Spindle kit for the UK

I have a Shapeoko 5 Pro on order and was hoping to buy a Carbide 3d Spindle kit too but sales have told me it is 110v only and may not work with a transformer so rather than go to all the expense of trying and possibly not working can anyone recommend a spindle kit for use in the UK please

Are we talking about the VFD? If so that’s not great news as I ordered one with my SPro5 coming in a few weeks - and I’m in the UK.

Which is a bit odd cos the HDM has a 220 option but isn’t available in the UK (cry)

The spindle on the HDM is an EDIT 220V 30 amp line, such as would be used for an oven or clothes dryer or welder — it’s not the 220V used for household appliances in countries which wired up for electric after copper began to be so expensive that saving on the narrower gauge wire it affords ceased to be a negligible consideration.

Ovens, Clothes dryers and most consumer grade welders in the US is single phase 220V. You would be hard pressed to find 3 phase power in a residential area.

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History of power networks aside, much of the developed world runs 200+ Volts but in lower current outlets than those used for high power appliances in the US. In the UK we have a typical 13A socket (230V) and hard-wired connections for ovens etc. that go up to 30A. Those are typically fed from a dedicated breaker in the consumer unit and, accoriding to regulations, need an electrician to wire them in and sign them off.

I initially bought a spindle kit from these folks for the HDZ on my SO3


It’s OK, the bearings dried out and I had to take it apart and re-grease them to keep it going. The VFD is just a cheapo HuanYang (not the worst, but not exactly a brand name either, the Modbus is not really modbus, requires external noise filter, etc.). The upside is they’re in the UK, give a warranty and actually program the VFD properly for you before shipping it so it’s harder to let the magic smoke out.

Alternatively, you can go G Penny with ceramic bearings which hold up longer at high RPM (all relative, these are Chinese consumer grade spindles)


The G Penny spindle is used by quite a few folk here and considered to be pretty good. You can buy them on eBay but those at a sensible price ship from China, HK or warehouses in Eastern Europe and will still attract import duty and good luck on any warranty claims. I’d just buy from the G Penny factory store on AliExpress.

Either of those options, you’ll need to wire up the VFD and spindle yourself, or find an electrician willing to do it for you. You’ll need a suitable mounting location, preferably an enclosure, a noise filter etc.

The upside is you can run this off a 230V 13A socket without issues. I’ve been running that HY VFD and 2.2kW spindle along with the SO3, computer and other stuff on a single socket for several years without problems.

If you do buy the water cooled spindle kits, you’ll need a reservoir, the aquarium / pond pumps they come with are completely inappropriate specification and cheap noisy junk so you should probably just save yourself the trouble and buy a proper cooler, something like this

You don’t need active refrigeration, just a tank, radiator and fan.



yes, might be worth you having a word with them

Well, I’ve looked in to it. and with a decent transformer this should not be a big deal. Yes, it’s extra cost, but only £80-£99, so I’m going to go ahead with it.

My biggest concern TBH is how many AMPs I’ve drawing in the garage. My dust collection draws about 5 amps (8 amps peak) and the VFD could be drawing 6 amps (peak), without the Shapeoko itself, so with other stuff I could be using at the same time (jointer, planer etc) I’m a little concerned about my 13 amp feed …

I’m going to see how it goes and I’ll let you know :slight_smile:

I would suggest consulting with an electrician and having a dedicated line put in.

Once, when I forgot to turn off the dehumidifier in my basement when running the machine I had a breaker trip because it turned out the power was bridging across one receptacle to the next. It wasn’t that expensive to have an electrician come in and wire up a 20 amp circuit and dedicated receptacle for the vacuum/spindle, put half the basement receptacles on a new circuit, and put in a dedicated circuit for the phone/router.

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Sadly, increasing the supply to my garage will mean digging up the driveway, which is just not going to happen. We have what we have and will have to figure out how to work with it.

They didn’t put in conduit which you can pull more wire through?

I ran a 2.2kW spindle, the shapeoko 3, lights and dust extraction off a single 230V 13A extension lead for a few years and got away with it.

Not saying it’s recommended, but my shed was at the bottom of the garden with no hard wired power.

Also worth checking what sort of circuit and cable was used to feed your garage, an electrican can tell you what’s there. If you’re lucky it’s on it’s own radial circuit with 2.5mm sq cable and you’ve got a dedicated 20A breaker for it, in which case they may be able to fit a double socket for you, subject to the 20A limit.

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Thanks for the reply.

The house was built in 1973 and the armoured cable was buried at the time of building and comes up through the concrete floor of the garage. There is no chance of pulling anything else through, it would mean tearing up the drive and the garage floor.

Thanks Liam, that’s good to know. I already have lots of sockets dotted around the garage, so while more sockets are always useful, I have enough to get by on for now. I can easily add another couple of sockets if needed.

The RCD going to the garage is 16 amps, the RCD inside the garage is looks like it’s 13 amps.

I’ll measure the max and sustained draw in amps / watts when it gets here and see what the calculations look like. I’m just concerned I can’t use the jointer / table saw / planer etc while using the CNC, as I like to prepare the next stock while I’m running this one.

We’ll see.

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@Xteach Andy,

I just built my Shapeoko 5 Pro + VFD spindle. I’m running the spindle through a 3000 watt transformer I got from Amazon, but looking at the actual power consumption (at the wall, rather than the single max figure in the spec sheet), that could be massive overkill with lots of headroom.

Anyway, just following up to say it all works perfectly in the UK with the 220 => 110 step down transformer.

[Edit: 7 April 2023]

I watched the watt meter on the wall while I was milling this dust collection hose mount and never saw the wattage (220v) go over 68 watts at the wall. Really tiny compare to the claimed amp / watts used in the spec sheet!

This was using a 6mm compression bit with 3mm depth of cut at a speed of 2500mm / min.


David, apologies for the delay in saying thank you. but THANK YOU.

I am in the process of selling my business which has taken away any time I have to play but will certainly now look at the spindle.

I hope you’ve been having fun with yours.


HI Andy,

Just as an update… in my post above I said I hadn’t seen the power go over 68 watts at the wall. Since then I’ve done some pretty heavy cuts have have seen it hit 134 watts, but still nothing that worries me!

All going goo so far.

Good luck with the business stuff.


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Thank you Sir, though that’s not what my wife is thinking now I have one on order as from today.


David, the spindle and VFD arrived on Monday. I did the same as you and went for a 3000w transformer. It was only slightly more than the 2000w so wasn’t worth me worrying about it.

I have to say, Elfie the cat (a stray cat who has taken up residence in my workshop) is extremely happy that he no longer has to put up with the screechingly loud noise from the Makita. The spindle has reduced the noise levels considerably.

Thank you again for keeping me informed and reassuring me it was worth importing one. So glad I did.

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