View Full Version : Just how quiet really are the water cooled spindles?

28-11-2011, 08:26 PM
Now I realise quantifying how loud something is is a subjective thing, but I'm just wondering for those that have or have seen the water cooled spindles used in anger, how quiet they are?

The few youtube videos I've seen seem loud! (but then again if the mic is very close...it will be.

So at the lower end of their revs....are they very quiet or still loud but just 'quiet' compared to their air cooled peers?!!

I have neighbours, (no garage, no shed....my loft is my workshop!) ......and they've a baby, so everything I buy is with a view to how noisy it's gonna be and how p1ssed they're gonna get by me CNC'ing!

I'm looking at buying a machine that already comes with an 800W water cooled spindle fitted.

28-11-2011, 10:22 PM
Hi HankMcSpank

It's hard to describe noise levels in words but I'll try.

I have a water cooled spindle and can report that when it arrived I ran up the motor resting on towel and it was barely audible. Just a faint whine that you would probably not hear in an adjacent room in the house. They use a different motor type, unlike the router with it's noisy universal motor.

When I clamped it to my machine (with aluminium plates, gantry etc.) the noise levels increased noticeably as the vibrations were now being amplified by the cnc machine. It's a bit like those old musical toys which are quiet in your hand but are much louder if you rest them on the table.

That's not to say it was noisy on the machine, probably similar to a cordless drill. You could easily hold a conversation next to the machine.

Now things get different when you actually start cutting. Depending upon the material this is probably where things get the loudest. Still not at router level but you just can't escape the noise created by the bit cutting the material. If you are in the loft with a party wall to your neighbours there's a chance they will hear the cutting noise. Your only defense is to build an acoustic enclosure around the machine. Make the enclosure walls fairly heavy, have good seals especially the doors, and add absorption to the inside.

Hope this helps.

28-11-2011, 11:16 PM
Thanks, pretty much what I thought, which brings me on to my next though ...acoustic amplification by the CNC frame bed!

BAsically, I'm looking to buy a moving table machine for no other reason than they appear quieter (or ought to be on paper!)...has anyone any real world experience experience and can confirm in a generalize manner?!

My little machine is quiet as can be when jogging about, it's this one...

http://img855.imageshack.us/img855/7589/pantherb.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/855/pantherb.jpg/)

It's hard to get a sense of scale there....but it's very small (in fact, I'll declare being a bozo, cos my eyes decieved me into thinking they were nema23 motors on the machine when I ordered it ....when it arrived I felt like a giant in legoland's mini cities of the world - the machine is definitely "CNC for 8yr olds" and the steppers on it are relatively asthmatic nema17 @70oz .....big DOH!).

I like the style and erhm 'solidness' of it so I was thinking of upping the ante to a larger sibling, something like this....

http://img62.imageshack.us/img62/5407/cnc3018.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/62/cnc3018.jpg/)

ok so being larger, it's likely to resonate/amplify the vibration/spindle noise more ...but I'm hoping that it'll still be tolerable.

The thing is the seller (UK based) says there's very little noise difference between that moving table design above that he sels vs a the moving gantry design he also sells similar to this...


If that's true I'd be gutted at missing the extra bed real estate (I dabble with guitars & could occasionally get a guitar body mounted on the 4030 machine!), but that table looks like an acoustic guitar body placed upside down - a whole load of resonant chamber ...with the strings in play here being the vibrations of the machine!

Confused....decisions, decisions.

28-11-2011, 11:46 PM
The actual cutting noise is definately much greater than the spindle itself.

......and they've a baby

Less noisy than the baby, and unlike the baby it's not tuned to be the most annoying frequency you can hear.

My video may help you. I talked in it at a normal volume to give a reference sound level:

28-11-2011, 11:59 PM
The actual cutting noise is definately much greater than the spindle itself.

But when most of your material is only 1.6mm FR4, that doesn't factor in much (I jog about a lot more than cut!)

Thanks for the link to your video....as mentioned earlier, it's difficult to assess from a youtube video as the mic positioning/sensitivity/AGC circuit can really affect the end result ...but I'd say that only 6,000RPM would be tolerable ...it seems crazy to have a VFD setup in my instance (I guess I could always flog it on to bring the total cost of the machine down). Either that or I can feel an acoustic shroud coming on!

PS Loving your other video...


...if the BBC Radiophonic Workshop lose their Tardis samples, they'll be knocking at your door!

29-11-2011, 12:02 AM
Noise seems like an odd reason to go for a moving bed! Compared to the cutting noise I doubt you'll notice much difference, but then I've never made a direct comparison of the two configurations so who knows.
Simply putting the machine in a box with a door with make a huge difference to the sound level.

Is there a website for those machines? That moving gantry machine has unsupported rails on the X-axis, can't see the Y-axis and Z has unsupported rails too. I'd steer clear of that ... if you want it to cut a decent feed and finish, or cut aluminium efficiently.

29-11-2011, 12:21 AM
They weren't the actual machines ...since the UK seller only has one left, I don't want to link to his site until I decide to pull the trigger or not! (PM sent)

30-11-2011, 10:27 AM
Spindle itself isn't too noisy. It's tool's flutes hitting the material makes the majority of noise. Some mills make more some less noise. Strait flute is more noisy than spiral. Cutting the edge rack does influence noise level as well.
However, sometimes steppers make more noise than spindle itself. Unbalanced flycutter can increase noise level, like in case of my pulleys cutting.


Rattling tools on machine bed make lots of terrible noises as well :whistling: