Variable Speed on Lathe

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Forum topic by LukeBarber posted 02-08-2017 07:00 PM 330 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 616 days

02-08-2017 07:00 PM

I am considering a lathe and of course going through the whole gamete of research. I started thinking.

One of the issues with the Griz and ShopFox lathes is that the low end speed is not low enough. Even on the Nova 1624-44 or Jet 1442, variable speed would be nice.

At the paper mill where I work, we are installing a lot of ABB variable speed drives on equipment. These are 3 phase, 460V. I asked one of our electrical engineers if ABB makes a single phase variable speed 110V. He checked into it. ABB makes single phase, 220V in 1 HP, 2 HP and 3 HP.

The price for a 2 HP is about $200 and a rheostat for about $12. If you had a tach on the lathe, you could get a digital controller instead of a rheostat. I think one of these drives would work on a lathe as long as the motor can be rewired for 220V.

Ideally, the motor should be rated for variable speed, but we have not had much trouble with motors with variable speed drives. Most of ours are not rated for variable speed drives.

The drive has the capability of spinning backwards and can run the motor a bit over-speed.

Any thoughts?

1 reply so far

View William Shelley's profile

William Shelley

587 posts in 1613 days

#1 posted 02-08-2017 07:06 PM

Variable frequency drives run 3-phase motors. You would need to find a 3-phase motor for your lathe that has the same mounting pattern, or make a new mount or adapter to mount whichever 3-phase motor you end up with.

I don’t know what would happen if you tried to run a single-phase motor off a VFD but my prediction is that the start or run capacitors on the single-phase motor would explode (violently).

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

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