converting washing machine motor to wood lathe power supply

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by JES-Rolla, Nov 18, 2014.

  1. JES-Rolla

    Thread Starter New Member

    Nov 18, 2014
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    I have an antique wood lathe (circa 1915) and I THINK?? the motor from a front loading washer could be used to power it. A used motor runs in the $50 range on line, they are listed as variable speed, but I have no idea what kind of controller(s) are needed to create the installation I have in mind. (I can do all the mechanical, like building motor mounts that provide belt tension, etc.) I can do basic house current wiring. When the word electronic appears, I am in over my 56 year old head! I'll try to attach a few photos, but they are kind of irrelevant to the issue. I am hesitant to buy a motor unless I know all the other pieces to make this work are available and affordable. (John/JES-Rolla). lathe-1.jpg
     
  2. JES-Rolla

    Thread Starter New Member

    Nov 18, 2014
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    Would this be better approached as a DC project using a treadmill motor and DC VFD? Thanks. JES-Rolla
     
  3. Kermit2

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 5, 2010
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    judging by the size of lathe itself, I would recommed you not exceed 1 horsepower on the motor.
    I am assuming you want an over head wall mount as well. A simple AC induction motor can be used and by proper use of belts and pulleys you can give 2 or 3 different speeds to your overhead drive shaft, and thr lathe itself has three step pulley to further vary speed
    I can link you to a site with nice members who do what you are trying to do.

    www.modelenginemaker.com
     
  4. Dodgydave

    Distinguished Member

    Jun 22, 2012
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    if you can get the motor speed control board for the motor,you can alter the speed,otherwise your looking at using a light dimmer/universal motor contoller. Whats the motor model?
     
  5. sirch2

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 21, 2013
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    Built my own wood lathe about 35 years ago using a washing machine motor and a pair of stepped pulleys for a speed range, still working to this day. The motor is mounted on a hinged board and the initial plan was that the weight of the motor would tension the drive belt (which is an old car fan belt) but it turned out not to be heavy enough so I added some springs.
     
  6. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
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    Older washing machine motors were typically one speed 1ph induction motors, the ones listed as variable speed are usually the Outrunner 3 phase Fischer-Paykel type and require a special electronically commutated (ECM) drive to operate.
    A triac control will only work with a Universal motor, and they are now rare on washing
    The best options are a DC treadmill motor and KB drive or a VFD and 3ph motor off of 240v 1ph.
    Max.
     
  7. JES-Rolla

    Thread Starter New Member

    Nov 18, 2014
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    Thanks guys,
    I never know how much to put into the first post on threads like this. I'll try to sort out a clearer picture for you all. First, in regard to an AC motor and stepped pulleys, actually right now ebay has a countershaft assembly with stepped pulleys that would work. (at more $ than I had hoped to spend) and I have been watching and scrounging for the parts to make that option work. Exactly how the motor mount, counter shaft, belt tightening will work will depend on the items I scronge up. I'm pretty comfortable with that aspect of the project, although I am glad for the links to any site (as provided above) where I can see working options.

    dodgyDave asked "what is the motor". Well... I am in Nepal right now and my shop in Missouri is where the two AC motors I have are located, so the answer will have to wait for me to fly home this weekend, although the idea of a washing machine motor would entail buying a motor, and the appropriate controls, so one answer is that I do not yet have the motor.

    My dad and I powered a lathe with the motor from a 1950's washer dryer combo. It has a 3 speed gearbox with electrical solenoid switches. At 82 years old he still refused to let me take it to my own shop because he uses it fairly frequently. Anyway that was the source of looking to a parted out washing machine for this lathe.

    My concern with using an AC washing machine motor from a front-loader and the associated wiring salvaged from the same washer is this: what would allow me to manually adjust the speed (i.e., the washing machine controls did not allow you to choose the RPMs of your wash cycle,) so how would I gain that functionality? The reply from MaxHeadroom starts down that path, but assumes I know more than I actually do know. "Outrunner 3 phase Fischer-Paykel type and require a special electronically commutated (ECM) drive to operate." is above my head. So is the phrase "triac" and I don't know what a Universal motor is in contrast to other types of motors.

    No one has yet commented on the DC treadmill motor idea. I looks simpler to me, and I suspect someone out there has awareness of, or has actually done, that install on a wood lathe.

    One more bit of related trivia. The house we bought has a dysfunctional in-ground swimming pool that we will never re-activate. I have not yet crawled into the mechanical pit for the pool, but I could, and there is a practically new pump motor down there. Would that motor be likely to provide a solution? Should pulling the pool mechanical apart be my next step?

    Again, thanks so much
     
  8. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
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    See my last post!

    I have used a few T.M. motors and KB drives, the cheaper model is SCR control and is a little noisy at low RPM, the better option is the higher PWM model if you go that route.
    I doubt the pump motor will have enough HP for what you need.
    Max.
     
  9. ErnieM

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 24, 2011
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    Bach when I was a kid we had that new stuff by GE (Tesla) called "AC power" installed at our house long enough for the new fangled washing machine to break. I took the perfectly fine albeit used motor and ran a table saw off it. I forget the brand, now long out of production, but one company made very inexpensive shop tools for the home DIY market. We had the "table saw," in quoues as the table was barely 12" a side. It came with plans to make a larger table out of plywood to extend that, but I put it to good use for years just as it was.

