CNC Dust Brush Issues

      Brush strips around CNC routers may pick up sawdust and chips and drop them during tool changes. Here, equipment owners discuss alternative dust skirt materials. October 1, 2005

I want to replace the "brush" style dust pickup around the router on my CNC. It collects dust okay, but it also snags and contains a lot of chips that can drop and land on the tools when doing tool changes. Any ideas?

Forum Responses
(CNC Forum)
From contributor T:
I've been having similar problems - also, brushes don't last too long. I'm considering replacing my brush strips with a flexible, clear polyurethane skirt which has had "fingers" cut into it. Anyone able to give advice on this?

From contributor E:
What type of machine? I had an older Multicam with a pretty bad dust collecting boot, but I checked with Multicam and they had a newer model. This has worked a lot better. The new boots had round brushes and I was able to find them at other companies on the internet. I tried the finger idea, but it didn't work as well - that's why I replaced the boots.

From the original questioner:
I have a Multicam, as well, with the round brushes. Seems to work okay as far as dust pickup, but the brushes collect a lot of chips and debris which can fall onto a tool holder during the tool change. Happens mostly when I am cutting VC material, rather than PB core.

From contributor M:
I replaced the brushes on our Anderson with ones I found at They are actually door sweep brushes, but they work great. Even the service tech said they work better than the original.

From contributor S:
I have the same dust hood and I found that a lot of the vacuum was lost around the top of the hood and the spindle. I cut some thin felt material to fit the hood with a hole cut out to just clear the spindle (you could, of course, use some other kind of material - this is what I had laying around and it had an adhesive back). This created a lot more vacuum and I seldom have any problems.

From contributor E:
Use the keywords "strip brush" to search the Internet.

From contributor A:
Go to and do a search for conveyor brushes. They are the same as the strip brushes. I use them and they work great.

From the original questioner:
Thanks for the info, but I'm looking for an alternative to the brush part that would be less apt to snag wood chips, etc.

From contributor S:
If you create enough vacuum, you will not have a problem with wood chips collecting on the brush.

From contributor D:
We have a machine that came with a clear poly strip about 2.5" wide with 1.25" fingers cut about 1" apart. Thought this was kind of hokey and lodged a complaint. Was sent a brush strip as replacement. Used the brush for a couple of weeks and then chucked it in favor of the poly/finger thing. I'm going to try one with longer fingers. The short ones are fairly stiff. Don't want them too bendy, though.

From contributor T:
Contributor D, that sounds like the sort of stuff I'm looking for. Any idea where to buy it? What type of machine did it come on?

From contributor D:
It came on our Thermwood. They sell it by the foot. I think it's pretty cheap.

From contributor M:
The brush style hood around drill and router spindles is designed to help create a vacuum for your dust collector to pick up the chips and dust. It's not meant to sweep the chips off of a part. It's like a brush, so it can follow the contour of a part like in a pocket cut, groove, or hole. If you can't pick up the dust and chips, you need to increase the intake to your dust collection system.

From the original questioner:
I'm aware of the reasoning behind the brush style pickup. I have plenty of vacuum, in fact I could have too much, if that is possible. The inside bristles of my brush have actually started to bend inward when the vac is turned on and interfering with the suction. I'm just open to trying something different to see if it yields better results.

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