This section gives a description of the spindle and cutter options available for the professional CNC router series. There are two main supported spindle options – the Kress single phase spindle, and a HF three phase spindle. Scroll to the end of the page to see details of the cutters compatible with the professional CNC system.
Spindle options | consider your application
The two main spindle options are outlined below. Please consider your application and desired output from the CNC router system. This can help decide what spindle is best suited to you. Pay close attention, comparatively, to the method of mounting the two spindle systems to the machine, to the price and to the spindle specifications in order to get a feel for why the HF Three phase option is much higher in performance than the Kress option.
Pay close attention also to the fact that CNC router spindles spin much faster than big heavy milling machine spindles. As such the toolpaths to get the best results require CNC routers to move quickly. The spindles loose power (especially the Kress) at low RPMs. Therefore to run the spindles quickly and to prevent the cutter overheating we often need to run the machines well in excess of 1,000mm/min. MDF for example at a typical Kress RPM of 20,000 requires a recommended feed rate of 2,500mm/min.
Kress single phase spindle | From 130£
The Kress spindle is the entry level spindle for the JBEC professional machine routers. The Kress is an excellent spindle system however – due to the stiffness and power of the JBEC professional frame – the full performance of the machine cannot be realised with a Kress spindle. Therefore the spindle choice depends on the expected duty cycle and application environment of the router.
Single phase brushed universal motor system
Max power 1050W
Effective power at the cutter 560Watts
Softstart and current limitation
Electronic overload protection against motor overheating
Steel motor flange with high strength bearing
25,000 and 30,000 max RPM options
Collet sizes up to 10mm
HF Three phase spindle option | From 950£
The HF three phase spindle option is the full industrial spec spindle. In our opinion – if a machine cannot support a heavy duty HF spindle option then it cannot be classed as a production machine tool and remains a hobby / DIY / low duty cycle machine system. The spindle is powered by a variable frequency drive (VDF) which allows the machine to be powered by a single phase (domestic) supply. The motor has tapered bearings on the top and bottom of the main drive shaft, has a balanced squirrel cage rotor and has much higher torques at lower RPM’s than the Kress spindle. The balance motor rotor and ER20 collet head gives very smooth running and excellent compatibility with a wide range of cutters
Designed for radial and axial loads | Heavy Duty spindle motor
Max power realised at much lower RPM’s (full power as low as 12,000RPM depending on model)
Three phase induction motor with balanced squirel cage rotor
Shaft driven (air) cooling | no coolant and pump required
Double angular contact bearing in spindle top and head
ER20 collet set compatible (1mm through to 13mm shanks)
ER 20 collets are spring loaded and work with undersized cutters
CNC router cutters
One major aspect of a CNC routers operation that is largely overlooked is the machine parameters and associated cutters. Even with the best machine that money can buy – if you don’t run the machine with the correct speeds and feeds | and use the correct cutters you will not get good results. Please see below for a sample of some recommended cutters we have had good success with in our range. The two videos below show two very different cutting conditions – deep cutting in white deal – and 3D profiling in MDF
3D machining in MDF with ball nosed cutter
Solid carbide Cutters
We recommend using dual fluted solid carbide cutters for timbers and plastics. The dual fluted cutters shown below are 1/4 inch shank dual fluted up-cut and down-cut cutters. Up-cut cutters have excellent material removal characteristics – while down cut cutters leave an improved finish on the top surface of the material to be machined. Available in 1/4 inch, 1/8 inch and 5mm shank diameters.
Compression Spiral cutters
Compression spiral cutters (shown below in 2 flute and 4 flute configurations) are designed to give the best finish on both top and bottom surfaces of veneered materials. A compression spiral encompasses both advantages of an up-cut and down-cut cutter in one. However they are significantly more expensive.
Sign writing and letter writing on a variety of materials is a very popular application for CNC routers. A V-bit is the go-to cutter for sign writing and when used with VcarvePro can be a very powerful combination. Simply write your text, tell VcarvePro what angle and shank diameter Vbit your using and off you go. See here and here for two examples
VcarePro and Vcutters are a powerful Combination
Aluminium cutting tools
The JBEC professional CNC router series machines can be used to machine aluminium. However – CNC routers are not big heavy milling machines. The machine parameters must be watched very carefully when machining aluminium. At the very least an airline should be run to the cutting tool to keep the chips moving and to keep the cutting zone cool. Ideally a mist coolant should be used to ensure clean safe and cool evacuation of chips is realised. However – you cannot run with a mist coolant system on the machines with their standard configuration. The control electronics must be placed in a control box external to the machine to ensure no coolant can get to the control electronics. See here for more information.
A single fluted and dual fluted cutter suited to aluminium is shown below and have given excellent results during the machining of aluminium on the routers. Please have a look here here and here for examples of the systems machining aluminium.