Spindle travel limitations?


We’ve been having a good discussion over in the announcements area about the Z-sliders and travel. I thought I’d start a new discussion over here and get in to some specific questions.

For those with a spindle I’m interested in your experiences about the Z travel and the default Z-slider (now known as the Z-16).

When you mounted your Z-slider did you mount it as the low, medium or high position? Why? Was it driven by your spindle position?

When you mounted your spindle, where did you clamp on? In the bottom 1/4, between 1/4 and 1/2 or higher?

With the above choices, what room do you have between the collet and wasteboard (assuming a 3/4" thick wasteboard on top of the table top) when the spindle is at max-Z? I.e. you’ve raised it right up, how much clearance is there between the collet and wasteboard?


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Check this out. I can measure for you, but will be adjusting my mounting position to avoid resonance so may be better to wait until I’m more dialed in.

Thanks for the link. I’d read that a few days ago, before I was looking into the height thing so that part didn’t stick.

Looks like ~4.25” of clearance under my Z-16 when mounted in the “high” position. I wanted it as high as possible to maintain clearance under the gantry. I didn’t take a measurement to the collet directly, but it looks like ~6” or so in the image. Definitely grabbing the bottom 1/4 of the spindle body and not 100% sure if that’s OK or not. I’ll likely make some adjustments to this, as I mentioned before. Still need to get my drag chains set-up and do some finer tramming adjustments so I’ll be I messing around with it anyway.

Thanks, I appreciate you doing this.

So what I’m seeing here is that for a normal setup with common bits the Z height range is sufficient that it is going to be the Z-slider that will set your max material thickness. Going back to the other thread’s discussion it seem the extra 35mm of range on the new Z-20 slider would rarely be needed. I can only see a need for long bits (extending 2" beyond collet) or a situation where the spindle would need to be clamped further up the body (lowering it relative to the table).

If the Z-20 was available today I might have spent the extra $200 but having to wait a few months and spend the $200 just doesn’t seem worth it vs the 80mm on the Z-16.


I think both of these apply to my situation already :joy:

I definitely want the Z-20, but will also wait until I can convince myself I really need it. For me, most of the value is in the beefier nature of the thing as opposed to the extra travel. The Z-16 feels like it’s designed for a trim router (and it was). The Z-20 will probably handle a spindle much better, especially if you’re going 1.5 or 2.2 kW (and most are).

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I’m the same, would want the best “just because”. If it was available today that would likely be the decision but having to wait 3-4 months to use the spindle that is on its way here is just too hard.

Onefinity has stated the Z-16 is fine with 2.2 kW spindles so it should be fine. Maybe the Z-20 is just overbuilt. :wink: Seriously, it’s the better one, but the Z-16 is good enough. If the Z-20 hadn’t been announced I wouldn’t have been concerned about the Z-16.

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The Z-20 was born from the Elite foreman. Since the Y rails on the foreman are X-50 rail, the z-16 does not have the reach down due to the added height in Z from the X-50 rails.
But also, who doesn’t want beefier. Don’t forget, the Z-20 also has the faster ballscrew speeding up 3d carves by up to 40%!


Ok, so I finally get why the extra z range is important, it’s for the Elite because the X rails sit higher up off the table. I kept trying to figure out why it was needed on a X-50, not knowing the Elite Y rails are taller.

Gosh I want an Elite Foreman…