Saturday, February 12, 2011

Lathe Remotoring

Why did I decide that putting a new motor on my lathe was a good idea?

I already have many projects in process; things like figuring out why I can no longer use the heat pump register in my bedroom; landscaping the backyard and getting a tree removed; walking 50 minutes a day. But after I finished the little motor project, I was frustrated at how many times I had to switch belts.

I decided then to follow through and switch the lathe over to a VFD with a 3 phase motor. This will allow variable speed and many fewer belt changes. Plus it's a whole bunch of high technology in a simple to use package.

I picked up a sensorless vector VFD from DealersElectric. I got the 1HP 110V single phase model.

After asking around some for motors locally, I ended up getting one from Surplus Center. I'm meh about it. It's OK up to 1700RPM, but vibrates a little more than I'd like above that.

My friend Peter and I took a trip to Hardware Specialties Co down on Harbor Island. It's a true old industrial place. They specialize in cut wire, sell to non-business with a $25/min credit card charge. But they have a lot more then just wire. Torpedo controls, breakers, all sorts of oddball industrial lighting stuff. If you need something odd, I'd recommend giving them a call.

After about 7 trips to different hardware stores around town I have everything I need to finish the project.

Here's some pictures of Hardware Specialties Co.