1. Welcome new registering member. Your username must be your real First and Last name (for example: John Doe). "Screen names" and "handles" are not allowed and your registration will be deleted if you don't use your real name. Also, do not use all caps nor all lower case.

Factor to Consider When Buying a Lathe

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by Dennis J Gooding, Feb 16, 2021.

  1. Dennis J Gooding

    Dennis J Gooding

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2010
    Messages:
    653
    Location (City & State):
    Grants Pass Oregon
    One potential feature of a lathe that tends to be ignored when making buy decisions is the availability of multiple speed ranges, usually obtained by shifting a drive belt between pairs of pulleys in the spindle drive. This is a very valuable feature, particularly when selecting a lathe to run on 120 V AC, where one is limited to about 1.5 HP or less. A close parallel is an auto that has only direct drive (no gear selection). It is fine at highway speeds, but is severely challenged when climbing steep hills.

    A VFD motor will deliver its maximum torque when operating at an RPS (revolutions per second) that is a little less than the frequency of the AC power generated by the VFD. This maximum torque will be nearly the same for all settings of the VFD. Motor horsepower is proportional to the product of torque and rotating speed. Therefore, the maximum horsepower will occur at the highest speed setting and will fall off proportionally as the speed is reduced. In other words, a 1 HP motor operating in a VFD system with a maximum speed of say 3000 RPM will deliver only 0.1 HP at a speed of 300 RPM. Compare this to a system that with a belt change can gear down the maximum spindle speed by say 4:1. In this case, the HP available at 300 RPM would be 0.4 HP and the maximum torque available would be four times larger than in the first case. Ideally there would be several speed ranges so that one can maximize the available torque at the desired speed for a particular project.
     
    odie likes this.
  2. Doug Freeman

    Doug Freeman

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2019
    Messages:
    445
    Location (City & State):
    Lebanon, Missouri
    Do you know how a switched reluctance motor, Nova DVR, compares?
     
  3. Dennis J Gooding

    Dennis J Gooding

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2010
    Messages:
    653
    Location (City & State):
    Grants Pass Oregon
    Doug, I have not delved into switched reluctance motor much. I know that it is a cousin of a stepper motor, but I have not run across any performance information. In any case, unless its torque somehow increases as the speed is reduced, its performance will benefit from using a multi-speed transmission in the lathe.
     
  4. Kevin Jenness

    Kevin Jenness

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2020
    Messages:
    43
    Location (City & State):
    Huntington, VT
    I guess my old General 260 with Reeves drive and retrofit vfd has some advantage then although I would expect the Reeves is inherently less efficient than a stepped pulley drive.
     
  5. Doug Freeman

    Doug Freeman

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2019
    Messages:
    445
    Location (City & State):
    Lebanon, Missouri
    No, pretty much equal. Both are bending the belt around the pulley. A flat belt vs the v belt used for a reeves drive might have a little advantage, but very small.
     
  6. Dennis J Gooding

    Dennis J Gooding

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2010
    Messages:
    653
    Location (City & State):
    Grants Pass Oregon
    I had a lathe with a Reeves drive many years ago. Yes, if it could be made more reliable, durable and with a wider speed range it actually would be better than a VFD that has only a few gear options. It effectively would provide an infinite number of speed ranges without the necessity to move a belt to different pulleys
     
  7. Ron Solfest

    Ron Solfest

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    171
    Location (City & State):
    TN
    I also had a lathe with a reeves drive...it ate belts...
     
    odie likes this.
  8. Bill Blasic

    Bill Blasic

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2006
    Messages:
    550
    Location (City & State):
    Erie, PA
    One of my lathes is a DVR3000 and it has good torque throughout its range. It senses the load and adjusts accordingly. With my last upgrade it now spins at 5000 rpm top speed It is 20 years old and still one of my favorites.
     
    Timothy White likes this.
  9. Kevin Jenness

    Kevin Jenness

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2020
    Messages:
    43
    Location (City & State):
    Huntington, VT
    Wouldn't the fact that there are two belts be a factor?

    This one doesn't seem to. I replaced the belt and headstock bearings on general principles when I got the lathe and it is working fine with I don't know how many hundreds of hours since.

    The Reeves drive is a bit noisy and has to be adjusted while running but otherwise not problematic. It runs smooth at 50 rpm and I have plenty of power for roughing with a 2 hp motor at about 200 rpm.

    To the OP, if I were buying a new lathe parts availability would be important- no joy for my old horse. Proprietary controls or motors would be a deal breaker. Solidity and reliability would be key.
     
    odie likes this.
  10. Mark Jundanian

    Mark Jundanian

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2018
    Messages:
    854
    Location (City & State):
    La Grange, IL
    I have a Nova 1624 with the DVR upgrade. The base 1624 has "choose a pulley" speed control with six pulley pairs. I have the DVR motor turning one of the middle pairs and the available speed range is 50 to 3000 RPM. If a person wanted to do so one could use different pulleys and get a different speed ranges. I don't understand Nova's Digital Variable Reluctance motor to know if that would affect the torque, but I assume so. So maybe a useful feature to someone else.

    Thing is whatever the torque is, it's enough for me. I'm not stalling my lathe (except for when I left the spindle lock in).
     
