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Is my lathe underpowered?

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Forum topic by Mervmaster posted 12-05-2015 05:31 AM 873 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mervmaster

7 posts in 366 days


12-05-2015 05:31 AM

I’m a new Turner, and as such have purchased an entry level lathe from harbor freight. It’s the 12×36 model with a 3/4 horse motor. While turning green wood bowl roughs, I find that I can literally stop the motor if I take more than the lightest cut possible. These blanks are at the upper limit for diameter on this machine, and I know that the rpm on the outside will be slower than the rpm at the center, but I don’t think I should be able to bog the motor down that much with a basic cut and with sharp tools.

Any advise? I’m thinking of throwing on a 1hp motor that I have sitting on an old table saw.

P.s. – its getting good voltage.


10 replies so far

View SignWave's profile

SignWave

317 posts in 2497 days


#1 posted 12-05-2015 05:52 AM

If I’m not mistaken, that’s the one with a reeves drive. Are you sure the motor itself is stalling, and you’re not just getting slippage from the reeves drive? The reason I ask is that if it’s the drive, then a greater HP motor probably won’t help. If the drive itself is slipping, then you might need to tune it up and/or replace the belt.

This is the first thing I’d check, whether it’s the drive or the motor itself.

-- Barry, http://BarrysWorkshop.com/

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tomd

2026 posts in 3232 days


#2 posted 12-05-2015 06:32 AM

If it’s the #34706 HF lathe I turned on that lathe for years. I agree with Barry check the reeves drive first make sure the pulleys are working and do your self a favor and remove the original belt and take it to an automotive parts store and get a good auto belt. Also you cannot just put on another motor that motor has a special armature that extends through the reeves drive. You can get a lot of years of use out of that lathe if you keep the reeves drive lubricated. I opened mine up once every six months and cleaned and lubed it and it ran fine. Do not stall that motor too many times it will burn up if stalled to offend. Good luck and have fun with your new lathe.

-- Tom D

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Mervmaster

7 posts in 366 days


#3 posted 12-05-2015 06:44 PM

It definitely feels like the motor stalling. If I let it go too far I hear the CLICK sound from the motor as it spools back up.

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

1056 posts in 1451 days


#4 posted 12-09-2015 05:07 PM

I have the 34706 lathe. I concur with those above concerning reeves drive maintenance and replacing the belt – replace the belt regardless. I haven’t done any green wood turning, which may require more power, but I have turned up to 15” bowls out of seasoned wood without a problem. No offense, but since you are new to turning, how do you know your tools are truly sharp? What do you use to sharpen the tools? If you can, post a picture of the size of chips being generated that the lathe can handle vs when the lathe is being slowed down. You might have exaggerated expectations of the lathe based on some youtube videos of someone hogging off material.

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Mervmaster

7 posts in 366 days


#5 posted 12-09-2015 05:40 PM



I have the 34706 lathe. I concur with those above concerning reeves drive maintenance and replacing the belt – replace the belt regardless. I haven t done any green wood turning, which may require more power, but I have turned up to 15” bowls out of seasoned wood without a problem. No offense, but since you are new to turning, how do you know your tools are truly sharp? What do you use to sharpen the tools? If you can, post a picture of the size of chips being generated that the lathe can handle vs when the lathe is being slowed down. You might have exaggerated expectations of the lathe based on some youtube videos of someone hogging off material.

- OSU55

You might be right about my expectations being a little high, and I didn’t consider the weight of the pieces from moisture. As far as my tools, I have a set up like a wolverine system where the gouge sits in the tool holder at a set angle. I achieve singular bevels across my bowl gouges, and my grinding wheel is 100 grit.

When turning smaller pieces I can whip right through them with the same tools.

Though I know the belt isn’t slipping, I will replace it today and see what happens. Thanks guys

View jdh122's profile

jdh122

879 posts in 2279 days


#6 posted 12-09-2015 06:26 PM

The rpm is the same at the outside of your bowl blank as it is in the center of rotation. What changes is the speed as measured in linear feet per second (or in miles per hour, I suppose). The outside is moving faster than the center, but with a corresponding drop in force exerted. Which is why it’s easier to stall out around the edge.
Not trying to be a know-it-all, just trying to get this stuff straight myself as a newish turner.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

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Knothead62

2581 posts in 2422 days


#7 posted 12-09-2015 07:22 PM

I had one. Make sure you use it or run it and change speeds frequently. I let mine sit and the Reeves drive froze up. Scrapped it and bought a Rikkon.

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Mervmaster

7 posts in 366 days


#8 posted 12-10-2015 01:50 AM



The rpm is the same at the outside of your bowl blank as it is in the center of rotation. What changes is the speed as measured in linear feet per second (or in miles per hour, I suppose). The outside is moving faster than the center, but with a corresponding drop in force exerted. Which is why it s easier to stall out around the edge.
Not trying to be a know-it-all, just trying to get this stuff straight myself as a newish turner.

- jdh122

Yeah, that’s what I meant. Thanks for the input.

View Gixxerjoe04's profile

Gixxerjoe04

835 posts in 1038 days


#9 posted 12-10-2015 04:06 AM

I have the same lathe and have had the same problem when turning heavy stuff, hearing the click and it slowing down then letting off and hearing it again and going back to full speed. Usually it happens when I’m being too aggressive with my cuts and trying to take too much off. I use carbide tools though and it’s easy to try too hard I guess, it is pretty annoying and makes for a slow process of doing bigger things.

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

2324 posts in 1758 days


#10 posted 12-10-2015 01:30 PM

The title of your post deserves a one word answer – yes. That said, either go slower with it or try your motor upgrade if you can mount it easily and the rpms are correct.

Whenever I consider a motorized tool from HF I look at the amperage draw. It’s usually much less than a name brand tool and I consider it to have a much shorter duty cycle.

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