January 18, 2022

Powermatic PM-2X4SPK Review

Overview

The Powermatic CNC Kit is a milling machine that features an Electro Spindle for the craftsman. It has a heavy-duty welded steel frame that makes it rigid and accurate when running projects.

MDF spoil board protects the milling machine from damage. It quickly resurfaces using the pre-loaded program, and the heavy-duty milling machine supports the gravity cast aluminum construction. It had a sturdy surface, and the integrated T-slots allowed the hold-down clamps in any location. 

It comes with precision ball screws with recirculating ball bearings for rapid movement on each axis, maintaining precise spindle placement. The electro spindle is liquid-cooled by a system that pushes the coolant through the spindle, and the radiator and fan assembly dissipate the heat. You work with comfort and linear guideways with recirculating ball bearings to ensure precise and accurate positioning of the tool bit. 

Key features

Switch lock-out 

Use the padlock for maximum security, although not included inside the package. It prevents your machine from an unauthorized operation and accidental starting by unauthorized users. The switch locks out the emergency switch, and the steps are as follows:

  1. Press the E-stop button to engage emergency stop. 
  2. Insert padlock through hole in E-stop guard.
  3. Close padlock. 
  4. Place the key in a location inaccessible to children and other unauthorised users.

The padlock shaft must be thick enough to prevent the E-stop button from disengaging.

Spoil board preparation 

The spoil board, also known as the sacrificial board, prevents damage to the cutter as it cuts through the work material. It has to be flat and smooth, and the CNC router table gives 1-inch thick MDF spoil board strips. 

An initial fly cut removes marks and creates a perpendicular surface to the cutting path, cutting a minimal amount to create a flat surface of approximately 0.020 inches. A pre-set program is available for fly cutting your spoil board with a 1-1/2 inch fly cutting bit and download.

Secure workpieces to spoil board using hold-downs. Clean the spoil board chips or sawdust. Drill the work directly to the spoil board or secure it using double-sided tape. Remove the finished workpiece from the spoil board using a wide putty knife.

Router bit selection 

Bits come in multiple styles and several flutes. Choose a style depending on the wood used and the cutting process of your choice. Straight bits have one or more flutes, and spiral bits come in up-cut, down-cut, or compression forms. 

Insert bits have removable blades for resharpening or replacement. Check the state of your bit before you start operating the milling machine.  V-bits have angled sides leading to the point, and they are for creating a sharp, grooved bottom in lettering and sign making. 

A fly cutter bit makes a workpiece surface flat on the spoil board. Bits are also for specific applications. Check the recommended feed and speed rate given by the manufacturer for their bit. The router bit shank size should match the capacity of the collet used. 

Dust collection 

Make sure your work area and your milling machine are dust-free. The Powermatic package does not include the system. Connect the dust collection system to the CNC router via a dust shoe-mounted below the spindle. The collection capacity should be at least 300 CFM, and attach a dust shoe to your machine. 

Support weight of dust hose when connected to dust shoe. Slide it up onto the router housing and tighten the screw. Do not allow bristles to press hard against the milling table so that you do not damage the machine. When not in use, remove the dust shoe from the spindle, and keep it without pressure on bristles.

Coolant 

Check coolant level periodically and top off when necessary, using a 50/50 mix of coolant and distilled 

water. Do not use tap water. The system is drained and refilled with fresh coolant. Remove the rear cover and unscrew the fill plug. Disconnect a hose, drain the used coolant into a 

container, reconnect the hose and fill the tank nearly to the top. Finish by reinstalling the fill plug.

Lubrication 

After cleaning, apply oil or grease into the fittings for the horizontal and vertical ball screws. That prevents friction. Do not forget the linear guides below the table. For grease, apply a small amount (0.3 mL) periodically as required. If using oil, apply a small amount (0.1 mL) every hour of operation. Turn on a machine and move the spindle head back and forth, up and down, to distribute the grease/oil. 

High-torque stepper motors control each axis, giving fast, quiet and precise movement. The milling machine operates with a 10 Amp motor. The handheld controller is attached to the DSP control box via 8ft, and the cable allows you to run projects from several positions. It comes with an enclosed steel stand that features drawers for storage, casters for mobility, and independent leveling feet. 

Technical Specification 

Manufacturer’s Warranty

The Powermatic machine comes with a 5-year limited warranty. That ensures you have a well-functioning milling machine. 

Weight

The machine weighs up to 330.0 lbs, lighter than other heavy-duty milling machines. You cannot have it in a space where you need to move it several times. 

Collet Diameter 

The collet diameter is 14, ½inches and matches the bore of the inner tube, with a larger end greater diameter than the bore while the smaller diameter is less than the bore. Use a threaded stud anchored at its other end to the tube to pull the collet into the tube.

Base Type

The base comes in the form of a steel stand. Steel gives your milling machine long service life. Ergonomic stands made from high-grade stainless steel are durable and withstand years of rigorous use without wearing down or breaking. It requires low maintenance. It is resistant to corrosion, slipping, and custom-designed for your application. 

Variable Speed

The speed (RPM) varies from 0–24,000rpm and gives you the freedom to choose an appropriate milling speed for your material. 

Tools required for assembly 

  • Forklift, or hoist with straps 
  • #2 cross-point screwdriver 
  • 10mm,13mm,17mm sockets with a ratchet wrench 
  • Extension 
  • 24mm open-end wrench 
  • 2mm and 3mm hex keys 
  • Rubber mallet 
  • Level

Cost

Powermatic PM-2X4SPK is one of the most affordable tools. The price range is attractive to low-budget users. Beginners do not have to go way out of their balance to have an industrial machine, and the price matches the size of the milling machine. It is smaller for an industrial machine, but you can still use it on big projects and succeed.

Durability

Due to the steel frame, the milling machine lasts longer. The chances are low that it will be affected by harsh conditions. 

Verdict

Considering the above review, Powermatic PM-2X4SPK is a milling machine that brings value to your projects with efficiency. It still runs heavy-duty projects, despite its size. Add some accessories for a hybrid milling machine. 

David D. Hughes

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