So, how hard do you push your SP5 with VFD?

I ran some tests today to make sure my feeds, speeds, and depth were not too hard on the machine, but I ended up with more questions than answers. Curious to know how hard the rest of the community is pushing their machine.

After running some adaptive pocket clearing tests here are my numbers for top end performance:

Toolpath Strategy: Fusion 360 Adaptive Clearing
Bit: 6mm Compression (cheap Chinese)
RPM: 18k
Feed: 150 - 180 IPM
Stepover: 0.09in (40% Diameter)
Depth: 0.236 inch (100% diameter)

Big Box Maple Plywood:
Toolpath Strategy: Fusion 360 Adaptive Clearing
RPM: 18k
Bit: 6mm Compression (cheap Chinese)
Feed: 150 - 180 IPM
Stepover: 0.09in (40% Diameter)
Depth: 0.47 inch (200% diameter)


Which VFD do you have? Carbide’s?

I would say based on my experience, those are some agressive feeds and depths, i would imagine it’s screaming.

I can’t run anywhere near those settings with my carbide VFD and i cut mostly cherry, oak, walnut.

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Yeah, carbide’s VFD. No it’s not screaming at all. I specifically tested for it. If I let it scream… It goes way higher.

Well that’s crazy, i can’t run anything near that. What hardwood did you test on?

I ran some tests awhile back at different feeds and speeds, wonder if i have a pic, i was getting alot of tear out when i went over 100 IPM.

Unless there is a trick to how much depth you are doing, i never went anywhere near that depth cutting.

I have tested on red oak, hard maple, and walnut (also maple plywood from HD… that stuff cuts like butter).

I am using adaptive toolpaths with a 40% stepover, so that is helping to reduce the load.


Gotcha, I really haven’t done much with F360 toolpaths. I use Vectric.

Those are rookie numbers, well for the machine.

I run a 2.2kw water cooled spindle. Using a 1/4” compression bit at 24k rpm 1/2” doc I run machine max of 275 ipm. I use fusion and ramp 20 degrees.

I could most likely increase doc but I don’t cut 3/4 much.

I need to buy a 3/8” and 1/2” bit to play with.


And here I thought the machine maxed at 200 IPM.

Make sure your carbide motion is up to date. They increased the factory speed settings to max control board settings which is 275 ipm when they released an update several months ago.

Prior to that I edited the settings to run 275 anyway.


What types of operations are you running at these speeds? Pockets, profile cuts etc? I could see pocket operations or something, but i can’t imagine you are running a profile cut engaging all sides of the cutter at those speeds and depths.

That’s a little more powerful than the Carbide VFD. I wish i had just bought a 220v 2.2kw to begin with.

Also the speeds/feeds are relevant to the cutter itself as well. So please post those as well.

It’s all 2 flute carbide end mills. Either Amana or Jenny bits both cut the same… Short up cut compression bits. I cut the same with down cut if I’m pocketing which is rare anymore.

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Ok i pretty much use Amana bits for the most part.

Guess i’ll create some new tests and try faster/deeper cuts. Maybe it’ll get rid of the horrendous noise i get now cutting.

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I missed the first part of your post above the quote. 99 percent of what I do is full depth profile cuts through 1/2 tiger ply edge at the states feeds. It’s running right now doing it.

I recently made a table saw throatplate, and used a 1/8" endmill to cut out all the various pockets. My first iteration, I just went with whatever was listed in CC for hardwood. It puttered through the pattern in about an hour, running at around 20ipm, 10k rpm, 0.04DOC. When it was time to tweak the design, I looked up the speeds capable for the bit, and found out I should be running at around 130ipm. I bumped it to 110 to be safe, @18k, 0.2DOC, and the next version was done in 10 minutes. It was awesome. Time to buy some backup bits and experiment.

What material did you use for it?

I did the same thing, really. Used defaults… Decided that it was too damned slow. Then, bought some cheap Chinese bits to test the capabilities of the machine. Now, my cut times are much lower and I also use my cheap Chinese bits almost exclusively.

I found that I can go a little deeper than .25 with 1/8 bits at 150 or so. But, I will run some contour tests today to see what speeds I can really get.

I really learned that the machine didn’t come correctly tightened. There were a few screws that needed torque and it was causing some cut issues. Pushing the machine exposes bad work holding and poor assembly.

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I used some scrap 1/2 spruce plywood for my test piece, and 11.5mm baltic birch for the good one. It splintered a tiny bit around the edges, likely from me speeding it up, but it’s flat and hard, unlike the spruce. If I had 1/2" mdf I would have probably gone with that, since there is a spot at the back where the saw blade cut is close to the edge, and the plywood is weaker than mdf in that grain direction.

Those are both pretty soft, you can go way faster on those materials versus a hardwood like oak or ash.

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Reporting back, with a 1/8th (new and sharp) cheap bit, I was able to get to 175IPM at 0.3125 Doc in red Oak. I have the VFD, and it handles it perfectly… No screeching or anything.

I probably won’t run it that hard in practice, but it’s good to know it can handle it well enough.

Question are you sacrificing the qualiaty of your cut to SEE How Fast YOU CAN PUSH SHAPEOKO PRO i WOULD RATHER LIKE TO WATCH THE CNC CUTTING THAN SAND