Treating spindles as a consumable

ejs
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Treating spindles as a consumable

Post by ejs » Mon May 06, 2013 2:37 am

....or A Day at Harbor Freight

So, I went through two WEN spindles in a hurry. The first was a casualty of trying to work through HDPE too fast and things getting gummy. Sparks and smoke later, the control circuit was done for.

The second was a casualty of good, hard work. Lots of further polyethylene experimentation and a set of new aluminum end plates to expand my 'Oko destroyed the lower bearing. I tried a transplant between the two devices but no love. So, I have a job due and need a new spindle in a hurry.

I stopped by Harbor Freight today to see what I could see. They have a $20 knockoff (don't they always) that fits my setup. This means I'm now treating this part of my CNC setup as a consumable. I got the extra warranty that says if I destroy it inside a year they will replace it at no charge. And I know that I will destroy it in a fraction of that, meaning these are going to cost me $15 a piece, which is awesome. And--AND--I just ran my 1/8 end mill through some foam and the thing is measuring zero, as in zilch, run out. Plus, it looks really good in place.

I assume the run out is a fluke, or won't last long, but I still almost fell over.

Mounting did require the switch facing outward and the speed control inward. Speed control is on a bent part of the handle and so is still accessible, if a bit confined.

There was one other item that caught my eye in the store. The "Bench Grinder with Flex Shaft" is the second or third smallest that HF carries. I know that flex couplings have been warned against before, but in the context of rotary tools. With the grinder, the top speed is 10k rather than 35k like with most Dremel types. Since most pro CNC setups bottom out at 40-100 RPM, I'm wondering if we aren't looking at something that is more closely akin and could be mounted remotely with the flex shaft mounted to the Z axis rail. However, I'd also think that this tiny grinder could itself be so mounted directly.

Food for thought. I'll play with it when I don't have a deadline.

Best,
EJ
Build it better than it was built for you. And give permission for the next guy to do the same. That's how Open Source works.
ShapeOko # 497: http://bit.ly/reactshop producing the Buildlog CNC Stepper Shield

Will Winder
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Re: Treating spindles as a consumable

Post by Will Winder » Mon May 06, 2013 5:44 pm

I've heard of people using the harbor freight trim routers as disposable spindles for larger CNC machines. I'll bet we could fit one on a ShapeOko:

Image
ShapeOko #367: Dual-Y drive, Belt on outside, 1000mm Y-Axis, DW660 Spindle, Nema-23 X/Y motors.

Primary developer on Universal Gcode Sender.

edwardrford
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Re: Treating spindles as a consumable

Post by edwardrford » Sun May 12, 2013 8:03 pm

Good post EJS.

As I've mentioned before, playing with spindles is something that I can't really stop doing. Since the project launched (almost 2 years ago btw!) I've tested no fewer than 20 different types. For the most part, all of the profit from the project goes into R&D, and the lions share of R&D money goes into spindles.

I say all that to solidify my seriousness in finding the *right* spindle for the project. Here's my summary so far of the 8 most common choices.

1.) The knockoff dremel - great starter tool and will take you further than you might expect. These are prone to working great and then dying all of the sudden.
2.) The official dremel - IMO, gives you no advantage over the knockoff.
3.) The DW660 - great upgrade from the dremel knockoff, allows you to use a router speed controller with some success, also gets you into the 1/4" shank game!
4.) The DWP611 - better choice thant he DW660, I think it's a tad bit quieter, but seems to be more robust, with less plastic and more metal.
5.) The Chinese foredom knockoff - This is a pretty good little spindle. For the most part you can only get to 3/16" shank, which isn't really an advantage over 1/8" because the bits are so hard to find, but what it does get you is "off-site" power. It uses a flexible want connected to an AC motor. The motor turns between 15-20k RPM. I used one of these for about 6 months before it died. You can see it in my phone dock video:

6.) The 180w DC spindle (48v) - This is ninja quiet! And IMO does a nice job with simple engraving features, but is SERIOUSLY lacking in the power category. Don't plan to cut much (or anything) with this. I don't do PCB engraving, but imagine this thing would be great.
7.) The 300w DC spindle (48v) - This is the second quietest spindle on the list. It's still lacking in power compared to even the knockoff dremel, but can manage to cut through most woods & plastics if treated nicely (1/32" depth pass). It also has a 1/4" ER-11 collett option, but IMO is worthless because of the lack of power.
8.) The Bosch Colt - This thing is a MONSTER! It's loud as hell, and weighs more than any of the others, and is pretty big, but it can really tear some stuff up. Cat saw it run first hand on one of my prototype machines when he was in Chicago last month and could attest to it's sheer power. I used a 1/4" 2 flute Onsrud bit and tore through a piece of maple at 1/4" depth pass without the Colt even flinching.

The foredom knockoff is to-date my favorite choice *IF* I could get it with a 1/4" collett. It's good enough that I've contemplating buying a non-knockoff foredom handpiece just to see if it's any better, but at $355 I'm not sure that's ever going to happen. Because of what EJ was talking about (mounting the majority of the weight) off the machine, gives some great advantages. One that wasn't mentioned is the fact that the tool itself is closer to the z-axis, creating less of a lever arm.

