LumberJocks

Treadmill Direct Current Motors for a variable speed lathe

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by Bluepine38 posted 11-20-2014 06:54 PM 4334 views 1 time favorited 37 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Bluepine38's profile

Bluepine38

3341 posts in 2550 days


11-20-2014 06:54 PM

Topic tags/keywords: lathe sander question

I have wanted to build some sturdy outfeed and infeed roller, so I located some free treadmills on Craigslist
and picked them up for the rollers. The first one had a problem that would be expensive to fix, but the
owner informed me that the motor running the treadmill was a $300 motor. I assured him it would not
get thrown away. It is rated at 1.5 hp and for continuous running. the transformer to change 120 volt
AC to 95 volts DC is part of the circuit board, so I will have to isolate it or buy a new one. The second
one was rated at 1.25 hp and has a separate 90 volt dc transformer. The motor on my wood lathe is
rated at 1 hp. I am sure you can see where this is going. I am going to build a DC motor powered
wood lathe with its own variable speed. The motors and transformers were free.

Here is the picture to prove I do have the motors. The one I want to use is the 1.5 hp that I will have
to separate the transformer from the circuit board and rig up a variable speed control for. The second
one had the transformer separate and a potentiometer mounted in the control panel that should be
easy to dismount and use. This second one might become a variable speed disc sander. There is no
RPM stated on either motor, so I am not sure if this will work, but I am retired and out of work since
my boss became a snowbird-he claims it is a shi-bird- and left in his RV for a slow trip to Florida by way
of Seattle and various good seafood restaurants on the coast.

This is one of my winter projects, but since someone else might have used this idea, I thought I
would post this and possibly get some good advice without having to strain my brain cells too much.
Any and all help will be appreciated, since Thanksgiving is only a week off and my memory seems to
have become a snowbird I want to take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving.

-- As ever, Gus-the 77 yr young apprentice carpenter


37 replies so far

View Bluepine38's profile

Bluepine38

3341 posts in 2550 days


#1 posted 11-20-2014 09:15 PM

Found out I should have taken electronics back when my brain was nimble, I am learning about transformers,
bridge diodes and capacitors, but it is keeping me off street corners and out of trouble. Just talked to a
nice gentleman at Radioshack, they have a book that should get me started at the low price of a dollar
two ninety eight, at least it will be cheaper and more fun than buying something really useful online and
I can build it myself in less than a year.

-- As ever, Gus-the 77 yr young apprentice carpenter

View SASmith               's profile

SASmith

1850 posts in 2452 days


#2 posted 11-20-2014 09:43 PM

I do not have any direct experience but thought of using one on my shopsmith. I ended up using a 3 phase motor and a vfd to get variable speed.

Here is a pdf about installing a dc motor on a shopsmith.

Lots of other info here.

Good luck with your project.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

7482 posts in 1472 days


#3 posted 11-20-2014 11:04 PM

RickM has done exactly this. He also talked about getting treadmills for cheap …. unfortunately I have scoured CL for over a year and have yet to find anyone selling cheap or free! Folks within driving distance of me want to get RETAIL for these dang things!

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

View exelectrician's profile

exelectrician

2327 posts in 1892 days


#4 posted 11-20-2014 11:44 PM

Keep the running boards, they make great router tables, the black slick plastic is almost bullet proof.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View Porchfish's profile

Porchfish

751 posts in 1997 days


#5 posted 11-21-2014 02:14 PM

So what’s wrong with old school belts & pulleys ? Gives you time to think, and parts are easy to find, and they are a hell of a lot simpler to replace.

-- The pig caught under the fence is always the one doing all the squealing !

View drzaius's profile

drzaius

11 posts in 748 days


#6 posted 11-21-2014 02:40 PM

You may find that the HP ratings on treadmill motors are like the HP ratings on routers; in the realm of fantasy. My guess would be that the 1.5HP motor is actually no more than 1/2HP

View Bluepine38's profile

Bluepine38

3341 posts in 2550 days


#7 posted 11-21-2014 05:39 PM

The one motor is iffy, the other I checked out is actually 1.5 HP true continuous duty rating. There is a
3rd treadmill listed for free on Craigslist today, but I have enough for now. I have the jackshaft and pulley
arrangement now, but the idea of turning a dial for speed seems good. In my travels I also picked up a
3/4 HP 3 phase Varidrive, the reeves pulley arrangement gives a good range of speeds by itself and if I
put a vfd on it I would have all sorts of variation. A friend has a Yates American TV12 combination wood
and metal lathe with the reeves drive that we hooked up to a 110 volt motor and it works great. We
got this real cold snap and would have been expensive to heat the wood shop so I have been playing
with things I can do in my warm daylight basement shop. The book I bought is “Teach yourself
Electricity and Electronics” 4th edition by Stan Gibilisco. It gave me the basic layout for the power
circuit I need, now I will see if I can read the entire book and actually learn something useful. Enough
rambling from me. I thank all of you for your input.

