(Solved) Stock Spindle Issues

@Zach_Kaplan @BartDring I need to vent. So while troubleshooting my Z-axis issue my second stock spindle died, just like the first. (Now I don’t blame Inventables in the way that they did warn me it may happen again with the second one) Although the company has great customer service (not debating that and am sure they will send me a spindle mount) But know after spending the initial $1200 plus all the extras that the stock spindle uses all the damaged materials, It seems i’ll have to go with a new aftermarket spindle (the dewalt 611 and spend another $125 + another $25 for a 1/8th inch collet so I can use all the bits I currently have + more if I want it to use the VDC). So my issue is forget the fact that it’s costing me all this extra cash i don’t have on hand so will have down time till i’m able to purchase these new items, but I see Inventables is still selling the stock spindle with the X-Carve which means some other poor guy (or girl) or many for that matter will be in the same predicament. To me that’s not a good business practice, so while I applaude their service and response times I feel the company needs to put a hold on offering the 24v spindle with new machines and figure out a solution for those of us now in this situation.


It really depends on how frequently they are failing. We don’t know how many have been shipped so far. If that percentage is a big number, then yes, they need to pull them from the store.

Hi @BrianSaban I am sorry that you have had this problem two times. That is not what we want to happen. We are actively investigating it.

I understand it is very frustrating that this happened to you two times. While we have had reports of this problem the number of problems reported is small compared to the number sold. In addition for some reason it seems that people that have the problem once tend to have it twice but some people never have the problem. When we have gone out and observed some people in person who have the problem to watch what they are doing and they have been using the spindle in ways we did not expect. One person was doing 0.250" depth per pass and another had shorted the spindle in the way they were wiring it. Driving this spindle that hard is beyond it’s normal usage range. It is an entry level spindle. I’m not suggesting you are misusing it but simply providing what we have found so far in our investigations.

We have sent back 6 spindles to the manufacturer and in the ones they took apart they told us:

  1. The bearing was filled with debris.
  2. The internal wiring had become loose

To remedy this situation with our next batch of spindles there are two engineering changes the manufacturer has made 1) They are adding neck glue and 2) they have added sealed bearings.

We are happy to provide a complimentary Dewalt 611, the collet you require, in addition to the mount. If you prefer the VFD we can give you a credit for the amount of the 611 that you can use towards that model. We are also happy to replace any material that the spindle destroyed during the failure. Please contact help@inventables.com to get that set up for you if you wish.

Once again I’m sorry this happened to you.


Hi @Zach_Kaplan

Just got your voicemail and read the post, sorry I didn’t get back am stuck at work tonight. That’s an amazing gesture and I’m extremely appreciative. I didn’t realize it was such a small number, I figured with two in a row and what I’ve read in the forum there was a much bigger number (But I guess those without issues don’t post :slight_smile: ) Sorry for the harshly worded post, I know you guys always stand behind your products (as I noted the great customer service) and that’s what made me make the purchase in the first place and not wait on the shapeoko 3. In anycase I was just really frustrated when I wrote the post, as an early adopter I understand the issues; just wanted to make sure it was being addressed for future customers as your response clears up above. Thanks for being on top of things and always replying it means more than and free product.

Hi @BrianSaban no worries. Would you be kind enough to change the title of the thread to something more specific so it’s useful for future folks that might be searching?

Are the “Stock Spindles” made in China?

IF not… then this is just a rant over my experience and the experiences of a good friend who is the QC manager a major US company - with factories in China. He and I worked extensively together before they moved their manufacturing to China. He and I remained friends and he was one of the few who kept his job when they moved the plant. We currently DO NOT do any business together.

If they are made in China, I KNOW EXACTLY what your problem is - it’s a “cultural” difference… The first batch you got was AWESOME! Probably the 2nd batch, too (with a few “bad apples”)… now, we’re in the 3rd batch, right?

The Chinese REALLY want to supply you with the best product and they go to GREAT detail at the beginning of the process to ensure that… the problems come in on the 3rd order or the 4th order… and by the 6th order, you are looking for a new vendor/manufacturer.

