Hello from WA State - got a bandsaw question
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  1. #1
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    Default Hello from WA State - got a bandsaw question

    Hello all, I've visited this site many times when looking for information on something but only recently joined (like today). I am in Western WA state, retired from the Army, and an avid car and gun guy. I am not a machinist but do have a mini mill/lathe and am getting a Bridgeport and full lathe soon.

    I just purchased a Jet VBS 400 bandsaw which looks to be in pretty good shape. The problem is that I cannot figure out how to power it. I have a couple of issues, first is that this machine is marketed as being a 110V machine, however it can be wired for 220V or even 440V. I was told it was set up for 220V so that is the assumption I am working with.

    It has 4 wires coming out of it; black, brown, blue and yellow/green. I know the yellow/green is ground and suspect that the black and brown are hot and the blue neutral, however I have 3 wire 220V outlet in the shop.

    I would deeply appreciate any advice, guidance, etc. reference this machine and situation. img_0372.jpg

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    Don't assume anything. Check it yourself.

    Don't mention the word Jet anywhere. Else your thread will get locked.

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    I have checked and confirmed what I posted, trying to determine how to wire the 4 wires into a 3 wire circuit.

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    What does the motor say?

    Regards.

    Mike

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    You familiar with three phase power? There are three hots and one ground, that equals four wires.

    Look at the motor nameplate. Possible that a three phase motor was swapped in. Otherwise your original comments about the four wires might go with the idea that a neutral is need along with 220V wires and a ground. A neutral would be needed if there is 110V components in the machine. I see that needed satisfied by a control transformer all the time, not with a neutral wire.

    In case you have not read the forum rules, discussion of foreign machines like Jet is not allowed. Not my rule. Better to not mention "Jet" and just type "Bandsaw".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Finegrain View Post
    What does the motor say?

    Regards.

    Mike
    That's a part of the problem, the motor is buried in the machine and I cannot see the data plate. Marketing material for the machine say that it comes set up for 110V, however looking at it and from my internet searching, it appears that it can be setup for 220V as well (and perhaps 440V). There is a wiring panel in the back that has a label showing how to connect it for 220 or 440 (no mention of 110).

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    Quote Originally Posted by rons View Post
    You familiar with three phase power? There are three hots and one ground, that equals four wires.

    Look at the motor nameplate. Possible that a three phase motor was swapped in. Otherwise your original comments about the four wires might go with the idea that a neutral is need along with 220V wires and a ground. A neutral would be needed if there is 110V components in the machine. I see that needed satisfied by a control transformer all the time.
    I am "moderately" familiar with phase power in that I know it exists and generally what it represents but am not experienced with it to be honest. I do not think the motor has been replaced although I cannot say it hasn't, however it all appears to be exactly they way it was manufactured. What I am having issues with is how to take those 4 wires and connect them to a plug physically. Granted, I need to figure out how the machine is wired (110 or 220) before applying actual power to it which is what I am trying to do now. But, if it is set up for 110V, how would I wire those 4 wires into a 110V plug? I apologize in advance for my ignorance on this subject, but I thought I'd come on here as many of my searches yield posts from this site.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rons View Post
    Don't assume anything. Check it yourself.

    Don't mention the word Jet anywhere. Else your thread will get locked.
    Well thats not good... I didn't realize that mentioning this brand was a bad thing. I completely recognize it is not a great brand, but I figured that there would be people on here with experience with it.

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    Generally speaking, there are no 110v three phase motors and there are even fewer 440 single phase motors in the world, at least as far as any bandsaw the size of yours is concerned. Either risk a smoke leak or dig in there and see what the motor nameplate says.

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    There is no motor that can be wired 110/220/440, mfr may have offered it with different motors, but you have to figure out which it has. With 4 wires, odds are its 3 phase, please take a pic of the data tag and post it here. Most likely your best option will be to swap out motor to a 110/220v motor.

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    This document states that the machine has a three phase motor. See page 3.

    https://www.mdna.org/images/File/files/11000.pdf

    If you need help with converting single phase 220 to three phase 220 then post questions in the section "Transformers, Phase Converters, and VFD's".

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    Quote Originally Posted by rons View Post
    This document states that the machine has a three phase motor. See page 3.

    https://www.mdna.org/images/File/files/11000.pdf

    If you need help with converting single phase 220 to three phase 220 then post questions in the section "Transformers, Phase Converters, and VFD's".
    Thank you for posting that, I had down loaded it previously and what threw me is top left paragraph which I mistakenly thought was in reference to the 400 when in fact it is talking about the 450..

    Ok, so now 110V is out for sure, and it appears to be set up for 3 phase 230V. I guess I will need a rotary phase converter then...

