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05-25-2006, 06:37 PM #1
Are there any "Century" guru's here that could help me get info or more knowledge on this motor.
Voltage:115 or 230ac
On start up the brushes spark quite a bit, keep in mind I don't know much about motors didn't take those clases in school know I wish I had. As I understand this, does the body of this motor charge like a Cap, and do I need to bleed this off before opening it up? It runs very quite except the sparks, there is no ground wire on this so should I ground the frame of the motor or the mill/shaper? A cabnet next to it seemed to be energized on the metal frame, so I suspect that the cabnet was acting like an air coupled electronic device. I checked it out with a an ac device. I want to take it apart and clean it up, what oil should I use for the bearings?
05-25-2006, 09:37 PM #2
Sparking probably OK. Brushes should lift when motor gets up to speed. These old motors were great-have very low start amps. They used tapered brushes. Bob
05-25-2006, 11:08 PM #3
Century was bought by A.O. Smith Electric. They have tech support available for old Century motors last I checked.
05-26-2006, 10:23 AM #4
Thanks for the info, so I can pull the front cover plate off to access the brushes and bearings? The hardware store near me is fairly old and they have an assortment of brushes. I should be able to find tapered ones there.
I looked at the A.O. site but was unable to find any info on my motor is it something I will have to call them about?
05-26-2006, 12:04 PM #5
The century motors I have use end-on brushes
(they bear on the face of the commutator) but
I think they're not tapered.
Most of those motors are highly re-buildable,
but be careful as the brush holders may be
made of an older material like hard rubber or
fiber, and may be brittle.
The motors are reversed by shifting the brushes
so there will be an adjustment in there, check
to see where it's seat before taking it apart.
The brushes should lift when the motor comes to
speed, there should be a centrifugal actuator
similar to the switch in a capacitor start motor,
but that lifts the brushes away from the
Those motors have great starting torque, and I
think they were in use during the days when
electrolytic capacitors were rare. The pony
motor in my phase converter is repulsion induction
05-26-2006, 03:47 PM #6
Yes, you will ned to call them. They don't make these any more, but they should have drawings / manual available on them. I had to get info on one 4 or 5 years ago and they had it then.
05-26-2006, 05:06 PM #7
I had a RI motor for a while but do not remember the brand name. I had to reverse it for its new owner. I did not get the brushes rotated quite enough and the brushes sparked like mad.
You might wish to check this. When you remove the plate covering the brush holder you should see a plate with both brushes mounted in it. this plate has slotted holes that allow you to rotate the brushes 45 degrees to reverse the motor. There should be an index mark on the motor frame and another on the moveable brush holder. These index marks must line up. If yours is not lined up but you can seee the marks and they are not far apart then I would suspect you have found the problem. There should be one index mark on the housing and two on the brush holder with the marks about 45 degrees apart.
Like I said, I do not remember if my motor was a Century or not. I hope this helps.
05-30-2006, 01:00 PM #8
There is an adjustment armature on the left that has 2 markings one on top has a "R" stamped on it and below that it is stamped "L". The pointer is just below the "L" marking.
So if I get this right I should turn that adjustment a bit more down below where it is now to get the brushes closer. This will lessen the sparking right?
05-30-2006, 02:12 PM #9
Try cleaning the commmutator. These motors have a fairly open frame and dust, grease and grime tend to settle on everything exposed. A wipe with alcohol might just do the trick.
05-31-2006, 01:40 PM #10
Thanks for the input guys, I will see what I can do.
06-10-2006, 07:14 PM #11
Gunmetal, please earth the motor frame, I wish for you to have a long and happy life. And while you are there, check all your machines have their metalwork/motors earthed - just incase a wire drops of.
03-20-2013, 08:35 AM #12
I have rebuilt a lot of these motors I do have some infomation on them . These motors are used on pipe organ blowers I have seen them as far back as 1890's still doing there job if you still need help getting this one going let me know
03-20-2013, 04:22 PM #13
I own a 1940's Parks 4" X 12" wood plane that I purchased well-used and which I rebuilt around 1973. It came with a then-new 2 hp Emerson reverse Induction motor, which is the size of a medium watermelon. . At the time that I bought the machine from a shop in Los Angeles I also bought a set of new brushes for spares.
At the time, the dealer told me that I was wasting my money since, according to him, the brushes lift automatically at startup and typically don't get much wear. Turns out, he was right. I used the machine almost incessantly in the 1980's and I don't recall ever seeing any sparks when it operated. The motor always started instantly with no delay. As mentioned above, I would suspect that if it is sparking, it must need a good cleaning.
I still have the new set of brushes in a drawer in my shop 40 years later.
03-21-2013, 09:46 AM #14
The sparking on these is due to the commutator bouncing the brushes,ether the comm is not true or high mica I usually cut a little as passable to true up the comm then cut the mica a little below the the segments not much the brushes need to run to get the motor to 75% full speed that can adjusted by the Governor spring