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machineryrepairman
05-10-2009, 06:01 AM
Ive been a member for awhile but just been reading. Im interested in wedling machining and mechanics.
I have experience in all 3. Ive been a machinist in the navy for 11 years and a hobby welder for 9. I build off road vehicles and parts for them.
I joine this forum becuase Im interesed in getting some machine shop equipment for my garage. Im really interested in the rotarty phase converters and how they work. Im not good at electricity but i need to learn how those work so i can hook my machines up.
So are most of you guys hobbyists or do this for a living

rockrat
05-10-2009, 07:59 AM
So are most of you guys hobbyists or do this for a living

Welcome!
To answer your question, it depends. As you search the past threads you will find that the membership ranges from individuals that just barley get into machining to those who own their own machine shops. Thats why I like it here, there is a good mix.

Rotary phase converters are not difficult but they do require the standard "think safe" approach. Capacitor sizes, wiring diagrams and more have been discussed here so a search of the forum will bring up all sorts of good data.

Let us know when you start looking for machines, we will want to see how your doing and what your first project will be!

rock~

jimmstruk
05-10-2009, 12:34 PM
Welcome aboard, keep us posted on your projects. JIM

motorcyclemac
05-10-2009, 03:50 PM
Welcome to the list,

Phase converters are quite nice. I decided to buy one from MSC for about a grand. I have a business here and wanted some warranty and dependability. I bought a 7.5 horse Phase-a-matic.

http://www.phase-a-matic.com/RotaryDescription.htm


It was easy to install and runs my Bridgeport mill. I bought more converter capacity than I needed so that if the motor on my lathe dies I can put a 3 phase Baldor motor in place of the Japanese Jet motor. You can run up to a 7.5 horse motor or a combination of motors that add up to 7.5 horse...like 3) 2.5 horse motors. You can actually run a much greater amount of motors as long as the others are running and the start amps of the last motor doesn't exceed output. The converter will compensate a lot. I don't encounter this yet as the converter is 3 times bigger than it need be. Do a little research on wiring 3 phase motors before you get too far.

You end up with 3 legs of power that put out a smoother motor operation. I like 3 phase quite a lot and wish I had it as a supplied power from the power company. It is quite a bit nicer to wire as you get to use 3 wires of a much lesser gauge. If I remember correctly I have the Bridgeport wired with 3 wires of 12 gauge stranded.

I have a breaker the feeds the rotary converter. After that breaker I have a 240V switch that turns the converter on and off. After the converter I have a 3 phase breaker panel with a main that has a 3 phase breaker for the mill. After that breaker there is a switch disconnect on the base of the mill to cut power to the mill.. The Bridgeport has a rotary switch on the head that provides forward and reverse.

Think of it as an entire power system in your shop that is produced by your own little power company that makes 3 phase. It is quite simple and just like your power company supply it can be expanded easily up to the limits of the rotary converter output.

I wired the entire system myself. I really like to wire in electrical metal tube (EMT) conduit for ease of modifications. We home shop machinists seem to be on a continuous course of shop expansion. We build and buy stuff that requires moving stuff and rewiring as needed. Conduit works well for this as you can re-pull circuits as needed. Conduit has the benefit of looking very professional and is a nicer job when done.

Cheers
Mac.

Teenage_Machinist
05-10-2009, 04:00 PM
Welcome. You can find almost anything if you search.

chip's
05-10-2009, 05:30 PM
Welcome, there are a lot of good folks and information here. If you want to build a converter do a search. If you don't feel good about doing this buying one is probably best. If you have questions just ask. PEOPLE HERE ARE GLAD TO HELP.