The Chinese are renowned for their LACK of Quality Control after the initial order - this is how they beat the Japanese, who are MUCH more concerned with QC during production and on subsequent orders.

The chief difference between Japanese and Chinese Manufacturers is that the Japanese will offer you a higher quality product the 2nd time - for a higher price… the Chinese will start “cutting corners” using “cheaper” materials and components on every subsequent order to maximize THEIR profits - they may be communists, but they understand “wealth!” They are going to “test” you to see how low their quality can get before you scream or leave - and there’s another guy standing in line to hire them after YOU leave (because he just left to supplier you are switching to - it’s a revolving door!)

The Chinese will tell you they are providing you the same products, and “technically” they are! But I KNOW FOR A FACT there are many different types of “bearing manufacturers” in China, SO IT DOESN’T SURPRISE ME YOU HAD A "BEARING PROBLEM." They range from Top-end NTN, Timken and SKF plants (that are “expensive” by Chinese standards) all the way down to no-name plants that literally have dirt floors, use slave/prison/child labor and use machinery that was discarded from a higher-quality plant. All three are NOT conducive to “quality manufacturing.” All you need is one batch of bearings that was contaminated (by the blood/feces/urine of the final assembly guy who was bludgeoned to death for not appreciating his weekly bowl of rice) and you have 1,000 spindles that ain’t worth crap!

The Chinese are also extremely poor at making steel and copper - which is odd because they have been doing it for millennia! One of their favorite tricks it to swap a material that has a broad or undefined quality… as you know the word “Steel” can mean anything from “pot-metal” to “Tungston-carbide.” Unless you specify 4140 Steel, YOU AIN’T gonna get it on the 2nd order! And, remember, EVEN IF YOU DO SPECIFY IT, you are getting a 4140-grade of steel that has been “certified” by a bureaucrat that got the job because his mother’s lover is in the Ministry of Arts and he used a “favor” with his buddy at Shanghai Steel Corp to get a “favor” from said mistress… this is how business works in “command and control” economies – sorry, not my fault!

LARGE Corporations like BOSCH and DEWALT are able to hold their Chinese Manufacturing plants to much higher standards by employing their own US-based or European-based Purchasing and QC Management. I have worked with a large US-based consumer products manufacturer (you own some of their products, I’m sure!) on projects in the past. The ONLY time I experienced anyone who was not American or European was in discussions with the actual production manager - the guy who over-sees how the various components will be assembled in China.

You are 1000 times better off to partner with one of these US-based or European-based “consumer-grade” manufacturers and have them (Dewalt, Bosch, Jardin, etc.) manufacture a product for you. Pay the extra $$ for their over-sight, knowledge and experience.

Or go “all in” and have Milwalkee manufacture it in the US!


Mostly what’s interesting is inspection report from manufacturer; they were saying “found wood dust in bearing”. Daaa, we do wood carving in a sense. :slight_smile:

The company we order from is owned by an American living in China.

I would definitely inquire about their QC program.

Are THEY handling the purchasing themselves or is this done by “managers” in China (read the part about the minister’s mistress)? Are they sending inspectors to view the assembly facilities (in China or elsewhere)? Are they sending inspectors to see where sub-assemblies are made prior to coming to the final assembly plant? Who decides on the sub-assembly manufacturer? Who is testing the the copper wiring? Who is testing the steel/plastic components? How often do they disassemble a “finished good” and test for correct materials or workmanship? Who manages the bearing production or the wire production or the stator production? Are they Chinese or a US-based company? Who made the micrometer they use to measure the shaft diameter? Who made the flux that is used to solder the wires? Who made the solder? What is the condition of the machine that makes the windings? Does it drag and “stretch” the wire? How was the wire insulated?

You only have to eat one $100K batch of crappy Chinese product before you start to wonder about this stuff… You wanna see my $100k batch? happened in 2001 - 250 pieces of Chinese-made gearboxes for a production run at a minor farm implement company - every one failed in 20 hours or less - the first 20 “test units” each ran for 3,000 hours or more.

In God we trust - everybody else pays cash!

