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Harbor Freight Lathe speed control

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Forum topic by CoyBoy posted 09-25-2015 07:04 PM 826 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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CoyBoy

2 posts in 439 days


09-25-2015 07:04 PM

Topic tags/keywords: lathe speed

I recently bought a Harbor Freight 14” x 40” lathe only to find that the slowest speed set by the pulleys is 800 rpm. I would like to slow this down to around 500 rpm. Is there a motor speed control that could be used on this or any some other suggestions on how to slow it down? This seems strange for me, I usually am trying to speed things up.


6 replies so far

View BobAnderton's profile

BobAnderton

219 posts in 2255 days


#1 posted 09-25-2015 07:50 PM

When there’s a will there’s a way, but not an easy solution like you’re thinking. That is an induction motor and it’s only ever going to run one speed. May be able to reverse it, but that’s about it. What you may be able to do is add a pulley that turns the original motor shaft via another motor when the main one’s turned off. I saw that solution once. Sounds like more trouble than it’s worth though.

-- Bob Anderton - Austin, TX - Nova 3000 lathe, Alaskan Mark III mill, Husqavarna Saw

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile

kaerlighedsbamsen

1177 posts in 1178 days


#2 posted 09-25-2015 08:16 PM

If your lathe looks like this I used to have a similar one. It ran way too fast at slowest setting. Used the lathe to make an extra track made from plywood for the v-belt pulleys. A larger one for the lathe shaft and a smaller one for the motor. Just screwed onto the end of the pulleys with machine screws. A bit of work but cheap and worked just fine.
iBuildIt has a great tutorial here: http://www.ibuildit.ca/Workshop%20Projects/Shop%20Tricks/tricks-38.html
Hope that makes sense?

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View kweinert's profile

kweinert

38 posts in 2574 days


#3 posted 09-25-2015 08:24 PM

As I recall that’s one of the lathes that has those movable pulleys (no, I don’t know what they’re really called) and changing the speed is done by effectively moving one side in or out which changes the ratio of the diameters.

Perhaps you could find a different set of pulleys that are in the speed range you want.

Just thinking out loud, don’t know if the idea has any merit.

-- Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterward. But properly learned, the lesson forever changes the person.

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

1470 posts in 2103 days


#4 posted 09-25-2015 08:35 PM

The thing you are looking for is called a VFD – Variable Frequency Drive. I just searched ebay and saw one for $105 that is supposed to handle 1.5HP motors.

-Paul

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

1768 posts in 603 days


#5 posted 09-25-2015 08:38 PM


If your lathe looks like this I used to have a similar one. It ran way too fast at slowest setting. Used the lathe to make an extra track made from plywood for the v-belt pulleys. A larger one for the lathe shaft and a smaller one for the motor. Just screwed onto the end of the pulleys with machine screws. A bit of work but cheap and worked just fine.
iBuildIt has a great tutorial here: http://www.ibuildit.ca/Workshop%20Projects/Shop%20Tricks/tricks-38.html
Hope that makes sense?

- kaerlighedsbamsen

That’s it^. You just need to make a smaller pulley to go on the motor shaft. To drop it from 800 to 500 rpm, make a pulley that’s 5/8 of the diameter of the pulley now. You can either make it to fit the shaft and swap the pulleys out or bolt it to the existing pulley as suggested above. You could make one 8/5 the size of the bigger one on the spindle but I’d think it would be easier to make a small one.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View CoyBoy's profile

CoyBoy

2 posts in 439 days


#6 posted 09-25-2015 10:35 PM

Thank you HokieKen. This looks like the way I will go. It appears to be the same lathe as mine. Will give it a try soon.

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