Although this may not be a full review of this product, I recently received the official spindle/chuck and mounting bracket from Zen Toolworks. I also got the power supply meant to be used with it, but this article won’t focus on that aspect, as I assume it will work as advertised.
My first impression upon unpacking the spindle was that it was quite a bit larger and heavier than it looks on ZTW’s site. It’s about the same diameter as the Dremel 4000 that I recently burned out (per my carelessness). I could have probably the same mount for both if there was a need, but with the exception of being an emergency back-up, I don’t see where there will be. It appears to be a solid spindle, and with the included mounts, everything should fit nicely.
The ER11 chuck looks very solid compared to the Dremel’s stock collet and a bit better than the aftermarket 4486 chuck. It really looks like something that would be at home in an actual machine shop with solid wrench flats on both the spindle and nut to keep everything tightened down.
The one thing that had me a bit worried at first was that the spindle shaft could actually be pulled out by a couple thousandths along the axis. It snaps back into position – up into the spindle – so as long as it stays like this, it shouldn’t make a difference as to where the mill hits the workpiece initially. Either way, the amount that it floated was tiny, so it should work quite well.
The other consideration if you purchase one of theses is that some sort of wire will be needed to hook everything up. An electrical box would be a good idea too. With only the power supply for the ZTW stepper motors to worry about, a small electrical box from Home depot worked very nicely. I’ll have to figure out a good way to hold my new hardware now that I have a second power supply.
Until then, hopefully it will perform as expected. I can’t wait to try it out!
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