thought about those inserts, but the holes are so small (especially the edge-on ones into the z-axis attachment uprights) that I didn't want to try that. I was thinking about replacing those with aluminum, but the longer screw has solved my problem (for now), and with the higher z-axis, I shouldn't need to unscrew the z-axis assembly any time soon.
The spindle is one of these, i ordered it on eBay for 118 USD (total):http://www.ebay.com/itm/ER11-Spindle-fo ... FE8ycGHQ3A
A Sable 2015 spindle. I liked the design because it seems like it would be a lot more solid (Separate bearing and motor). I've had not a single problem with it. I run it on it's own 24v power supply. I've got the measurements for an attachment plate, if you get one and need them.