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Advice on Clausing drill press


May 12, 2023
Hi everyone, new here and desperate for help please. I have a Clausing drill press model 2276, older model, with a Baldor 208V-230V 3 phase 2 speed 3/4 & 1 1/2 hp that I acquired from work. Problem is that I only have single phase at home shop, my question is would there be any way at all to use a vfd on this machine? I really want to keep the two speed switch and I know I cannot switch it while the vfd is powered on but could I not use the existing power cord to hook it up directly to the vfd and just make 100% sure the switch is not touched while it is powered on? I know the insulation is not rated for vfd drives and you're not supposed to have a switch Downstream from the vfd but it seems some people are getting away with using them on non-rated Motors. I'm not an electrician and I'm not a machinist by any means, I'm a welder that enjoys side projects at home. I used this machine once in awhile at work years ago but they plant manager was going to scrap it because it has been sitting in a corner for the last 8 years and I did not want to see it going to the scrap bin. Any help is greatly appreciated. 20230505_152218.jpg20230502_093549.jpg20230509_160749.jpg20230502_093610.jpg20230505_152231.jpg


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Yes it can be done, and it isn't even hard. But you will need to rewire the drill press so the speed control barrel switch only sends commands to the VFD, and is not in the 3-phase power path between VFD and motor. You will also need to bring single-phase 220 Vac power to the VFD, as if the VFD were an electric clothes dryer. You will need to find someone who knows how to do all these things.

This cannot be done by asking questions on the internet. There is probably a local hobbyist machining group around, with people who will know how and who to ask. Don't worry about the motor winding insulation in a non-industrial shop. But do shield the cable carrying control signals between drill press control switch and VFD, as the VFD itself generates a fair bit of interference.
Thank you for the feedback, I do appreciate it.
I know how to do BASIC electrical work, I wired part of my home and my whole shop myself, already have a couple of 220v items in my shop. I just don't know much about the vfd setup. I also don't know how the wiring is in the motor, no diagram on the motor plate and the part # takes you straight to clausing........... same with the switch, I can't find a diagram for that thing either, found a couple of images on the net but those switches are short compared to this one, not as many terminals?
Thanks again.
Underneath the motor plate........


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Call Clausing Industrial on the phone (not email) with model and serial numbers, and get the manual.

You should be able to bring 220 Vac 1-phase to the VFD then.

As for electrical work to install the VFD to drive the drill press, you are in way over your head, so seek help, and also learn from them.
Yes sir, I'm attempting to educate myself the best that I can. I have been reading about VFDs and rotary converters so much the last few days my head is spinning. Almost everything that I have been able to read as far as form message boards go, is all at least a couple of years old and maybe the VFDs are a little more user friendly? I remember grilling 1 3/8 inch holes in 1 inch thick steel plate time and time again like it was nothing and it will almost never anything like that here.I do thank you for your time sir.
Just got off the phone with clausing and he said I should have something in my email within a few days. Very nice guy to talk to even though I'm not purchasing a new piece of equipment. I should be getting a manual, parts list, and hopefully a wiring diagram.
Yes sir, probably would. Unfortunately this project, like everything else, is on a thin budget and the RPC is expensive, especially since this is my only 3 phase machine. I think I'll gain a little more education learning to deal with the vfd??? I don't mind learning how things work, I actually enjoy the challenge of it all. Thank you again.
One solution is to get a VFD rated for single phase 230 V input and 1.5 HP or more three phase output. Wire the motor for only the 1725 RPM and connect those three wires plus ground directly to the VFD output. Remove the two-speed switch and install an industrial quality on/off switch on the machine and use it to control single phase power to the VFD and to act as an emergency stop switch. Use the VFD controls to turn the motor on and off and select the frequency. You may need to mount the VFD somewhat away from the drill head. Be sure to keep it away from flying chips if it has open cooling slots. At 60 Hz, the motor will run at 1725 RPM and have the 1.5 HP capability. At 30 HZ, the motor will run at 850 RPM and have .75 HP capability, same as when running it as a two-speed motor. But now you can select any speed available using frequencies from about 20 HZ to 60 HZ.

