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Running a 110V lathe with 220V + step down converter

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Natti Eder, May 23, 2018.

  1. Natti Eder

    Natti Eder

    Joined:
    May 22, 2018
    Messages:
    5
    Location (City & State):
    Isreal
    Hello woodturners,
    I live in Israel (yeh!), new to this hobby and looking to buy my first lathe.
    I have an opportunity now to buy a lathe in the states (the prices in the US market are about 60% off the ones here..) and deliver it back home to Israel in almost no shipping costs.
    The model i'm interested in is the Delta 46-460, it's a strong (1HP) Midi lathe with generous swing over the bed (12.5"), costs $650.

    The problem is of course - the Current, the lath is originally wired for the US electricity network - 11V/60Hz but the current we get out of the power outlets is 220V/50Hz.

    Does anyone know if there's a way to operate such a device under these conditions?
    I know that a step-down converter is needed, but what a about the current frequency? will it mess up the variable speed controller?

    thanks!
     
  2. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
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    Location (City & State):
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    I believe that the motor is a DC motor. The electronic controller converts the AC to DC so I think that the difference between 50 Hz and 60 Hz may not be very significant. You would need a heavy duty step up/down power transformer. The little voltage converters for small appliances are not adequate.
     
  3. Natti Eder

    Natti Eder

    Joined:
    May 22, 2018
    Messages:
    5
    Location (City & State):
    Isreal
    Thanks Bill,
    So what you're saying is that the motor is a DC motor? that can make things less risky.
    I might lose 16% of the speed (running it on 50Hz instead of 60hz) but in any case the upper speed range of the lathe is rarely relevant for the regular woodturning, right?
     
  4. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
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    You might not lose any speed. The most important thing would be having a large step-down power transformer that is suitable for this task. That might cost more than the lathe unless you can find a used one. I think that you should consider one that is rated 5 kVA or higher primarily because of the reactive impedance of the motor. Here is the kind of transformer I'm thinking about although it would be preferable to have a 50 Hz transformer: Square D transformer
     
  5. Natti Eder

    Natti Eder

    Joined:
    May 22, 2018
    Messages:
    5
    Location (City & State):
    Isreal
    that might be a very valuable comment. Thanks also for the ebay link.

    On a different note -
    I was expanding my model search, and currently there are 3 optional models, all of them 0.75-1 HP in about 500-650 USD:
    - Delta 46-460
    - Nova Comet II
    - Turncrafter commander 12"

    Could you please share me your experience or knowledge about those tools and help me understand if any of these models stands out above others?
    The perspective I look for is quality, durability, and operating experience.
    This is really hard to make a decision without test driving it!
     
  6. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
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    I have turned on the Delta. It is a very nice machine. I don't have any hands-on experience with the other two lathes, but I have heard lots of good comments about the Nova Comet II. Hopefully somebody familiar with either of those lathes will respond.
     
    Natti Eder likes this.
  7. Gerald Lawrence

    Gerald Lawrence

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
    Messages:
    1,789
    Location (City & State):
    Brandon, MS
    I have the Delta and as Bill said it is a very nice machine and that 1hp motor make a difference
     
  8. Natti Eder

    Natti Eder

    Joined:
    May 22, 2018
    Messages:
    5
    Location (City & State):
    Isreal
    Update:
    Unfortunately the Delta (+G3 Chuck, bed extension and a step down converter) is over my budget, so I boiled down the list into 2 finalist: Nova comet and the turncrafter 12”.
    The first one offers a deal of lathe+chuck at 550$, the later offers lathe+extension at 520$ so price seem similar.
    Now, what would you choose -
    A 3/4 HP lathe from a good brand (nova), or a 1 HP machine from a less known manufacturer??
     
  9. John Torchick

    John Torchick

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
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    Location (City & State):
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    I vote for Nova. The Turncrafter looks like a bunch of other lathes with a different paint job and label. Different price, too.
     
    Natti Eder likes this.
  10. Hy Tran

    Hy Tran

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2012
    Messages:
    267
    Location (City & State):
    Albuquerque, NM
    Coming very late to this discussion, so I hope my reply is not irrelevant.

    I've turned on a (small) turncrafter; I was not impressed--slow to respond to the variable speed control. Adequate for pens, not much more than that.

    For a second lathe, I bought a Nova Comet ii. It doesn't have as much power as the Delta midi, but it still is quite good; I've been able to do 10" platters, with only a bit of slowing down if I'm hogging a lot of wood. (It's not a 3hp Robust AB...). The only modification I made was to cut off the screw for the pulley cover and replace with a magnet (you'll find out what I mean if you buy this lathe!).

    The deal where it comes with a chuck is a good deal--the chuck is quite good.
     
  11. Natti Eder

    Natti Eder

    Joined:
    May 22, 2018
    Messages:
    5
    Location (City & State):
    Isreal
    Thanks for this review Tran!
    You'll glad to hear that eventually I've ordered the comet2, yes - the deal which include the G3 chuck, and now waiting for it to arrive to my garage workshop.
    Happy turning!
     

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