  11. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    11,555
    Location (City & State):
    Dalworthington Gardens, TX
    Home Page:
    That isn't correct. The output power of the belt drive is always the same as the motor output power multiplied by the efficiency of the belt drive. If using a poly-V belt and pulleys, the effiency is close enough to unity to be ignored. A 4:1 drive ratio means that the torque is multiplied by four while the speed is divided by four. If using the FPS (English) system of measurement, the following equation gives the relationship between power (horsepower), torque (pound-feet), and rotational speed (revolutions per minute):

    HP = (torque X RPM) / 5252

    The constant 5252 is a conversion factor where horsepower is defined as:

    HP = 33,000 ft-lbs / min

    and, for a rotating machine we divide by 2π:

    33,000 / 2π = 5252
     
    Emiliano Achaval likes this.
  12. Dennis J Gooding

    Dennis J Gooding

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2010
    Messages:
    653
    Location (City & State):
    Grants Pass Oregon
    Bill, I guess I did not make myself clear. Except for friction losses, the pulley system does not, in itself, affect the delivered horsepower. However, it allows the motor to run at a higher speed, where it can deliver higher horse power. In a VFD system, the induction motor produces about the same maximum torque for all settings of the speed dial. The maximum available horsepower (hopefully the rated horsepower) occurs at the maximum RPM. As the speed is reduced, the motor torque remains the same so their product, which determines the delivered horsepower, goes down.
     
  13. Joe Kaufman

    Joe Kaufman

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2009
    Messages:
    70
    A common practice with the implementation of VFD's used on lathes is to drive the motors above the normal 60Hz rating. Powermatic and probably jet overdrive the 4 pole motor to about 135Hz. Motor torque falls off with speed above the 60Hz due to limits of the VFD. Sometimes the phrase used is, constant torque below 60Hz and constant horsepower above. A reputable company would not stay in business selling a lathe that the VFD power output was not a reasonable match the motor capabilities.
     
  14. Dennis J Gooding

    Dennis J Gooding

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2010
    Messages:
    653
    Location (City & State):
    Grants Pass Oregon
    Joe, I had not seen any reference to “overdriving” a motor in a VFD system. Even if it is done in a particular system, the advantage of multiple transmission ratios remains. Assuming the 60 Hz motor is overdriven to 135 Hz, the portion of the operating range below 60 Hz will benefit. It is usually in the low-speed range that high torque is most needed.
     
  15. Doug Freeman

    Doug Freeman

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2019
    Messages:
    445
    Location (City & State):
    Lebanon, Missouri
    I believe I have seen some reference to overdriving motors. I do wish mfrs made it easier to determine gear ratios and some of the inverter settings. Overdriving the freq is an advantage - more range of speed and allowing a lower gear range for good low speed performance. The dropoff of torque is inconsequential - the higher speed brings HP to get through a cut.
     
  16. Joe Kaufman

    Joe Kaufman

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2009
    Messages:
    70
    Here is data from my PM3520 Lathe using the high speed range. The Delta S1 VFD is capable of displaying frequency output. Minimum spindle rpm 122, frequency - 5.0Hz. Maximum spindle rpm 3120 frequency is 134 Hz. The 4 pole motor is rated 2HP at 1720 rpm. At 1712 rpm spindle speed (can't get 1720 rpm) the frequency is 72.5Hz. The radius of the motor pulley is 3/8" less than the spindle pulley therefore under driven which correlates to the previous sentence.

    A few years ago I had my name on a Robust Sweet 16 that was going to be available after one of the woodworking shows. In talking with Brent regarding my concern as to what I considered a single pulley speed limitation, he assured me that he and customers have used the full capacity (32" diameter) with little problem. Just take a lighter cut. Sure you can stall the motor if you wish to do it. I asked what was the maximum Hz output of the drive and IIRC he said 90Hz. IF the pulley ratio was 1:1 it would take closer to 100 Hz. i don't remember if I asked the ratio. At that time I believe the motor and vector style variable frequency drive were both from Leeson. The point of this is that better performance can be obtained with added $'s and coordinated VFD and motor drive packages. The search for ratios and settings for evaluations and comparisons is not a simple task, especially considering offshore manufacturers.
     
  17. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    11,555
    Location (City & State):
    Dalworthington Gardens, TX
    Home Page:
    I don't disagree with what you said about inverter drive systems, but it seemed like the last part of the paragraph quoted below was comparing it to a purely mechanical pulley change system. After rereading it several times the light bulb finally came on and I realized where the 0.4 HP came from (300 RPM is 40% of 750 RPM, the top end speed of the new pulley range).

     
  18. Emiliano Achaval

    Emiliano Achaval Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2015
    Messages:
    2,403
    Location (City & State):
    Maui, Hawaii
    Home Page:
    This is good thread for the engineers of the group to have some fun and spend some time while they wait for the weather to get better. In real life, turners they will just buy a lathe. Period. Budget is always what they worry about, they buy the best that they can afford. Personally, I turn my Stubby’s on, put a piece of wood and I turn. We had an engineer at our club for a few years, he was the go to guy when anyone had a problem with the lathe, included me.
     
  19. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    11,555
    Location (City & State):
    Dalworthington Gardens, TX
    Home Page:
    Most three-phase motors that are rated for inverter duty are limited to a maximum frequency of 60 Hz. Motors that can be operated at a higher frequency come at a higher price or else require the motor to be derated by reducing the maximum current. I would guess that most inverter-driven lathes are operated at frequencies no greater than 60 Hz.

    I bought a Baldor industrial motor on eBay that is rated for inverter duty from 0 to 6,000 RPM, rated FL torque from 0 to 1750 RPM, and rated max HP above 1759 RPM. And, yes the motor can develop full load torque at zero RPM. No way would I consider running the motor anywhere near 6,000 RPM. The Baldor catalog price is in the neighborhood of $4,000. I think that I paid about $75 + about $50 shipping.
     
  20. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Messages:
    11,555
    Location (City & State):
    Dalworthington Gardens, TX
    Home Page:
    Turning is just incidental to the real fun of designing machines. :D
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice