Need some advice on a Phase Converter for a Vintage LeBlond Lathe
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  1. #1
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    Default Need some advice on a Phase Converter for a Vintage LeBlond Lathe

    Hi, I’m new to the forum as I recently acquired a vintage LeBlond regal, which I think is a 1947 17” x 112” (or thereabouts) version. It is powered by a Wagner 3 phase 2hp 220/440V 5.8/2.9amp electric motor. Can someone advise regarding the appropriate rotary phase converter to bring my 230v single phase supply up to the appropriate level to operate the machine? Any thoughts greatly appreciated. Have attempted to attach a couple of photos that might help.

    549a4166-5228-496e-be2f-360685447f7c.jpg380e56ad-701e-4453-98fe-0a8a26702ec4.jpg6f021b05-8345-4f7f-8c0a-5cb31f55902c.jpg

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    A 5 HP idler will do the job. A 7.5 or 10 HP idler will allow for other 3-phase loads in the future. Good schematics to suit your needs are available on this forum.

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    Geoff: Also, there is a separate sub-forum called Transformers, Phase Converters and VFD's that is a good source of info and diagrams. Good luck.

    JH

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    Have you considered using a VFD instead?
    Being able to momentarily change spindle speed without stopping and changing gears and tuning the speed to reduce vibrations and chatter are some of the advantages of powering a lathe with a VFD.

    Paolo

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    A VFD is the way to go. Rotary Phase Converters have to be started and stopped. Some can be quite noisy.

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    VFD's are nice and all. However I believe a rotary converter (home built if you can) is still a very good or the best option for multiple machines considering they're very effective, versatile, and low cost. Phase Perfect also looks nice for multiple machines except the cost.

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    I prefer rotary phase converters. I'm aware that the idler motor is running, but it's pretty quiet since it doesn't actually drive anything. A rough general rule, use roughly twice the size hp converter to whatever your expected hp load is. For a 2 hp motor in a machine you'd rather a 5hp converter vs a 3hp. There are charts that give you a better idea usually from the converter manufactures themselves. But a 5 hp converter is really only good for pulling a 3 or 3.5 hp motor at full load. A 5 hp converter wont pull a fully loaded 5 hp motor, etc. . . Plus the motor start up of any machine pulls more amps during that initial start up, verse when the motor is fully up to speed.

    I like North American that makes full rotary set ups, or you can buy just the control panel and use your own 3 phase motor that you buy or have local to use as idler motor. I like choosing and using my own motor. You can decide which rpm, just use a motor the same hp as control panel. North American has front side on/off switches i like. They sell on ebay and are pleasant to deal with if you got a particular detail you want:
    https://www.ebay.com/sch/napces/m.ht...1&_ipg=&_from=

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    Geoff,

    First of all, you need to realize that you have a disease and you need to treat it as such. First it's an innocent lathe that you picked up for not a lot of money. After you figure out how incredibly satisfying it is to use these old machines and keep them alive, you'll be looking for a good old mill and on and on. I've always believed it's better to cry once if you can afford to do so. Assuming you grow your collection as i've suggested, i recommend you plan for a machine with a 5 hp motor or so which would dictate a 10 HP phase converter. Mine is from American Rotary and it's a nice package. It ain't cheap but it's a nice clean package that gets the job done. I run mine off of a 40 amp single phase 220v circuit and feed a 12 slot subpanel where i distribute 4 circuits around the shop.

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    I built a phase converter from a 5 hp 3600 rpm Baldor ball bearing three phase motor .. I used it to start my 2hp Kearney and Trecker mill and my Southbend lathe until I got three phase in my shop...I used run caps in the line for better starting of machines and less idler current draw.. You can build one cheaply enough with just a static starter sized to your idler motor and that is the way to go if you want full power.. VFD is ok for small motors where you don't need lots of torque but what you need is a rotary phase converter to get the power you need out of your lathe.. Ramsay 1

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    I also have a North American phase converter and have been very happy with it. I found a 1750? rpm idler that was local and ordered the box from them on ebay. Finding a used motor locally will save a lot of money. The lower rpm idlers seem to be quieter but there is always the exception. I would recommend getting a converter over a VFD. There is a lot of 3 phase equipment available for significantly less than single phase (grinders, sanders, mills, buffers, ect) and once you have the converter you can add machines as you want. I added outlets to my box so for less used equipment I can plug and unplug as needed, if I build a shop someday I will add a sub pannel.

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    Hi,
    This is my "Stone Age" RPC.

    It is made with a 7HP 3Phase Motor and an old 0.5 HP washing machine motor.

    I let the WM Motor just idle after I use it to start up the 7 HP Motor.

    As was stated need to get over to the other sub forum.

    Lot of good folks over there and will help with whatever you want to put together.

    I've used my set up for about 12 years and it runs a 1965 BP Mill and a 1945 Well's Horz Saw!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 666.jpg  

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  15. #12
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    Three phase motors will run on single phase but they will not start on single phase...I had a static starter on my 5hp homebrew rpc that I used to start my Kearney and Trecker mill and Southbend lathe before I got three phase from the power company... I would do this any day before I considered a vfd for any motors over about 3/4 hp that required full torque.. Ramsay 1


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