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Dust box for Dremel

A lot of things I make tend to involve carving large holes with Dremel. With proper cutting bits, it is a fast way to make custom enclosures for all kinds of projects. However, it does generate an awful lot of chips and dust. For years now, I have had small walls made of fiberboard around it to contain the dust; now I decided to make it a bit more presentable.

A good thing is that most of the material is removed as quite large chips. Therefore they don't float around in the air as much as dust, but land wherever they hit the closest obstacle. So putting a wall on five sides of the tool manages to contain most of the particles.


The box is made of two 15 mm thick plywood pieces that form the floor and the ceiling, and a 4 mm plywood stretched around it to form the walls. The direction in which I bended the plywood wasn't the most optimal: due to the way it was stored on a roll, it resisted quite a bit. Furthermore, the knots on the outer surface bulged a little. Nevertheless, apply enough screws (every 5 cm!) and it obeys the curve just fine.

Surface is painted with a glossy white acrylic paint. Glossy for the purpose of being easy to clean, and white to provide for a good lighting inside the box.

I mounted an electrical outlet on the inside of the box. It just goes to a normal cable and a plug, so it is basically just a fancy extension cord; i.e. no electrician required by Finnish law. A 10 watt compact fluorescent lamp in the ceiling provides a very nice and smooth lighting, and the light reflected from walls avoids the formation of any sharp shadows on the workpiece.

End result

The box is pleasant to work inside, and sits steadily on three rubber feet. Actually it is a definite improvement from the "on table" setup I had earlier, so if it also manages to contain some dust in addition it is a win-win.

So far I have done some polycarbonate milling, and those chips stayed nicely in the box. Of course some fly forwards through the big opening, but they are easy enough to swipe or vacuum off. The important thing is that I don't get chips all over the table anymore.

Time will tell how well it succeeds in containing smaller dust, from e.g. wood sanding; that depends largely on what kind of air flow forms inside the container. The Dremel tool has an exhaust fan for cooling, so that may increase the turbulence.

– Petteri Aimonen on 22.9.2013

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