I need a recommendation for a more silent spindle than a router


(Alejandro Costilla) #1

Hi, I have a question , I live in an apartment, for which I need a router less noisy than the dewall, I was looking at the quiet spindle, from x-carve- es 48vdc, 300w - it is possible to use it Shapeco 3. or another spindle that can be used
I live in Argentina , and we have 220 v .
Thanks .


(Luke) #2

You need a water cooled spindle.


(William Adams) #3

My Makita RT0701 is quite quiet — paired with a Festool CT midi dust extractor on low the loudest sound is the endmill cutting the material.


(Julien Heyman) #4

also, a soundproofed enclosure goes a long way to keep the router noise down. I have the Makita router too, and when my enclosure is closed, the cutting itself is as loud as the router. I run the Makita mostly at low RPM e.g. 12000


(Tchad Rogers) #5

I second @MrBeaver’s suggestion of a water cooled spindle. I have a 1.5 KW Chinese spindle off of Amazon, and it is incredibly quiet, is more powerful than a trim router, and has built-in RPM control from 0 - 24,000 RPM, either using a PWM signal from the Shapeoko 3, or a simple trim pot if you just want a knob. (As a bonus, the one I bought was a drop-in replacement using the circular aluminum shim that was included with my Shapeoko.)

The downsides are that water cooling adds complexity, and configuring the VFD is quite a challenge (the manual is predictably bad, but there are lots of forums and YouTube videos that are helpful.) This about doubles the complexity of maintaining the Shapeoko 3, and because of that I’d say it’s not for most users. Also worth mentioning as a potential downside is that the water cooled spindle is slightly heavier than a trim router, but based on what I’ve read, and my experience, not in a way that affects the performance of the machine at all.

I also have a smaller CNC router (specifically, a MPCNC) with a 300W DC spindle that is even quieter, and is air cooled, so it’s simpler. Of course, 300W is way less powerful than a trim router, and it’s top-speed is “only” 12,000 RPM.

I have gone to great lengths to reduce the noise of my setup:

  • Full enclosure
  • Vacuum enclosure for my dust collection
  • Variable speed control for the vacuum, so I can turn it down just to the point where dust collection is effective
  • Water cooled spindle

The combined effect is that I can now run the Shapeoko 3 without ear protection. It’s quieter in the shop with everything running than using a normal household vacuum cleaner. (Though I still wear ear protection if I have to open the enclosure while the router is running; as @WillAdams mentioned, the loudest noise by far is the end mill cutting material.)


(Alejandro Costilla) #6

thank you very much, can you tell me what is your spindle ?
and thanks for the MPCNC data. I’m watching many videos on youtube and it’s very interesting option,
Thanks again


(Tchad Rogers) #7

Sure, I have this one. It fits in the S3 mount perfectly, using the shim for the Makita router. The water pump it came with strangely didn’t fit the tubing or other fittings, so I ended up purchasing a PC radiator, fan, and pump, and created a closed-loop cooling system.

It’s also worth noting that configuring those Chinese VFD’s is not easy – if you [anyone on this forum – I’m assuming @ale won’t, considering he’s in Argentina with 220v] end up purchasing that 110V kit, let me know and I’ll post my settings here. There is lots of help on the internet, but the setting #'s don’t match up between model numbers, so unless you have the identical model of what someone else posts settings for, they don’t always work correctly.

If you don’t already have a Shapeoko 3 and are researching options to purchase a CNC router, let me give you my quick 2 cents: The MPCNC is great, it’s a really nicely engineered CNC, and it works very well (I have 3 of them, configured for different uses!) However, it really cannot be compared fairly to the Shapeoko 3. The S3 is much more stiff, and that leads to much faster feed rates without chatter. The MPCNC with a 300w spindle is great for soft wood, 1/8" end mills, and relatively modest feed rates. If you’re looking to get into CNC routing and are mostly doing it for fun, the MPCNC cannot be beat. The S3 is a more “serious” machine though. If you have aspirations of using your CNC to make money, skip the MPCNC, the S3 is able to use larger spindles, larger end mills, and push faster – the time saved is significant.

Having said all of that… any CNC router in an apartment is going to be tough. Even with a completely silent spindle, the bit noise is very loud, and without dust collection you’ll make a huge mess with wood chips. Definitely plan from the beginning on making a full enclosure. That gets the noise down to “vacuum cleaner” level.

Good luck!


(system) #8

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