Thought I would go a bit bigger on the dragon carving.

(Jack Daugherty) #1

Thought I would go a bit bigger on the dragon carving. I noticed that with about an hour to go, the spindle started acting a bit strange. Fluctuations in speed. It sounded like an outboard motor coming out of the water at full throttle. I let it finish doing it’s thing. I got another project set up and went to run it, and no spindle. checked the power supply E1, or something like that. Flipped the power off and back on again, and reran the code. Spindle powered up and it started acting up again, and then just shut off. I disconnected the control wires, and hooked the pot up to it instead. Same issues. I had to give it a spin with my fingers to get it to start a few times.

Checked the brushes to see if they were somehow worn out after the whole 100 hours of use I put on it. Still looked fine, so I put them back in and CRACK! The damn plastic socket that holds the brush cap cracked into pieces. Well… I fired it back up again and it still ran the same as it was, for about half an hour. Spit, sputter and done! I love the smell of fried motor windings in my work shop.

I guess these are not continuous duty motors!!!

Okay. Now for the second part of my weekend. I went to harbor freight and bought an inexpensive trim router and then machined a mount for it on my manually operated mini mill. Sure would have been nice to have a cnc machine to make that!! Got everything put back together again, and restarted the project. It was carving right along for about an hour or so and then I hear the motor starting to labor a little bit, and then a little bit more, and before I could get to the E-stop button, my bit was about 3/4" deep into solid oak. Lucky for me, I guess, my shiny new carbide end mill bit snapped in two.

I powered everything down, shut off the lights and closed the door behind me.

Happy carving everyone! Until next time, have a great day.

1 Like
(Darrell n) #2

Sounds like a typical Chinese spindle. As far as the Harbor Freight router, same comment.

Buy a Dewalt. They are bulletproof, and you can get parts for them.


(Doug Anderson) #3

If you are going to be running jobs that take a long time, perhaps you should upgrade to a water cooled spindle?

(Jack Daugherty) #4

I’ve thought about a water cooled spindle, just not crazy about the idea of it. If the cooling design of the air cooled spindle wasn’t so poorly thought out, I believe it would still be running. The spindle mount itself completely blocks the blanket of air flow from the rear mounted fan. An internal fan drawing air from the back and out the front would have been the better design. Nothing blocking the flow that way. I’ll have to scrape up some coin before I can do anything else. Thanks for the suggestions.

(Jack Daugherty) #5

@Darrell_n I agree, but the $30 router seemed like a pretty good, affordable short term solution. Light weight, only 2.5" diameter, 1/4" spindle and 30,000 rpm’s. Not a powerhouse, it’s loud, but at least it runs. I really don’t know if I want a big heavy router on my Z axis. I would need some other mounting brackets. Don’t know if the axis can handle the extra weight?? Would it drop/ lose position because of the weight? What to do…

(Darrell n) #6

The Dewalt DWP611 is probably the same weight as the one you bought, so I doubt if it would be a big issue. It is also 1.25 hp, which is 25% more than most palm routers, and is vewy vewy quiet!

It is 69mm, but fits nicely in the OB 71mm mount. You can use a plastic shim, but not necessary.

Is your Ox an older version with the NEMA17 motor on the Z axis? A NEMA 23 would be a worthwhile upgrade.


(Jack Daugherty) #7

@Darrell_n I like the quiet part! The router I bought is 3.3 pounds, so IDK? I have already looked at the OB mount, and it looks like it would fit well. Can you get an 1/8" collet for the 611? I would really like to have that option.

I have a new build version running NEMA 23’s all the way around.

(Darrell n) #8

Yes, you can get any size collet you want at Elaire Corp.

Dewalt shows 4.5 lb but that is likely with the base which you remove.

NEMA23’s will have no issue hoisting the Dewalt.

(Mark Leino) #9

You can get a collet, but all I have ever used is reducers. Very inexpensive. Easy to find on amazon. I killed a 611, but it was under warranty still. I have been using this one extensively for aluminum for almost two years, with an 1/8" 2 flute bit. I have used 1/4 in aluminum. It worked ok. Nema 23s have no problems moving it around

(Jack Daugherty) #10

Thanks all for the shared knowledge. Going for the DeWalt 611.

