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  #1  
Old Mon 01 October 2007, 10:46
domino11
Just call me: Heath
 
Cornwall, Ontario
Canada
Router VS Spindles

Gerald,
This was a question I originally posted on another thread and you indicated that it was a good question but suited to another section so here goes in the proper section?

What are your thoughts on the price/performance of Spindle VS 2.5hp or 3.5 hp router. Do you have a favorite router or spindle manufacturer and why? Also I see you have used a Makita router, what is your opinion of that one. Toolchangers for spindles and routers any ideas or experiences?

Sorry for all the questions, just trying to figure out which way to go!

PS I currently have a Hitachi M12V router that could be scavenged for Mechmate duty.
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  #2  
Old Mon 01 October 2007, 11:55
Gerald D
Just call me: Gerald (retired)
 
Cape Town
South Africa
The horsepowers marked on spindles are a more industrial rating than those marked on American routers. A 3.5HP router in America would be marked 1800 Watt in most of the metric world which puts that router at about 2.4 HP in Europe. Apparently a 2HP Italian spindle is about a match for a 3.5HP American router

Routers are easy to get, easy to repair, easy to replace. They plug into your mains supply and you just switch them on/off as required.

Spindles have no brushes - that is a plus over the router. But they have very expensive bearings (more than the price of a router) that need to be nursed if you want a long life. Some monitor the bearing temps through the day, the cutting job must be plunged slowly to avoid shock load, the spindle must be run slowly (no load) to warm the bearings up in the morning. The speed controller of a spindle is an expensive bit of electronics as well - and it makes electrical noise - so you need to add filters and "reactors".

But, spindles (with the right cooling system) run very quietly and keep a fairly precise speed throughout the cutting job. The heavier "armature" shaft of the spindle dampens the cyclical cutting forces at the bit, so you can actually run bits slower and longer than with a router.

The cut quality of a spindle is slightly better than that of a router (due to the higher precision involved), but that depends on how poor a router we are talking about.

We choose Makita because it is the most popular router out here for heavy work. Spares are easy to get.

Our spindles are Fimec and HSD, purchased direct from the parent companies in Italy as they have no agents out here. They appear to be 90% clones of each other - only the electrical connections are different (plug vs terminal box)

Toolchangers for routers have me worried about the drawbar pulling upwards on the router's shaft. Router bearings are already pretty marginal, don't think they can cope with those extra thrust loads . . . .

Which way to go? Start with a router.
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