3 Phase converter

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Forum topic by Shawn Masterson posted 05-12-2013 01:00 AM 4289 views 1 time favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 1947 days

05-12-2013 01:00 AM

Topic tags/keywords: planer lathe bandsaw drill press router tablesaw sander plane jointer

I bought a 20” 5hp 3phz Planer for $675 this winter.

It came with a static converter witch only lets the motor run at 2/3 power. I decided to build a rotary converter. I did some research and bought some plans from a guy on E-bay. I quickly learned it would cost more to build one than to buy the panel premade with a 3 year warranty. I bought the panel from phase-craft. The owner/ operator was very helpful and told me exactly what I needed. I ended up with a 10hp panel. It was very easy to set up I had it running in under an hour. The panel cost me $189.18 and the motor I got for free. With wire and plugs I had around $265 in the whole thing. there are only 8 wires to connect and every thing was labeled. I did end rewiring it so I could turn it on with a $10 remote from any where in the shop. Now I have true 3phz with a rotary converter and it opens up a lot of other machines I can run. while I was setting it up I checked the amp draw of it running idle and it only drew 2-3 amps per leg. Then I ran a board through it and check it while the planer was working hard (3/16” in 1 pass) the amps were only 8-10 amps per leg. meaning it is very effecient to run.

5 replies so far

View JamesT's profile


102 posts in 1911 days

#1 posted 05-12-2013 02:09 PM

Looks to be a nice set-up. I’ve been looking for a motor to build a 5HP unit. So far have not found a motor at a reasonable price. Are you using a 10HP for the idler motor and if so does that mean you can power up to 6.66HP on the true 3PH circuit? I’m a little confused about which rpm motor is best and why. Am I on the right track here?

-- Jim from Doniphan

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Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 1947 days

#2 posted 05-12-2013 02:57 PM

yes it is a 10hp Idler motor it will power up to 7.5hp, depending on how heavy the start up load is. A fan, planer, mixer, or pumps are considered heavy start. A ts, bs, lathe, DP are light to mid start. Inside the panel are 2 contact relays, a voltage relay, some start capacitors, and run capacitors. The start caps are for the initial start up and the run caps are there to balance out the voltages. The rpm of the idler motor doesn’t really matter (for some reason they say to go 1800 if possible) they just need to know so they can use the right capacitors to balance the voltage. mine is an 1800 rpm motor. I know there are motors on CL. I have been told you can get them from a motor shop scrap pile, but I don’t know. Just an FYI I went for the 10hp ROC because I figured with the machines I would use it would be big enough to power any thing I need to in the future. My neighbor has a 5hp with a pony motor to start it. He has decided to go 10hp also. I believe in doing it once I hate upgrading and trying to sell the old machine and hoping not to lose my butt.

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2387 posts in 3546 days

#3 posted 08-01-2013 01:46 AM

Shawn, I am now looking at doing the same thing. Loren has advised me to go this way. I only have one piece of equipment 1 hp 3 phase power feeder at the moment, but many auctions I attend have tons of 3 phase older machines I hope to add in the future. So I am thinking of running a 5 or 10 hp converter set up. I am planning to add a 7.5 hp (Unique) shaper in the future, probably 3 phase. So I am leaning towards a 10 hp converter.

-- .

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10396 posts in 3647 days

#4 posted 08-01-2013 02:49 AM

Look on ebay for motors… big ones cost a fortune to ship
but of course that makes sure to lower bidding competition
and mostly limit it to local bidders.

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 1947 days

#5 posted 08-03-2013 11:52 AM

I was lucky I got the motor from a friend, Freebie. depending on where you live I would check scrap yards, repair shops, and talk to farmers. I had to put bearings in mine. my buddie is putting the same setup together, but as a 25Hp. The motor he found (at auction for scrap price) has a broken mount. It still has 3 good bolt holes so it will work fine.

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