(Darrell n) #11

The collet reducers are much cheaper, but I have had issues with them. A customer got one stuck in his collet and had to buy a new router. They also sometimes slip if you are not diligent in tightening them. They are OK for occasional use, but I would recommend going with the Elaire collets as they are very beefy and much more accurate.


(Jack Daugherty) #12

So I bit the bullet and bought the 611. Now I will just need another mount, collet or reducer and a replacement bit. I weighed it without the base, and it is 3.39 pounds. Not too bad really.
I decided to weigh the fried spindle. 4.11 pounds!

(Mark Leino) #13

@Jack_Daugherty if I were to go back I would buy the right collet. You only need one, maybe two- but a reducer would get you going. I honestly have had no problems with them. I have recently purchased a 2.2kw spindle set up for my steel router build-i have already purchased every collet I could ever need, but they are dirt cheap.

I have cut about 15 big parts out of 3/8 to 3/4" 6061 aluminum with my 611, and no issues. Just need to keep the depth of cut and speed down on thicker parts. I’ll post some pics up soon😀

(Mark Leino) #14

Teaser pic from a couple weeks Ago

(Jack Daugherty) #15

@Hobby_Fab Yeah. I started working on a simple design last night, for the mount. 2 pc. 1/2" thick aluminum plate should do the trick. Hopefully 1.3" from the back of the plate to the closest edge of the mounting hole radius isn’t too much. I wanted to leave enough room for the angle brackets to clear the router body. I’ll make a similar piece for the front cap.


(Jack Daugherty) #16

@Mark_Leino I will probably end up with actual collets at some point. I really wasn’t expecting these extra costs so early into it. Gonna do what I can with what I have to use for the time being. That machine looks pretty sweet!

(Jack Daugherty) #17

@Jack_Daugherty The squares will be the mounting blocks and the outer circle represents the router body. If I place the mounting blocks on the bottom of the plate instead, I could reduce the distance a little. I don’t know if that would make much difference in over all rigidity.


(Brandon Satterfield) #18

@Jack_Daugherty so been a min of using the Dewalt what’s your thoughts?

(Jack Daugherty) #19

@Brandon_Satterfield Well, I must say that I am very pleased with it. The fact that most router bits are meant to run at speeds above what the DC spindle maxes out at, seems to be a big plus alone.

I purchased a Powertail switch II, which allows me to have the on/ off functions with the M3/ M5 g-code commands. I was able to use the same control wires that triggered the DC spindle. I don’t care about the spindle speed control with g-code. It has a variable speed dial, so that’s not an issue.

The DWP-611, also weighs less than the DC spindle. It has a 3 year warranty, and a 90 day replacement guarantee!!! I ended up buying a spindle mount from OB, and had to modify it slightly to clear the wheel bolts on the Z axis. I just needed to mill a little off the back corners. I then used my machine to make a second mount. I really wouldn’t run it long term without an upper and lower mount.

Now it is super sturdy, and don’t have to worry about anything moving on me. The router has plenty of power, and the cooling fan directs airflow through the body, and out the front. This also keeps the cutting path clear of sawdust.

The only negative things I can say about it is first, the noise! Not really extremely loud, but after running the DC spindle… yeah, it’s a router. The second thing is the cost of collets. Not cheap, but they are made very well. I purchased them from Elaire Corp.

You may want to reconsider your thoughts on “strapping a handheld router to a CNC machine” Lol. Or maybe leave that as an option?

The mount I made was cut from a file I found floating around the web somewhere. It needed no modifications to clear the bolts, but it could be made better by adding the contours to the backside to fit the grooves in the v-groove extruded channel like the ones you provided for the original spindle. I have the file if you would ever want it.

Hope this helps you out. Have a good one!

(Darrell n) #20

I like the Dewalt as well. A few things you probably didn’t know… Dewalt has excellent warranty support. There is a 1 year free repair parts and labor warranty, and a 3 year limited warranty on the router, they will fix anything that was the result of manufacturing defects. What you probably didn’t know, is that if you take the router in to a Dewalt service depot just before the 1 year warranty expires, they will go through it with a fine tooth comb, and replace any worn parts for free. Also, after the 1 year warranty is up, if the router grenades, and you take it into them to fix, they have a capped repair service, it won’t cost more than about $70 to repair no matter what is wrong with it. This applies even if warranty repair was declined for whatever reason.