Well, the magic tool account is finally up for a little exercise after having recovered from the big OF purchase. After reading what I can find here on spindles, I have a few questions.
There is a significant price difference between spindles made in China and those made in Germany. In some cases, a Mechatron unit can run as much as 4X-5X the cost of a Huan Yang. If cost is an accurate guide, are the Mechatrons 5X better than the Huan Yangs? Is there a relatively clear point of diminishing returns? Are the Huan Yangs perfectly serviceable for the hobby woodworking many of us do?
There is a Chinese brand named Jian-ken. It seems quite robust, and the sound of its bearings and spindle as they accelerate to operating speed is quite a bit quieter than the competitor with which it is compared. I’ve not found any specific prices, but I recall that one owner reported a cost of $1300 for an ATC unit. Any experience with this brand? Does our controller support ATC? Surely, there must be addional costs related to ATC?
I’d like an air-cooled unit. Huan Yang does not appear to have air-cooled units - in packages on Amazon and elsewhere, their VFD’s are paired with other brand air-cooled spindles. Am I looking in the wrong places? Air-cooled spindle owners, what brands have you used and which have done well for you? If you have ceramic bearings, have you noticed any increase or decrease in performance compared to steel?
I do not see a need for in my shop for a 2.2KW spindle I’m thinking more along the lines of a 65mm 800W unit with an ER11 collet. I’ve read here about space limitations and the OF Z unit. Will a 65mm unit fit the OF properly, with no modifications to either device? If the 65mm choice creates problems, my next move will be to the 80mm 1.5KW ER16 collet unit. I have the OF bracket. The ER16 seems worth the extra few dollars since it will accept a 3/8 shank - a little beefier for those large bit jobs. Any thoughts on this?
Is wiring a quality VFD really that much of a challenge? Would I be better off getting a plug and play combo?
Lots of questions. In a nutshell: I’d like an air-cooled unit that does an excellent job on medium-duty hobby woodworking and can be serviced in the US. Quality of unit and quality of work are more important than cost. I’d prefer to avoid a situation in which I pay five times the cost for a unit that provides a mere 15% advantage over the less expensive model.
I really appreciate the insight members of this forum provide. I look forward to hearing from you.