Workshop Equipment Assistance: Repulsion Induction Motor

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Forum topic by Lambertwoodworks posted 11-09-2013 03:54 AM 3244 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Lambertwoodworks's profile


6 posts in 2598 days

11-09-2013 03:54 AM

Topic tags/keywords: equipment motor make your own tools make your own equipment oil lubricant service maintenance

I have an induction motor that I’d like to service, but I do not know the type/weight oil to use in this motor. The motor is an older Delco motor, currently set up for use as a grinder. A pic of the motor from the net…

I’d also like to know if there are better uses for this motor. Since I have a few extra motors, I could make some changes and use it as another piece of equipment. It is a low HP motor, but I’m sure there are better uses for a motor of this quality. This thing is super smooth on start-up and nearly silent while running. I’m sure there are a few LJs who have knowledge of these motors.

The specs for the motor are:
Model Number: 4125
Amps: 3.1 – 1.55
HP: 1/6
RPM: 1730

-- LW

12 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5312 posts in 4883 days

#1 posted 11-09-2013 03:41 PM

Just plain old 30w oil will work just fine.
I have a GE “watermelon” motor being used as a buffer. No tellin’ how old this little feller is, but it runs like a top.
Oil it about twice a year, keep it blown out and wiped off.
Yours, being branded as Kelvinator, is probably a washing machine motor.
Most likely its an open motor, and grinding swarf will get inside and create some problems.

-- [email protected]

View MrRon's profile


5958 posts in 4166 days

#2 posted 11-09-2013 05:34 PM

That would be an ideal size for a fan. Repulsion/induction motors are workhorses. I had some that were in use for over 50 years and never gave any problems, as long as you oiled them regularily.

View MedicKen's profile


1615 posts in 4384 days

#3 posted 11-10-2013 01:50 PM

I have an Delco motor of about the same vintage and have been using 30wt. Mine is 1/2hp and has been oiled with 30wt for probably 60 yrs.

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their [email protected]

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2861 posts in 3844 days

#4 posted 11-10-2013 01:57 PM

I have serviced many of these old motors on furnaces and I always used a 30W non detergent oil. Never use “Three in one oil” or any other oil with wax in it.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Lubbock Texas

View cpd011's profile


91 posts in 4160 days

#5 posted 11-10-2013 02:10 PM

Now that I read this I wonder…I have a 1947 Unisaw with the original motor which I believe is a repulsion/induction. Does it need to be oiled?

View dhazelton's profile


2839 posts in 3219 days

#6 posted 11-10-2013 02:17 PM

Are you folks taking about bronze sleeves instead of bearings? Why can’t I use 3 -in -1? I just put a Dunlap into service as a buffer and I oiled it with 3-in-1…..

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5312 posts in 4883 days

#7 posted 11-10-2013 03:55 PM

3-in1 just won’t have the film strength on a bronze bearing that 30wt will.
Shear the oil film-no lube for the bearing.

-- [email protected]

View Bluepine38's profile


3387 posts in 4007 days

#8 posted 11-10-2013 10:00 PM

cpd011, that 1947 unisaw should have sealed ball bearings in it, does not require oiling, it is also called a
bullet motor and you can find out all about it on the Vintage Machinery site.

-- As ever, Gus-the 80 yr young apprentice carpenter

View Lambertwoodworks's profile


6 posts in 2598 days

#9 posted 11-11-2013 01:11 AM

I had a feeling that 30w oil was the answer. I appreciate the tip for the 3-in-1 oil, as well. Never knew that and it’s the most used oil in my shop. I’m thinking about using this motor for a ceiling dust collector. Any thought on this? Thanks fellas.

-- LW

View Grandpa's profile


3263 posts in 3598 days

#10 posted 11-11-2013 03:18 AM

+1 for the non-detergent oil. In fact I believe it should be 10W non-detergent. Do some reading on this and that is what you will probably find. I have used everything but that is the proper thing to use.

View dhazelton's profile


2839 posts in 3219 days

#11 posted 11-11-2013 02:25 PM

I have a 1940s Craftsman 6×48” belt/disk sander and an old arbor set up as a buffer with oil cups and bronze sleeves – use the motor oil there as well I suspect?

View bigblockyeti's profile


6842 posts in 2643 days

#12 posted 11-11-2013 03:52 PM

I have a delta drill press with one on it, but it has ball bearings which do not require periodic oiling. Some of these motors can be valuable to some people. If nothing else, whatever you end up using it for, keep it visible just for the coolness factor!

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

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