Pushing SO5 Pro to its limits

I’ve seen some examples of aggressive feeds and speeds on the forum, but it largely seems like the best advice is to figure out the max settings for each person’s unique cutting situation.

I’ve seen it quoted that the spindle stalls before the ball screw motors do, which at first sounds like a good definition of the limit we can push the machine to.

This leads me to my question: As I push my machine harder and harder, are there any risks of damaging the machine? A ruined cut or even a broken bit seem like completely acceptable costs to risking an aggressive cut, but I want to make sure I don’t break any more expensive components.

Can stalling the spindle damage it? What about the carbide router? Are the bearings able to take an excessive side load?

I have had some pretty impressive success with single passes through 1/2" MDF, but I want to make sure I am not hurting anything (I am currently using the carbide router, but will probably upgrade to a spindle someday).

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You’re probably referring to me… pushing until I stall the spindle. :smiley:

Once the spindle stalls, the motion system still has enough left to break an endmill or deform some material. But the steppers started skipping. Steppers shouldn’t be bothered internally, but there is the potential to snap the shaft, damage couplers, and ends of the ball screws.

Generally pushing that close to the limit is not good practice. The endmill dulling could be the difference between successful cuts, and a ruined project.


I generally find the limit where I am starting to get chatter or hear the spindle bogging and then back off 20% for a safety factor.


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