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Router for CNC machine

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Dave the woodworker

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I would be interested to know what routers people are using in CNC woodworking machines. Size of CNC around 1000mm X 1000mm.
 

Sporky McGuffin

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Mine's 600x1200mm, I have a Bosch GMF1400CE with the Think & Tinker precision collects so I can use 1/8", 1/4", 8mm, and 1/2" bits.
 

Ollie78

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Don't even bother with a router. Just get a watercooled spidle and VFD.
They come in different sizes from 800w to huge 7kw beasts. For a small machine a 1000w or 1500w might be adequate.
They are designed to run for long periods, can be software controlled for speed, have less runout than a trim router, have nicer collets and are quieter.
They are the correct tool for the job.

Ollie
 

Alpha-Dave

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Don't even bother with a router. Just get a watercooled spidle and VFD.
They come in different sizes from 800w to huge 7kw beasts. For a small machine a 1000w or 1500w might be adequate.
They are designed to run for long periods, can be software controlled for speed, have less runout than a trim router, have nicer collets and are quieter.
They are the correct tool for the job.

Ollie
Agreed, I have a water-cooled spindle on mine, and I would not swap for repurposed hand-held router.
 

Dave the woodworker

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Don't even bother with a router. Just get a watercooled spidle and VFD.
They come in different sizes from 800w to huge 7kw beasts. For a small machine a 1000w or 1500w might be adequate.
They are designed to run for long periods, can be software controlled for speed, have less runout than a trim router, have nicer collets and are quieter.
They are the correct tool for the job.

Ollie
Can you suggest a make and model
 

Ollie78

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Can you suggest a make and model
Not really, it's quite dependant on your machine, what you are trying to do etc.
Mine is a 2.2kw Chinese spindle which looks like it says Zhang hao or something the VFD is an ABB.
They are often sold as a kit with vfd and spindle.
I cool mine with a pond pump and a barrel of antifreeze.
I would say try to buy from a supplier with a good rating or reputation. Don't be afraid of buying from China because all the UK sellers got theirs from there anyway. The advantage of a UK or European supplier is they are easier to get hold of if something goes wrong.

Have a look on mycncuk for this sort of thing.

Ollie
 

martin.pearson

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As others have said if you can afford it get a spindle & VFD rather than a router, I have the same sort of set up as Ollie78 with 2.2KW water cooled spindle, pond pump & Barrel lol. the forum he mentioned should be able to give you advice as to where to get one, not used it for a long time but it is a build forum so people always looking for best place to buy parts.
As well as the advantages that have already been mentioned it makes buying router bits so much easier than having to find a bit that fits a certain collet size, I have a full set of metric collets plus all the most popular sized imperial collets. I don't have to worry about shank size when buying bits for use with the CNC.
 

Droogs

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Have a watch of these vids, the length Piotr goes to to get the best finish and accuracy is insane at times (he built his own CNC router using granite slabs for the frames), but he knows his stuff



 

Spectric

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Don't even bother with a router. Just get a watercooled spidle and VFD.
If these are preferable in a CNC machine then is there any reason why they would not be a better setup than a router or motor only type router in a router table?

I assume they are much more compact and lighter but further info please.
 

Ollie78

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If these are preferable in a CNC machine then is there any reason why they would not be a better setup than a router or motor only type router in a router table?

I assume they are much more compact and lighter but further info please.
I suggest they would be an excellent option for a router table. It's on my long list of things to do, I plan to basically mount a complete Z axis upside down in a router table, so stepper controlled height adjustment as well.

Very precise speed control from a vfd, really good bearings, quiet etc.
Some of the advantages are not necessarily required in a router table, the ability to run for hours without overheating is less important for instance.
Otherwise just a good quality motor really.

Ollie
 
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flh801978

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I have 2 of the Chinese 2.2 kw spindles one in my cnc and one in a converted spindle moulder table as a router table…running a router in a cnc gets very tiring with the noise
 

martin.pearson

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If these are preferable in a CNC machine then is there any reason why they would not be a better setup than a router or motor only type router in a router table?

I assume they are much more compact and lighter but further info please.
No they are not more compact or lighter than a router, it would be more expensive & as Ollie78 has already said some of the advantages might not be so important on a router table.
There are people who have used a spindle on a router table but I am not sure if it is quite as straight forward as using a router, the mounting for a spindle for one thing is going to be different & something that would need worked out.
I like the idea of mounting a whole z axis upside down lol
 

Droogs

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You've got me thinkdreaming now @Ollie78 Who needs fence stops when you can have x, y & z for accuracy and repeatability. Oh buggeration, now I need to find an Australian CNC to use in a router table
 

Sporky McGuffin

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I've looked into the spindle thing but kept hitting obstacles. I'm not installing 3 phase, and I use bits from 52mm down to 0.3mm needing collets from 3.15mm to 12.7mm.

I can't find a spindle that meets my needs, from a UK source with a warranty. The single phase ones don't have the torque at low rpm.

Whenever I've asked no-one has been willing/able to point to a UK supplier. By contrast my Bosch router has plentiful spares (not that I've actually needed them), easily available collets, is air cooled, and runs on single phase. It also fits in my router table and a load of jigs.
 

Spectric

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but I am not sure if it is quite as straight forward as using a router, the mounting for a spindle for one thing is going to be different & something that would need worked out.
There are some good router lifts available that take a 102mm diameter body, (4 & 3/16 inches) and for a router table having a manual Z axis is not a problem. I will need to look into these in more detail.

I'm not installing 3 phase, and I use bits from 52mm down to 0.3mm needing collets from 3.15mm to 12.7mm.
If you are looking at a three phase motor you can get a single to three phase invertor from ABB, Mitsi and a few others that will also deliver variable speed, if you look at the other option of digital phase convertors you lose the variable speed aspect.
 

martin.pearson

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I've looked into the spindle thing but kept hitting obstacles. I'm not installing 3 phase, and I use bits from 52mm down to 0.3mm needing collets from 3.15mm to 12.7mm.

I can't find a spindle that meets my needs, from a UK source with a warranty. The single phase ones don't have the torque at low rpm.

Whenever I've asked no-one has been willing/able to point to a UK supplier. By contrast my Bosch router has plentiful spares (not that I've actually needed them), easily available collets, is air cooled, and runs on single phase. It also fits in my router table and a load of jigs.
What would you consider low RPM ? You are right that they will lose torque as speed reduces, below about 6000 RPM my spindle wouldn't cut butter, warm butter at that lol
You can get the Chinese spindles from a UK source but guessing you might struggle with any sort of warranty, I have a 2.2KW water cooled spindle with ER20 Collet chuck so full range of collets from 1mm up to 12.7mm plus imperial at 1/8 3/16, 1/4, 3/8, & 1/2" . Think it was a half set of imperial I bought, wanted 1/8, 1/4 & 1/2 inch, then found I needed 3/8 for thread milling bit so it was cheaper to buy what I have rather than the 4 I needed lol, not sure if I will ever use the 3/16"
You would probably be OK with an air cooled spindle in the UK although I have heard that they are noisier than water cooled, not sure if that is true as I have also been told that is only true if the fan is mounted at the top of the spindle as most of the cheaper ones are.

@Spectric the spindle I have is an 80mm body so maybe not as difficult as I thought it might be
 
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