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14" Grizzly bandsaw on steroids!!

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Forum topic by Crickett posted 06-16-2016 03:41 PM 633 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Crickett

117 posts in 946 days


06-16-2016 03:41 PM

I haven’t posted here in quite a while but wanted to share my latest endeavor. I was fortunately enough at my job to have a vendor send out a new sample electric motor (3ph 3hp) for me to take to a customer to try out. The customer didn’t want to change manufacturers, and I was able to keep the motor at no cost. Since I’ve had my Grizzly 14” anniversary edition bandsaw for about 4-5 years now, and never being very happy with it, I decided to swap out the motor to make resawing and other tasks a breeze. The new motor uses 3ph and my home only supplies single phase so I had to purchase a 3hp variable frequency drive which converts single phase input to 3ph output power. You can only do this conversion up to 3hp so far as I’m aware. Any VFD’s over 3hp require 3ph input and gives you 3ph output. Not only can I run a 3ph motor now that’s rated for 3600rpm, I also can vary my rpm’s anywhere between 900-3600 rpm depending on my application. I also had to make up a platform for the new foot-mounted motor to raise it to the appropriate height, and then bolt it through base since the stock motor was a c-face design and hung off of the side of the cast iron housing. It’s a pretty sweet set up. While I was at it, I also removed the flywheels, painted them, replaced the tires with urethane and removed the table so I could reinstall them and make sure they’re co-planar. All that I plan to do now is replace the guides with ceramic cool blocks, maybe make a 6” tall resaw fence, and I’ll be done. I’m not going to add a riser block to the unit as I plan on buying a much larger bandsaw at some point to handle larger tasks, but for now I’m quite happy.


6 replies so far

View ohtimberwolf's profile

ohtimberwolf

634 posts in 1818 days


#1 posted 06-16-2016 03:50 PM

Interesting, keep us posted as to your improvements. larry

-- Just a barn cat, now gone to cat heaven.

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

4234 posts in 1665 days


#2 posted 06-16-2016 04:27 PM

Nice setup…. but if you have HSS guide blocks on there now, I wouldn’t waste the money on cool blocks. Also, the VFD should be sized based on the motors FLA, not horsepower… in many cases, a “2hp” VFD is more than adequate for a 3hp motor. And a “3hp” VFD can usually run a 5hp motor without any problems. The claimed HP rating is pure marketing voodoo :) There are also several options for running a motor larger than 5hp on single phase, but it starts to get expensive.

For the guides… read this – and check page two where the non-heat issue is addressed:
14” Bandsaw Blade Guide Review By Jim Mattson
(Woodworkers Gazette)

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

7483 posts in 1473 days


#3 posted 06-16-2016 05:06 PM

Funny, but in the first picture it looked like you had an air conditioner added to your bandsaw ! :-)

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

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Crickett

117 posts in 946 days


#4 posted 06-16-2016 06:47 PM

Mr Unix – I have guide bearings and a rear thrust bearing (top and bottom) – no HSS blocks. The speed rates didn’t take long to get used to as the VFD reads out in frequencies rather than RPM. For example a motor rated at 3600rpm @ 60 Htz would run at 1800rpm if dialed back to 30 Htz, and so on. In this case, the FLA matches the motor specs, and I’d rather be safe than sorry. If I stick with bearing guides, I may splurge for the Carter ones, but haven’t made up my mind. This will be my go-to bandsaw for smaller work until I get a bigger one. All things considered, for a cheap bandsaw it’s been dependable.

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MrUnix

4234 posts in 1665 days


#5 posted 06-16-2016 07:04 PM

In this case, the FLA matches the motor specs, and I d rather be safe than sorry.
- Crickett

Good deal… just making sure, as that is not always the case when sizing based on claimed HP of the VFD. For example, the 3hp Baldor in my table saw has an FLA of 7.4A. The ”2hp” FM50 VFD is rated for up to 7.5A, so it’s a perfect match despite their claimed HP, which would make you think you needed a “3hp” VFD instead. The 3hp VFD is rated at 10.5A, so not only would it cost more and be overkill for the motor, but I would have to de-rate the drive in order for it to provide proper overload protection for the motor.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

View Crickett's profile

Crickett

117 posts in 946 days


#6 posted 06-17-2016 12:58 PM

For the record, I never would’ve done this upgrade if I had to buy the motor and VFD – I would’ve rather put that money towards a bigger machine. I even went so far as to list the VFD and motor on Craigslist but didn’t get any bites so I decided to retrofit them to by 14” bandsaw. I’ve been rawsing 8/4 QSWO for bookmatched panels and it glides through hardwoods now like butter.

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