My machine was catching a lot of dust, so for air cooled that was why i went to water cooled. I now have a new cyclone dust collection, so maybe not as much of a problem. and it was avail to ship that day, as well.
Something to consider about coolant for your spindle. I use a 5 gallon bucket with two gallons of fluid. For the coolant I use standard automotive antifreeze with distilled water. I would prefer demineralized water but that is hard to come by. An alternative would be premixed antifreeze which eliminates the need to ad water.
Advantages of antifreeze:
- Obviously it doesn’t freeze in cold weather.
- It has corrosion preventative properties which is a must have.
- It doesn’t allow any bacteria to grow in it like most cnc mist coolants.
- It lasts and lasts. (Mine is two years old without adding or changing)
- Evaporation is next to none.
- It is designed for the purpose of heat exchanging.
- My spindle is always cool to the touch no matter how long it runs.
It’s easy to setup. I drilled 3 holes in the lid. One for each water line and one for the pump power cord. I cut a slot from the edge of the lid to the hole for the power cord which was about 1 inch from the edge using some tin snips. The lid still snaps on securely and keeps out dust and debris.
I traded out the stock water lines for some White opaque water line from Lowes so I could visually verify that the water was flowing. The Green color of the antifreeze is easily visible.
For the spindle power cord, I picked up some 3 conductor 16 gauge stranded copper wire from Lowes. It is flexible and just the right size for the solder connection to the cannon plug at the top of the spindle. Both the water lines and the power cord are suspended from the ceiling with enough slack to allow movement of the spindle around the entire cnc range. Suspending the power cord keeps it away from sensitive electronics that could be affected by EMF. I also added Ferrite Filters to the spindle power and the water pump power cords.
I do not recommend routing the power cord for the spindle or the water lines through the drag chains. This can lead to chaffing of the plastic water lines causing water leaks and EMF interference from the high voltage spindle power cord. Suspending them allows for stress free movement of both the machine and spindle connections.
Just for good measure, I 3d printed a bracket to secure all the connections at the spindle so that all the flexing is isolated away from the spindle.
I chose a spindle for my machine for a few reasons, top among them being noise, precise RPM control, and better lower-end speeds. I got the 800W huanyang spindle, but am driving it with a VFD rated up to 2.2kW, so the spindle can be easily upgraded if needed.
Anyway, I do want to run control and coolant lines in drag chains. With vinyl coolant lines and ABS drag links I don’t think there will be significant wear on the lines. EMF interference is a thing, though, so I ordered some shielded 14/4 continuous flex cable to control the spindle. I want to try and run the Z and Y stepper control in the chains as well, and plan to try using 18/4 shielded cable for those. If everything is properly shielded and grounded, it should work together without causing interference or missed steps or anything. should
First off, let me say that I do not know you or your experience level so please forgive me if it sounds as though I am speaking down to you. My intention is to offer some guidance based on my own personal experiences that may provide you with some insight.
I certainly understand why you would want to run everything through the drag chain. It keeps thing nice and neat and looks good. There are countless posts on various forums that warn against running high voltage power lines alongside low voltage signal lines. They go so far as to say that you should keep them separated as much as possible and when not possible they should cross one another at a 90 degree angle to minimize EMF problems. Running them parallel is risky at best. This is especially true for Limit Switches, E-Stop, and Probe wiring as those are typically 5 volt and very low amp signals that re very susceptible to EMF noise. There are other countermeasures that you can implement to abate the issue, with ferrite filters being the easiest to use. If you decide to add ferrite filters, add them to 100% of you AC power lines on your CNC and anything else close to it such as lighting if possible and nearby computers etc.
I recommend that you implement some sort of method to secure the water lines to something at some distance BEFORE they connect to the spindle. This is to prevent any movement of the lines at all at the connectors when the drag chain is doing it’s thing.
I built a Custom CNC and warned my customer about not doing this as well. He did not heed my advice and sure enough the constant movement, although slight, was enough to develop a leak at one of the connectors. He tried to add a little more torque to the connection and twisted off the adapter in the top of the spindle. Fortunately, I purchased a few spares for myself just in case and bailed him out.
I secured mine with a 3d printed bracket from day one and have never had a leak in over two years.
I sincerely hope you prove me wrong and that I am just being paranoid. But from personal experience, I know it can go south quickly and be very frustrating trying to figure out exactly where the problem began.
