Table Saw Upgrade #6: VFD Soft Start in Action

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Blog entry by MikeGCNY posted 03-07-2011 06:37 AM 11066 reads 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: Putting it Back Together Part 6 of Table Saw Upgrade series Part 7: Alignment and New Blade »

I finished wiring the Variable Frequency Drive this weekend. I made a video of the VFD in action.


Here is the VFD and Disconnect

The Saw
Here is a picture of the saw with the re-surfaced Beisemeyer Fence. I used a sheet of 3/16 UHMW Polyethylene laminate.

I cannot believe the cost of the wiring. For this and my band saw I spent close to 400 dollars on wire and breakers.

7 comments so far

View tsangell's profile


216 posts in 3659 days

#1 posted 03-07-2011 07:52 AM

Mike, that saw is a beast!

View ken_c's profile


337 posts in 4128 days

#2 posted 03-07-2011 02:20 PM

will that saw motor stand up the the VFD? Are you just using for a soft start/ soft stop application but running at full speed? I hope so because the motor in your saw is fan cooled. The fan will not be able to properly cool the motor if you are running at reduced speeds. They make special motors for VFD use and not all motors are designed to operate, very long, at reduced speeds and reduced frequencies.

View MikeGCNY's profile


44 posts in 4461 days

#3 posted 03-07-2011 03:13 PM

Ken, it runs at reduced speed for about 3 seconds, then it comes up to the full 60 Hz. In the video you can see the control panel displaying the frequency. I ran it for a few hours yesterday through a few dozen start and stoa and there was almost no heat at the VFD or the motor.

View kshipp's profile


179 posts in 4744 days

#4 posted 03-08-2011 06:01 AM

I really like that 3 second brake. I just got a VFD to put on my dust collector but only really for phase conversion. I can really see the benefit to one on a table saw now.

-- Kyle Shipp,

View DaveMonti's profile


5 posts in 2246 days

#5 posted 11-23-2014 07:12 PM

Hello MikeGCNY,
I’m in the same boat as you are. I bought a used PM66 with a 5 HP three phase motor. It came with a static phase converter that just won’t start the motor. It turns the motor for about 5 seconds at low speed then kicks out.
I replaced some of the components on the phase converter, but have decided to either buy the 3 HP single phase motor (at about $700 off Amazon) or install a 5 HP VFD. I do not want to deal with a rotary phase converter with an idler motor.
Can you let me know what specific VFD you bought? I realize your saw may be a 3 HP, but I’d like to start to get some pricing.
I just started on this website and I have to post 5 times before I can send any PMs or I would have done that.

View MikeGCNY's profile


44 posts in 4461 days

#6 posted 11-23-2014 10:42 PM

Hi Dave

I got a used one. I think it is called TB Woods, or something like that. I got it from Southland Electric Supply.

Mine is 5HP.


View Matt's profile


37 posts in 2933 days

#7 posted 08-17-2020 01:23 PM

So I recently acquired a Unisaw with a 3HP motor. I’m looking at going with a vfd rather than installing a single phase motor.

You’ve been using the vfd for a little while now, any issues?

-- Matt, Pennsylvania

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