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  1. #21
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    Sweet Dreams, thermite, Sirs
    The standard starting procedure for a two speed constant torque ( read swasey standard motor)( AND YES thermite I know you know this) is to start it in the low rpm range, allow motor to come up to speed and then engage the 'high' speed end of the motor. To shift from high to low ( electrically speaking, you can shift the hi-low clutches back and forth all day long at any motor speed) you first shut the motor off, let it coast down to reasonable speed and then engage the 'low' speed button. IF you just try and start in high you will blow breakers and stress your electrical system, always start in low. If you go from high to low without a 'coast down' the low will become an electric brake and slam the drive train in a rather shocking way. Just a little bit of W&S operating procedure for ya..
    Hope this helps ( even if it's as clear as mud )
    Stay safe
    Calvin B

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    Quote Originally Posted by thermite View Post
    You might want to consider at least a two-stage RPC.

    Start the primary idler. Add the supplementary idler. Start the W&S.
    This will be the first rotary phase converter I build. I'm using a video from a youtube channel named "sbirdranch". His explanation was one of the best I've found thus far. He also says that he got the theory from a pdf here on Practical Machinist.

    His system only uses one pony (or idler) motor.

    I'm determined to make this work so when I picked up this lathe I also picked up two 3 phase motors to experiment with. One is a 7.5 HP and the other is a 5 HP. It's my understanding that to run a 5 HP lathe I should use a 10 HP pony. But I couldn't find a cheap one.

    I paid very little for the two motors I got.

    My current plan is to build the RPC using the 7.5 HP pony, and then for the first test I'll just see if I can run the other 5 HP motor using the RPC. If all that goes well, then I'll get brave and try running the actual lathe motor.

    If everything works I'll probably make a second RPC using the 5 HP motor just because I can.

    In all my research on RPCs I haven't seen anything yet that uses more than one idler motor? But I have seen some videos that do away with the idler entirely and just run the lathe directly in a similar fashion to running the idler motor. From what I understand that actually works pretty if you don't need the original power. For example, a 5 HP might only deliver 2 HP that way. But if 2 HP is all you need it's a quick way to get by I guess.

    In the meantime I'm going with the pony motor method. 7.5 HP pony motor, 5 HP lathe. I most likely won't get full power, but I'll probably get more power than I need anyway. I doubt that I'll need max power. I don't mind taking a few lighter cuts instead one massive hog. I'm not in that big of a rush.

    In short, if I can get this lathe up and running to where it's usable at any practical level that will be just fine. The lathe I have now is only a single phase 3/4 HP lathe and it will already hog pretty heavy cuts. I can't imagine what a 3 phase 5 HP lathe could do. You could probably turn a half-inch of metal off at a time, and peel it off like a banana skin at a high feed rate. I can see where that would make a production manager smile.

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    Calvin,

    I totally understand what you are saying. In fact, there's a plate right on the lathe that says: "Use the same precautions you would use driving your automobile. Make sure speeds are correct when changing gears, etc." Or something to that effect.

    I'm totally aware of that. I know all about getting motors and gears to mesh nicely.

    So yeah, I'll be "driving" this lathe like an old lady going to church on Sundays.

    And thanks for the tip about starting the motor at slow speed first before switching to high speed. That's also a good idea.

    They even tell you on an actual plate on the lathe not to leave the brake on when not using it as that can wear the brake shoes (or clutches) out.

    So yeah, if the lathe works it's in good hands here. I'll run it with much consideration of how it's designed to work. I won't be the one to ruin it.

  4. #24
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    Sweet Dreams, Sir ( man that sounds weird if you say it out loud...)
    You should be fine with just the 7.5 idler. I'm assuming that you have a 240 3ph two speed motor in your swasey. The low speed doesn't draw very high amperage at start up. CHECK your motor plate and should tell the amp draw at the various rpms. Mine is a 7.5/5 hp and I run it off of a 7.5 rpc all the time.
    I think you are somewhat confuse about RPC's. They run full power up to their max and then burn out ie don't make a demand of more than their rated HP. Surge at start up is another matter and the electrical wizards on this forum can explain that far better than I.
    Hope this helps
    Stay safe
    Calvin B
    PS another W&S operating tip.. when you park your machine for the night put the high/low clutch in the high position.. Helps to preserve the "natural material ( read cork) clutch lining.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sweet Dreamer View Post
    This will be the first rotary phase converter I build. I'm using a video from a youtube channel named "sbirdranch". His explanation was one of the best I've found thus far. He also says that he got the theory from a pdf here on Practical Machinist.
    PM covers just about every way to build an RPC as exists in the "stickies" in that PM forum. The use of supplementry idlers as well..

