Shapeoko XXL - Router / Spindle

Why would I want to upgrade to a water cooled spindle?
And, what systems are “good” and what systems should be avoided?

While these two plaques are different sizes, they are both from the same base file. One has little circles under the leg of the Soldier, the other does not - and they are unwanted. That is a bit annoying.

So the the lines/ridges are a function of the tool used (looks like 2 flute end mill to me), the depth of the last cut. Sometimes using the same tool path all the way to the bottom can add those ridges along the bevel edge too. Things to do to help that. Add a small offset/boundary to all the cuts, then add a final tool path (1/32-1/16th Ball nose is my preferred, or a new 4 flute 1/4" End mill for large flat areas), (use the multitool option in Vcarve). Group all our final cuts in one tool path (when you save), does not add much time, but cleans up all those ridges. Also allows you to make up time by using a large offset on the others as your taking the ridges off anyway.

Spindle - Biggest reasons - Can run much slower spindle speeds (so more options for tools and materials); next noise, typically much quieter (depends on what you are replacing). Does add cost and complexity (where to keep that water bath, and changing it frequently).
I have a spindle on one of my machines router on the other. The spindle is not enough of an upgrade for me to spend the money. But I do like it on my other machine and find I use that machine more , especially if I’m in the garage with it.
V/R, Ian

Got it and will try the pass concept.
Using my Carbide3D router in my ShapeokoXXL, even using foam earplugs and ear muffs, it still gets to my ears - ringing of the ears, over 7,500 hours as a Naval Aviator and 12,000+ total hours took an effect.

I upgraded to a spindle mainly for noise reduction. Another good reason is that the spindle speed can be controlled by the Shapeoko controller, so that the speed can be set in the gcode. The best brand is probably Huanyang. I am using an 800 W water cooled Huanyang model.

1 Like

Thanks for the comments.

Travis and I did a bunch of reading up on various spindles for Shapeoko and it was determined that the frame can not support more than 800W of spindle power. Mark just did an overview of his XL to XXL upgrade and it too was brought up and he stated the same thing, ie 800W is the most power you want on a spindle for the Shapeoko machines.

I’ve not gotten to cracking open my Makita router but the thought was to look at the speed control knob and see if that can’t be tapped into and used as you mentioned. ie controller/gcode based spindle control. Minus the fancy drive electronics and quiet operation of water cooled spindles.

Thanks for the info. Saw most of Mark’s session the other day. That got me thinking and that is usually expensive.
Doug, on the big computer, taking the Makita or Carbide3D, or any trim router to digital control sounds INTERESTING. Keep us posted. (Patent the process and either make a million or annoy a million.)

1 Like