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Thread: Jet mini lathe motor conversion

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Escondido, CA
    Posts
    5,175

    Jet mini lathe motor conversion

    A few years ago Randy at Vega sold some treadmill motors to folks were buying them to convert their Jet mini-lathe to variable speed.

    I have the parts together and am ready to make the conversion. But before I do, anybody here do this? Would you do it again? Pluses? Minus?

    No luck over at WC. They wanted to tell me about PSI's rig. I already have everything I need. Or they wanted me to explain why I wanted to do this. I supposed I could be talked out of it, but only by those who had already done it and would not do it again for valid reasons.

    So what say you kind folks? Anybody here do this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
    Posts
    30,020
    I don't know anyone who's done it, but I don't see why it shouldn't be done.

    Out of curiosity, do the modifications alter the machine in such a way as to prevent you from putting it back together in the stock configuration if you change your mind? Not that it would be a dealbreaker, but if you can restore it back to normal, then that gives you an out in the event you decide you don't like the new motor.
    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

  3. #3
    Carol,
    I think it was Don Henthorn that did a conversion with the Vega set-up over on SMC. . . Yep, just checked, it was Don. He seemed happy with the results and pointed to Mark Kauder's conversion which can be seen here:

    http://www.woodcentral.com/cgi-bin/a...mes;read=22688

    You might give each of them a shout to confirm their experiences since they've been through it before.

    I haven't done this particular conversion, so I can't comment on the pros or cons.

    Wes

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Fort Mc Coy, FL
    Posts
    4
    Carol,

    I am not familiar with the reference that Wes gave you nor the Jet mini but I am in the middle of converting my Rikon to a variable speed and should have it done this weekend.
    I got a 3/4hp treadmill and controller from the SurplusCenter for about $70 including s/h.

    I am making new pulleys to achieve two speed ranges, 0-1600 rpms and 0-2800 rpms optimized for the motors efficiency typically 80% of rated rpms of the motor. Besides woodworking I also have a small machine shop which helps...

    I'm sure the article will get you started but it definitely will not be a plug and play. For example, my existing motor pulley from the Rikon is a little too big for the new motor so right off I needed a new pulley.

    If you know anyone who has a hobby machine shop they will be a big help.

    Good Luck!

    Fred

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Escondido, CA
    Posts
    5,175
    Thanks, Fred.

    An order from MSC arrived to day with some odds and ends. I am awaiting another from an electronics house. Its been shipped so it ought to be here the beginning of next week.

    I have nearly everything I need for the conversion. Couple odds and ends with electrical connectors and such, and I'm set.

    The next challenge is to buy a replacement Jet 6 step pulley and have it bored out to 5/8". Haven't found the pulley yet. I was searching for one with a 5/8" bore but no joy. So I guess I will get the 1/2" bore and go from there.

    And, yes, I am also looking for a hobbyist machine shop operator...

    Now to find some time... Next two weeks are crammed!

    I am carefully documenting as I go. Seems there are some folks interested in doing this and the available information is scattered around the Internet and some of it is a little aged. So this will be an update.

    Don Henthron and Mark Kauder have been a great help. Both swear it was very much worth it and would do it again in a heartbeat. Good enough for me.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Fort Mc Coy, FL
    Posts
    4
    Carol - If I can be of any further help let me know. I just found this forum recently doing some searches, I'm normally over on the Saw Mill Creek forum.

    I belong to alot of different metalworking forums. You might want to look at these two. Like here the folks are very helpful and knowledgeble and I wouldn't at all surprised if a few lived in your neck of the woods. The two are:

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/9x20lathe

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mill_drill

    HTH -Fred
    Last edited by Fred Conte; 02-23-2008 at 04:29 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Toledo, OH
    Posts
    56
    Carol,
    Why do you need six speed ranges when you have a VS DC motor and controller? You can look on ebay for step pulleys. Use this for your ebay search "5/8" step pulley".

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