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    Quote Originally Posted by 70chall440 View Post
    Ok, so now 110V is out for sure, and it appears to be set up for 3 phase 230V. I guess I will need a rotary phase converter then...
    Not necessarily. You can probably run the saw just fine with a VFD, and you get easy variable speed control as a bonus.

    Regards.

    Mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by Finegrain View Post
    Not necessarily. You can probably run the saw just fine with a VFD, and you get easy variable speed control as a bonus.

    Regards.

    Mike
    As the Op has not posted a single pix or model number.... "Bandsaw" could have multiple motors, negating a VFD.

    Or...could be a simple belt drive model, where a simple single phase motor
    might just bolt right on.

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    Yellow green is most likely ground. The others are three phase hot leads. Use a meter and check resistance to ground on all four wires. Ground should be no resistance. the others no connection to ground but some resistance to each power lead.
    Bill D

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    Quote Originally Posted by 70chall440 View Post
    it appears to be set up for 3 phase 230V. I guess I will need a rotary phase converter then...
    It was shipped from factory wired for 230v three phase, no guarantee its still wired that way, check how its wired currently before applying power.

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    The VBS 400 is a pretty nice taiwan made machine, dates back to 80s usually, and dalmatiangirl is right- they are shipped set up for 230 volt 3 phase. You probably could get away with a static phase convertor for this- assuming you have 230volts, its a 7amp draw, ten max. Its a 2hp motor. You may have to do some rewiring to make the lamp and welder work right, as neither is most likely 3 phase. I would recommend hooking up a phase convertor just to the motor, and separately running power to the lamp, and, depending on how its set up, 230 to the welder.
    Does it look like this one?
    FS JET VBS 400 BANDSAW


    Where in western washington are you?
    I am cleaning up my shop and found a couple of old static phase convertors I used to use, 30 years ago, in a different shop.
    I am up by mt vernon.

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    You say that one wire is yellow-green, but I do not see any green in the single photo that you have posted. Yellow is a perfectly good color for a HOT wire. So, I have to wonder. Three phase wiring is not as common as single phase and the cords used for it are more likely to use non-standard colors due to the difficulty of obtaining cordage with the correct colors. That cord may not be from the factory: it may be a replacement made by a previous owner. I would not trust it as a source of information.

    I would be at least somewhat sure about how those four wires are connected BEFORE I tried any power connection. You say there is a wiring connection box with diagrams for different Voltage connections. I would think that is where you should start. If you can, post a photo or two that show the connections there.

    Bill's suggestion for using an Ohm meter would be a good double check. If it is three phase, then with the power turned on, the resistance between any pair of three of the wires should be the SAME within 5% or 10%. And the fourth wire would not show any reading to any of those three, but a dead short to the frame of the machine.

    If it is wired for 230 V, then you could get one of a couple of sets of readings. Post what you get.

    Take and post the photo(s) and make the resistance readings between the wires.



    Quote Originally Posted by Bill D View Post
    Yellow green is most likely ground. The others are three phase hot leads. Use a meter and check resistance to ground on all four wires. Ground should be no resistance. the others no connection to ground but some resistance to each power lead.
    Bill D

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    Quote Originally Posted by EPAIII View Post
    then with <the power ^^^ DISCONNECTED, but the> the power <SWITCH> ^^^ turned on, the resistance between any pair of three of the wires should be the SAME within 5% or 10%. And the fourth wire .....
    Just in case that potential hazard wasn't obvious to he with the vulnerable corpus. I'd want the motor out of nay other circuit for the first go at ID'ing lead to funtion, meself.


    The fourth wire could be EITHER

    - provision for Neutral...,any other leg to it "in the range of" 120 V, as for WYE connect and/or work lamp, blade welder, juice-pump. or where none of those are physically present but could have been if so optioned.

    - Protective Earth / Frame ground. When not bare, expect green, or green body, optionally with narrower Yellow spiral trace, now and then white.

    Unless certain Asian jurisdictions, then solid blue - and not-only - is also a possibility.

    2CW

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ries View Post
    The VBS 400 is a pretty nice taiwan made machine, dates back to 80s usually, and dalmatiangirl is right- they are shipped set up for 230 volt 3 phase. You probably could get away with a static phase convertor for this- assuming you have 230volts, its a 7amp draw, ten max. Its a 2hp motor. You may have to do some rewiring to make the lamp and welder work right, as neither is most likely 3 phase. I would recommend hooking up a phase convertor just to the motor, and separately running power to the lamp, and, depending on how its set up, 230 to the welder.
    Does it look like this one?
    FS JET VBS 400 BANDSAW


    Where in western washington are you?
    I am cleaning up my shop and found a couple of old static phase convertors I used to use, 30 years ago, in a different shop.
    I am up by mt vernon.
    I am down in Yelm.


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