    The Fitch Williams design is my favorite, but I was short of time. I left my new parts in the box for later and used a control bought ready to use from another PM member when he was still making and selling them - the "Phase-Craft".
    His system only uses one pony (or idler) motor.
    At 5 HP load and fully de-clutched, a single 7.5 HP idler should do yah.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sweet Dreamer View Post
    This will be the first rotary phase converter I build. I'm using a video from a youtube channel named "sbirdranch". His explanation was one of the best I've found thus far. He also says that he got the theory from a pdf here on Practical Machinist.

    His system only uses one pony (or idler) motor.

    I'm determined to make this work so when I picked up this lathe I also picked up two 3 phase motors to experiment with. One is a 7.5 HP and the other is a 5 HP. It's my understanding that to run a 5 HP lathe I should use a 10 HP pony. But I couldn't find a cheap one.

    I paid very little for the two motors I got.

    My current plan is to build the RPC using the 7.5 HP pony, and then for the first test I'll just see if I can run the other 5 HP motor using the RPC. If all that goes well, then I'll get brave and try running the actual lathe motor.

    If everything works I'll probably make a second RPC using the 5 HP motor just because I can.

    In all my research on RPCs I haven't seen anything yet that uses more than one idler motor? But I have seen some videos that do away with the idler entirely and just run the lathe directly in a similar fashion to running the idler motor. From what I understand that actually works pretty if you don't need the original power. For example, a 5 HP might only deliver 2 HP that way. But if 2 HP is all you need it's a quick way to get by I guess.

    In the meantime I'm going with the pony motor method. 7.5 HP pony motor, 5 HP lathe. I most likely won't get full power, but I'll probably get more power than I need anyway. I doubt that I'll need max power. I don't mind taking a few lighter cuts instead one massive hog. I'm not in that big of a rush.

    In short, if I can get this lathe up and running to where it's usable at any practical level that will be just fine. The lathe I have now is only a single phase 3/4 HP lathe and it will already hog pretty heavy cuts. I can't imagine what a 3 phase 5 HP lathe could do. You could probably turn a half-inch of metal off at a time, and peel it off like a banana skin at a high feed rate. I can see where that would make a production manager smile.
    Sweet on the condition of the lathe
    Minor nit pick on your terminology: Idle and pony are not interchangable terms. Idle motor or idler is the phase converter motor, it is what generates the third leg. A pony motor is a small motor used to start a bigger motor. Old cat tractors used to have a small pony motor to start the big diesel. With a RPC the pony motor is what is used to get the idle motor spinning up to speed before power is applied to it, one the idler is running the pony is diconected from the idler and turned off.
    It is important to use the proper terms, everyone else will know what you are saying that way

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob F. View Post
    Idle and pony are not interchangable terms.
    interchangable is technically not a word. I'm guessing you meant interchangeable

    Unfortunately the cat is already out of the bag on calling idler motors pony motors. I've seen people use these terms interchangeably quite often on the Internet. It may not be "proper", but realty seldom is.

    I've also seen a lot of people calling them "Ghost Motors" since they generate what is known as a "Ghost Phase".

    My rule of thumb is to simply ask if something is unclear. That usually works pretty well.

    In fact, in my post I even included the term "idler" just to be sure everyone understood what I was referring to. I probably should have also included "ghost" too just to cover all the bases.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sweet Dreamer View Post
    interchangable is technically not a word. I'm guessing you meant interchangeable

    Unfortunately the cat is already out of the bag on calling idler motors pony motors. I've seen people use these terms interchangeably quite often on the Internet. It may not be "proper", but realty seldom is.
    It is still dead wrong.

    Lot of "wrong" on the internet. You Tube even specializes in it!



    There IS an older term that is proper: "pilot motor".

    As-in the FIRST idler, given any other 3-P motor on the downsteam that is opereting at less than full load is contributing its own CEMF into what has become a de facto "pool".

    As to "ghost" ISTR also hearing "phantom".. Not common, though, either one.
    Last edited by thermite; 09-16-2020 at 01:38 AM.

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    "Lot of "wrong" on the internet."
    Boy, YUH gotz daatz righhhht mizzer termitez! Butz dutez WD 40 on yer FLAGALONG willz makenz YUH Go YAH YAH YAH!!!
    But your presence is requested in the Axelson thread regarding theft of your images, and your sense of justice, regarding this obvious felony!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sweet Dreamer View Post
    Things that would be hard to make would be collets. Not impossible to make, but it would be a lot nicer to just find a bunch of collets for it.
    -What specific collets does yours take? Or do you know yet?

    Mine, it turned out, takes a Brown & Sharpe screw-machine collet rather than a Warner & Swazey style. Probably special-ordered that way because the original buyer, whoever that might have been, either needed the "dead length" feature, or possibly just had a big stash of B&S collets already on hand.

