Help me spend my money! Making my first CNC purchase

Quick background and goals before we get started.

I’m blessed with a good sized woodshop and have a nice assortment of tools and dust collection. My 15yr old son and I are curious about CNC and laser engraving. Value and support brought me to Onefinity. My son would like to see if he could make Some money @ local markets.

We’re looking@ the Journeyman for flexibility and want to add the 14w laser.

what accessories are worth the money?
1.Dust collection boot? I’d like to do a 4" but not sure how that would work swapping out the laser.
2. Air assist? I’m thinking its wise but looking to those who know more.
3. Cord Chains seem to be a must but what wires do I need to order extensions for?
4. What size table do you recommend? I intend to build an enclosure for noise reduction.

Anything I’m forgetting to put on the must buy? (I’ve done homework on bits,etc.)

Thanks in advance

I have the pwncnc 4” boot and like it. You didn’t mention monitor but if you have plenty of space go for a 20” or larger touch screen and skip on the smaller one. My table is 4’ x 7’ with a bank of drawers on one side.

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Is the tablet monitor too poor quality or is it that the font settings too small to easily read? Does the controler have a standard HDMI output or is it some other type of connector?

Stock monitor has clunky mount, not easy to read with old eyes, too easy to fat finger buttons. ASUS VT 229h is compatible and ~$250.

Standard HDMI cable to connect monitor and a usb if you’re using a touch screen.


I’m only a tiny bit further on the journey(man) than you, but here are my views on your questions:

  • 4” boot on a cyclone collector is so good that no dust escapes from wood or brass milling. My boot is from Sola Fide (Etsy) and they’re a dream to work with. They even came up with a device prototype to solve a separate specific challenge on my set up.
  • No enclosure needed. My reasons were sound, dust and (honestly) looks. Dust isn’t a factor now, Sound is quieter than the dust collector (I use a spindle). The interest in looks was overcome by the complexity of fitting in a basement shop, as well as the realization that further mods would be harder to make.
  • I made a torsion box at 49 x 79. The 79 leaves room for the stuff that accumulates during a set-up (tools, eyeglasses, etc) but shouldn’t be on the device when it rapidly zeroes itself. The 49 is just enough, when you see where the Y-control wires go, and you think you’ll want an enclosure. Think about 1-2” more. The cabinet under it has more cu ft than I’ll ever use for CNC tools. I built in 6 drawers and left the rest as cabinets.
  • Drag chains are great. Mine are from Route 1 in Huntington Valley, PA (Etsy). They make 3D printed attachment devices and cord clamps. You provide aluminum angle pieces (from a big box store) and plastic drag chain links (Amazon). They also sold me extensions that replaced all of the ones from Onefinity. My cords are all either encased in the drag chain or tunneled in the torsion box.
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Really helpful information, thank you. I’ll be looking up those Etsy stares today. Do you think the Sola Fide dust boot could quickly be moved out of the way to attach the laser diode?

Sometimes the best things come to fruition when you have an accident. The space is very tight in my small shop/shed, hence after the second time I knocked my “monitor” off its magnetic mount I needed to replace it. Note, it still worked but I cut my finger on the cracked glass. Instead of buying another dummy “monitor”, I replaced it with a computer tablet (MS Surface Pro). Having an actual dedicated tablet computer connected to my 1F and to my home network was a total game changer. No more usb sticks, all files in one place, no longer having to walk back to the house for a small or large design modification, and being able to design something else, read emails/texts, or buying materials online all while monitoring the 1F has been life changing. I know, NOT RECOMMENDED!, but everyone does something and most not right at the table.

My monitor/computer suggestion was a little off track, addressing your request for comments on “air-assist”. It is a must have! Saves a lot of time/cuts down the number of passes and has less smoke/burn marks. It’s like turning on the oxygen on a blow torch or adding oil to cutting a pipe thread or drilling a hole. It just turbo charges your laser!

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I don’t have a laser, so read my thoughts with caution. But the Sola Fide dust boot is very easy to move or remove. In fact, I often remove it to change bits, because a 4” hose needs a big boot. It secures by gripping my spindle, and is easy to slide up or sideways by loosening a thumb screw…

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