    Noting more complex then a belt and a pully lock screwed onto the shaft. Added a metal rod to the base of the motor which slid into two eye bolts. By keeping the belt on the short side the belt held the motor up some which gave enough tension to make it all work.

    Sorry to say I never needed a speed control beyond ON and OFF. A stepped pully may be all you need and what I would try first.

    Somewhere in my shed I have a modern version of that same lathe but never connected a motor to it. Long story short, I was keeping it at my parents house and I moved my apartment just far enough away to make it impractable to drop by for a few hours work. Besides, at that time I was building a boat in my living room which did not require a lathe.
     
  10. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
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    ....You came from a musical family?....:)
    Max.
     
  11. JES-Rolla

    Thread Starter New Member

    Nov 18, 2014
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    Max, sorry to have missed your first DC motor comment. It was nearly 11 p.m. after an 15 hour work day in Kathmandu. I am on my way home today, back to Missouri. If I find a treadmill motor on ebay, should I stick with one that has the controller with it? How would I know a an SCR control from a PWM control when looking at ebay posts?

    Thanks so much for your help.
     
  12. shortbus

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 30, 2009
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    One thing to watch on 'modern' AC washer/dryer motors is most of them are square shaped "open" motors. The appliance motors from the earlier, pre 1970's, where more enclosed than the newer ones. They are prone to getting saw dust in them, often to the point of stalling the rotor. On the other hand your pump motor should be a "sealed" type motor. And I'd bet the pump motor has more HP than an appliance motor.

    I know you don't want to hear this, but why do you need a variable speed for a wood lathe? The three step type pulley system has worked for over a century. Wood lathes are not near as speed dependent as a metal lathe.
     
  13. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
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    If you go with a T.M. motor, I would go with a KB type drive etc as some of the T.M. motors require a different control input method instead of a simple pot.
    Any drive you see can be checked on the KB web site where they have all their manuals and descriptions for the various models.
    Max.
     
  14. JES-Rolla

    Thread Starter New Member

    Nov 18, 2014
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    Shortbus, It is mostly a case of being spoiled in other shops, I learned to turn in a shop with a powermatic commercial size lathe, and the lathe my dad and I built 40 years ago had 18 speeds between the pulley sets and the washing machine transmission, so it made sense to check out options when I got a hold of the old Sheldon lathe. So far the best mechanical option has been a countershaft available on e-bay that has 3 wide-belt pulleys to match my headstock, and 4 V belt pulleys that would connect to the motor pulley. At $150 it was a bit more that I had hoped to pay, but I might end up there if the DC motor/controller search does not pan out. I saw what you mean about the open motors and if I went that way I know I'd need to build a sheetmetal enclosure. What is winter with an unheated shop for but to play with planning options fpr spring projects and learn new stuff?
     
    shortbus likes this.
  15. tracecom

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 16, 2010
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    Here in the notoriously fat south, treadmills are often free for the taking, and are advertised on craigslist.
     
  16. shortbus

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 30, 2009
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    I must be in a treadmill desert. Used to see them at the curb and never grabbed one. Then a while back I did see one and it followed me home. Big disappointment when tearing apart it had a single phase motor in it.
     
  17. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
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    There are usually a multitude of sellers on ebay, I have been surprised at some of the quality now found in some of the DC brushed of Chinese origin.
    Particularly with the unlikely name of Johnson.
    They also come with a slotted disk sensor if needed.
    Some T.M. motors are marked CW or CCW, this is usually because many have a threaded flywheel attached, this has to be removed before using in machine application.
    Max.
     
  18. JES-Rolla

    Thread Starter New Member

    Nov 18, 2014
    7
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    Max, and others,
    This is my first every post thread, and is both fun and helpful. I really want to try the DC motor approach to the lathe power, but still do not understand exactly what I would need to buy from ebay, or elsewhere, to insure I have all the pieces I need when I go to do the set-up. . I know I cannot just hook
    AC wires to the DC motor, but the ebay "controllers" do not seem to have a knob to use to adjust the speed. When you look up complete wiring kits on ebay, they include transformers, circuits boars, and the treadmill control panel of push-touch controls. That seems more than I need for a lathe. I checked the KB electronics site, but there was more options than I knew what to do with.
     
  19. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
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    The KB drives run direct off of 120v/240v AC, most by jumper. No transformers or power supplies etc.
    They can come with bare board, or in an enclosure with everything fitted.
    The 'Knob' is a 5k-10k linear pot to three terminals, some come with it if you are lucky, but they are easy to obtain.
    Also they have a 5watt current limit resistor that has to be plugged in according to the H.P. of the motor, they tell you which one in the manual.
    On ebay, the SCR type are more common and cheaper, the PWM are a bit rarer.
    The motor HP will decide the size of the controller, although I think the T.M. motors are a bit optimistic with their HP numbers!?
    The Johnson etc are generally 1.5HP -2HP
    Max.
     
  20. shortbus

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 30, 2009
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    If you do decide to go the jackshaft route. In the olden days, when I was a teenager, we used to make stuff like this. The flat pulleys don't need to be cast iron, many DIY ones were made from glued-up hard wood. A jackshaft is a simple bar of round steel between two pillow blocks, with pulleys on it. A variable speed drive can be made from a MTD riding mower drive unit. There's lots of ways to skin a cat.:)
     
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