance to my neighbors.

Another thing I’ve considered is building a sturdier table/base/stand for the machine using a loudspeaker stand building technique. Basically you use large diameter PVC pipe for the legs and fill them with sand (plywood above and below the tubes and all-thread through the middle to hold it all together).

Probably all a bit excessive, but interesting to consider!