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A new toy is coming (VFD)

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  • A new toy is coming (VFD)

    I finally made a decision about powering my ol' Ohio mill. I phoned the RPC dealer in Edmonton yesterday. Told him what I wanted etc. He asked me why I didn't want to use a VFD. Well...I had no idea why
    He told me all the benefits etc. Told me that Grainger was one of their best customers up there. I guess anytime they have to install a smaller 3 ph machine in a single phase shop they just buy a VFD.
    Hope I didn't make a mistake here....guess we'll see!
    Russ
    I have tools I don't even know I own...

  • #2
    you will find it has its advantages , especially if you wade through the instructions and use some of the many features.
    you can also use the auxilliary control stripfor remote controls .

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    • #3
      Keep us posted on the outcome. Thanks to the responses on my mill restoration I'm now back to waffling over RPC vs VFD. Darin may have me a line on a shaper so I still may have to go RPC. We use VFD's at work for reactor agitator speed control and really like the benefits. Ahh, decisions, decisions....

      Cadwiz

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      • #4
        Thistle's got it... I found the remote controls to be the biggest selling point... it did take a bunch of digging through the manual, some head scratching and a re-adjustment of my foil hat before I got it right, but it was well worth the effort in my opinion. I'm using it to run a 1980's era J-head and I hardly ever move the belts.... Just tap the "slower" or "faster" buttons.

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        • #5
          Sounds good guys! I like the soft start...slow decel options and the auto braking is a big plus. I forgot about the remote options. He did mention it. I was just all tickled about the lil' keypad that you can mount on the machine.
          It should be here this afternoon if the horse doesn't break his leg on the icy roads. Then in 6 months I should have it hooked up...lol!
          Russ
          I have tools I don't even know I own...

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Magee
            Thistle's got it... I found the remote controls to be the biggest selling point... it did take a bunch of digging through the manual, some head scratching and a re-adjustment of my foil hat before I got it right, but it was well worth the effort in my opinion. I'm using it to run a 1980's era J-head and I hardly ever move the belts.... Just tap the "slower" or "faster" buttons.
            I'll join in and say I'm a recent convert also. Put a Hitachi on my Birmingham 12x36 lathe wanting the variable speed capability and got even more...the thing is soo smoooth,--- power out the gazoo, ---lot cleaner cuts, lost most of that laddering/moire effect, and of course that wonderful ability to change speeds with a little knob, ---I'm really pleased with it.

            >"did take a bunch of digging through the manual, some head scratching and a re-adjustment of my foil hat before I got it right"<

            Hah, yeah, the manuals can be a bit much --- mine looks like a Sears catalog!

            Am looking at one of ENCO's "Bridgeport clones" with 3ph and will definately use another VFD
            If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something........

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            • #7
              I think it would probably be a good idea to disable the stock switch on whatever machine you'll be running... VFD's don't like discharging rapidly (from what I've heard). ie: powering up the VFD with the machine switch off, then throwing the switch on = bad things. Again, this is just what I've heard. I didn't care to experiment.

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              • #8
                You won't be sorry Russ,with all of the features that a VFD has you'll be wondering why you didn't buy more for some of the other equipment in the shop.It's definitely the easiest and smoothest way to run a 3ph motor.I'm sure that you have already researched all of the features so I won't go into that,but I just wanted to say you didn't make a mistake going the VFD route,once you use one you'll wonder why most equipment doesn't come that way.
                Don't forget to wire up a big red emergency stop button as well,ya won't need it often but it sure is handy when ya do.
                Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
                Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

                Location: British Columbia

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                • #9
                  on my shaper , i have it set to accelerate slowly , if i have left the clutch in i can move to stop,or knock out the clutch.

                  also control of the motor can be done with the aux. strip and NO NC switches , as opposed to contactors .

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                  • #10
                    I am building a drill press out of odds an ends, i have as you said put a big red e stop near where my foot is. normally when stuff goes wrong on a drill you cant let go to get at the stop.
                    a foot, knee , or hip operated off button is a good idea

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                    • #11
                      Just about guaranteed you'll like it. As others have said, the documentation may be Obscure. The manual I got with mine certainly was, but with enough pondering I was able to find all the information I needed to set it up and install remote buttons. It was all there, just not presented well.
                      ----------
                      Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
                      Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
                      Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
                      There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
                      Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
                      Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie

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                      • #12
                        I started with a RPC in my shop and another member that I lives in the same town explained what a VFD will do. I have not added them to my Mill, Lathe and bandsaw. I must say pound for pound it was the best thing since slice bread, maybe it is even better than slice bread. I would not think of using one without adding the switches and pot to make it convient at the machine front. Now I just turn the little knob and away I go. No more changing belts unless I need to go to backgear. This is also the case on the lathe. The bandsaw now slow down for steel and speeds up for aluminum with just a twist of the knob. I liked them so much I bought 6 2HP units on Ebay and have plenty to spare.

                        I'm betting you couldn't be happier once it is hooked up.

                        Jeff

                        Here are three pictures. I used the forward/reverse switch on the lathe and the on/off switch on the bandsaw. On the mill I added a new box so I didn't need to reach the top mounted switch.





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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Magee
                          I think it would probably be a good idea to disable the stock switch on whatever machine you'll be running... VFD's don't like discharging rapidly (from what I've heard). ie: powering up the VFD with the machine switch off, then throwing the switch on = bad things. Again, this is just what I've heard. I didn't care to experiment.
                          I didn't know this was dangerous, but I've tried this experiment. I have a VFD on my Bridgeport. Using the switch can work, but a lot of the time, the controller shuts down with an over-current fault. I can reset the fault and continue with everything fine, but normally, I just leave the switch on and let the VFD be the on/off, speed, and direction control.

                          I've read the manual on the VFD. It's got any number of safety features built in so it "plays nice" with the local wiring and my machine. I like the soft start and the decel features - it's easy on the machine. I don't use the machine's original switch anymore, though - the VFD is more convenient.

                          FWIW, the largest VFDs I've seen that turn single-phase into 3-phase are 3HP. Anything 3HP and below that needs to use single-phase power is best run with a (quiet, safe, versitile) VFD. IMHO. Above 3HP, you can still use a VFD, but you have to jump through hoops.

                          -Mark
                          The curse of having precise measuring tools is being able to actually see how imperfect everything is.

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                          • #14
                            My J head BP (with shaper head too) and shaper are run off of the same VFD. Just used twist-lock plugs and can then swap it around. Plus a VFD is alot smaller than a RPC. I've got so little room in my shop / garage that I've got 3 cars double stacked. I haven't seen the floor in years.
                            Tom

                            Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it!

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                            • #15
                              I took the same route and got a VFD for my 3HP mill. http://www.yucholian.com/metalwk/metalwk.htm

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