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Converting Colchester Triumph 2000 Lathe to Single Phase

I'd strongly recommend just buying the machine and keeping the motor at factory spec. You can keep in mind the option to fit a VFD, if your machinists/foreman think that more/slower speeds would be helpful.

Better places to look for energy economy would likely be better/efficient lighting, HVAC, and maybe looking at what you're doing with acetylene that could be done with induction heating or some other method - gas isn't cheap.
Thank you for your valuable feedback.

Inclination to buy this machine was its 16 speed gear train from 20-1600 RPM with a high precision turning accuracy 0.001" a hundredth of a thou.
With you feedback, I think only benefit with VFD would be intermediate RPM for machining the jobs like in a CNC machine. Other than that, I would prefer the machine in its present form and focus on VFD for pump that keep running while the machine is on.

I am not going for a VFD motor as of now. Many thanks for your valuable advise.