I use a foot switch on my big drill press and like it better than the common type of switch on the head for drilling holes. It leaves both hands free to work the feed and hold the vise or workpiece and just moving my foot stops the drill.

A two-speed motor is like two separate motors in one housing. Trying to control both speeds at 60 HZ would theoretically require changing the VFD parameters every time you want to change motor speeds with the original two-speed switch and wiring, or using two separate VFD's. Much simpler to change speed with the VFD frequency and wire the motor as a single speed motor.

Print shows this, but it's not how it is now. Maybe one of the maintenance men try to wire a new plug in sometime over the years?20230509_160749.jpgScreenshot_20230512-134229_Drive.jpg
Thank you for the advice, I was hoping to keep it as original as possible but it is starting to look like I cannot. I know the insulation on this motor is not rated for VFD use and the slower the speed the hotter it can get. So I don't think I would take it below 30 HZ if I have to wire it in the 1725 configuration. If I understand correctly, and I may not, the lower RPM uses more poles, is that correct if so, could I wire it with the low RPM wire and maybe push it to around 100 HZ and get away with that? I already have a jet drill press, JDP 17 for smaller bits and wood, I was wanting the slow speed for larger holes in my metal work from time to time. Thank you again for your help
L Vanice, I like the sound of the foot pedal and from what I have read on the vfds that would be plugged into the vfd itself correct?

Just a curious question here and like I said I'm trying to learn as I go. Before I started reading up on this stuff, I thought it would be as simple as putting a vfd on the wall and cutting the end off of the cord and wired a three leads with ground straight to the vfd, I understand it's not that simple, one because you're not supposed to have a switch Downstream but is changing the number of poles also part of the problem? I did not realize that because it runs on 60 HZ regardless or am I missing something? I was thinking the same 60hz runs the lower speed but the extra polls just slowed the motor down. I'm most likely wrong but it's why I'm trying to learn. Thank you all.
Also as I understand it, the VFD should be rated around 167% of the motor so a 3HP VFD will be plenty. Anyone have good experience with a particular unit? Make, model of VFD. I might be on a budget but I'm not going to put the effort into this just turn around and use the $90 no name brand from Amazon, I'd like a little more insurance than that. Once again, thanks for the suggestions and opinions from everyone.
I'm fond of Automation Direct VFDs, the kind designed and sold for single-phase 220 Vac in, and 208 Vac (any phase to neutral) out. You do need a bigger VFD than the motor; the VFD manual will say how much bigger. As for cooling at low speed, it's not a problem unless you also want very large torque. Which is where the variable-speed (Reeves) drive on the drill press comes in.
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Since your drill press already has variable speed built-in you don't need the variable speed capability of a VFD. Here's another option. You'll only get about 2/3 of the motor's rated HP with this though. But the wiring is very simple. Just remove the plug from the cord on your drill press and wire the three power leads and ground wire into this phase converter. Or you could leave the plug on the cord and wire a mating receptacle into the phase converter. Then you could plug and unplug the drill press as needed.
Web page says it will start a dual speed motor.

Phase a Matic.PNG
I'll check those out, thank you!! I guess I'll lose the speed switch after all but as long as I can end up slowing it down enough without burning it up for larger bits from time to time. Automation Direct 3HP.......... thank you
Rawen2, not sure how it would work losing 1/3rd of the power. It might be doable I'll look into it also, thank you
I'd ask around. Some people like static converters, but they have their limitations. You do need to connect with your local hobby machinists.
Good advice.
Years ago I went to look at a lathe with a 2-speed motor that the guy had powered with a static phase converter. It would not start the lathe in the high speed unless he first got the motor spinning in the low speed and quickly switched to high speed. I don't know if his converter was sized big enough for the lathe or not. But a lathe takes quite a bit more power for a longer period of time to get going compared to a drill press. And then there's that whole losing 1/3 of the HP. But I thought I'd bring it to OP's attention anyway since the wiring is so simple.