Carving time: Router vs Spindle?

Carving time: Router vs Spindle?

Postby bonds47 » Mon Nov 30, 2015 2:00 am

I am running a Shark Pro with Bosch Colt Router. Super great machine, I have really put it thru the paces last few years. I use Aspire and mostly do Vectric 3D. I need a larger cutting area and was considering the new Shark with the larger router, but I am wondering; will a spindle decrease the run time on large carvings? I burn up routers because the run time on some of my carvings is 6+ hours and now I need to go even larger. I need to carve approximately 48 -60 inches long.
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Re: Carving time: Router vs Spindle?

Postby IslaWW » Mon Nov 30, 2015 2:45 am

In most cases, due to small stepover values to attain quality cuts, adding a spindle will seldom decrease 3D finish cut times by an appreciable amount. There can be some gains with more aggressive cutting during Z level roughing with the higher horsepower of a spindle. Remember, you will not be able to increase cutting loads beyond what a given frame can control.

The real advantage is that you are buying an electric motor that is designed to run continuously for multiple thousands of hours vs one that has been designed for intermittent hand held use. The noise reduction "ain't bad" either.
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Re: Carving time: Router vs Spindle?

Postby bonds47 » Mon Nov 30, 2015 3:04 am

Thanks for the fast reply. So I'll still burn the midnight oil, but noise reduction consideration is HUGE. Also, I'm tired of burning up routers. Again, thanks!
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Re: Carving time: Router vs Spindle?

Postby COWBOY1296 » Mon Nov 30, 2015 4:59 am

I do almost nothing 3-d with my shopbot buddy that uses a porter cable 3 1/4 hp router. It eats up brushes but the router itself is still going strong. most of my carvings are around 15 hours.
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Re: Carving time: Router vs Spindle?

Postby weber765 » Mon Nov 30, 2015 2:59 pm

I have both a Perske 5.5 hp spindle on one router and a Bosh Colt on another, I would guess that the Perske spindle only makes about 1/3 the noise level of the Bosh Colt. Also because the Perske is a commercial spindle it can run all day long and because of the horsepower I can cut a Vcarve with a 60 degree cutter to full depth of about .400 deep at 150 IPM. It takes 1 minute to carve a welcome sign with 3 inch tall lettering.

Also, if anybody would be interest I have an Digital Tool router with a 5 x 10 table, perske spindle and a drill spindle that I would sell, with or without the Perske spindle but it would have to be put together and rewired.

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Re: Carving time: Router vs Spindle?

Postby Rcnewcomb » Mon Nov 30, 2015 6:36 pm

Regardless of whether you use a router or spindle, it it worth looking at the RPMs you are using. You can probably run with a lower RPM and dramatically extend the time between failures. The nature of 3D work with small stepover means you are placing a very light load on the bit. Even for 3D work you want chips rather than sawdust. Instead of running at maximum RPMs (22K RPM for example), try running at 50% - 75% of max RPM. You can likely keep the feedrates that same even at the lower RPMs.
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Re: Carving time: Router vs Spindle?

Postby COWBOY1296 » Mon Nov 30, 2015 7:12 pm

i do 3-d primarily in cherry or black walnut. my rpm is 16k with my pc router. step over 8%. feed and plunge at 2.6 inch per second. other than eating up brushes i am in good shape.
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Re: Carving time: Router vs Spindle?

Postby dhellew2 » Mon Nov 30, 2015 8:51 pm

In a commercial environment where you run the spindle/router continuously there can be substantial benefits to the spindle.
If you only use your router as a part time business or weekend hobby it may be difficult to justify the cost difference.

I opted for the router because 1. I don't use it for business, 2. I don't use it every day, and I can buy 10 router motors for the cost of a spindle with the same HP.
The biggest problem I've had with my Porter Cable router is the brushes; brushes are cheap, easy to replace, and easy to find.

Some day I know the the bearings will go out too so I do have a spare motor on hand.
I've been using the same router, with 2-brush changes, since 2007.

Most routers that have a removable base are available as the motor unit only at a significant price reduction.

As for the noise difference levels, most noise difference is when the cutter is NOT cutting. While cutting they are both very noisy, much noise is added by the cutter, [ear protection recommended]. Different routers and different spindles have different noise levels too!

My recommendation is to evaluate your needs then decide based on those needs.

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Re: Carving time: Router vs Spindle?

