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Thread: Lathe slow down tool

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    zetuskid's Avatar
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    Lathe slow down tool

    Hi, this is my first post. I'm trying to find pictures and directions to add something to my Delta/Rockwell 46-111 to slow it down. Pictures is worth a thousand words so they would help. Right now the is a cone on the lathe and motor. I understand this lathe starts at about 975> and that's too fast for some projects.
    I appreciate any help!

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    C-Bag's Avatar
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    Sorry no pictures but being belt driven it's a pretty easy fix to get a smaller pulley for the motor or a larger pulley for the head. Better yet would be to start watching out for used treadmills that are either cheap or sometimes free. This way you could make the speed infinitely variable with just a push of button or twist of a knob.

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    zetuskid's Avatar
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    Thanks, I've heard pros and cons about using the treadmill motors. I'm thinking about going with some type of larger and smaller pulleys. Thanks for responding.

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    C-Bag's Avatar
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    You are welcome. I'd think the best thing to do is get some multi step pulleys so you play with speeds. One of my Craig's list purchases that turned out to be dud was an old Grizzly table saw. But I used up most of the parts off it for other projects. One was the hinged/hanging motor mount. That is wonderful for a multi step pulley because it's easy to change because the weight of the motor is the tensioner. The pics I've seen of your lathe(had to look it up, I'm not a wood worker) that kind of hinged hanging motor mount would be perfect for.

    As to treadmills, yeah, it is not simple. There is a lot of things to complicate it like voltage/amperage and there is a whole universe of different quality levels. I found a really good mill that was an older gym model and the motor had even been replaced. Very heavy duty and was able to find a good universal controller off eBay. I've yet to install it but it was quite a journey with a lot to learn about.

    Changing the pulleys is a LOT simpler. There was a great website that had tables where you just plugged in pulley sizes and it would give you shaft speeds. So you play with it to figure out what you needed. It could even figure out belt length. I used it when I turned my old HF 14" bandsaw from a wood cutting to metal cutting. Had to do a double reduction from 3k fpm to 110 fpm. Worked perfectly. I don't have the link on my iPad or I'd post it.

    Good luck, the truth(and info) is out there.

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    Frank S's Avatar
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    For a belt driven speed calculator have a look at this link

    Pulley Calculator. RPM, Belt Length, Speed, Animated Diagrams
    Never try to tell me it can't be done
    When I have to paint I use http://kbs.justoldtrucks.com/

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    Speed control on Lathe but could be used for any belt driven app.

    Hello zetuskid, funny this is my first post too. I had the exact same problem with my 46-111 D/R. My first modification was to putting in jack shaft which is an extra shaft with bearings on each end and cone pulleys on both ends in addition to the cone on motor and lathe shaft itself. Can go very slow, to very very fast with just the changing of belt position. After a few years, I got tired of that and because I had worked in a factory Maintainence for 26 years before retiring, I had accumulated lots of "stuff" most of it not worth much. I finally got tired of changing belt position and wound up with a 2hp DC motor with speed control to go from just barely turning to go fast enough to have something explode if so desired. My next modification will be putting spacers under the headstock and tailstock to change from 11 inch swing to 17 inch with 3 inch spacers keyed both sides. I would rather have put a 3 phase motor with VFD on but used what I had at no cost. I have 3 other 46-111s I will be getting set up to be able to do some teaching/instruction with friends. Presently I go hang out with some blacksmith friends every Thursday night learning blacksmith stuff so I can give back with lathe work on different nights.


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