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Question about spindles vs routers

Discussion in 'CNC Mills/Routers' started by Steven Hickerson, Jan 13, 2016.

  1. Steven Hickerson


    Jan 7, 2016
    Likes Received:
    Ok, I know from searching that this is not an uncommon discussion, so sorry for that. But none of the 20 or 30+ threads I have read this morning really answer my questions. And unfortunately there is a lot of differentiating information in them as well. I don't know if posting will help, but I figured it was worth a try.

    I'm currently building a home DIY CNC machine. I've got all the hardware, frame of the machine and such pegged down. It will be made of mostly aluminum so I'm not looking to build some gargantuan steel cutting machine here. The hardest material I want to be able to cut is aluminum. I see a lot of DIY machines doing this with basic routers like the Bosch PR20EVSK and Dewalt 1611. But then I read in some places that these routers aren't really fit for the job and will tear up quickly. I'm also not sure how precise they are which is a concern for another one of the main purposes of my CNC. I want to be able to prototype my own PCB boards. I've designed the movement of the machine so that it should have the necessary precision, can be precise at up to about .005mm theoretically. That's with the steppers at 1/8 microstep, I'll probably run them at 1/2 steps though which will give me .02mm resolution, I think that is enough for pcb prototyping as long as I'm not trying to make extremely compact traces.

    So anyway, with that said, I'm trying to figure out which spindle / router to go with. I'd spend the extra money to get a nice spindle over a router, but the problem with them is the extra steps to make it work. A lot of them seem to be water cooled which means I'd have to also set up a water pump, reservoir, and possibly a radiator. Also the majority of them seem to be 220V which is a problem. I don't want to spend loads of money wiring up 220v. I've seen Step Up converters that will convert 110v to 220v, but I don't know how reliable they are? But, I'm worried that going the cheaper router path will not give me the precision I need for pcb prototyping.

    The only spindles I can seem to find that run on 110v and are air cooled are only .4kw spindles. I don't think that is enough for aluminum? I read in a couple places that a .8kw spindle is stronger than the Bosch router I mentioned, and the Bosch can do aluminum so I assume a .8kw spindle can as well. I just can't find one of those at 110v.

    Any advice would be most welcome.


    Sep 11, 2017
    Likes Received:
    How did this work out for you, sir?

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