    But, either way, there's a ton of both on eBay. W&S- near as I can tell, and I'm still a ways from an expert - has both a "draw in" and "push out" type of collet, as well as several sizes of each, AND both solid and insertable-pad styles.

    Once you figure out what style you have, I'd be surprised if you couldn't find at least enough basic sizes to get you up and running.

    And if, by some weird coincidence, you wind up with the B&S 22SC style, I have a few extras.

    All the gears and moving parts that I could see looked like brand new.
    -Yep. I lknow for a fact mine has many tens of thousands of hours on it- it's eighty one years old- and when I had the headstock cover off the other day, the worst thing I found was some light staining of the 'sealer' paint they coated the inside of the casting with.



    This lathe was either kept very well lubed, or it wasn't run much.
    It uses pressurized oiling, and really, unless somebody doesn't tighten the drain plug properly and the oil eventually drips out or something- or the belt fails somehow- the internals should stay in good condition for a very long time.

    On top of that, in going through mine, I've been regularly pleasantly surprised at the overall build quality of these machines. They were designed and built for decades of two or three-shift-a-day use.

    Messrs. Warner and Swasey clearly did NOT truck with the concept of "planned obsolescence".

    Doc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by calvin b View Post
    The standard starting procedure for a two speed constant torque is to start it in the low rpm range, allow motor to come up to speed and then engage the 'high' speed end of the motor. To shift from high to low ( electrically speaking, you can shift the hi-low clutches back and forth all day long at any motor speed) you first shut the motor off, let it coast down to reasonable speed and then engage the 'low' speed button. IF you just try and start in high you will blow breakers and stress your electrical system, always start in low. If you go from high to low without a 'coast down' the low will become an electric brake and slam the drive train in a rather shocking way.
    -That's actually extremely useful to know, thank you.

    On the mechanical shifting, I got a good look at that from one of Small Tools' eBay videos, demonstrating a No.3. The fellow just slapped it back and forth from high to low while it was running, and the machine didn't complain a whit.

    Had I not seen that, I'd have shut the motor off, switched, and started it back up. Which is of course how my gearhead Springfield has to be handled- disengage clutch, switch, reengage.

    I did know the speed range could be switched on the fly, but I wasn't sure of the high/low was equally synchronized.

    Doc.

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    It's just a two speed motor. 4 pole, 8 pole I'd presume. I don't see how starting it in high is any different from starting one of the many modern two speed motor lathes (Victor, Lagun, etc) in high speed, or any other 4 pole motor for that matter. It does take longer to spin up in high speed, and I'm sure the startup current is higher (surprisingly the run current is lower in with 4 poles running on the one I've checked). Almost certainly less stress on the system to start in low, but I doubt the lathe is by any means ill-fit to start in high.

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    Hey Doc, Sir
    I would be reluctant to shift gears in my #3 while it was still rolling along. I always brake and then shift.. But then again I was never real good with non-syncromeshed gear boxes anyway. <grin>
    I just love the pic of your topless headstock.. It's kinda like a treasure chest of jewels from the industrial age. Pure art to me. The #2's and 3's have to be stopped to be shifted but the #4's and fives have 'pre-selector' system that allows the next gear/speed to be selected and then engaged with the spindle control lever..
    ClappesoutBP, Sir
    Well it's the difference between starting a loaded motor in 'low' versus 'high'. A Swasey is not a 'motor in neutral at start up. Your starting the drive train and the oil system and ( if your machine still has it ) the coolant system.. Look at the above pic of docs jewel, the 'disk pad in the rear are the forward and reverse clutches, that shaft starts at start up and is quite substantial. Really the forward and reverse shaft only have two speeds dependent on the motor speeds.. You are of course free to dim your neighbors lights trying to start you swasey in high but as for me I'll be the nice neighbor and start in low..
    Hope this helps
    Stay safe
    Calvin B

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    I owned 2 of the #3 W/S. They ran all day, every day. Both were 2 speed with Logansport air chuck systems. Worked perfectly for years. Lotsa years!
    Now the kicker....they both ran via Phase-a-Matic static converters. 4-8hp I think. Both had 3/5hp motors with never a loss of power. Plus there's one on my 15hp American. It has never failed me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by calvin b View Post
    A Swasey is not a 'motor in neutral at start up. Your starting the drive train and the oil system and ( if your machine still has it ) the coolant system..
    Calvin B
    That's good information. I didn't realize that. So there will be some load on the motor during start up. I'm actually thinking of taking the motor off this machine for a cleaning and inspection first. I might even then test run it off the lathe just to be sure it works. Then after cleaning and reinstalling it and I'll see if it will still start with the typical start-up load.

    I don't know where I'm at with a coolant system either. It clearly has one, but I haven't looked at that part in detail yet. It does have a second motor on it. At first I thought that was for the coolant system, but it might be for hydraulics? I have a lot to learn about it yet.

