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Who here uses a Tread Mill motor on their drill press?

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  • Who here uses a Tread Mill motor on their drill press?

    What works, what doesn't? What do you like or dislike? Any issues getting low speeds with enough power, etc?
    "A machinist's (WHAP!) best friend (WHAP! WHAP!) is his hammer. (WHAP!)" - Fred Tanner, foreman, Lunenburg Foundry and Engineering machine shop, circa 1979

  • #2
    I have a bench drill press that Ifitted with a 1/8 hp Bodine motor and DC speed control. The motor and speed control originally powered a peristaltic pump. It works excellent. I can dial the speed down to a crawl which is perfect for counter bores, counter sinks and spot facers for getting smooth cuts without chatter marks. You cannot stall it by holding the chuck with one or both hands,.I can get more speed by turning the speed control knob,shifting the belt or both. The tread mill motor should work as well. You may have to make the motor mount and put the speed control in a electronics project box which is what I did. It will really increase the versatility of your drill press. For the kind of work I do here is nothing I don't like about the conversion, it's all good.

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    • #3
      I have two drill presses , One with a 1 HP DC drive and one with a normal AC motor
      I never use the AC press, The speed control is awesome and is a Boston Gear Ratiotrol
      https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/kAsAA...Eji/s-l300.jpg
      Both Drill Presses have 5 step compound pulleys ( intermediate pulley as well)
      I have tapped to 1/2-13 without a problem. In fact, I never use my tapping head, this is too easy.
      Being able to change speed on the run is just a superb enhancement.
      You have to watch for the DC controller however.
      I started with a cheapy that was given to me and its speed response was terrible and required cooling and eventually burned out.

      Interesting story
      SO I had to get a new DC drive and found the Ratiotrol with instructions , and it covered all kinds of motor driven tools...BUT not Drill Presses !
      So I called the factory and spoke to a engineer/tech person and asked why no Drill Presses and he said.

      Because OSHA ( Gov Safety) does not like them....they are too dangerous.. if the operator gets wrapped up in it -the motor won't stop

      Well I understand the concern , but have always used a foot switch on my drill presses and both have them.
      A foot switch will save your butt every time. So my controller has a toggle switch AND a foot switch ( no variable speed in foot switch, just on/off)

      I remember 50 years ago in a shop where a muscle bound weightlifter machinist we had in our shop got his shirt wrapped up in a drill chuck (big industrial drill)
      He was able to grab the headstock and table and his super strength allowed him to not be pulled in ....but his whole shirt was ripped off his back and spinning in the chuck.
      I didn't see the action, but saw that Bozo walking thru the shop without a shirt on....and I asked the leadman and he said --no brains..but brawn saved his life ..

      Rich

      Edit , I only use two steps in the pulley set up and get from 0 to 150 for tapping and 50-10,000 for general work
      Green Bay, WI

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Rich Carlstedt View Post
        IBecause OSHA ( Gov Safety) does not like them....they are too dangerous.. if the operator gets wrapped up in it -the motor won't stop
        That doesn't quite make any sense?
        DC motors have been in many applications for decades, you can make it as safe as you want/need to!

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        • #5
          I use a drill press motor on my treadmill with excellent results, this of course does not answer your question.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Bented View Post
            I use a drill press motor on my treadmill with excellent results, this of course does not answer your question.
            Isn't that usually the other way around? 😆

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            • #7
              I use treadmill motors on all my machine tools, they work very well. The mill seems to have a big enough step down to not need an intermediate pulley, but both the drill press and lathe have and need an intermediate pulley/ countershaft. I couldn't imagine going back to changing belts to change speed.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by mattthemuppet View Post
                ..................... I couldn't imagine going back to changing belts to change speed.
                Even though you lose power every time you turn that dial to a slower speed?
                CNC machines only go through the motions

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                • #9
                  Every drill press that I have is treadle driven, nothing is safer then this drive configuration.