The next one on my list is the 800w water cooled VFD from ali-express: http://www.aliexpress.com/item/0-8KW-WA ... 11446.html. At $271, it's pricey, but this one runs off 110v, so the need for a 220v drop isn't required. The 220v versions are about the same price, but most people don't have 220v available and would have to pay and electrician to get it installed.

I'll report back when I have some news on that.

-Edward
Shapeoko 1 #0 - a couple of upgrades.
Shapeoko 2 #0 - a couple of upgrades.
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cvoinescu
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Re: Treating spindles as a consumable

Post by cvoinescu » Mon May 13, 2013 8:26 pm

edwardrford wrote:8.) The Bosch Colt - This thing is a MONSTER! It's loud as hell, and weighs more than any of the others, and is pretty big, but it can really tear some stuff up. Cat saw it run first hand on one of my prototype machines when he was in Chicago last month and could attest to it's sheer power. I used a 1/4" 2 flute Onsrud bit and tore through a piece of maple at 1/4" depth pass without the Colt even flinching.
Yes, the Bosch Colt is a beast. I'm pretty sure my full size, 2100 W (2.8 hp) router is more powerful than the Colt -- but it doesn't feel that way. :)

(And, before someone asks, no, I don't have that mounted on my eShapeoko -- and I don't plan to.)
Proud owner of ShapeOko #709, eShapeOko #0, and of store.amberspyglass.co.uk

LeissKG
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Re: Treating spindles as a consumable

Post by LeissKG » Mon May 13, 2013 9:00 pm

There is a 400W variant of the 48V DC spindle. But i don`t know if it is any better
search Ebay for "CNC 400W Spindle Motor ER11"

http://www.aliexpress.com has also 500W spindles but they require a 80V power supply.
search for "DC 0-80V CNC 500W Spindle Motor "

LeissKG
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Re: Treating spindles as a consumable

Post by LeissKG » Mon May 13, 2013 9:07 pm

I forgot a question. What power supply did you use. You can stall an motor on load changes if you can not
deliver the required current.

iquizzle
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Re: Treating spindles as a consumable

Post by iquizzle » Sun Nov 03, 2013 2:13 am

Edward -- I'm wondering if you've tried the 800W chinese spindle yet. I'm trying to choose between the 1.5kw and 800w versions as both are about the same price. Right now I'm thinking about taking a chance on the 800w version to save on weight. I'm not sure how much lighter it is, but I'd guess it weighs about 60% of the 1.5kw spindle.

Also, to someone who owns the 1.5kw spindle, does it seem overpowered for the machine? If you could trade a little power for weight, would you?

WillAdams
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Re: Treating spindles as a consumable

Post by WillAdams » Sun Nov 03, 2013 2:05 pm

I believe all the discussions on the 1.5KW spindle are linked from the wiki:

- http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=1108
- http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic ... 89&p=15172

AFAIR, consensus was, the 1.5KW unit wasn't bearing a full load --- I'd really like to see more data on feeds and speeds in the wiki --- the question becomes, what's the sweet spot for:

- machine rigidity / expense
- spindle power / expense
- both of the above / run time

(and of course, working area is another concern, but I think it's nicely factored into the design itself, and accuracy / runout)

Unfortunately, I've been bogged down w/freelance typesetting gigs and daily life, so no machine time (need to cut a set of mounts for my Harbor Freight 1/4" trim router which will allow dust collection).
Shapeoko 3XL #0006 w/Makita RT0701 Router w/0.125″ and ¼″ Elaire precision collets
Nomad 883 Pro #596 (bamboo)

iquizzle
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Re: Treating spindles as a consumable

Post by iquizzle » Sun Nov 03, 2013 3:39 pm

Don't forget about noise! For some people, it's not much of an issue, but for those of us that live in apartments or condos, the trim routers and dremels are just not an option. I'd hear from my neighbors the second I turned one of those on. Otherwise, I'd go with a dwp611 with a precision collet and nut.

I still haven't heard of anybody who has used the 800W spindle. I think it should be pretty sufficient power, but it's no less expensive than the 1.5kw and I don't know how much less it weighs. It's been said that the 300W chinese spindle is less powerful than the rotary tool. I wonder how that can be the case if the peak power consumption is almost double that of the dremel.

WillAdams
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Re: Treating spindles as a consumable

Post by WillAdams » Mon Nov 04, 2013 2:58 pm

iquizzle wrote:Don't forget about noise! For some people, it's not much of an issue, but for those of us that live in apartments or condos, the trim routers and dremels are just not an option.
Have you considered building a sound enclosure?

I'm hoping to just be able to haul my machine out to the shed and run a power cord out to it there, for a while at least, but long-term, I really would like a sound-dampening enclosure.
Shapeoko 3XL #0006 w/Makita RT0701 Router w/0.125″ and ¼″ Elaire precision collets
Nomad 883 Pro #596 (bamboo)

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