Water cooled spindle

I’ve been leaning towards an air cooled spindle myself. I know it would be way less noisy than the router. Just don’t want to go the water cooled as I’d have to do a lot of changes and additions. RV coolant, hoses, pump, reservoir or chiller, more power for the chiller or pump. Air cooled is way less complicated. Still on the fence.

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Yeah, that was my thinking as well - along with the fact that the one I got was relatively lightweight and 65mm in diameter, so it works with the stock spindle mount + Makita adapter.

As far as I know, the benefits of a water-cooled spindle are a “sealed” environment (so no worries about chips getting into it) and a potentially lower-end on the RPMs (air-cooled means “cooled by the same spinny thing driving the cutter” so there’s a minimum safe RPM - mine is 7200, I think). Neither of those outweighed what I perceived to be the costs, but everybody’s got to make that determination for themselves.

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I’ll chip in here. I spent months playing with various cooling setups, I made DIY ones from PC parts etc.

I then bought a CW-3000 circulator - its not a chiller but does the same thing as a pc fan, coolant pump, tank etc.

Hands down I’d buy the CW-3000 again - it’s way less faff, possibly cheaper, more reliable, easier to setup and cleaner then anything else I came across.


How quiet is it ? The cheapo submersible pump that came with my spindle is starting to show signs of agony, so…

Other than a loud beep when you turn it on it’s nice and quiet. Certainly no bother when you are running a spindle or machining.


I was hoping @Luke was going to say “Hold my beer”.


I’ve a real chiller, a cw5000 for my laser. It is almost noiseless until the compressor kicks on, then pretty noisy, but a 3000 model won’t have that increase. But I’d hate to drop another $2-300 depending on if real or knockoff version. Would push up conversion to what, $800 plus? Pushing a thousand with wiring and hose and new drag cable. not inexpensive.


Is the tubing on the G-penny compatible with the CW-3000 or did you have to adapt the tubing to fit. Currently have 6mm OD/4mm ID tubing. Curious if this will fit on the CW-3000.

Sounds about right, I have silicone tubing and it slipped right on the Pronged hose fittings


Mine did not. I have to modify it.

I also didn’t use silicone tubing as I found it would kink. I’d check out polyurethane which is firmer.


If I’m not right, the 2.2k spindle will be… 2.2k, either your VFD is 110 or 220V…
I do have the 2.2kw, I bought a very expensive cable with lots of shielding and a gage that can support 2.2kw. In the end, you won’t use the 2.2kw for milling wood. The VFD is plugged in a regular 15A plug on the wall (along with the shapeoko itself, and usually my macbookpro) and breaker never tripped.

The real benefit are:

  • this kind of spindle do a lot less noise than small routers
  • the speed of the spindle is largely configurable and somewhat more precise than a regular router
  • nothing wears off when using… spindle will not break or stop in the middle of the cut
  • better/bigger collet
  • control through PWM from the CNC controler, you don’t have to turn it on/off… so it only start when needed, or you can change spindle speed in the middle

As a side note, the water cooled can run much slower RPM than the air cooled… because it does not rely on motor speed to cool.

I also have a Endurence 10W Laser. I use jack connectors and plus the VFD or the Laser dependin on the use. For a long time I have the shapeoko plugged in the VFD, then a cable from the VFD to the laser. I just kept the VFD off when I was using the laser…

Seriously, GO FOR IT, either 2.2kw or 1.5kw. You won’t regret it.

800 Watts is plenty if you keep your speed up - as you should. That would have the cutting power of a “2 HP” router at rated speed (24000 RPM for G-Penny). Woodworkers have plenty of router bit options with 1/4" shanks. If you keep the motor power cable away from (and preferably perpendicular to) other wiring you shouldn’t need shielded cable. Just twist some 300V hookup wire with a hand drill and couple it to your dust collector hose along with the coolant tubing.


I see on AliExpress that the 800W water cooled spindles come with a 1.5kW VFD and a typical spindle / VFD combo goes for about #300 shipped.I’m looking on Amazon and I can get an 800W water cooled spindle, a 2.2kW VFD small pump for about $200 shipped. Will this work or is the VFD “matched” to the spindle somehow? I’m thinking that so long as the VFD is rated for more than the spindle, I should be good. Is that correct logic?

I’ve “heard” lots of good reviews on G-Penny spindles. If you’re going with a 220 V spindle you’ll probably need 220V power. Either a 1500 Watt or 2200 Watt VFD should work. Huanyang VFD’s seem to work well and their setup has been well documented by @Julien


I custom build high end, liquid-cooled computers for a living. ModMyMods are my first choice when it comes to liquid cooling. They are always about 5% to 10% cheaper than PerformancePCS

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I have began to venture into this.

I bought a 1.5kw g penny/ hy combo from AliExpress. Regret buying from there. Spent $160 to ship it to me. It was running for a couple days Then the vfd went out. Seller was useless had to file a dispute. Long story but now I have to spend $100 to ship everything back to get my money back because they refuse to replace just the spindle.

I’m the time it was running it was great. Quiet,
Powerful, vibration free.

I am using a cw3000 I got off amazon For $120. It works good. But I’ve had limited running with it.

I’m currently looking for a replacement vfd and spindle. Focusing on amazon because I can purchase a warranty through them and get actual customer service.

I originally bought a 1.5kw water called to try and be lighr enough to use the stock z. That did not work out anyway. Currently going back and forth between a 2.2kw and a 1.5 kw. Just need to find reliable information on the weight difference.

You may want to look at this VFD.

@ispot I’m assuming you use and have good experience with this VFD? I’m beginning to go down the rabbit whole of entertaining a switch to a spindle setup.

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