                  SAFETY FIRST

                  If by shear accident one begins drilling a hole in a finger they will stop pressing the treadle for obvious reasons, I dearly miss the year 1750.

                  Machine shops were much safer.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by J Tiers View Post

                    Even though you lose power every time you turn that dial to a slower speed?

                    This mill does not have enough power at low speeds to tap a 3/4-10 thread in steel, go figure



                    Last edited by Bented; 12-12-2021, 01:56 AM.

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                    • #11
                      I've thought about doing that many times. Then along came pancake motors from washing machines. I managed to salvage a few and wanted to put one on my mill. What stopped me was the fact that the existing motor is very quiet and has never given a hint of trouble. I kind of wanted the (offshore) motor to either die first, or develop some trouble. Neither has happened.

                      At any rate, I would probably re-motor one of the drill presses before doing the mill. My reasoning is simple- I do a lot more work on the drill press than I do on the mill. So- where's a good place to start? I want to use the pancake motor because a direct drive would be easy, and there will probably be enough torque, even at a slow speed, to tap or run a circle cutter. But I think I'll lose top speed, and this would become a permanent limitation. The question for me is, and I suppose it's a guy like me that would solve this, how fast can a washing machine motor turn at full voltage? If I can't get rpm suitable for small drill bits, then I should not do it. A treadmill motor would be a better choice- though it's going to need some torque multiplication in many slower speed applications. So you would be using the existing pulleys, but perhaps you wouldn't be changing the ratios very often because you'd have speed control for the treadmill motor. This could be fairly ideal.

                      I use two drill presses, side by side. I would probably use a treadmill motor on one, and a pancake motor on the other. That would put my belt changes down to almost never, which I'd be happy about. For jobs requiring high torque and slow speeds, I'd use the pancake motor, and for small hole drilling I'd use the treadmill motor. The pancake motor is probably more suitable for direction reversal, so for tapping it could be ideal. I know I'd want a simple for/rev switch that perhaps would attach to one of the downfeed arms by magnet so I could control the action. Maybe there's a better way to do this, I don't know- perhaps use a special tap driver so the drill press spindle doesn't have to move up and down with the tap. Then you just use forward/reverse. That could be a foot switch- I think I might like that.
                      I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by J Tiers View Post

                        Even though you lose power every time you turn that dial to a slower speed?
                        It has enough power to do anything I need it to. The limitation isn't the motor at low motor speeds, it's the belts slipping. On the lowest belt ratio I've step drilled a 1" hole in stainless. On the middle belt ratio I can drill, chamfer and tap up to 3/8-16. That seems like enough power to me for a drill press.

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                        • #13
                          All it takes is power and work holding ability, this drill press will produce 3" holes without a pilot all day long.
                          It would be difficult to install in a home shop however (-:

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by J Tiers View Post

                            Even though you lose power every time you turn that dial to a slower speed?
                            Not quite true, depending on the controller, in the case of the SCR bridge MC-60 version, I have a paper on this where someone did an extensive reverse-engineering, including various 'scope displays at different conditions of loading etc, showing the drive has torque compensation as the load increases.

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                            • #15
                              I have done a retrofit of a treadmill motor onto a 14" Taiwanese drill press. For a few weeks I scrounged a lot of treadmills. Eventually I found one with a motor with a real base which was close enough to a 56 frame to use without modification. I used that for a time with a variac/rectifier and it worked OK but bogged down at slow speed. I could still drill a 1/2" hole, but I'd have to keep easing up on the lever to let the motor speed up some more.

                              Then I read a forum post (https://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/fo...es#post1970284) which described how to identify a treadmill with an analog controller. Basically, you're looking for one with either a dial or a slider which run a pot. The next treadmill I got (these were all free off CL) yielded an MC-60 which is easy to use and so far has worked great.

                              I am never going back.

                              metalmagpie
                              Last edited by metalmagpie; 12-12-2021, 02:42 PM.

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