I wanted to show how I mounted my Makita spindle on my shapeoko 2 CNC desktop machine. The Makita spindle is considered an “upgrade” since the shapeoko 2 kit comes with either a small dremel like spindle or a larger “quite” spindle. I couldn’t find a mount on the shapeoko website that fits the Makita spindle, so I found a post in the forum where someone had bought a spindle mount from china. I went ahead an ordered one from ebay and so far, it works and looks nice. I did run into a few problems and I want to share those, in case someone else is considering this type of upgrade.
The first problem when mounting the Makita spindle to the Spindle mount I bought from China, was a problem with the bolts. The spindle mount comes with bolts that don’t secure the Makita. The bolts are too small and when installed, they don’t close the mount far enough to clamp the spindle in place. Instead, the spindle would just slide down. I tried to tighten the screws more and ended up breaking the screw with half of the screw still inside the thread. My only option, was to re-drill the holes and tap them.
I ended up using the bolts that came with my Shapeoko 2 kit. These are the really long bolts that secure the smaller spindle on the Shapeoko. These bolts worked really well and they match the rest of the hardware. They are really long though, so I had to use a few nuts as spacers to minimize the length of the bolts.
Another problem that I encountered was that the larger size of the Makita spindle doesn’t clear the Shapeoko’s Z-motor mount plate. This has been discussed in the Shapeoko forum but I didn’t find out until after I purchased the Makita spindle. There are a few ways to fix this, and I’m not saying there is a problem with the Shapeoko, infact these kind of “challenges” are expected when you start to make upgrades. I ended up, shaving off the z-motor plate mount. I took off very little and I don’t think its enough to cause any damage to the mounting plate.
The shaving off of the Z-motor mounting plate and the 1/4″ mounting plate that I use to secure the Spindle mount to the Shapeoko, was enough to make room for the spindle. There is just enough room for the spindle to move up and down on the z motor assembly without touching the z-motor mounting plate. I attached the spindle mount I bought from China to the Shapeoko with a piece of aluminum I bought at Lowe’s. It is a 1/4 inch in thickness and simply provides a wider base for the spindle mount to attach to the narrow Shapeoko’s spindle plate. Without this, there is no way to attach the piece I bought from ebay, because it’s really wide and the mounting holes don’t match the Shapeoko’s mounting plate.
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