Spindle Router Upgrade

Morning all…owned a few engineering companies for near on 40 years so very proficient with CNC machines and the black arts of getting a machine to do what it thinks it cant !! but changing direction now and going into the wood industry and hoping to transfer my many years of skills into a successful business’…ready to pull the trigger on two 48 x 48 elite foreman machines but want to add a heavy duty more robust 80mm spindle to both…so my question is how easy / fiddly is the process to complete

Thanks in advance,Alfie

Hey Alfie,

congratulations, then you found the right forum, your question was already answered thoroughly.

Note that since a spindle is an induction motor that only runs on three-phase electricity, you always need a VFD, which is an inverter that produces tree-phase electricity with a variable frequency. So if you use the search function, be sure to search for VFD also.

Welcome to the forum!

PS: Here is a post with a lot of links on the topic to start with

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Ok and thank you…but does this mean I need a 3 phase supply coming into my workshop
Regards Alfie

Hey Alfie,

no, the VFD will take one-phase AC as input, convert it into DC internally, and create the three-phase power. That’s what a VFD does.

If I were you I would wait 6-8 weeks… lots of action in this arena.

I will be getting an Elite Foreman with 2.2 Kw (iso-30) and ATC.

I have a 30 AMP 220 circuit pulled for the machine. (Could go up to 35 AMP but we think 30 is enough)

You will also need CLEAN DRY air for the machine.

Getting these items in place will help with the lead times

Thanks guys…this wont be happening for a good few months just putting things into motion and planning ahead…I’m currently in the UK but have purchased a property with outbuildings and land in Tuscany (That’s ultimately where my machines will be set up )so this project is probably going to be on going…Just like to cover as many potential pitfalls as I can now…

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Now that’s a relief … I remember using a phase converter many years ago…not the most reliable of units but it worked until i had 3 phase put in…

If planning on a truly industrial- or lets just say business- usage, why not find a larger format machine? I can appreciate the value of two 4x4 machines but i would think for your use case a single larger machine that could handle 5x5 or 4x8 sheets (or thr european equivalent) would be more appropriate, as well as come with support for automatic tool changing.

Something like an Avid would also be more able to adapt to plasma cutting or other such tasks. A 4x8 avid comes with a 4HP spindle and will run about 13k. You’re already talking 4k +4k + 2k in spindles and while you’ll have two machines, i would think a larger format machine would give you far more options in product offerings.

I can’t imagine duties and shipping to Europe to be inexpensive either. I have no idea what the market is like there, but the Avid line was my first thought for a true machine one might build a business around at a lower pricepoint. Regardless I’d be looking at used pro level machines for your stated use case, and I say that as a happy onefinity owner.

Used pro equipment as an option should be entertained IMO… for instance i saw this go for under 4k US recently. Even if substantial work were needed, you’d be far ahead of the game!


But to answer your question without all the other prattling… quite easy from a consumer perspective to install and hook up, and there are many spindle options that run the gamut in cost. And for a consumer level home gamer, even the cheap chinese ones work just fine.


Hey @Alf Alfie, hey Carl and Lynn @CandL, hey Echd @Echd,

No need to import CNC machines to Europe! :slight_smile:!

For the purpose of cabinetmaking/furnituremaking, you have e.g. CNC-STEP.

For self-assemblers, those at Sorotec are very popular.

Many also like the smallest Felder as entry machine (available here).

And of course Isel and technology leader Hermle.

Germany and Italy are machinery countries!

See also

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Hey Alfie,

[OT] fourty years ago, that would have been the correct direction for a move. But nowadays are you sure you that will be advantageous? Okay you can still buy villages for the price of a house in mediterranean Europe, but I live on (nearly) the 55th now and I cannot say I could imagine to return more south. You can now grow and harvest wine in Denmark, while in Southern Europe you are either grilled, parched, or burned out by fire every year.