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I had the same experience, but lost much less money. First two to three rounds of samples were excellent. Production was a joke. I gave up on that product line quickly. :laughing:

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Please feel free to take down my comments above. I won’t be offended. I have spent 20+ years in this nasty “machinery” business. I know where all the dead hookers are buried and where all the little boys who assemble the “junk” sleep.

Manufacturing is a nasty process; no clean hands - even metaphorically.

What I have posted could put your product in a bad light - that was NEVER my intent! There is plenty of Quality Chinese product in the marketplace. The problem is simply that Chinese product quality degrades over time. MANY people (myself included) have gone into “Product Purchasing” with a naive hope they will get what they want - NOT what they bought!!

I MEAN, I BOUGHT one of these spindles - I assumed it was made in China - I knew what I was buying and I will treat it “gently” until I know what it can do… even if it fails in the 1st 30 minutes, I’ll just go out and get a Bosch Colt and never mention it to anyone… But Hopefully, I can abuse this one through the learning curve!

I almost wish I had problems with my stock spindle …

Edited to add: Just because I’d love some free stuff. Inventables CS (well, the whole team from those I’ve had the opportunity to interact with) is just awesome.

Hi Jay

I appreciate the feedback and your insight into the manufacturing process. I’ve been impressed so far with the QA reports from this manufacturer. They work with other much larger manufacturers and seem to have good processes in place. It is their opinion that we spec’d the wrong spindle design.

All I can say on that is we tested this design and none of these failure modes presented. Perhaps we didn’t do enough testing, perhaps customers are doing things differently than we outline in the instructions, perhaps they are manufacturing them differently or perhaps some mix of the above scenarios.

I will say they have been very responsive with root causes analysis and corrective action to this point.

To give you more context, the 300W 24V DC spindle is intended as a low cost entry level option. If you abuse it then it will fail. If you use it properly it will last for a couple hundred hours or more. It is designed to simplify the learning curve and minimize the cost of entry. It is not intended to be the most powerful or most robust spindle on the market. It is not designed to withstand abuse. We made X-Carve configurable to put the choice for which spindle makes sense in the hands of the customer. We are investigating other spindle options including a German model that has very high precision and retails for around $1000, the air and water cooled VFD, and we already have mounts for the Bosch Colt and the Dewalt 660 and 611.

Inventables will replace any broken 300W spindle free of charge or refund the purchase price so you can use that money towards a new one if you have a failure.

Most of the spindles are not failing and people on limited budgets and with no background or experience are able to get in the 3D carving game.

If the lowest cost option isn’t a requirement for you then I suggest getting the Dewalt 611 or an air cooled VFD spindle.



I went through two stock spindles also. Disappointing, but the larger issue is that I’m out the cost of the collet adapter and the router. Inventables CS did get me a 611 mount, but there was no word of compensation for the other stuff.

At this point I just want to cut some wood. I’m almost done getting setup with the 611 (I lost some time because a wire came off and fried the Arduino so I had to replace that also), I should make my first cuts tomorrow.

It has been a crasy couple of weeks.

I am now in this boat and will be calling in sometime in the AM. Carved maybe 6 or 7 things that turned out ok then poof high pitch squeal and oh about 15 mins later sparks start flying and it cuts out …then roars back to life lol it’s a darn good thing I was sitting right next to the machine to switch it off or it could have been catastrophic for sure. I will be asking for a Dewalt 611 to replace this spindle …due to the simple fact that I own a company and do not feel like burning down my shop due to Chinese made spindles at all. Glad I found this thread because I was pretty certain this was a normal occurrence.

My Dewalt 611 spindle just died after about 2 months of receiving my X-carve? Has anyone had an issue like this? Can i just take it to home depot and exchange it? It was carving perfectly and just lost power and snapped the 1/16 bit. The outlet that was operating the Xcarve is the same outlet that operates the spindle so i know it’s not a power supply issue

Thanks for any advise!!!

It probably needs a new set of brushes. I’ve had to replace mine as well.

Awesome thanks for the information, i’m ordering now. Should i keep a stock? Or is the Bostch the way to go?

I have a spare set. I cut no faster then 2 on the dewalt and I have only changed brushes once since last July.