Z axis counter balance for the Journeyman Elite 2.2KW Spindle

I was exploring the Z drop Issue with the 2.2 kw Water cooled spindle. I came across a solution that a fella in Canada came up with, but it would not work for the Elite with the Pwncnc Dust Boot or the Masso motors. So I took his concept broke out the measuring gauges and proceeded to 3d print my own version to resolve all the problems. Mostly this was very cramped quarters to get the gadget to work properly in.

This Video shows the home movement to the tool setter, and then I turned off the power to demonstrate the z drop or rather the lack of z drop. The attachment to the spindle had to be designed around the Dust boot as this was going to hit the bracket knobs on the way down. I have tested this with programs running and have not had any problems to date. I went through 6 generations of this design before I finally found all the flaws. It was a huge PITA.


Will you be posting any more details of the process and parts?

I looked into a spring balancer but most of the ones I looked at had just one hole on the top, not surface mount like the one you found, or had 4 or 5 feet of cable in them making them very bulky. So I gave up for now. Do you have a link to the one you bought?

It was designed around the Elite Journeyman with the 2.2 kw spindle, and requires 3d printer. But sure if anyone is interested ill elaborate…

I’ve got an Elite Foreman, 2.2 kw spindle and just so happen to also have a 3D printer. :slight_smile:

I am interested if I could get the info so if I could get the files and specs I would appreciate it.

I have access to a 3d printer. we have a woodworker with a 2.2k spindle

Send me an email address and ill send you the files. This is an unproven solution and will depend on your spindle weight and your ability to troubleshoot the little things. It was not easy for me to get the right combination. But it is working for me. No guarantees. The print and costs involved however are minimal compared to electronic brakes and the associated wiring.

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You’re most welcome. Let me know how it works out for you

I tried the tightening of the grub screw that Ben Myers suggested, kinda meh holding sometimes!
Any chance your willing to share the files and let me stand on the shoulders of giants?

I just received my Elite Journeyman, have installed the. 2.2Kw Pwncnc air cooled spindle. The Z-axis sagas when powering off, so I would be very interested in your design to rectify/minimize the possibility of sagging. I do have a 3D printer to print the parts required. So if you are willing to send the files that would be greatly appreciated. (pdinelle@gmail.com)
Where did you get the balancer that you used from?

Thanks in advance


FYI, 1F told me that they are working on a fix for this issue, not sure on timing, I discovered why mine Elite has not had this issue two days ago when I removed the Z axis motor and when I did the slider and motor dropped like a lead weight, the coupling on the motor shaft was a little too far out on the shaft, about 1/32" so it loaded the thrust bearing when tightened up.
Thanks, Pat

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Stopping the Z Axis Drop with heavy spindles I have had this installed for over 4 months with not a single drop since installed, have sold 13 to date with no complaints.

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I used this for a short time, and then installed a brake and never looked back. The brake is a little more complicated but well worth the effort. So I’m not promoting this as a solution anymore…

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A brake seems like the cleanest way to go to me as well.
Care to provide what motor / brake you used and the required wiring for it?
Thanks, Pat

This is the thread i followed to install my electric brake. You’ll have to source the brake from the internet, but lots of sources…


Could I get the details too please , fallen013@gmail.com

I have used this ZeeKeeper as well. Not a lick of trouble, ingenious…thanks.

Thanks, Vozy. You’re the first to address my ZeeKeeper online, and I appreciate your feedback. Know that it’s countering 9ish Lbs., of weight without any other impact. I think it’s a pretty easy solution, as I have an earlier version on my own Foreman, and it’s weaker, but I want to see how long it can last ( it’s 33% thinner) and I’ve never had another drop in the last 4 months of use. Glad it’s working well for yours, and hopefully a less expensive solution to buying replacement motors and rewiring an entire setup that Onefintiy never planned for. I appreciate your response.

This is my first CNC router. Encountered the dropping spindle syndrome and didn’t want to mess with the motor brake fiasco. I was concerned about resistance to feed inputs of the z axis with ZeeKeeper. Using maximum resolution (50x slower) and REST Machining there were no problems and detail was outstanding. I’m using a PWNCNC 80mm water cooled spindle with considerable heft. The ZeeKeeper was a perfect fix. Thank you, for the product.