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Thread: Total Newbie trying to figure my base requirements.

  1. Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Biff, almost all of these spindles, air cooled or water cooled, are three phase which is needed for the variable speed and is also better suited to the task. Traditional routers used by some machines are certainly an exception, but any speed control is manual and done differently than with a spindle. The air requirement isn't necessary for a non ATC spindle other than for a counter-balance on the Z-axis to take load off the steeper or servo from the weight of the spindle. And that's just fixed air real "usage". (My machine is so equipped) ATCs, however use air for the quick change mechanism clamping and some use additional air to supplement cooling as has been noted and there is some level of CFM required to support that, not just a particular air pressure as with a counter-balance.
    Yea, my spindle in 3 phase as well. That is an additional cost to consider for sure. Plus a lot of extra time to set up the VFD to the correct settings. The main reason I upgraded from a router to a spindle was because I was able to get a lifetime supply of compression bits, but they were "left handed" so I needed to buy a spindle to run them in reverse. If they were still available, I would share the source, but this was years ago. Anyhow, I know this does not apply to most people's situation.

    I am lucky that I don't need a counter balance on my Z.. Or if I do need one, it hasn't bitten me yet. But thanks for explaining that, I had no idea what the compressed air was for.

    My water cooled spindle worked fine. I am not criticizing anyone for going that way. I should have said.. at the time, given my options, air cooled was much lighter and easier to set up.. your situation might be different.

  2. Quote Originally Posted by ChrisA Edwards View Post
    just and update on y original post, I have now decided that if I am going to buy a CNC machine, it will be in the $6K to $12K range, otherwise I won't bother. I'm going with the "Buy your second machine first" philosophy.
    Nice, you will not regret that decision, I am sure.
    I saw in another post that you wanted to have the option for rotary.
    I have had a lot of fun with my rotary axis. If you ever get into that, you might
    want to check out the Deskproto software. Very inexpensive for a hobbyist (under $300), and it really excells at 4th axis work, and has other features as well.

  3. #33
    It doesn';t matter if you go air or water cooled but I would definitely go with a spindle over a router. The costs for Chinese spindles has dropped so low it just makes sense. You'll need 240A service to use one but they are so much quieter, smoother and so much more powerful. I have used both and will never go back to a router again. Sometimes if I have a friend over and making something for him, I'll run it without the dustcollector and the spindle noise will be so low that we can have a conversation while it is cutting without having to raise our voices and trying to talk over the machine.

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Yes, aside from all the functional advantages that come with a spindle, the huge reduction in noise is amazing. Any loud sound is from the tooling engaging the material rather than being combined by a screaming router motor. When I cut HDU (sign foam) or plastics the fan on the spindle is "louder" than the tooling cutting, even for heavy bites. When I'm using a small diameter tool on wood, the cutting is only slightly more noisy and normal conversation can happen near the machine. Only when a .25" or larger cutter starts taking a bite out of solid wood or sheet goods do I need to don my hearing protection. On the other hand, if I turn on the router in my router table, I better have the hearing protection on first even if the thing is just sitting there idling.

    Spindles...I'm a fan!

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

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