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Rikon wood lathe doesn’t work in the cold

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  • Rikon wood lathe doesn’t work in the cold

    Hi

    I have a rikon mini wood lathe (12x14, model 70-050vs) with an interesting problem.
    It doesn’t run at low temperature

    I had the lathe in my garage ysterday, it was probably in the low 30s (F) and the motor would not run. I brought the machine into the basement and let it warm up to the 60s. Then it works fine.
    Things turnfreely by hand

    Anyone have any thoughts?

    Thanks
    Frank

  • #2
    Oil guns up in the cold?
    Helder Ferreira
    Setubal, Portugal

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    • #3
      My thought as well, oil gums up or tolerances change just enough that it won't work.

      Build a carry box for it, like the old portable sewing machines, (base and lift off top w/4 sides) bore a two inch hole near the bottom and stick a hair dryer on low in it a short while before you want to use it.

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      • #4
        Oil does indeed get thicker in cold temperatures, but it's difficult to believe that with the light oils typically used in electric motors that would be a problem. Fits will change with temperature, but again it's an electric motor - and the fits are not usually precise enough to seize with a drop of a few degrees.

        Are you sure it was getting power? My garage has GFI outlets, and there is no huge red flag to let you know that they have tripped.

        We all sometimes ignore the obvious...

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        • #5
          Originally posted by JohnMartin View Post
          Oil does indeed get thicker in cold temperatures, but it's difficult to believe that with the light oils typically used in electric motors that would be a problem. Fits will change with temperature, but again it's an electric motor - and the fits are not usually precise enough to seize with a drop of a few degrees.

          Are you sure it was getting power? My garage has GFI outlets, and there is no huge red flag to let you know that they have tripped.

          We all sometimes ignore the obvious...
          It isn't the motor oil that gives the problem. The spindle probably has bearings with grease and that does get stiff with cold.

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          • #6
            That model is similar to mine, so it probably is belt drive. A near frozen belt can be stiff, right?


            Dan
            At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and extra parts.

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            • #7
              Do you hear the motor hum or otherwise attempt to move or is it totally nothing happening when you turn it on? If not the former, perhaps something mechanical made of metal in the electrical circuit is contracting enough with the cold to create an open circuit.

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              • #8
                What does the motor do when attempting a start when cold, does it hum, will it start if assisted by hand, will it start with the belt disconnected?
                Hard to imagine that a 30° difference is all it takes. Is this a new problem?
                Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
                Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

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                • #9
                  Electrolitic capacitors freeze and their value goes way down.

                  Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk

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                  • #10
                    I'm with John, I doubt it's the bearings getting too stiff. The capacitors getting too cold to provide the statement jolt, that's where my money is. Most electric motors have problems starting in the cold. When that happens, and if there's a safe way of doing so, you can give the motor a spin by hand and get it to start

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                    • #11
                      If it's variable speed, does it have a VFD. I have a VFD on one of my lathes and it won't power up if it gets to cold, it just gives a garbled message on the display, not even a recognisable error message.

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                      • #12
                        Hi folks

                        Thanks for all the thoughts
                        Unfortunately, I have counter arguments for all of them :-(
                        When the lathe is cold, the mechanism all moves quite freely and easily by hand, so it doesn’t seem like anything is gummed up or stiff from the cold. Giving it a manual turn to start it doesn’t start it. There’s no hum, vibration, or any sound at all. Of course, none of that is scientific ...

                        And yes, it was plugged in and the plug I live ;-)

                        Again, thanks for the input - if I figure it out I’ll let you all know.

                        Frank

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                        • #13
                          ... There’s no hum, vibration, or any sound at all. Of course, none of that is scientific ...

                          And yes, it was plugged in and the plug I live ;-) ...
                          Did you try bypassing the power switch?
                          Location: Long Island, N.Y.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by RichR View Post
                            Did you try bypassing the power switch?
                            Haven’t taken anything apart, poked it with a meter, etc, yet. That will be my next step.
                            I figured I’d first look to the accumulated wisdom.
                            (I also have a note to rikon’s customer service ... just to see if they know anything)

                            Thanks
                            Frank

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                            • #15
                              Strange - might even be some kind of disconnect in the windings themselves due to expansion and contraction, esp. if your not hearing any kind of hum,

                              try a couple of high frequency "raps" with a screwdriver handle on the motor casing when it's on but not firing up, you also might try heating it up with a heat gun when on and not firing up and be there at the exact moment to see if you can hear or see an arc somewhere, does it have a centrifugal start ring out of adjustment? don't know just thinking out-loud here

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