View Full Version : Lathe motor switch question

02-13-2005, 01:39 PM
I have a faulty drum switch on my Craftsman lathe and have trouble with it if I want to turn it on in the forward position.

Now I don't know, but I can't think of a time when I'd need the lathe to run in reverse...realistically.

My question is, can I just go to the electronics store and pick up a regular old switch for the lathe?....not being an electronic whiz will I have a lot of difficulty wiring this reversable motor to be just a plain old single direction motor?

Thanks, I'm sure I've left out some important info that's key to finding the answer so please let me know what it might be.



02-13-2005, 04:25 PM
There are times when you need to run the spindle in reverse. Tapping, for instance. Or if you're cutting metric threads you'll probably need to run reverse to get back to the start without disengaging the half-nut. I'll often chamfer an edge in reverse, if the tool I'm using has an edge at such an angle that it's convenient to come in from the back. Of course, if you have a threaded spindle nose you need to be careful not to apply a big load when running reverse. An unscrewing chuck would be a very bad thing! I've never had such a problem.

Anyway, maybe the switch just needs some service. You can probably take the cover off and clean the contacts, maybe reshape them to get a little more contact pressure. Look for weak or broken springs, etc. Certainly worth a try.

[This message has been edited by Randy (edited 02-13-2005).]

Fred White
02-13-2005, 06:08 PM
Take Randy's advise...you can probably clean the contacts and make it work again.

Then, go and get a standard housesold light switch and wire it in series with the other switch.

Set the drum switch to forward and turn the lathe off and on with the light switch. That way you avoid wearing out the drun switch and you still have reversing capability on the lathe.