My new Shapeoko base cabinet with vertical mounting

Hi I am a new CNC user (from Quebec/Canada, french) got my first CNC about 6 months ago. I just finished building my base cabinet for it. It integrates a torsion table. I added a removable front mount for vertical works. With the Pro there is not much clearance on front of the table. I am waiting for my HDZ to which I will add when I find which model I should buy, a 80mm water cooled spindle which will increase my clearance about 7.5mm.

I am wandering if adding a 10 to 15mm aluminium block between the spindle mount and the HDZ will have a significant negative impact on the CNC precision or some other undesirable impact? I understand that if I want to add a top enclosure, I would need to push back the CNC when I am not using the front feature.


n.b. if some people wants more pictures of the cabinet, I will add some…


That’s an amazing cabinet. Certainly like the vertical work arrangement

Wow - this is an extremely impressive setup… You have set the bar quite high and something I can shoot for over time.

Nick and David, thanks for your nice comments. Nobody seems to have answer to my interrogations.

Nice table,

Regarding the spacer block, I suspect the Carbide answer will be “not supported, that’s not how we designed the machine” but even if you’re out of warranty there are still some other issues to consider.

You would need to make sure that both faces of the spacer are properly flat, as in machined flat, not just flat plate to avoid making the spindle mount wobbly or misaligned. You’d also need new fasteners to attach through it.

Even if the spacer is large and suitably flat the spacer is going to increase the leverage of the spindle forces around the X beam and inevitably increase vibration and deflection as you move the cutter further away from the X beam center. This may substantially impact the cutting rates and finish of the machine.


So for reference the thickness of the Z-Plus that comes with the machine is 47mm thick (face that mounts to the X carriage to the face that mounts the spindle mount) whereas the HDZ has a thickness of 56mm so you gain 9mm with the HDZ upgrade. However do not assume that upgrading to a 80mm spindle vs the stock 65mm mount will gain you another 7.5mm (80mm - 65mm = 15mm, 15mm / 2 = 7.5mm) because although the hole is bigger there is more material around the 65mm hole then the 80mm one. Without taking my mount apart to compare the 2 the 80mm mount is about 10mm deeper than the 65mm mount and the 80mm hole for the spindle looks about centered so you may gain maybe more like 5mm and not the 7.5mm you mentioned in the original post. That said I suppose overall you are gaining the 9mm (z-plus to the HDZ) + 5mm with the 80mm mount = 14mm. Maybe @Luke can jump in here and confirm the actual gain as I’d hate to be wrong in my measurements.

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Thanks Patrick, very interesting information. I am very happy if I gain 14mm, it would work well except for thicker stock. I am receiving my HDZ today! Can I ask you what model of 80mm spindle you are using? Thank again.

I have not purchased my spindle yet but have been looking at the G-Penny water cooled spindles on AliExpress, specifically the 2.2kW one because of the ER20 collet and ceramic bearings vs the ER16 collet and steel bearings on the 1.5kW. Also many on this forum have went the G-Penny route and for the most part they all appear to be satisfied with their purchases. That said I decided to wait on this upgrade and purchase better workholding first (C3D’s tigerclaw, gatortooth and stop blocks) which also provides more time to see what C3D come out with for spindle options which we are assuming will be shortly after the HDM machines start shipping out (fingers crossed). My thought process is the C3D spindle would be a supported option if ever I would need to lean on support for something spindle/controller related.

My thoughts followed quite the same path. I am not sure but I think I have read that the C3D spindle will be a 1.5kW. May be someone can confirm or correct me.

If you look at the HDM in the C3D shop they have both as an option, 1.5kW and 2.2kW for the spindle. It would also be nice if either came with the ER20 collet but that’s a wait and see (EDIT: Actually reading the HDM C3D shop page the description does mention ER20 in the details so this leads me to believe that both the 1.5kW and 2.2kW options will be ER20). The HDM pre-order was sometime in August I think and the page says shipping about 4 months after ordering. However we are in a pandemic and we’ve seen what that means so I’m guessing maybe we see this in the C3D shop sometime early in the new year but I am hoping it’s sooner.

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ER20 on a 1.5kW would be the sweet spot for most Shapeoko use, we don’t need the power of the 2.2kW. A C3D spindle is also likely to be a lot less messing around with wiring and stuff compared to the kits from AliExpress is that’s not your thing.

It may well be that C3D will be supplying their VFD & spindle already set up to take speed instructions from the Shapeoko controller etc. too in which case that’s even more work avoided for the customer.

ER20 is substantially preferable, I’ve used edge finders and cutters with 10mm, 12mm and 1/2" shanks and found them to be readily available and sensibly priced.


Hi Liam and Patrick, I agree with you, my router on my table next to the CNC has an 1/2" shank and is a 1.8kW, 120V Porter Cable and quite powerful, would like to have ER20 also on my CNC. I have already a few tools in my shop on 240V and for the wiring I think I could manage, I am a retired electronic engineer but getting it from C3D would be a plus. Just received my HDZ, going to unpack it…



HDZ, shiny, I just put mine on display on my desk for a few days before installing it :wink:


From the centre of the 80mm mount to the back of the HDZ is 108mm. Hope that helps


Luke thank you for your information, if I measured well, it will increase my range by 12mm (96mm to 108mm) of overhang from 22mm to 34mm between the middle of the spindle to the table front which is a good improvement.

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Beautiful table!

Regarding vertical mounting, I have been mulling over the idea of cutting a 250x250mm opening in the middle of the table, with a removable lid. The opening would have to avoid the straps that form the bottom of my XXL, and of course there couldn’t be any obstructions like a chest of drawers beneath the opening. Also there would have to be some sort of vertical work-holding surface for the vertical piece to clamp to.

I’m not sure if it is a practical idea. But I do a lot of complicated tenon work on wood and it would be handy. I’ve clamped to the front of the table frequently, but as noted, that has a limited range.

I’d love to see some close-ups of your vertical mounting setup.

Careful, you’re headed down the @DennisVanHoof road (of awesomeness) :slight_smile:

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Hi Steven, I tough also of making an opening in the table. I had also saw the impressive work of Dennis Van Hoof and his brilliant center mount that Julien referred but working under the table to install the vertical parts to work on did not appeal to me. I upgrade my router table a few years ago to be able to change the bits from the top. I decided to go the front mount way.

I designed and built my cabinet to be rigid and with the best precision I could. My pictures will explained better than my english wording! I can install two size of front mounting panels. The small one like on the pictures allow smaller size board but I can install almost a full front panel (to be build) for larger size board like if I would like to build large panel box joints. The smaller panel is just blocking my access to the large storage bin which can be easily accommodate doing a project.

And here are some more pictures of the cabinet construction, if it can inspires some ideas to others…!
I have not yet decided if I will build a top enclosure. I just received my HDZ and my next acquisition will be a water cool spindle.



Yes, I’ve seen his YT videos. Amazing work. Probably where I got the idea for the hole in the middle of the table. I don’t recall if he ever went into the details of that setup in any of his videos.