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Thread: After 12 years, thinking of buying an HSD spindle, change my mind

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Springfield Mo

    Default Spindle speeds

    So do I understand that the speed of all spindles are controlled by a computer interface

    or do some have a simple speed setting switch on the spindle itself ?

    The spindle and speed controller are sold together, or does one have to mix and match from a wide selection ?

    list of common selections available ? thanks
    The decimal point seems to be the most important on the z axis... x & y not so much....
    ShopBot... Where even the scraps and things you mess up and throw away are cool....

  2. #12
    Join Date
    May 2014


    Some of the smaller shopbots (Desktops) have a speed control knob on them. The larger machines like the Buddy and the PRS have the option of either using a knob, keypad on the front, or for a few extra bucks you can get a dongle that will control the speed automatically through the SB interface.

    I like the speed control personally. Not only does it start/stop the spindle but it allows you to store all of your speeds in whatever CAM software you're using.

    If you're seriously considering a spindle (And you should!) I'd call ShopBot and ask them what the upgrade options are. They sell them as kits that you can self install. They'll come with the wiring, programming instructions, and whatever mount hardware you need.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Diamond Lake, WA


    From Aspire or VCarve, you can control the spindle speed. When creating toolpaths, you specify the RPM's and the correct code is created to set the spindle speed. I use Aspire and the speed control setting to run 3D carving files all the time. For example, when V carving soft woods, I run at a high RPM (18K) and slow feed rate. This gives me a very clean cut. When cutting softwood with a compression or down spiral bit, I run about 14K RPM at 6IPS. When cutting hardwood, I run the spindle at 13K RPM with a feed rate of around 4IPS. Yes, a thousand RPM can make a big difference.

    With the ATC option, you can set things up to not have to manually change bits, and Aspire and VCarve will work just fine with this setup. I think the dongle Eric is referring to is the hardware needed with ShopBot Link for use with eCabinets for cutting cabinet parts. I use this setup for all my cabinet jobs. For example when punching shelf pin holes, I spin the spindle at 6400RPM using a boring bit. When cutting dados and mortises, I use a 1/4" down cut spiral at 13K RPM feed 6IPS. But when cutting Appleply (US Equivalent to baltic birch) I increase my RPM's to 14K and decrease my feed to 4IPS. This is because Appleply is MUCH more dense then regular plywood. You'll learn about feeds and speeds for your machine thru trial and terror. I used to use 3/8" compression bits for cutting parts out of plywood. But now use a 1/4" compression bit. I just had to figure out what the ideal feeds and speeds were. All the above I did prior to getting the ATC but I just had to manually change bits instead of having the ATC change bits for me. Other then internal bit changing code, the code to do the cutting is the same whether manual bit change or automatic bit change. I have an older machine so don't go by my numbers. They are what work for my machine (after a lot of experimenting and broken bits). You'll need to figure out what works for your machine.
    Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks, LLC
    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in one pretty and well preserved piece; But to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, worn out, bank accounts empty, credit cards maxed out, defiantly shouting "Geronimo"!

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