I’ve got one of the original SO3s running a Dewalt 611 router. I’ve been noodling with the idea of upgrading to a spindle… mostly for wanting to mill aluminum to make some fixtures.
I was mulling over water cooled VFD 1.5 vs 2.2 kW spindles. I don’t have 240V readily available so I was leaning towards the 1.5 kW spindle. Of course it sure would be nice to get ter ER 20 collet for 1/2" shank mills…
And then I found out about belt driven spindles and cheap straight shank collet extenders (~$14). Tapered roller bearings can be found which match the shank diameter easily and I have access to lathe for the spindle body. So I started researching brushless dc motors (and their controllers and their power supplies)… And circled back around to simple and cheap 500 Watt air cooled spindles.
Which, in theory, is a little less power than my DeWalt (and is only an ER 11 collet). But, it’s cheap simple and quieter than the DeWalt.
So I’m really wondering if a 500 wattspindle will be under powered when we got a Nomad 833 pro at work. It runs like a dream. Some nice videos show it can mill aluminum well, too. And it uses a belt driven spindle!
The specs on the Carbide3D website list the Nomad’s bldc motor at … 70 watts!
And I thought 500 watts was going to be under powered.
What am I missing? Why would anyone hang a 20 lb 2.2 kW water cooled spindle off their SO3 when the Nomad runs with a 70 watt spindle?
Yes, yes… I understand DoC but are the big honking spindle really hogging out more than the 10 mil DoC the Nomad can do?
Imo I would go with at least around 800 watts and er16 (3/8s) is nice. On the other hand i have a er20 8mm adapter for my Makita rt701c on it’s way, will make a post with a nice big facemill lol.
A little more power will allow you to gear it for more rpm if you want. I doubt the stock frame and v wheel setup is ridgid enough to take more than 1hp
(Well crap, my hypometric precursor device is blown…)
I, too, have always been skeptical of the practical advantages of larger, monster spindles. Although I do enjoy seeing what guys do to adapt them to our machines, pretty cool , if that’s your thing-go for it.
Take a look at @Vince.Fab posts here in the forum for tips on cutting aluminum.
Here’s a video of a slightly less powerful then the DW611 router cutting aluminum. Quite nicely I think. As I recall it was 6 or 8 mm doc.
The router is the brushless Makita xtr01z. You’ll need a 24v power supply.
The difference is that milling aluminum on the nomad is certainly possible, works ok, and can produce a nice finish, it’s an order of magnitude faster with the 700w or so on the SO3. You don’t -need- 500w, but it does make the process go a lot quicker.
I use an air cooled 1.5kw Chinese spindle and vfd, it didn’t cost me much more than a dewalt router. Its had 2 years of fairly heavy use, has shown no signs of giving up.
I love it - fits in the standard spindle mount, can be controlled via gcode, has ER11 collets and I haven’t found it underpowered for any task. I’d love more rpm (max is 24,000) but all in all it’s been great
honestly, it doesn’t really cause that much issue, sure it means I can’t push quite as hard (particularly in aluminium) but if I was doing production stuff I’d get a more rigid machine. Most of my work is timber, maybe 20% aluminium, but all those aluminium jobs are for me, not to sell so time is less critical.
I have a makita router that I put back on the XXL recently for a test, and not having the spindle turn itself on at the start of each job got old very quickly - I’d gladly give up that 6000rpm to just be able to hit the start button and have it do its thing