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Forum topic by mahdee posted 12-01-2018 01:36 PM 428 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4291 posts in 2374 days

12-01-2018 01:36 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question lathe

I bought this lathe from HF for my abusive jobs that require the motor running for long periods. Has 1/2 HP motor and seem solid enough. The ad says, “5 speed”. Well, the speed is not controlled by a switch rather you have to open two of the side panels by removing the screwed on covers and then positioning the plastic belt! left or right to change the speed. Glad I got the two years extended warranty on it. Anyways, I plan to use a fan speed controller so I can control the speed that way but being pretty ignorant of electricity, I wanted to ask you guys what do I need to shop for (Amperage, resistance, ??)
The alternative would be calling on the mechanic LJ’s to modifying the pulley system into a gearbox!
Thank you in advance.


6 replies so far

View splintergroup's profile


3207 posts in 1829 days

#1 posted 12-01-2018 02:37 PM

Induction motors don’t react well to speed control outside of a narrow range (do a search on induction motor speed control to see the problems and options).

A decent 1/2 speed controller will cost more than the lathe. Best bet is to find a lathe that uses a real variable speed gearbox or find a motor that can be easily controlled (search LJs for treadmill motors).

View mahdee's profile


4291 posts in 2374 days

#2 posted 12-01-2018 02:41 PM

Thanks. I want to be able to control it down to somewhere near 5 or 700.


View TheFridge's profile


10859 posts in 2093 days

#3 posted 12-01-2018 03:01 PM

Ditto. Speed controls are no nos for induction motors. You have to modify pulleys or get a slower motor of the same frame size.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View mahdee's profile


4291 posts in 2374 days

#4 posted 12-01-2018 03:12 PM

Thanks… Probably will return the darn thing.


View WhyMe's profile


1207 posts in 2168 days

#5 posted 12-01-2018 04:01 PM

If you can find a cheap lathe on craigslist you can modify it using a DC motor and a DC variable speed controller. There are some good YouTube videos on doing the mod.

View mahdee's profile


4291 posts in 2374 days

#6 posted 12-01-2018 07:02 PM

Thank you. I did look for a used speed dial panel on eBay but no luck yet. I noticed I can do 90% of my work on this and all I have to do is transfer the work piece to my other lathe.


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