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  1. #1
    Hello all, another basic question here from myself!

    I've managed to 'acquire' a spindle. very similar to this for nothing:

    Now i know these are very underpowered and probably pretty useless for most work, but i currently don't have a spindle at all and my machine is just sitting there making nothing at the moment and i really want to start making chips! even if they are only small ones lol.

    i'm only going to be cutting wood so i don't mind using a small spindle just for now until i can upgrade.

    my question is though what kind of speed controller do i need? or do i need an inverter/vfd? if it is the latter am i just better off buying a new spindle/vfd together like this one?

    apologies for sounding dumb, but i'm rubbish with electronics lol.

    i have the leadshine mx3660 breakout/driver board so if possible it would be nice to be able to switch the spindle on and control the speed through that. im using linuxcnc.

    thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Hi Thomas,

    I think when all said and done these motors/spindles are just a typical DC motor, so you can just give them 12-48v and your away.

    I would imagine then that you can just vary the voltage supplied, to control the speed, you may be able to do this with a controller depending on what you've got, however it may just be better to get/use a standard type potentiometer where you control the speed manually.

    I say the above because to be honest I wouldn't bother to invest any time or energy in one of those spindles, they work yes (they hold a cutter and spin) but their not really up to much at all, not sure if you've noticed or not but they are fitted with an ER11 collet, that's going to limit you to very small cutters for a start.

    If your looking to fit it to one of these 4-500 Chinese machines, then yeah pop it on the machine and crack on making dust as you've nothing to lose.

    If it's going on a machine that is much more capable then that is when I would say don't bother, the machine will be capable of more than the spindle will like and you'll just kill it or be limiting yourself/machine, it will just end up being a false economy is what I mean to say.

    If you consider what is involved with adding a spindle to a machine (properly), it would be a much better investment of everything to use a more worthy spindle to start with.

    The best price I can find a 2.2k water cooled spindle and vfd for is 180, they've sold lots, comes with a 2 year warranty but more attractive is the quote of 4 quality bearings in the spindle:

    I haven't ordered from them yet but I will be soon and I'm pretty positive that's who I will buy from, they do have negative feedback but I couldn't find any that related to this item.

    As I said these spindles do work, here is a video of one actually cutting something:

    Last edited by Lee Roberts; 23-07-2016 at 04:05 PM.

  3. #3
    Thomas If this is the build you are doing I would go with a Water cooled spindle as they are very quiet. The air cooled are noisy. As Lee has said the 1.5KW has an ER11 collet the 2.2Kw has the ER20 which would be better if you want to make a bigger machine in the future. You won't be happy with the DC after a few minuets . Good luck with the build.
    Last edited by Clive S; 23-07-2016 at 04:21 PM.
    The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

  4. #4
    Most of those little 400w "spindles" come with controllers that use a pot to control the speed. You should be able to use the PWM signal from Mach3 and convert it to a 0-5V signal to use in place of the pot.

    But really, you're better off buying a real spindle.
    UCCNC 2017 Screenset

    Mach3 2010 Screenset

    JointCAM - CAM for Woodworking Joints

  5. The Following User Says Thank You to Ger21 For This Useful Post:

  6. #5
    1hp spindles also work very good for small machines and cutters up to 8mm. Plus a brand 0.75kw VFD like Toshiba are around 110 euro only. Actually for a small machine not meant for production, i don't see a reason for a bigger spindle.

    Less than that i would not go.
    project 1 , 2, Dust Shoe ...

  7. #6
    Yes Clive that is the machine it is for, it's been a long build but it will get finished one day lol! Family life takes over and it keeps having to be put on hold.

    I'll leave the 400w spindle then, I was expecting that answer tbh!

    I'll save up and get the water cooled spindle then, I will have to get some new brackets made to mount it tho so may take me a bit longer. I used to be a machinist in a heavy engineering workshop so had access to making pretty much anything I wanted back then, but now I'm in an office job I'm limited to asking my old work mates to make bits for me!

    Do you have a link to one of those spindles Boyan?

    Thanks for the advice everyone!

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by thomashomer1986 View Post

    Do you have a link to one of those spindles Boyan?
    0.8kw spindle, its ok to buy it together with the chinese VFD drive, which many people use. I use one for my 3kw spindle , price wise. But for smaller motors i personally use and prefer the Toshiba VFD

    With the correct cutter 0.8kw spindle does not have problem to go up to 1/4 deep in aluminum with 1/4 carbide bit, provided mist cooling
    Last edited by Boyan Silyavski; 25-07-2016 at 12:48 PM.
    project 1 , 2, Dust Shoe ...

  9. #8
    The 0.8Kw spindle are only 65mm Dia. Think first if you are going to build a bigger machine in the future as the 1.5Kw or 2.2Kw are not much more money and they have a bigger collet
    The more you know, The better you know, How little you know

  10. #9
    I did make a mistake when building my machine to not account for a bigger spindle, but who doesn't make mistakes on there first build lol?

    The idea of this build was just to get me going and learn from it so that when i wanted to make a bigger and better machine i would have a better understanding of machine building. However since my circumstances have now changed considerably (ie 2 kids and changing jobs) the likely-hood of me building a second machine is pretty slim.

    with regards to spindles, are the air cooled ones really much worse than the water cooled? because i'm under the impression that the water cooled system requires a separate water tank and pump? which would just put the price up further.

  11. #10
    What are you looking to cut with your machine? Have you thought of making a brushless DC spindle like in this thread? I've made one and although not used it yet Jonathan and Mark have used theirs with good effect. They are controlled with cheap servo testers and a brushless Radio Controlled ESC.


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