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Discuss New Lathe Motor - 1 Phase - DOL or 3 Phase - VFD? in the DIY Electrical Forum area at ElectriciansForums.net

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Hi All,

A mate of mine recently acquired a rather nice wood turning lathe they'd like to get running out in their workshop. However he admits his workshop is rather old and while he's not bothered, I'm concerned about drawing too much current (I'm trying to convince him to get the wiring checked).

The motor the lath came with is a Swedish AESA motor (now ABB) but it has no data plate on it so we have no idea of it's specs. Having opened the terminal box there's no run/start capacitor and it appears to be wired in star formation making me think it's a three phase (Based on Google-Fu)

We're trying to think of the most cost effective way of getting this thing up and running with the least safety risk and wanted some input.

I'm aware of using start/run capacitors to make a three phase motor run one phase but the loss of power, potential overheating, etc. makes that approach feel a bit risky.

The two ideas I have are:
  1. Get a new 1 Phase, 4 pole motor rated at 1HP and use a DOL start switch.
  2. Get a VFD and try the existing 3 phase motor and if that's busted just get a suitable new three phase motor.
To explain my thinking:

Option one seems like the simplest as it should just run off his normal domestic 240v with minimal fuss. However as I understand it single phase motors aren't as efficient and generally pull higher loads?

As for option two - a VFD rated at 2.2Kw costs less than a new 1 phase motor and DOL combined and as I understand it we can handle all the speed control, direction from that so it might be useful for other machines.

Only obvious issue is we don't know the HP of the AESA motor (I doubt it's more than 2HP) an if its a 240 or 450v motor so that's the risk. However a three phase will be a bit smoother and pull less current. Worse case, if the motors dead we can probably source another three phase a bit cheaper than a single phase.

I fear I may be over thinking this as usual and wondered if anyone could give any input or opinions?
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