Questions before getting a "machinist" for 3D carving

Hello Onefinity users,
I’m interested in getting a “Machinist” machine, I have a background in 3D maths, graphics and particularly heightmaps, and would like to make the step and bring some of those visuals to reality. I’m not completely new to wood crafting, but I have no cnc expertise, so I would like to ask you some questions before I make the big step.
I’ll try to make it as concise as possible so I hope to waste little of your time:


  1. due to allergy problems, I’m concerned about wood dust, so what’s the best option for dust suction I can pair with the machine? I mean both cnc accessories and the “vacuum machine”.

  2. I’d like to make an enclosure for the cnc, to seal the dust inside. Is there a suitable acrylic box I can buy out there for the machinist, or should I build a custom one? In your experience, is it an effective way to prevent dust hanging around?

-additional tools-

  1. I see the Makita RT0700C router is suggested, but I also see that the RT0701C is a newer model of the same series, should I get the latter or the older?

  2. I’ll also need a good set of tips, should I get many different sizes and also many replacement pieces? (does it happen to break often, once one gets the handle of it?)


  1. can mantainance on the rails be performed with non-chemical oils? I.e. natural oils (seeds, olive…)

  2. on the cnc usage: reading around I get that you (should?) go with two passes: a rough pass and a fine pass. So you first start with a coarse tip and then go with a thinner one. Is it correct?

  3. I’d like to generate wooden models of terrains, such as this one:
    on a 20x20 wood block, is the machinist suitable for the job? How much time would it take for the machine to carve a similar shape?

I guess I’d have a million more questions, but maybe you can also suggest a good book I can take on working with cncs, so I can study some more before I unleash all these annoyances to you :slight_smile:

Thank you for your time and all the best!

Great questions, will be listening for answers as well. I do have one comment. Regarding the oils. I had the same inclination when I got my battery chain saw. Did not want to be flinging oil into the environment /my yard. Got a gallon of grape seed oil and gave it a whirl. Worked the first time but after it froze everything and I had to purge the filter and pump with penetrant and then real chain saw oil, plus scrub the whole thing down and replace the bar and chain. Just glad I didnt have to throw the whole thing in the landfill! Do yourself a favor, just get the correct oil. There’s a reason for the recommendations.

Ouch, I can see that being quite annoying. Thanks for the information Brad, although I hoped for a different outcome in that experiment with the chain saw!
I’ve heard good things about Jojoba, Linseed and Canola oils (like they won’t “gum up” nor get rancid), but sure it would be quite a jump in the dark experimenting those on an expensive machine that you eagerly waited for months…!

Some answers, hopefully others will help as well.

The Suckit Dust Boot with a Makita 2512L (European reference) does a really good job of keeping the working area clean but some dust remains. This appears to be mostly when the dust boot does not fully cover the piece so I don’t think it can be avoided.

Note that a new dust collection has just been announced, the Infinite Dust. Alex shared his experience in this thread.

RT0700C is 230V, RT0701C is 110V. Choose according to where you live.

The only purpose of the roughing pass is to save time: the larger bit removes more material, faster.

The time you save depends on the job. It is particularly true for 3D work (such as these wooden terrains) or when you have large pockets to mill in a 2D design.

For small 2D design, I now prefer to cut with the small bit only. The machine is slower but, overall, I reduce manipulations, the risk of errors and this saves me time.

The machinist is 16"x16" cutting area. It’s too small for your wood block.

Thanks a lot for the answers ben!

Very valuable info on dust collection, I’m adding some items to my basket.

I overlooked the change on the Makita router was just for different voltage, Amazon was suggesting the other as the “new version” and I mistakenly trusted… thanks for making it clear to me now.

Going to study some more on the rough passes, it would be probably useful for me (also to save on thinner bits perhaps?) now I mainly need to check if softwares aptly calculate rough passes on their own or you have to tinker with the code to make it work (or work “good”…)

Sorry I didn’t specify - I meant 20x20 centimeters, so the machinist should fit ok!

The software manages the multiple passes, the actual setup will depend on your software of choice.

I’m in Belgium so I work in metrics but there are so few of us in this forum that I just assumed it was imperial :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

To answer your question then: absolutely the machinist can cut it. I don’t do much 3D work so I cannot give you a reliable time estimate but you’re looking at hours, not minutes. What I have noticed is that you really need to optimise the passes and the bits you use when you do 3D work, it makes a huge difference.

Yep, I can understand we’re few, it takes some willpower (and a lot of money savings) getting a Onefinity here in the EU! :sweat_smile:
(I’m in Italy btw)

Very good to know softwares handle the rough pass, if Iìm going to do 3D I’ll better take advantage of this strategy to cut a little on manufacturing times (hours - gosh!)

Thanks a lot ben!

Hey, I’m in the US and I’m working entirely in metric! :laughing:


Sharpening my question about dust collection.
I’m looking into dust boots, but my doubt is: would it be a suitable solution to collect dust on 3D milled models? Wouldn’t it even “interfere” with the router carriage movement, like risking the extra arms/boot could hit some “relief”?
To my unexperienced eyes it seems like this solution would be best suitable for 2D carvings, but perhaps I’m completely mistaken?

You shouldn’t have any issues with the arms hitting the relief since the SuckIt boot doesn’t move up and down (it is independent of the Z axis). What you will find though is that as the reliefs get deeper, the brush under the boot will no longer create a seal against the workpiece and the suction will become less and less effective.

I usually find that it is adequate to catch most of the dust, especially the finer stuff. It do s leave some of the larger chips behind, however, if the space between the brush and workpiece gets too large. For reference, I use a dust collection system which moves a lot of air, bit at a lower pressure. A shop vac might have better results since the pressure at the nozzle end should be higher.

Thanks a lot for the very detailed and informative answer! That makes it much more clear to me now about the arms being independent from Z movement.
I can see as the “empty space” in the model grows the collection will worsen due to distance between the suction part and the chip.
That all sounds reasonable to me and easen my hesitance, good!