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Old Mar 30, 2013, 03:18 PM
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United States, MS
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Question
spindle for milling help

I'm interested in cnc milling my own aluminum parts for my rc cars. I understand how a mill works and how to build the table and the 3 axis parts, but I don't know which spindle I need. i need to be able to cut 6061 or 7075 aluminum at no more than a quarter inch. I don't need to be able to mill my parts very quickly, so im willing to make alot of passes if necessary. The area I will need to be able to mill will be about 2ft by 2ft, only using about 6in by 6in most of the time..

Thanks for any help.
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Old Apr 01, 2013, 08:00 AM
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USA, OH, Worthington
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I am able to cut aluminum plate on my home built CNC using a Hitachi router instead of a spindle. It's slow and I take very small passes, but it cuts perfectly. For production work I would certainly want a spindle.

My machine is a Joes 4x4 that's been highly modified over the years. I'd suggest you also look at VeloxCNC and maybe XZero as well as CNCrouterparts.

Good luck, and let me know if I can be of any assistance.
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Old Apr 02, 2013, 04:18 PM
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The 3-1/4 hp Porter Cable router has pretty much been settled upon as the defacto standard for the low-end of what would be considered "very capable" milling machines. Real spindles can be quite expensive, such as those made by HSD. http://www.hsdusa.com/viewdoc.asp?co_id=453

Once you are set up, you NEED to do some research for proper feed speeds and router speeds with whatever bits you are using. You could have a "perfect" setup but get really bad results if you don't learn about feed and router speeds.

Do a search using the term: "Porter-Cable 75182".
That's the specific part number for the body of the router you need and without the fixed (or plunge) apparatus that you DON'T need because you are going to use it in on a CNC machine gantry.
Different people may tell you different things, but I've been told by more than one person that the PC router works nicely for aluminum if you don't try to hog away a buttload of metal at one time.
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Old Apr 02, 2013, 07:03 PM
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United States, AZ, Yuma
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there is a 800w mill spindle from china i keep eyeing. rumor has it, they take the FCM fast AC and it gets fed to the mill, then rectifiyed back to DC. i keep wondering of you could hack and run off of DC.

search ebay for '800w spindle'

keep in mind you will have to go very slow. end mills are not rated for the high speed rotations of a router. so you cuts will have to be 'easy' on the machine.

just my .02
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Old Apr 07, 2013, 11:41 AM
Dave?
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I'm using a VFD and an 80mm spindle motor, air cooled, I don't think I will need water cooling, if I do the VFD stays and I change only the spindle motor and add a pump and bucket... as for water, I think I prefer coolant...
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Old Apr 07, 2013, 04:04 PM
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I never answered since its such a tough question. The spindle really needs to match the rest of the machine.
A lower rpm spindle is needed for large cutters, and a higher rpm for the small endmills. The frame needs to be rigid for the larger cutters, and be able to move fast for the small ones.
I have been thinking two spindles are nice. Or better is two machines. A regular mill, and the router table.
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Old Apr 07, 2013, 10:23 PM
Dave?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roto Rob View Post
I never answered since its such a tough question. The spindle really needs to match the rest of the machine.
A lower rpm spindle is needed for large cutters, and a higher rpm for the small endmills. The frame needs to be rigid for the larger cutters, and be able to move fast for the small ones.
I have been thinking two spindles are nice. Or better is two machines. A regular mill, and the router table.
I have a Mill/Router table and a Harbor Freight Mini Mill (X2).

My Mill/Router is a home made...

The X2 is going though it's "Change of Life"...

The factory 16TPI leadscrew have been changed with 20TPI, this make it more like a real mill with .050" movement per turn vs .062"... Who mills in factions lit 1/16th of an inch?

I have converted it to an air spring and chucked the torsion spring... if the airspring dies I will simply rig a large counter weight.

The bar used to hold the spindle for changing collets and other tools has been replaces with a spring loaded rod that make sure that the rod can not be left in the machine and turn on...

Next is a set of tramming adjustment screws and an 18"x4"x.75" piece of metal places on the back of the column to keep it from flexing... The big washer does not keep the column as ridged as it needs to be.

The X2 is not a bad machine after you take it apart and makes a few changes and do a proper assembly of it... Think of the X2 as a kit not a ready to use mill... a little work on it pay off in the quality of the products... Later on I will be making some more mods... Thrust bearings on the leadscrews to reduce backlash.

I was considering making is a CNC mill but I make a fair number of prototype items and I like it better as a manual machine.

Having a production machine and a manual machine is what works for me...
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Old Apr 08, 2013, 05:28 PM
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United States, CA, Los Angeles
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Rcworks,

The Fignoggle X2 CNC conversion retains full manual functionality.
http://www.fignoggle.com/plans/cncplans.htm

GeneH
May the mass times acceleration be with you.
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Old Apr 08, 2013, 08:37 PM
Dave?
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Originally Posted by Alpha35 View Post
Rcworks,

The Fignoggle X2 CNC conversion retains full manual functionality.
http://www.fignoggle.com/plans/cncplans.htm

GeneH
May the mass times acceleration be with you.
If I was going to convert an X2 for automation it would use ballscrews. They run a bit coarse for manual operation... but they run smooth! I am happy the way I am setup, what I would do next is build a powerfeed for it...
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