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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone, complete newbie here. Almost all of the very small amount I know (or believe I know), about CNC machines, I learned from reading the forums. While trying to sort out which CNC machine is the right fit for me, some use a spindle, others use a router. From what I've read spindles offer more power, quieter, more exact, but are heavier, more expensive, and not as easily replaced. Routers are less expensive, larger selection, when the brushes lead to too large a tolerance you replace the brushes or unit. Some of the machines I'm looking at use one or the other. I will be just a hobbyist, I'm an electrician and cannot really contemplate any circumstances that turn me into a commercial enterprise with the work shop. Any thoughts /opinions on which is better, or even if this is just 6 of one, half dozen of the other, would be appreciated. Just one more factor in the decision I'm trying to work out. Thank You, Artie
 

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I have had both and after the spindle I would never go back. You can use more different size bits in a spindle it is much quieter the power is better. You can adjust the speed better also
 

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Some 3D stuff takes a long time to cut . Imagine listening to a router going for a straight 14 hours . Your in a townhouse , there's your answer right there
 

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My vote is for a spindle. Yes, they are more expensive, but will outlast 10+ routers. They are quieter and made to run for constant long periods of time, whereas routers usually are used for short periods of time, and are switched on and off a lot.

Water cooled spindles, in my opinion, are a bit messy, especially for a less than commercial operation. My air cooled spindle runs very cool, lets you talk in a normal voice (no ear plugs needed) and performs very nicely.

Just my thoughts.

HJ
 
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Jay,

All you have to do is change the collet. I got one of each (they take ER-20's) from Ron at Think and Tinker for about $20 cause I bent the one that came with the machine. You know, not turning the spindle on and touching it off. Makes a real rough cut that way. Awful noisy too.

Just takes about 10 seconds to undo the nut, and pop one or the other in.

HJ
 

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So, HJ, if you had to choose between the air cooled spindle or Aspire software, which would it be? I can afford one right now but not both.
 

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spindle will out last the router 10:1...
 

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I moved up from VCarve to Aspire, and if you plan on doing any 3D or rotary axis work then the upgrade is easily worth the investment. The upgrade cost to go to a spindle won't buy you the added capabilities that Aspire will. IMO get Aspire first as your router can still do the work of a spindle, but a spindle alone won't do any of the things Aspire will.

Then get the Spindle when the added things Aspire lets you do help justify its cost.

4D
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you everyone for the input, the spindle over a router did make sense to me, but I know so little that making sense to me doesn't really mean much right now LOL. As far as a water cooled spindle, one of the units I'm looking at as a good fit, uses a liquid cooled spindle, water could be the liquid as long as it doesn't see freezing conditions (it won't). It is a closed system, pump and reservoir are built in, you do have to fill it, and replace the water as it evaporates. (Axiom Auto Route 8 Pro). Another one I was looking at (Shark HD3 Pro extended bed) is standard with a router, but option for a spindle, with not built in pump, and bucket, hoses. So far I'm leaning to the Axiom, but decision is not close to being final. Thanks again for the help. Artie
 

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Jay,

What 4D said. Besides, they'll give you credit for your Vcarve towards Aspire.

HJ
 

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Air over water in my book. Just my opinion.

HJ
 

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Artie,

I think that Next Wave Automation no longer carries the spindle they had because I could not find it on the site but it would only accept 1/8" and 1/4" bits and was 100v where a lot of the spindles are 220v.

The long cut times on 3d projects and some 2d projects tend to ware out router bearing quicker because of the heat build up. Water cooling helps draw the heat from the spindle faster so it can run for long periods and not get hot. If you do go with the spindle make sure it will accept standard ER collets because some have their own system and replacements have to be purchased from them.
 

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That's what's so nice about the Probotix spindles. They take a standard ER-20 collet. Get a 1/4 and a 1/2 - unscrew the nut and change em whenever you want.

HJ
 

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I've found we can get far more time out of the routers we use if we don't ever run them at their max speed setting. Something about the bearings used only being specified for 18,000rpm not 23,000.

4D
 

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I've found we can get far more time out of the routers we use if we don't ever run them at their max speed setting. Something about the bearings used only being specified for 18,000rpm not 23,000.

4D
that'd be the PC routers...
 

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A lot of people run their routers too fast. It is hard on a lose CNC machine to get your feeds and speed close because the feed rate has to be slow to accommodate the looseness of the machine and the router will not go as slow as you need. Bottom line you want chips cut and not dust in the air.
 

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So, HJ, if you had to choose between the air cooled spindle or Aspire software, which would it be? I can afford one right now but not both.
Aspire will make you money quickly... the router noise is temporary and you can upgrade to a spindle when you get through some projects...

Or so thats what I think.. But than again, you can make lots of stuff with out the 3 D design capabilities of Aspire.. Gosh I hate making decisions.

i have two machines with Routers and have burned up one in 12 months...... I am thinking a spindle is next on the list..


Interesting discussion here.
 

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If you plan to do 3D carvings then i recommend you get Aspire first. If you are not planning to do 3D carvings then buy a spindle and VCarve Pro, it will cost the same or less than Aspire. If later you want to do 3D CNC you can upgrade to Aspire for the difference in cost.

Bill
 
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