View Full Version : Spindle users question, squaring table notes....

11-19-2005, 01:07 AM
Folks -

Well, the spindle arrived today - I was wondering how to set up the spindle control box. Aren't the spindle control parameters done within SB? I liked the control pad that snapped out - I was hoping it was like a remote control, but realised that it's a safety lockout thingie.

I finished squaring the table and the x rails today. I have the rails parallel along their length +/-1/64; the book was right - that took most of the afternoon. I ended up having to file out the x rail mounting holes - I drilled them so that the rail was too narrow. It would have helped to have the distance between the truck wheel centers given somewhere for initial setup. Now that I've done it, I know how I'd do it differently, save time and make the process more accurate.

I have both the X carriage motors mounted and the stops in place. I don't know what sort of effort it should take to move the gantry along the x rails. The effort is uniform along the whole range of motion, but seems a bit tight - more of a subjective take than anything. I know I am spinning those steppers and working the gears, so that's going to add to the rolling resistance.

I was hoping for better quality information packed with the spindle. For well into 3 grand, cost-wise, they could have done better than the cumbersome translations they offered in a handful of languages, with a technical inspection record and test in Italian stapled to the back.

I hope to have most of the rest of the machine together tomorrow. I'm sure I'll have more questions....


John Moorhead

11-19-2005, 06:51 AM
Well done with the progress.
Somewhere else on this Forum I also commented on how hard it seemed to push the x carriage, but it is the stepper motors causing the effect.
Keep up the good work.
Can't help with spindles, I've yet to come over to the Dark Side.


11-19-2005, 08:21 AM
Hi John,

As far as I know, the Shopbot only will have the ability to turn the spindle on and off. I was hoping that I would be able to set the spindle speed within the SB software when I got mine but havent found any reference to doing it.

As for the control pad, I understand there is a connector cable that you can get and remove the pad to use it as a wired remote. I thought that was a good idea but since I installed my spindle, I havent found the need. Once you set the speed from the pad, you dont need it anymore. An extra cable cable would be another thing that I would be tripping over.

I ordered my spindle as a two phase unit and recieved it wired incorrectly. I was disappointed that the VFD didnt come with a manual but it was quickly rectified by emailing spindle distributor. Yours should have come with a wiring diagram that shows the brown control cable that runs between the Shopbot control box and and the VFD. I keep mine inside my control box door. It is a single page diagram.

Rolling the gantry with the motors engaged into the rack should take a moderate amount of effort.
The motors without power are basically very good electrical generators. They can and will generate substantial voltage by pushing the gantry. Always have the motors disconnected from the motor drives in the control box when moving the gantry. If you push the gantry fast enough with the drives connected, you might damage the drive.(they are not cheap)

If you drop the motors down on the sides of the gantry, it should be very free. If you give mine just a gently push, it will roll the ten feet to the other end without any problem.


11-19-2005, 11:17 AM
Okay -

Next question.... My FIL is a pretty good welder but I am a bit concerned - after we got the table here and set up level, I belt sanded the top channel rails and got them nice and smooth, then I sighted down them using a laser and they looked flat and true. All I had to do when I put the X rails on was to get them parallel, I didn't need any shims at all for either rail. I've sighted VERY carefully along the all four of the X rail rollers and don't see any dips, humps or any swayback, and don't have any backlash in how the gantry rolls - no racking at all. I can't help but think I'm missing something.... But the gantry rolls easily throughout the full range of travel, both X & Y...

Also, on the Y gantry - all of the rollers look tight and centered, no slop no nuttin', right out of the shipping crate... Am I wrong to just thank the Gods of Squareness and move on? It is SO rare for them to just show up on their own, no?

I'd appreciate any (well, most) remarks. Again, I'm afraid I'm missing something as opposed to having innate talent at this late stage....

John Moorhead

11-19-2005, 01:43 PM
John, when last did you have your eyes tested?