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That sinking feeling ... Machine Dies !!

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  • That sinking feeling ... Machine Dies !!

    Have you ever been working on a PAYING job, or something special that you need, when suddenly your Lathe/Mill/Grinder dies ????
    Happened to me last night.
    I was turning some parts for a customer. Sweet cash job.
    Halfway thru the job, my lathe dies.
    UH-OH !!!!
    No power. Nothing.
    "Ok, don't panic", I say to myself.
    "Motor? Capacitors? Did I ruin something? Broken belt? Dead switch? What???"
    After sweating it out for about 4 minutes, I had a moment of clarity.
    "Breaker Tripped ??"
    AAHHHHH ..... Thank God. It was only the breaker. WHEW!!!
    How many of you have had the same sinking feeling? It's not fun.

    This made me think.....
    How much wear & tear does a lathe motor withstand by constantly turning on & off throughout the day?

  • #2
    If the lathe busts, no problem, I put it on the 4 axis CNC.
    Machine failures on my end don't bother me much because it probably would have eventually happened anyway, and will just cause a delay in the work.
    On the other hand, I am terrified of messing up somebody else's part.


    • #3
      ^ Thats what scares me sometimes. Getting someones brand new $3000.00 part and cutting it up for extra fabrication work, or port work, etc.


      • #4
        Real machine shops keep new machinery for a reason. Even thou purchasing new machinery sometimes bankrupts them.

        I still remember the time the drives on my cnc mill died while I was "promised" to complete a paying project. The customer was hollering at me that he didn't care if my big drill press was broke.

        I am not a people person who can kiss butt and lie that needs to be done to morons-customers to make them happy. Personal politics.

        A "Worklight" wired into the machine.. okay.. is the light on? if so, the power is "mostly on".. Is there a big red button on the back of the motor? it is a thermal overload that kicks out when overheated.. does the machine make any "smells or smoke" (bad sign) ... diagnostics..
        Excuse me, I farted.


        • #5
          Motor Wear???

          AC induction motors don't have much "wear". Eventually you might have to change a bearing and on a single phase motor you might have to mess with the starting contacts. I have worked with many single phase AC motors over the years and the worst I have had to do was blow the fine wood dust out of when to get the starter circuit working. If you are seriously overloading a motor, or the starter circuit is sticking you will first get a bit of warning - they start to smell hot. That is a warning that you should be looking at the problem and getting it fixed. Otherwise, unless a motor is making some different noise it is still happy.

          Universal AC motors - like in most hand held AC tools will have brush wear and commutator wear just like a permanent magnet DC Motor.

          Permanent magnet DC motors are a different story - you will have some brush wear, and if you are overloading it you will have some commutator wear. DC motors really don't like to be abused.