router vs. spindle and tooling

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Forum topic by Mainiac Matt posted 09-13-2014 12:23 PM 1341 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mainiac Matt

8513 posts in 2506 days

09-13-2014 12:23 PM

in a recent post, the OP was advised that a typical CNC program would run 7 hours and would quickly burn out a router. I attempted to respond, the site wouldn’t show my entire post…. so here it is.

IMO 7 hours would be a very involved 3D profile…

We run simple 2D parts on the CNC at work and cut a full sheet of parts in less than 5 min. I programed a sign with the company logo and a fair bit of text for the owners anniversary and it ran in ~40 min.

As far as burning out the router… keep in mind that you will typically not be pushing it super hard, as you’ll risk shifting or flexing your stock, and the quality of your cut will suffer. Also, most programs have a lot of up-transit-plunge cycles in them, in which there is no load on the router at all.

For the home shop, I think the biggest issue with a router will be the noise. A VFD controlled spindle will run MUCH quieter…. and if you have ear muffs on, you’ll have to become accustomed to visually checking the bit b4 touching it, as you can’t reliably tell by ear, if the spindle is running or not.

We run a 10 HP spindle on our machine at work, and can push 3/8” or 1/2” bits through 3/4 plywood in one pass all day at ~600 ipm with acceptable cut quality. And the machine is quieter than a guy near by cutting rabbits on a router table.

You will want to invest in REAL tooling if you push any CNC. We use Onsrud almost exclusively… and I keep their tooling engineers business card by my desk and call for advice whenever we stumble into something new.

Putting an out of balance Chinese router bit with brazed on cheap carbide tips onto any CNC is folly imo, as I’ve seen broken cutters shoot across the shop on several occasions…. but fortunately have never hit anyone.

-- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

2 replies so far

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Mainiac Matt

8513 posts in 2506 days

#1 posted 09-13-2014 12:24 PM

found the bug… be careful using the < symbol

-- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View DocWithManyHats's profile


61 posts in 2784 days

#2 posted 09-17-2014 02:19 AM

I think a real spindle will be my next big upgrade down the line. I have run my hobby level machine for 9 hours straight with a hitachi router ( .5 and .25 inch endmills) multiple times, and the constant noise, even with earplugs + muffs, gets to be physically draining if I’m in the same room for an extended period of time. I think my neighbors would probably appreciate it as well, though I don’t think they can hear my machine unless they are in their basements.

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