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Thread: I love my lathe, but I hate my Reeves Unit.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tellico Plains, Tennessee
    Posts
    4,351

    I love my lathe, but I hate my Reeves Unit.

    Drilling and turning some pepper mills today... slow down to drill, then speed up to put the groove inside for the crush grind mechanism...and turning the mills to shape.... when I turn up the speed, the pulley on the motor spindle gets a little out of alignment and the teeth don't mesh..... have to shut off the motor, manually turn the pulley slightly so the teeth mesh, then go back to turning...kinda developed that as a routine...

    but then towards the end of my day, I hear a new noise and go round to check...( I run with the cover off since I have to remove it so often).... the stationary pulley on the headstock spindle has shattered... it's broken into 3 wedges, so tomorrow I spend half the day tearing the headstock down and putting new pulleys in.... actually, I'll put some old pulleys I have on hand until I can get new pulleys from JET.
    Chuck
    Tellico Plains, TN
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/TellicoTurnings
    My parents taught me to respect my elders, but it's getting harder and harder to find any.
    If you go looking for trouble, it will usually find you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Yorktown, Virginia
    Posts
    5,012
    It's always something. At least you know how to fix it and don't have to call for help, or buy a new one. Hope you get back spinning soon.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,747
    Geez, that does suck. I have a smaller problem with my Reeves drive. I have found it to be pretty good over the two or three years I've had the lathe. I did wonder about getting a variable drive motor to allow me a lower speed at the bottom end, but that would probably be beyond my capabilities. Best of luck with the repair.
    Cheers,
    Roger


    The other member of Mensa, but not the NRA

    Everyone is a self-made person.

    "The thing about quotes on the internet is that you cannot confirm their veracity" -Abraham Lincoln

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    GTA Ontario Canada
    Posts
    12,251
    Sorry to hear of your lathe troubles Chuck. At least you can get parts. I have a dp desktop version by delta and no spares available. There was a company that was supposedly setting up to make a batch and i gave them an order but they have never executed to date. Once in a while i check in to see if they still plan on doing it but no luck to date.

    Hope your repair works out so you can get back to turning.
    cheers

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Posts
    11,830
    Sorry you are having problems. But, to me, it sounds more like issues with the lathe itself than the Reeves system. Reeves drives have been around for a long time because they give a relatively easy method of changing speeds compared to older pulley-belt drives. I used mine for six years before selling it to a professional turner. He was so pleased with it that he sent me, not one, but three, hand written letters thanking me for selling it to him. In most cases they are very solid and reliable devices that can work for years without any problems.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tellico Plains, Tennessee
    Posts
    4,351
    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Fusco View Post
    Sorry you are having problems. But, to me, it sounds more like issues with the lathe itself than the Reeves system. Reeves drives have been around for a long time because they give a relatively easy method of changing speeds compared to older pulley-belt drives. I used mine for six years before selling it to a professional turner. He was so pleased with it that he sent me, not one, but three, hand written letters thanking me for selling it to him. In most cases they are very solid and reliable devices that can work for years without any problems.
    You may be right, I've had the lathe since 2007 and have turned over 3000 pieces on it... bowls, pepper mills(I drill all my pepper mills on the lathe so I get a truer hole.) and such... not many pens... in that time I've changed the spindle shaft once, the spindle shaft pulleys 3 times, the motor shaft pulley once, bearings a number of times, the harp that holds the sliding bearing on the left hand side of the spindle shaft pulleys and probably a few other things... it got a lot of use and abuse in the beginning before I started taking the time to cut bowl blanks on the band saw... it's been a good work horse and will continue to be as it's outside my budget to think about replacing it. I still don't have the speed lever in the right position... it's off a bit... at the lowest end, speed about 450, the indicator reads 800.... I know that's my error and just deduct for the speed... maybe when I take it apart this morning I can re-adjust that.... I don't need to take the worm screw on the speed control out to change the pulley, but since I'll have half the machine apart, may as well give it a go.

    I have seen a thread on another forum about replacing the motor and creating an electronic variable speed... not sure I have the expertise to handle that myself either, but with good directions probably could... would depend on the cost of the motor and inverter... plus would have to be 120 V since I don't have 220V in the shop and maybe would have to run a new line from the power main to the shop, a distance of about 60 or 70 feet, under ground. Could go overhead, but would be unsightly and the original power is underground. I don't know enough about electricity to attempt it myself, so another cost. And here in my part of TN, it's hard to find licensed electricians and I wouldn't want a 'shade tree' electrician.
    Chuck
    Tellico Plains, TN
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/TellicoTurnings
    My parents taught me to respect my elders, but it's getting harder and harder to find any.
    If you go looking for trouble, it will usually find you.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tellico Plains, Tennessee
    Posts
    4,351
    Happy to report, I'm up and running again... went out about noon today and in about an hour had the shattered pulley out and replaced... actually not much to taking it out, I stepped clear of any shrapnel and turned on the lathe to run the speed up to 3000 so could remove the belt and the pulley catapulted across the shop... all that was left on the spindle shaft was the hub... and since I had the head stock open and partially disassembled, went ahead and pulled all the parts and cleaned them thoroughly and even pulled the worm screw for the speed shift lever and got it reset properly... even had time to turn two pepper mills before I had to close up shop and take Dianne shopping and to dinner.

    All's well in Chuck's shop again....
    Chuck
    Tellico Plains, TN
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/TellicoTurnings
    My parents taught me to respect my elders, but it's getting harder and harder to find any.
    If you go looking for trouble, it will usually find you.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
    Posts
    30,014
    Glad to see you got it all handed, Chuck.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Oliver Springs, TN
    Posts
    1,726
    Good for you chuck!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tellico Plains, Tennessee
    Posts
    4,351
    Here are a couple of pictures of the pulley off my lathe... one of the pulley still on the lathe and the second laying on work table in pieces after I took it off the spindle.
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	96561Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	96562
    Chuck
    Tellico Plains, TN
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/TellicoTurnings
    My parents taught me to respect my elders, but it's getting harder and harder to find any.
    If you go looking for trouble, it will usually find you.

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