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Harbor Freight cut out tool?

Posted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 1:34 am
by tra
http://www.harborfreight.com/electric-c ... 42831.html

Anyone try this out yet? Seems like a decent $21 gamble, but a gamble nonetheless.

Re: Harbor Freight cut out tool?

Posted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 1:39 am
by WillAdams

Re: Harbor Freight cut out tool?

Posted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 1:44 am
by tra

Re: Harbor Freight cut out tool?

Posted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 1:52 am
by WillAdams
's alright.

I think the Harbor Freight 1/4" Trim Router is a better choice:

- roughly the same power
- smaller
- easier to mount
- designed for continuous operation (the cut-out tools seem to be designed for intermittent use)
- metal body (this is good and bad --- good 'cause it's sturdier and the body functions as a heat sink, bad 'cause it's heavier and needs more Z-axis motor current

I drew up a mount here: http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic ... 797#p18386

One major negative is no 1/8" collet option --- I use an MLCS adapter: http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shopsite ... rings.html

but I believe that the Stewart-MacDonald Adapter Collet http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tools/Speci ... ollet.html is a better option.

Re: Harbor Freight cut out tool?

Posted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 1:56 am
by tra
Your responses are always really appreciated. Thank you!

NEMA 17 motors ok with the HF 1/4" router?

Re: Harbor Freight cut out tool?

Posted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 2:37 am
by Brian
I have and love that spindle. My machine is now only limited by the power of my steppers. I plan to throw some nema 23s on it soon and really see what this spindle can do.

Re: Harbor Freight cut out tool?

Posted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 2:43 am
by WillAdams
I used the Harbor Freight 1/4" Trim Router w/ my SO1 as noted in my sig line (though I see now that I didn't specify the NEMA 17 motors which I use) and it just required a slight tweaking of the motor current for the Z-axis as I mentioned.

Really, NEMA23 motors are only needed for:

- speed --- if you're charging by the hour, you should probably get them
- torque --- if you've exceptionally increased the rigidity of your gantry and its weight and are using a much heavier than normal spindle
- vanity --- the ``more power'' meme

I cut Ipê w/ mine as noted here ( http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic ... 072#p27072 ), and the router did fine (the belt anchoring was another story --- hoping to re-try this tomorrow).

Re: Harbor Freight cut out tool?

Posted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 10:35 pm
by Brian
WillAdams wrote:I used the Harbor Freight 1/4" Trim Router w/ my SO1 as noted in my sig line (though I see now that I didn't specify the NEMA 17 motors which I use) and it just required a slight tweaking of the motor current for the Z-axis as I mentioned.

Really, NEMA23 motors are only needed for:

- speed --- if you're charging by the hour, you should probably get them
- torque --- if you've exceptionally increased the rigidity of your gantry and its weight and are using a much heavier than normal spindle
- vanity --- the ``more power'' meme

I cut Ipê w/ mine as noted here ( http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic ... 072#p27072 ), and the router did fine (the belt anchoring was another story --- hoping to re-try this tomorrow).
I suppose its worth mentioning that i cut alum with my machine and added a fair amount of weight and rigidity via the 3/8 thick alum fixture plate. Im sure my machine would cut wood and plastic just fine with the current nema 17s but i have a tendency to want to push things beyond the average.

Re: Harbor Freight cut out tool?

Posted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 3:13 am
by tra
Brian...just to be clear....

You are using the Harbor Freight cut out tool or the 1/4" trim router? Any troubles mounting it?

Re: Harbor Freight cut out tool?

Posted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 10:25 am
by WillAdams
tra wrote:Brian...just to be clear....

You are using the Harbor Freight cut out tool or the 1/4" trim router? Any troubles mounting it?
This shows the HFCOT: http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic ... 782#p22782

and this shows how it is (was?) mounted using the universal spindle mount: http://www.shapeoko.com/forum/viewtopic ... 776#p22776