Hey Alfie,

VFDs are available both for single phase or three-phase input. Be sure to choose the right model. In Europe, we have 400 V three-phase available everywhere so this would allow smaller supply wires and fuses, but I have bought the single-phase input model which of course requires a thicker supply wire (at least 4 mm²) and fuse (30 A), but this is because I am still in an apartment with 1960ies electricity :frowning:

Here is the nameplate of my VFD for a 2.2 kW spindle which shows input and output (this is single-phase 240 V AC input model):

The Omron MX2 (which I own) or Hitachi WJ200 VFDs (which are practically identical) are excellent VFDs used in the industry. They are very smart and state-of-the-art and not comparable to the cheap chinese VFD crap.

I would also always think of the Invertek Optidrive E-3 since it is produced in the UK (not only this means that it is not produced in China, but I think the UK manufacturers need our support more than ever). I pay € 283,71 here: Invertek ODE-3-220105-1F42. That’s a good price for a VFD with Sensorless Vector Control that is not made in China!

Hey Alfie,

regarding spindle and considering what @Echd said, I can say that one thing to consider is electrical safety of a setup, and setting up a spindle and a VFD, if not buying an industrial ready-to-use setup mentioned in my post here, is something that should be made by a certified electrician or that you should at least try to acquire partly that knowledge. It tried to provide a lot of information in this forum on building your own VFD enclosure, making a safe spindle cable or better buying one ready-to-use.

Many people here are very happy that @PwnCNC offers a more ready-to-use spindle and VFD kit than the cheap and unsafe chinese no-name kits, and it is the only one that Onefinity promotes. You may read about the experiences of the users of the PwnCNC spindle kit in considerably growing number of posts. But…

If you consider the Onefinity CNC, you also have to know that…

So in addition to judge critically on the stock cabling on the Onefinity machines, generally you have to take care…

  1. of the fact that a VFD is a device intended for installation in a grounded control cabinet that acts as faraday cage,

  2. to select a suitable spindle power cable and to wire, shield and terminate the spindle cable correctly (for this, see also this important document)

  3. that your entire CNC setup is properly grounded (see also materials and tools needed for this)?

…and that you have to pay shipping costs from Canada. We paid $650 to Germany for Original Series Journeyman ($325 for Woodworker) but with this it was sent using DHL Express and it was here within one week, which means this was an expensive shipping by air freight. We were not able to select a freight service on the order page though.


I just bought a kit from PwnCNC. Preconfigured, and comes with everything to start cutting.

I did not want my upgrade to bring down the machine for days/weeks while I try to get whatever disparate parts I buy to all work together; too many Christmas gifts to make =]

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IMHO: Hardest part of installing a 80mm spindle is sodering the cable :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: with one bad eye. Check out the Frankenstein Bench for more info also Myers Workshop How to and IOT Relay

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Hey IcarusFlyby,

If you mean the “aviation connectors” on the cheap no-name or Huanyang spindle/VFD kits, it’s also difficult with two good eyes. Those connectors are not motor power connectors. I would better avoid soldering a spindle cable at all. Professional spindle power cables are crimped, not soldered.


Frankenstein BenchHardest part is soldering Spindle Connection

Are you really omitting shielding?

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Now that’s an interesting take I agree… looking at the avid 4x8 obviously still needs putting together and the heavy duty framework looks capable…I just liked the look of the maso control on the onefinity…
I have space for the avid…and have set a budget of around £50,000 to get kitted up next year…choices choices
Also being limited only 220/240 V is restricting
But thankful that you gave me another perspective on the venture
When I comes to operation of a cnc then I’m ok…I just lack the skills of getting it put together and the first cut…so I may need to seek out a specialist

Wow! Have you noticed that climate change results in new fowl in different areas? I thought I saw a pilliated pecker, but it turned out to be a spotted harpie. Nothing I do seems to be right.

Hey IcarusFlyby,

Oh, hey, sorry, IcarusFlyby,

I remember now that I wrote a reply to a soldering post of yours many months ago.

Please be assured, when it comes to things like this, I only reel off what general information I have stored on this. It is usually no personal answer or even critcism. Since you post here rather infrequently, I didn’t immediately notice it was you. Well, although your avatar picture is actually pretty rare :slight_smile:

Please just think of my stuff in the forum as something a knowledge bot reels off on demand. Sent you a private message :slight_smile:

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