Setting Up Shop #2: Three Phase Power...My Way

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Blog entry by DylanC posted 02-04-2011 05:17 AM 1460 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: 3 Phase Power in a Home Workshop Part 2 of Setting Up Shop series Part 3: Resurrecting a Dead Air Compressor »

After considerable research and input from from some helpful LumberJocks, I’ve decided on a static phase converter as my best option for powering my 5 HP Unisaw. The main reason is obvious…at ~$200 its the cheapest option available.

The alternatives were to buy a new single phase motor for $280, buy an oversized VFD (7-10 HP range) for $600 or more, or buy a rotary phase converter for $750.

But, I didn’t decide on the static convert just because it was the cheapest option. My plan is to buy a static converter on the larger end of what I need…capable of starting a 7 or 8 HP motor. This will be adequate for running my 5 HP tablesaw (derated by ~30% or so). And in the future it will give me the flexibility to build a rotary phase converter with up to a 7.5 HP idler motor, allowing me to use any three phase equipment up to 5 HP. So, its the most cost effective now, and allows for a healthy upgrade at some point in the future.

I was also thinking that I may be able to use the Unisaw’s 5 HP motor as an idler motor to power 3-phase equipment up to 3 HP. I’d have to disconnect the belts and get creative with the wiring, but it could be done with very minimal expense. Just in case I find a good deal on a 3-phase, 3 HP lathe sometime soon.


-- Dylan C ...Seems like all ever I make is sawdust...

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