Spindle not tight in clamp? Easy fix, check yours!

If anyone from Carbide 3D reads this, please feed this back to your manufacturing team.

My Nomad has about 40 hours of run time, cutting small aluminium parts. Chatter was getting increasingly bad, to the point where bits were being snapped, stock was being wasted, and no amount of dialing back speeds & feeds could produce a good end product. Clearly, something was wrong.

I noticed (when applying light pressure) that the spindle body was moving laterally in the bracket. Tightening the bracket didn’t help, so I removed the spindle for inspection.

Turns out, the spindle body is too small for the bracket, and the factory had fixed this by wrapping 1/2" sticky tape around the spindle body. This simply wasn’t good enough to lock the spindle securely in the 1" bracket.

The fix was trivial - replace the 1/2" tape with 1" painters tape. Now the spindle is rock solid. Feeds and speeds are back to normal, and I see a huge improvement in surface finish out of the machine.

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Pictures? That would be helpful to know exactly what you’re talking about.
Thanks!

Sure. In this photo, you can just see the painter’s tape at the top of the spindle body. Without this tape wrapped around the body, the spindle cannot be tightened up (as the body is smaller in diameter than the clamp hole):

The painter’s tape runs the full height of the clamp, so it holds the spindle rock solid.

The machine originally had a few wraps of this narrow tape around the spindle:

As this tape only covered a small part of the spindle body, it was far from secure. The spindle was able to move slightly in the clamp, translating into major chatter at the cutting bit and causing all sorts of problems.

With the full height tape in place, the spindle is rock solid and the machine now produces exceptional surface finish on all materials, including aluminium and brass. Beforehand, I was spending hours hand-finishing projects to remove the machine marks. I had no idea the problem was the spindle.

The original looks like kapton tape, which is heat resistant. The painters tape might degrade over time.

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Thanks, I’ll keep an eye on that. Painter’s tape was what I had to hand at the time :grinning:

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depending on how much you need, standard duct -tape (the hvac kind not the mythbusters kind) might work… it’s usually a bit thick though, might be more than you need

Fascinating. I haven’t removed my spindle but now I am wondering what is in there. Anyone else find kapton on their spindle?

Replaced stock one with a new spindle about 6 months ago and I dont recall that being there. Though I have an older 883 Pro, so maybe its on newer machines?