|Review by Chris Wright||posted 10-14-2009 08:27 PM||7192 views||0 times favorited||3 comments|
Here at the arts and Crafts Center we’ve been doing a lot of turning classes (mostly pen, but also the occasional bowl or bottle stopper) in conjunction with the Wounded Warrior program at Walter Reed and with the help of the local chapters of the American Association of Woodturners. Through them we’ve been able to have donated or loaned to the shop, lathes, chisels, chucks and other supplies. One of the lathes that was donated to the program was a Fisch Midi Lathe (essentially a Rickon clone). The motor was bad so it was decided to purchase a new one. We wanted a variable speed motor as well so the decision was made to purchase the PSI Variable Speed Midi Lathe Conversion Kit.
After pulling it out of the box we plugged it in and tested it, it ran fine. The spec sheet says the motor goes from 640 – 4400 RPM and it comes with a 3 step pulley attached. We found though that the old 6 step pulley from the old motor fit on the shaft and lined up perfectly so now there’s a huge range of speed available (sorry, can’t really guess what that range is now). There’s plenty of cord length so the only difficult choice is deciding where to mount the controller box. The only real problem that we ran into was how to mount the motor to the lathe. The mounting plate that came with the kit didn’t fit on the lathe, so we ended up drilling new holes in the original motor mount that lined up with the screw holes on the new motor.
Even though I would have preferred a 3/4 HP motor, the little half horse motor seems strong and have enough torque to do small bowls as well.
I would recommend this upgrade for anyone wanting to upgrade an old mini or midi lathe from a step pulley to variable speed.
-- "At its best, life is completely unpredictable." - Christopher Walken