I’ve had mine on a shapeoko for several years. i don’t run mine in the drag chain as my shapeoko has a small drag chain. I like this way since i can get to it anytime without opening the chain. I’ve got hundreds of hours of cutting with no issue. I do have limit switches in the chain with the vfd power wires.
no issue there either. The only issue i’ve had is the VFD to controller wires. Make sure they are shielded, and tie the shield on one end and tape back the other end. There are several feet with 3 phase power next to control wires.
i’m also working on new coolant pump / tank combo.
I should have this up and running in about a month or so. House remodel takes priority right now.
The pump is a 3 speed pump for flooring that is so quiet. The tank will be much more secure than my walmart storage box. I’ll post a write up on this when it is done.
Alex, can you share some pictures of your machine set up? Maybe overall machine layout and the spindle mounted?
Did you have to do anything special to mount the spindle or does it just mount like the router would?
Also, does the spindle work with the suck it dust boot?
I ended up returning my VFD spindle and stuck with the Makita for the time being. Aside from noise (and cutting wood is louder than any other single element) it was a good option for me. At least until such time as I go to cut Aluminum or something and the Makita screams at me I’m going to stick with the $99 option.
I’ve been cutting Rock Maple all week with my machine and a 1/8" upcut bit with absolutely no issues at all, so at this point the decision to stick with the Makita is one that look back on with a pat on the back. Sure water cooled is awesome, and a silent spindle is cool, but when you get into the weeds does it really matter… for me NO it did not… I ended up with >$300 in my pocket after hoses, VFD, Spindle, etc. and I have yet to encounter a situation where the Makita was more than capable.
Hope that helps. Here is a picture of my current setup as requested.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts Alex. I think you made my decision for me to stick with the Makita for a while until it doesn’t do what I need/want it to do.
Now to find a Makita, lots of places are sold out.
Ordered mine a couple weeks ago. Now I am worried I won’t find the Makita model. And what about in the future when the Makita breaks down. What will be my options?
Maybe I missed it, but does anyone know why the Makita routers are becoming hard to find?
I’m curious if the situation is temporary. If long-term or permanent, maybe I should make alternate plans.
That’s what I’m thinking. Haven’t gotten the machine, yet the router it’s designed for is disappearing. Hopefully there is a plan b where they can have a carrier that can use a dewalt or alternative. If this isn’t figured out before November, I might have to cancel and stick with what I got. I really want this bearing system because I’m tired of the belts.
Why does everyone seem to think the Makita is hard to find? A simple Google search turns up all kinds of purchase options. I purchased mine (actually 2, both refurbs) from Toolsteal. Additionally, the Bauer sold at Harbor Freight is said to fit. At that price, I would definitely invest in a spare to keep on the shelf.
Yes I’ve Google searched. Yes I saw that one, and ebay. Point is, it’s not as available as it used to be. It used to sell at Amazon and the big box stores. Now it it’s not. (I am aware that HD might have 1 at stock at this time) My worry is that it’s becoming either obsolete and being replaced. As to the Bauer, not confirmed to fit and it’s no Makita quality, Bauer would be my go to in a pinch.
Carbide 3D sells a Makita clone router that comes with extra collets, a wrench, extra brushes… The things you really need out of router for a CNC.
I’ve only seen The Makita disappear from Amazon, but it’s everywhere else that I’ve looked. It’s crazy how Amazon has trained us all to feel like the only place to get things lol
No kidding, I’ve seen it in the wild at a few stores as well!
For the record, I agree that the Bauer is probably no Makita (as is the case with most other HF tools). That said, it might be a good cheap option to have on the shelf to use in a pinch, as you mentioned.
I have an email in to toolsteal to inquire how many of these refurbished Makita routers they have available, and if they would consider sort of a group buy discount for us (assuming they have the quantity to support). At the same time in the back of my mind I’m wondering why they would have so many refurbs of this specific router. The 2 I got appear to be new, unused, but not packaged in the Makita box.
Awesome stuff. Feeling more at ease.Thanks
I don’t have an answer, but I got an email from Rockler a few weeks ago saying there was a world-wide shortage of power tools - “Order my new table saw now!”. I thought it was BS and Googled for a while – I turned nothing up. But maybe it’s legit. Plenty of things are getting harder to find ore more expensive due to Covid.
I was able to find a makita router “locally”… had to go to NJ to pick one up (I live in NY). Ordered one from Home Depot, but they cancelled my order due to “out of stock”