Postby Ms Wolffie » Sat Dec 05, 2015 1:24 am

In MHO the biggest advantage with a spindle is the different size collets.
You are not restricted to 1/4" or 1/2" tools, you buy the ER collets that fit your spindle and you can use any size shank on your tool, sometimes as small as 1/2 mm or whatever that is in inches.
These small tools look scary though, not much thicker than a hair but they are great on lithopanes or edgelit clear perspex :D
If you don't want to get into the difficulty of setting up a spindle, have a look at the Kress router, it is affordable, uses ER type collets, has variable speed and is designed for use in a CNC machine, if overloaded, it simply stops without burning out. Don't ask me how I know :oops:
Need I say that I an very happy with mine?
http://www.sorotec.de/shop/Spindles/routers/kress-routers/5000-25000-rpm-Spindle-Motor-Kress-1050Watt-230V.html
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Re: Carving time: Router vs Spindle?

Postby Charlie_l » Sat Dec 05, 2015 3:53 am

The spindle also gives you a wide speed range to operate in especially when wanting to slow down the rpm.
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Re: Carving time: Router vs Spindle?

Postby martin54 » Sat Dec 05, 2015 4:51 am

Charlie_l wrote:The spindle also gives you a wide speed range to operate in especially when wanting to slow down the rpm.


Charlie, what sort of spindle are you running? Most of the high speed spindles people buy for cnc machines probably won't run any slower than a variable speed router. Torque drops off drastically as the speed reduces to the point where it wouldn't cut butter :lol: :lol:
Have to be honest though & say it is not something I have really experimented with. Something else I should add to my list of things to do :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Carving time: Router vs Spindle?

Postby Ms Wolffie » Sat Dec 05, 2015 10:10 am

I bought a spindle last year but found it too complicated to set up for the Shark.
The controller was not really compatible with the Shark Controller as Next Wave Automation use their own proprietary code (as well as holding the specs for the machine close to their chest) and it is really much easier to use the spindle with Mach 3 or whatever the non-proprietary programs are called.
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Re: Carving time: Router vs Spindle?

Postby Xxray » Sat Dec 05, 2015 11:46 am

Spindles are designed for long running hours and long service life true - Keep in my though that, like any mechanical device, it will fail eventually and then you are looking at 10-20x the $$ to replace than a router, possibly significant down time as well, whereas routers are cheap enough to literally keep a drop in spare on the shelf.
My PC is still running strong after 4 years of cutting, with 2 brush changes and 1 cord swap.

The average spindle will, or at least should, have less runout than the average router ,,, But as far as 3D CNC work is concerned, you would need very accurate measuring equipment to even tell, it would not be a difference you could eyeball.
Noise may be a large factor for some, not for others. My workshop is in the garage, by the time I get half way to my house [about 20 ft], I can barely even hear it even with the door open. The only time I ever wear ear protection is when I am profile cutting thick plexiglas, that really shrieks but of course it would shriek just as much with a spindle.

Colt is in over its little head doing this kind of work, not the routers fault and not yours, simply was not designed with this kind of duty in mind.
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Re: Carving time: Router vs Spindle?

Postby FixitMike » Sat Dec 05, 2015 6:41 pm

Ms Wolffie wrote:I bought a spindle last year but found it too complicated to set up for the Shark.


I added a SuperPID control to my Shark Pro Plus. I found a solid state relay that was the same type as the Shark controller uses, but one that switched 12 Volts rather than 120 VAC. Mounted it on top of the original relay and wired it in parallel. Works like a charm and allows me to run the router as slow as 5,500 RPM. One does have to make some modifications to the router, too.
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Re: Carving time: Router vs Spindle?

Postby martin54 » Sat Dec 05, 2015 9:31 pm

Ms Wolffie wrote:I bought a spindle last year but found it too complicated to set up for the Shark.
The controller was not really compatible with the Shark Controller as Next Wave Automation use their own proprietary code (as well as holding the specs for the machine close to their chest) and it is really much easier to use the spindle with Mach 3 or whatever the non-proprietary programs are called.


Spindle will run on a shark just as easily as on a machine running mach3 as long as your not wanting the control software to start & stop your spindle & control spindle speed.
I know quite a few people who are running mach3 & the spindle control is totally separate from mach3, they just start the spindle & adjust speed before pressing cycle start. Why ?? Well basically because even with mach3 you need additional hardware & software & they simply don't have the confidence to make the alterations required.
Not familiar with the shark controller but there seem to be quite a lot of users, would have thought some of them were using a spindle rather than a router. Is there nothing on the shark forum about setting up a spindle??
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