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1/2 hp enough for a lathe?

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Forum topic by lateralus819 posted 10-22-2014 04:06 AM 1062 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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lateralus819

2236 posts in 1349 days


10-22-2014 04:06 AM

I was given a Craftsman Lathe by DonW a few months back and I’m finally going to get a motor for it.

I think he said it had a 1/2hp motor. I’ve never used a lathe so I’m not sure if that is enough?

Also what is an RPM requirement? 1720?


18 replies so far

View ColonelTravis's profile

ColonelTravis

1189 posts in 1354 days


#1 posted 10-22-2014 04:25 AM

I’ve got a POS Harbor Freight with 1/3 HP. All I use it for is small stuff, not really a turner but it suits my needs. If you’re like me and just have it around for chisel handles or a little snowman or something dinky, you can get away with 1/3 – barely. Otherwise it depends on what you want to do, but I would get at least a 3/4 or 1 HP if you’re going to do a good variety of stuff. If you’re into big bowls you need to go higher than that. At the same time, you need to consider what your lathe was made for. If it wasn’t built for big sturdy work, dropping a super hefty motor in there won’t make up for the other stuff you need for big sturdy work.

View Loren's profile

Loren

8295 posts in 3108 days


#2 posted 10-22-2014 04:29 AM

It’s fine.

You have a stepped pulley for the motor?

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lateralus819

2236 posts in 1349 days


#3 posted 10-22-2014 04:45 AM

The Lathe itself has one. Do i need one for the motor as well?

The pulley i got from Don is a single.

I only plan on making handles/spindles etc. No bowls off the bat. Who knows?

Just small stuff for now. My inlaws need some spindles so thats what I’ll do first.

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Loren

8295 posts in 3108 days


#4 posted 10-22-2014 05:10 AM

Well, it will give you a wider spread of available
speeds. You can buy one on ebay for ten bucks
or so. They’re used in drill presses too so they
aren’t an exotic part.

View Don W's profile

Don W

17955 posts in 2027 days


#5 posted 10-22-2014 11:33 AM

The motor that was on it was a 1/2 HP 1750 rpm. It did what ever I needed, but that was just handles, knobs etc. Its a small lathe. It should be enough.

I agree with Loren, get a step pully. They are readily available.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.net

View terryR's profile

terryR

6313 posts in 1768 days


#6 posted 10-22-2014 02:17 PM

Kevin, I would simply use the lathe as is,

1/2 hp is plenty for stuff under 3” in diameter, and I rarely turn over 2000 rpm anyway just for safety. A step pulley would be nice IF you can get slower speeds from the lathe for sanding. I usually sand at 500 rpm. And, MOST of my time in front of the lathe involves sanding, not chisel work, even though I use carbide chisels.

Oh, congrats on your new lathe! Be sure to look at the Borg for $4 mandrels and some buffing wheels…worth every second! :)

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

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Sylvain

639 posts in 1959 days


#7 posted 10-22-2014 02:54 PM

A Professional cyclist would develop something under 1/4 HP.
I have no experience wih a treadle lathe, but I suppose it uses a much lower power.

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

View johnstoneb's profile

johnstoneb

2143 posts in 1632 days


#8 posted 10-22-2014 02:55 PM

1/2 HP is good for most lathe work. You’ll need a stepped pulley for the motor without it you stuck with a single speed. Or moving motor side to side to line up the belt if you want to change speeds.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View lateralus819's profile

lateralus819

2236 posts in 1349 days


#9 posted 10-22-2014 03:09 PM

Thanks all for the help!

I was also looking into a threaded spindle. Are those interchangable? I looked for one from craftsman but couldn’t find one.

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

14536 posts in 2143 days


#10 posted 10-22-2014 03:15 PM

Does the motor seem like this one

Uses a five step pulley on both the lathe, and the motor

Motor looks just like what a clothes dryer uses. Motor is a single speed. Maybe a two speed washer style would have given me ten speeds?

Running mine without the cover, as the plastic fan broke off a long time ago…..

( BTW: I paid $90 for this one AT Sears, new in box)

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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lateralus819

2236 posts in 1349 days


#11 posted 10-22-2014 03:24 PM

No Bandit, this is it. It’s quite a nice unit. Nice and stout!

View Rick M's profile

Rick M

7905 posts in 1840 days


#12 posted 10-22-2014 03:50 PM

I use that same Craftsman lathe and started with a 1/3 hp motor, it was easy to stall. I bumped up to a 1 hp DC motor with variable speed and that has plenty of power. I have a blog post on it if you are curious, it was simple to do and only cost me $15 for an old treadmill.

The spindle is 3/4-16, RH on the inboard, LH on the outboard. Chuck adapters are common. Tapers are 1MT, head and tail.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View lateralus819's profile

lateralus819

2236 posts in 1349 days


#13 posted 10-22-2014 04:06 PM

How do chuck adapters work? The slide onto it and use a set screw?

View Rick M's profile

Rick M

7905 posts in 1840 days


#14 posted 10-22-2014 04:10 PM

Depends on the chuck I think. Mine have 3/4-16 threads on the inside and 1-8 threads on the outside, works with my Nova Midi chuck.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View Don W's profile

Don W

17955 posts in 2027 days


#15 posted 10-22-2014 04:14 PM

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