View Full Version : Few Questions on Colombo Spindles

09-14-2007, 05:27 PM
Hi all,

Its that time again....when I start thinking about my next machine! :D

Wont even be buying parts for about another year, but Im looking at starting to design soon.

I've heard good things about Colombo spindles, and I've always had the idea of including a 'proper' spindle on my final large router. So I have a few questions Im hoping people can help me with... :rolleyes: !

Firstly, in case this is all pie in the sky:
How much would (Approx) the 5.5Hp Electric Fan Cooled RS110 'Small' cost?


Second....Would it be worth the expense of a compressor to go up to 90% duty cycle and an air cooled spindle in your experienced opinion?

Third.....Are the air cooled spindles actually more expensive, or maybe they're in fact the same/less as the fan cooled?

Thanks all,

I really look forward to your replies.

09-14-2007, 09:19 PM
I'd guess about $3K-$4K, probably closer to $4K.

Imo, you don't want a loud compressor running all day long. I see that those spindles are 60% duty cycle. Unless you need to run it all day long every day, I'd go with the fan cooled. We haven't had any trouble with our fan cooled HSD spindles at work. We just had an ATC spindle rebuilt due to some sensors going bad, but it ran a couple hours a day for 10 years with no trouble.

09-14-2007, 09:29 PM
Do not forget to add the cost of a VFD.Lots on E-bay.

09-15-2007, 01:39 PM
Thanks folks. I was thinking it'd be around 2-3k, so at least I was in the ballpark :rolleyes:.

So whats the story with the VFD, can the spindle not run off mains frequency of 50/60Hz ?

I figure tooling will robably hit me up for another 1k, How much will a VFD set me back?

Plus, will a rotary phase converter do the job for the required 3phase power, or am I gonig to have to get a permanent 3ph connection?

Thanks again.

09-15-2007, 02:43 PM
First of all, I don't think you need 5HP. With a spindle, you get a real HP, which you don't get for a router. For instance, a 3-1/4HP router in the US draws 15amps at 110V, which is 1650watts. 1HP is 746 watts, so my 3-1/4HP router is really only 2-1/4HP.

If you get a 2-3HP spindle, you can get a 1 phase VFD to run it. I think you'll be able to get a 3HP spindle with the VFD for about $3K. A spindle must be driven by a VFD, you can't just plug it into the wall outlet.

09-15-2007, 06:48 PM
Great, thanks ger. About the 1 phase VFD to run it, the colombo site says that most of their spindles are 3 phase, including the ones I was looking at.....?

You think a 3HP spindle would be enough? I'm thinking real production here for the 10'x10' machine, good depth of cut and speeds in the 100's ipm in solid hardwood, would a 3HP spindle be able to handle it?

I figure if I can stay around 3.5k for the spindle, another 1.5k for the electronics, 1.5k-2k for precision lead screws, and 2k for everything else like vacuum pumps and steel for the frame, I should have a 30-50k machine for under ten thousand....at least thats the theory, but ballscrews might pump it up another 2 thousand, depending how much money I can save by then.....I'll save the requests for opinions on the machine itself until I start a thread for it in a few months. :)

Thanks again.

09-15-2007, 11:04 PM
Probably good for up to 200-300ipm with a 3HP, but it's just a guess.

IMO, 10x10 is crazy.;) And your budget is probably way too low.

09-16-2007, 12:12 AM
the VFD basically fools the spindle motor by upping the Ac frequency to 5 or 600Hz resulting in 20,00 rpm or so on the spindle.There has been many 5 to 10 Hp spindles on E bay for 500 bucks and VFD's for a song.Not in a rush?Check E bay.There is a thread on the Zone on VFD's.Read it.

09-16-2007, 08:04 AM
Thanks Larry, I'll keep an eye on ebay over the next while, I just worry about buying a second hand spindle that may turn out to be unservicable. $500 is still $500 ! I'll search for that VFD thread, again, thanks.

Ger, I guess I'll have to check with the sales rep's first and go with their advice at the time, but if I can get those speeds from a smaller spindle, all the better. :)

10'x10' crazy in what context.... :D It'll actually probably be slightly over that since my screws will probably be in meters, I'll have to get 4m lengths to hit the 10'x10' aim, so cutting area will probably be about 1.5ft less than 4m each way. Obviously I'll have to drive the nut instead of the screws on this, unless I can support the screws, which is a possibility....anyway, Im getting sidetracked :rolleyes: I don't think my budget is 'way' too low, I'll run it with regular components bought online like my last two machine's, geckos etc....... anyway, as always, thanks for the advice.