-- As ever, Gus-the 77 yr young apprentice carpenter

View Bluepine38's profile

Bluepine38

3341 posts in 2550 days


#8 posted 02-06-2015 10:35 PM

The motor I am using is rated at 2.65 peak horsepower, so it should provide the 1.5 continuous duty HP
with no problem. The motor speed controller for it was a model MC-60, but it had a blown MOV-metal oxide
varistor and the one beside it was scorched. I did not want to mess up the circuit board with a bad DIY
repair and found Century Service on Ebay that will sell me a rebuilt controller for $49.95 and my old core.
I would like to build my own motor controller, but after a month and half of studying electronics and
circuits, I know just enough to be dangerous and will let someone else provide the controller. I should
have the controller next week and will hopefully have a lathe motor project posted sometime in the
next year or two.

-- As ever, Gus-the 77 yr young apprentice carpenter

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

4230 posts in 1664 days


#9 posted 01-21-2016 08:24 AM

Reviving an old thread… did you ever get it working Gus (and/or fix the old controller)?

On a related issue – does anyone know of a list of various treadmills and what controllers they use? I just got my fourth treadmill and finally got a MC-80 controller that I think I can get to work. It’s in a Nordic Track EXP 1000 Xl, so I’ll start my list with that one! I’d like to try and target specific models that I know have an MC-60 (or MC-80) in them. The last one I got used some weird controller and I can’t use a variable resistor to control speed, plus it requires a magnetic pulse off the drive wheel (at a 1 to 4 ratio to motor speed) to keep it running – as it will otherwise shut itself down after about 15 seconds of no signal.

Cheers,
Brad

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

View Bluepine38's profile

Bluepine38

3341 posts in 2550 days


#10 posted 01-21-2016 02:54 PM

Brad I did get it working and wrote a blog “Variable speed DC motor for a Delta Lathe”. I can not figure
how to direct you to it, but if you google in the LJ search you should find it.

-- As ever, Gus-the 77 yr young apprentice carpenter

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

4230 posts in 1664 days


#11 posted 01-21-2016 04:55 PM

Brad I did get it working and wrote a blog “Variable speed DC motor for a Delta Lathe”. I can not figure how to direct you to it, but if you google in the LJ search you should find it.
- Bluepine38

Thanks Gus… found it:

Variable speed DC motor for Delta Lathe #1: Modernizing a 1950's Delta Lathe

I’ve been wanting to do a similar conversion on my South Bend lathe, and now it looks like I might have finally found all the pieces I need to do it :)

Cheers,
Brad

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

View conifur's profile

conifur

955 posts in 616 days


#12 posted 01-21-2016 05:09 PM

This guy makes em and sells them, maybe some help there for you.
http://mkctools.com/

-- Knowledge and experience equals Wisdom, Michael Frankowski

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

4230 posts in 1664 days


#13 posted 03-23-2016 09:51 PM

Hey Gus… how the heck did you get the pulley off the motor? I’ve tried everything I can think of and the sucker just won’t budge. Would like to get a bushing and mount a 4 -step pulley on it for my Delta. I guess the problem I’m having is there is no easy way to keep the motor from turning while trying to remove the pulley, despite my best efforts to do so. Have any tricks or did yours just come off fairly easily?

Cheers,
Brad

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

View Kelly's profile

Kelly

1113 posts in 2409 days


#14 posted 03-24-2016 12:55 AM

I went just a little different route. I’ve been looking at DC servo motors for commercial sewing machines for a few years now. The other day, I scored on it one of several tubs I got for twenty five bucks at a garage sale. The controller was external and in a box, so just had to be mounted.

I pulled the 240 volt motor from my four wheel grinder and replaced it with this. Now I have a variable speed grinder for doing knives and things with far less danger of destroying them.

These run around a hundred to a hundred fifty new on the Net.

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

4230 posts in 1664 days


#15 posted 03-24-2016 01:18 AM

These run around a hundred to a hundred fifty new on the Net.

Thanks but I’d never actually pay for one… I have had way too much luck finding free treadmills :) A couple were in such perfect condition that I couldn’t bring myself to tear them apart. I do have two motors/controllers I’ve yanked, but I can’t for the life of me get the darn flywheel/pulley off either one (and I do know they are left hand threads).

This is the 2.65hp PMDC motor, controller, power supply, additional stepper motor, wiring and all the hardware bits I got out of the last treadmill:

I actually used the frame from that one to make some pallet forks to fit on my front end loader (work great!), and still need to make some roller stands from it. The running deck is destined to become an outfeed table and/or router table top as well. I want to use that motor to convert my Delta lathe to VS, but would like to have the 4 step pulley as well to increase the speed range and provide a bit more torque. Should be fairly easy if I could just figure out how to get the pulley off!

Cheers,
Brad

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

showing 1 through 15 of 37 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com