Inventables Community Forum

1.5KW Spindle Feasibility

I’ve been running a “fairly stock” 2017 XCarve for a while. It was 2016 when I got it, then I bought the 2017 upgrade with X-Controller, new solid makerslide for X axis, etc.

I’ve got aluminum Y axis braces I made as soon as I got the machine up and running as to combat the gantry from sagging along the Y Axis rails.

I’m about to embark on a huge undertaking of making 150 lidded boxes 70mm x 70mm x 35mm with 25mm deep pocket cuts and some adaptive clearing cuts for wedding favors at my wedding in 66 days. I designed the boxes in Fusion 360 and generated all my tool paths. I managed to get a fairly acceptable time of 14 minutes for a 55mm (Y) x 55mm (X) x 25mm (Z) with .125" radius corners pocket cut in soft maple. I decided that I can’t stand how loud the 611 router is, and the Z Axis is horribly sloppy with those V wheels and the stock Z rail too much chatter, so I ordered a linear Z Axis upgrade from CNC4Newbies. I am going to snag a spindle, and was thinking the 1.5KW water or air cooled 65mm x 188 (or 200) mm would be a welcomed upgrade to deal with what I feel is the weakest link on the XCarve.

I know the 1.5KW spindle is about 10 pounds, so I also ordered a 270oz NEMA 23 stepper for the Z axis just because I may as well do it all at once so I don’t have to do multiple tear downs.

Is 10 pounds for the spindle too much? I tried putting a 7 pound weight on top of the 611 to get an idea of any flex or twist in the makerslide. I didn’t notice anything while the machine was off, however that doesn’t mean while it’s running it won’t be too much.

Has anyone successfully installed and run a 1.5KW Spindle on their X-Carve? Most of what I can find references 800W spindles.


It’s been done for a Shapeoko 2:

Are you sure your cutting parameters will require more than 800W spindle power?

Reason I ask is that I cut aluminium with similar MRR (and higher) to your data above and my Makita (0.8kW) isnt taxed at all.

Not sure if my cutting parameters will require more power than an 800W, however I have a 220V plug available there and if I can go 1.5K as my biggest from the get go, why not?

I understand that - the price jump isnt that great either.

However - my thoughts are that 10+lbs on X and wheels / short axle distance can cause trouble in the long run.

On a side-note, the larger 80mm option do allow for ER16 collets => larger diameter bits / different bit selections become available. This might be an important factor too :slight_smile:

I ordered a 1.5K 220v air cooled spindle with Controller. I’ll break out the dial indicator and check for sag and twist and such along the X Axis. Worst case scenario, I’ll order an 800W spindle for the X-Carve, and hold on to the 1.5KW spindle for my inevitable second CNC, and use that at least until I want to drop $1000+ on a spindle VFD controller.

Air cooled should be more than sufficient, my shop is roughly 70 degrees, also have climate control and plenty of air movement in there.

Interested in hearing your experience with that combo once you are up and running :slight_smile:

I’ll be sure to post my thoughts and experiences. My hold up right now is waiting for CNC4Newbie to get back from vacation on September 7th, so they can ship my Z Axis. Machine is about to get a substantial overhaul. I’ll photo document the process and post it in this thread.

I ran some numbers through GWizard and came up with about 12% HP utilization from a 1.5K spindle with a .1 inch stepover and .25" depth of cut with a .25" bit. Debating if I want a larger stepover and shallower cut. My biggest concern with depth of cut and step over is catching and grabbing the piece off the wasteboard (I’ve done this a couple of times in testing). I changed up my clamping a bit, but I’ve been a little more conservative with the depth of cut, and it hasn’t happened since. I was doing side clamping with cam clamps and that failed 2 times. Decided to drill some .75" holes in my wasteboard to use the Festool Clamping Elements, also added some 80 grit PSA sandpaper to the side of the sacrificial wood blocks.

I received my spindle and VFD controller today. I ordered an air cooled spindle and they sent me a water cooled spindle. I ordered 8 feet of shielded cable to go from the VFD to the spindle… They sent me 5’ 10". Off to a good start… Good news is, the 1.5K water spindle is 6 pounds 6 ounces versus the Dewalt 611 which is 3 pounds 7 ounces. Now to figure out a cooling solution

1.5 kw water cooled and under 6.5 pounds that is great.
That peaks my interest as I would like to get away from the screaming router.
Keep us posted.

Got my Z Axis upgrade from CNC4Newbie. I went with the 8" travel, I will probably raise the Y axis at some point after this current project. I need to redesign and print new dust collection brackets to work with the XCarve Dust Boot. The JTech Photonics Laser is in the picture since i just bought the new magnetic mount kit.


Parts to install. (Waiting on my water cooling hardware that I bought today)

Phase 1 of upgrades. Z Axis installed. (I Should have got a 2 shaft stepper so I can put a manual adjustment knob on it)

I measured sag before, and after on the X Axis. With the Z Axis upgrade and Stepper motor installed the center of the X Axis sagged .005. With the 1.5KW water cooled spindle on it, overall sag was .01 from nothing to everything. There’s a sag variance from the carriage being all the way on the side, to the center of .006. That’s acceptable to me. I machine wood, and sometimes HDPE for a small part.

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Got my spindle all wired up… Wiring the aviation plug to the 16gauge Beldem VFD cable was a horribly long process. I configured the settings on the VFD and gave it a quick spin to make sure everything worked even though the cooling isn’t hooked up. I can’t even begin to explain how incredibly quiet it is. I’m waiting on my imperial size collets to get here, I’ll have everything for the cooling tomorrow, sans very critical pieces… The BSP barbed hose adaptors. If only the components were NPT.

I’m going to need to build a vertical post of some kind to hold the VFD controller, the cooling components, and the hoses and wire will need to hang from above since it’s way too much for drag chain.

Hi use two drag chains. One for stepper motors and homing switches and the other for VFD wiring and water pipes.

What was your solve for the spindle mount?

Maybe these pictures might explain.



Yep. New mount. Thanks.

Nice setup!

I got my cooling stuff yesterday and today. Waiting on the water nipples for the pump and radiator.

I got my spindle in the 611 mount. I 3D printed a sleeve out of thermoplastic polyurethane which allows it to be compressed and stretched a bit without losing rigidity.


READY TO ROCK! (Well, after I finish up all the cable routing and hose mounting.

I need to work out a few things. I really wish I had a low profile vise I could mount to my wasteboard so I could really crank into the wood. Side clamping is such a pain, and isn’t as strong as I’d like. It’s pretty damn silent though and I really like that.

Water reservoir and pump

Still printing clamps for all the routing

Hose Clamps

Only 15 more clamps to print

Couldn’t use the Inventables dust collection anymore. =(
Designed some new rails to allow the shoe and arms to be used, printed it today.

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I’ve been busy, and the spindle has been working great. I had to mess around with lead in and lead out to help with the momentum of the extra weight during the short distance cuts.

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Tom is this still working out for you?
I would assume that you could adjust the acceleration rates in your grbl settings to componsate for the added weight.