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    Most #3s had a gear coolant pump on the headstock, and they often need priming after sitting overnight unless you are running cutting oil. A significant upgrade is to eliminate that and replace it with an electric coolant pump, you can just submerge one in the sump or mount one near the sump. An intermediate step is to put a foot valve in the feed line to the gear pump, that can keep it primed for a couple days.

    The low/med/high gears need to be shifted only at a standstill, The High/low lever can be shifted while turning, and the high/low motor buttons can be pressed under load. I'm in the habit of allowing the motor to coast down a little from high speed when shifting from high to low motor speed by pressing stop, then a couple seconds later pressing Low, this keeps the belts from chirping at the sudden change in speed. Not necessary to do, but I double clutch and match engine speed when downshiftinjg a truck also.

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    I would be reluctant to shift gears in my #3 while it was still rolling along. I always brake and then shift.. But then again I was never real good with non-syncromeshed gear boxes anyway.
    -Good to know. I'll have to check that Small Tools video again- it's always so much better to see someone doing something, than to merely read about it.

    Now the kicker....they both ran via Phase-a-Matic static converters.
    -Mine came wired that way, with a 3-5HP "heavy duty" Phase-A-Matic. While I was able to get it into high range (high on the motor, low in the headstock) using Cal's "Low first, then high" technique, it absolutely would not pull high-motor, high-gearbox.

    I have, admittedly, been hoping that a proper rotary will fix that, especially considering that I spent almost $1600 including shipping, for a shiny new American Rotary setup with a 10HP idler.

    It does have a second motor on it. At first I thought that was for the coolant system, but it might be for hydraulics? I have a lot to learn about it yet.
    -I'd wager the second motor is for the hydraulic collet closer. If what looks like a small hydraulic ram is, in fact, a ram, I'd wonder if it's too small to work with headstock oil pressure, which is (according to the manual) supposed to be between 25 and 35 psi.

    But I have, also, seen plenty of photos of machines with an electric coolant pump, so hard to say at the moment.

    Doc.

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    I’ve bought a bunch of stuff from HGR.
    I bought a SB10L and it was worked to death and at best good for a few parts imo.
    I returned it on day 28 of the 30 day return window.
    They didn’t even come out to look it over, forklift guy was waiting for me when I walked out of the building and snatched it right up.

    The lathe was advertised as having a lantern tool post and when I got it the tool post was missing, when I returned it the drum switch broke off on the ride out to hgr, and like I said they took it and couldn’t care less.

    The rule of thumb with 2x hp on the RPC is because if your RPC motor is too small you'll suck the life and voltage out of your manufactured leg and possibly burn up the other two windings i *think.

    I have a 3hp RPC running a 2hp Sb and a 2hp knee mill with an additional 1hp power feed motor.

    I’ve ran all three at the same time on my RPC and under load it’s drops my 3rd leg voltage below 90v but with all the motors idling the 3rd leg is less then 10v under. And at with no motors running except the rpc the 3rd leg is usually a few volts lower or higher.

    1:120
    2:120
    3:110

    I built my RPC myself as well.

    I HIGHLY HIGHLY suggest running that lathe ASAP! to check it out.

    There’s a fella that bought a NICE 20hp lathe (can’t remember the brand) from HGR that I posted on here to ask about if it would be a good garage unit for myself.

    It was less then Half the price ANY of the other lathes in its condition and turns out the gear drive headstock had a bearing failure that dropped balls into the gears and HEAVILY damaged the head stock.

    BEWARE the price at HGR, even tho they can’t test them I do believe they get some info and will price accordingly, I think your lathe was cheap for a reason and hopefully you find out why before your return is up!!

    Good luck and be careful!

    If you get pinned to the floor under that beast your gonna get REAL religious REAL fast!

    I’m not Familiar with your lathes motor and drivetrain so I can’t say how you would be able to start it up,

    But you don’t need a RPC to start a 3p motor on 2p.

    The static converters do this with capacitors that drop out after start up and run the motor Solely on 2phase.

    *IF I was you I would get a 3p fused disconnect AND a 2p disconnect and run your 2p into the 3p disconnect and run a 3rd leg off your 1st phase line with an in-line cap(s) though the 2p disconnect back to the 3rd leg on your 3p disconnect.

    This way you could throw the switch and get startup juice from the caps and then switch the 2p disconnect off to manually drop your caps out and let the motor run on 2p

    I’m no electrician please don’t kill yourself or burn the place down!

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    b9e851d8-ddff-481e-9af8-41a71b48dbd8.jpg

    If this is it Legible I’ll load it full size on the computer when I’m off work

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    Quote Originally Posted by Homebrewblob View Post
    If this is it Legible I’ll load it full size on the computer when I’m off work

    Yes, I understand that I should be able to fire it up that way. I might try that just to test it out as you suggest.


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