Has anyone modified a belt speed lathe into a variable speed lathe?

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Forum topic by tooldad posted 08-12-2010 04:33 AM 853 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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659 posts in 3136 days

08-12-2010 04:33 AM

I know they make kits, however with a router, I simply used a standard 110v dimmer switch, and it works fine. Does anyone see a problem doing this with a small benchtop lathe?

2 replies so far

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 2496 days

#1 posted 08-12-2010 04:41 AM

I’m not an expert on this, but I raised the question about running my lathe on something like a dimmer switch to make it variable speed. There are variable speed switches designed to power routers (in a router table).

In my case, the lathe is a floor model with a 2 hp motor.

I was told, quite convincingly, that my motor was not designed for that and that I would, in due time, damage my motor. I didn’t pursue it further.

I hope someone else who understands this better than me and offer additional advice and insight.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View lew's profile


11265 posts in 3177 days

#2 posted 08-12-2010 05:01 AM

Also, you are looking at two very different types of motors. Motors used on a lathe require special variable speed controls that will not damage the windings- as Rich pointed out.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

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