Shapeoko 3 and a 2.2kw Monster Spindle

So after loosing my head and buying a 2.2kw spindle I thought I’d setup a thread as a write up for the install.

I took delivery today but thats about it. I thought I’d do a quick video of what it looks like, it’s a MONSTER! 5kg + a 1kg mount… Heres first impressions.


Very interested in seeing the performance once you get it set up. Whats the max collet size?

13mm or 1/2 inch. I ordered a set of 15 collets for £15. This was one of the main reasons for upgrading, I struggle to get imperial bits over here. I should also be able to run it at a slower speed and it’s meant to be quieter.

I should be doing a first fit tomorrow


Very eagerly watching this… I’ve hovered over the Buy button on a 1.5kW spindle and vfd on ebay a number of times, but bailed because of concerns around the increased weight wearing or damaging the acetal v-wheels.

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I would order some z-axis belts.

When I installed my 2.2 KW spindle it took only a week to break mine.

It was worn and the added weight just did it in.

The new one shows no ill signs, knock on wood.

Just wondering, in picture I “starred” the 2 bolt heads that stick out from the from of the z plate, is the back side of this monster mount recessed so these bolt heads don’t interfere with attaching this mount to the plate?

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No but I have a cunning plan. I’m going to mill an adapter plate that allows me to mount the spindle mount over them and I’m going to use the 4 standard mounting holes as to not mess with my Z plate. I was going to recess the mount but unfortunately I think it is too deep to fit under the z axis…

So a little update. The clamp had had a seeing to today. I figured I’d like it to look a little better than cast aluminium so took a angle grinder to it, then a belt sander, then coated in it VHT paint and fitted it. Fairly straight forward - I drilled 4 mounting holes inline with the Z plate then drilled some larger hols to accommodate the screws @grumpa points out.

Now I’ve taken the weight down from 1.1kg to under 1kg.

Interestingly the C3D mount weights 432g.

I have also wired up and made my pump and water tank housing.

I have wired up my VFD, but I’m having an issue - @fiero1 - I have all the wires correct but can’t work out how to change the speed. Can you advise how you manually do it? I’ve watched the Chinese video a number of times but I can’t follow it. Also what pin does your PWM and Gnd pin go to for automatic control.

Ontop of this I now need to grow my enclosure - which is a bit of a pain but not unexpected…


This looks pretty cool Luke!

Normally I’m a little resistant to adding these spindles to the SO3 because I feel the Dewalt with SuperPID is a really good match in size, weight, noise and rpm control(I can pull 5000-30,000 RPMs and dust collection and cutting noise are louder). However the idea of using a wide range of collets is pretty cool and something I hadn’t thought of before. I honestly haven’t done much research into these spindles, but do you know if they make something slightly smaller(like Dewalt size) that still allow the wide range of collets?



I think if you have the super PID you are ok, but the standard dewalt always seems too fast, I always ran mine on 1.

I wanted to go to a super PID but the cost approaches this setup when import tax etc is added. That said there have been some additional such as a new enclosure, new wire and a water enclosure which I hadn’t considered.

I’ve worked out the speed settings now and it seems to be done by frequency, which is interesting and I’m not sure why. That said at 24000 rpm (not that I plan on using it that fast) it is very quiet. I think a 1.5kw spindle (probably better suited) will do up to 10mm collet with a er16 fitment


Yup, the SuperPID setup isn’t cheap, and it’s still a “kit” in some ways once you have it. I already had the Dewalt though, so the cost offset wasn’t too bad. I’m actually looking at doing a Z-axis upgrade as well though, which would give a few more inches of Z-height and theoretically have a little more “oomph!” to lift a heavier spindle. That still leave the X/Y belts and particularly the V-Wheels as the weak link in the system. Curious to see how your machine handles the extra weight, still following :smiley:

glad its going well, so are you all hooked up and running well?
I use V-carve pro and went through and set my tool library up as I want it.
When I send my program to CM, Vcarve has speed commands in the Gcode. When CM runs the code it turns on and
goes to what ever RPM I set in the tool library. Hope this helps.

Look for a m3s??? line of code in your job at the beginning, that is the line you want.

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Also, did you change the $30 value?

It needs to be set to 24000 RPM.

@fiero1 I have the spindle wired but don’t know which connections to hook my boards pwm and ground to on the spindle control - I have some ideas but have not confirmed yet. Which connections on your vfd did you use?

@DanoInTx the weakest component is certainly the springs, but I have a new set coming today which I hope will improve this. Currently if you turn off the machine the spindle drops.

Hadn’t even thought about the springs, but yep if you can get the balancing act right between springs and weight that will take a load off the stepper/belt for sure. Cool stuff!


So todays update, quite a chunky one as I have now spent almost 2 full days in the shop.

The first piece of news, I have a new enclosure - I headed over to the local DIY store today and bought some more ply - unfortunately the only part of my original enclosure that survived was the base panel - all the rest had to be changed. I had to change the enclosure as if I stuck with the current one the spindle was going to hit it. At the same time I made some minor improvements but the additional height is nice!

I now almost have a working setup, I added a potentiometer to the VFD and now have simple control over the spindle speed - none of this frequency jazz - details of what the POT has to be hooked up to is in the video, but it’s essentially these pins:

  • 10v - 3 pin on pot
  • VI -2 pin on pot
  • ACM- pin 1 on pot

I haven’t got the automatic start working, I tried hooking up my current setup with the PWM and ground pin with no joy. Apparently it should feed right into DCM and REV, nut I can’t get the spindle to start using this method. I’m not sure, but I think I might need a relay between these pins which my board triggers - @fiero1 can you confirm?

Water tank is up and running - it just needs connecting to the spindle.

I’m very close to being ready to run a job - even without the auto start, although I do want to do this.

I’m waiting on my collets, new gas lifts, more springs (the ones I bought were rubbish), and some sealing tape - only a few of those will stop me running a job.


I’ve died and gone to heaven…

0.5 all the way up to 13mm of mill end choice…

I quickly looked and it looks like a 1/8 and 1/4 mill bit fit within these - they appear loose initially but seem tight when all done up


Correct, ER collets have a rather wide range of clamping diameters.

The question is, now they are here what should I try my first cuts on…

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I’m loving this spindle! I did a video but then got a call part way through which cut it out. It’s dead quiet.

Anyway a couple of bits in on wood, nothing strenuous but I didn’t need to sand anything off.

Hour and a half and my coolant was about 38deg

Also, made a er20 collet holder with tapered holes.