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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there fraternity.
Anyone who read my last post on how not to turn a bowl will realise my limitations and determination to carry on regardless of my self-inflicted injuries.

Now as you know when I found out I was utilising the wrong chisel I purchased a stonking big chisel that I naively thought would solve all my problems and in course make me a fabulous turner. Neither materialized.

Leaving aside my abilities I decided to go bigger on the bowl and attached a big blank and got out my new stonking big chisel and away I went.

Now much earlier when I convinced my wife I needed a wood lathe I decided this new addition would be a workshop tool to assist me and not a vocation of turning out multiple bowls and foisting them on unsuspecting relatives and friends.

So with this in mind I purchased the Record entry level DLM 24. Cheap but not so cheerful. Like me it certainly had its limitations. Poor construction, cheap and nasty.

But didn’t mind as at the time I did not consider it an essential tool, until now when my 1/4 hp motor told me it could only turn a bowl of 2inch dia. I decided to upgrade and purchased the pulley upgrade and all that did was give me more combinations of speed that I could stop with my hands.

So off to U Tube and found out many people had upgraded the motor. I checked mine and it came in at 0.25KW and pathetic, so bought a 1.5KW 3hp 415v 3ph motor. The kind that Tim Allen from Tool Time would buy regardless of the consequences in terms of technical, physical and Mental

So it’s three weeks of my life I will never get back. The challenges were almost insurmountable and I was beaten so many times I almost gave up.

Many many times I stopped and went inside and had a cup of tea just to compose myself for another go. And I had to admit there was no pleasure in the process, only relief at finally getting there. Each time I conquered a problem another rose to beat me back down.

Now the main reason for embarking on this exercise was to replace the motor, but while researching the work I found out many lathe users were installing a potentiometer, which allows the lathe to have variable speed rather than changing pulley belts.

So decided on that route. Bought myself a second-hand Frequency Drive Inverter. And a remote pendant and proceeded to further send my life into a downward spiral.

Now I am a lecturer in construction and as such have to teach a fair amount of associated electrical input, but this aspect of the build placed the motor build into a pleasure compared to this process.

What didn’t help was the wiring instructions for the pendant were wrong, so was pulling my hair out at my attempts to get it running. A very good guy on E Bay sent me the correct configuration and that helped no end.

Lastly, I managed to get the manual for the inverter which had me looking for a suitable overhead beam in my workshop to throw a rope over. Fortunately, or unfortunately I have a very low ceiling and my feet were still on the ground. Couldn’t even get that right.

Now the manual requires you to input 79 parameters in order to get the inverter to control the motor and I eventually gave up and contacted the manufacturer who could not explain it to me over the phone.

Luckily the same guy who helped me with the potentiometer e mailed me with a full set of instructions a plumber can interpret.

You will notice that the rails are fitted into the end of my bench, this was to shorten the length without cutting the rails and allow me out of the corner.

So, it’s up and running and to those interested here are the costs

Motor (Tec). £127
Conduit (Screwfix ) £25
Isolator (Screwfix ). £15
Inverter (E-Bay). £65) (new cost £465)
Pendant (E-Bay). £65)
Labour. (Still can’t talk about it, too painful)

I know many of you will be thinking cheaper to buy a new lathe, but the initial object was to fit a larger motor, and the legs and arms just grew as I progressed, maybe much later when my feeble mind dulls I will enjoy my endeavors



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7,196 Posts
Should have just made one from scratch. Would have been faster, easier, and cheaper, plus you could have made it to take any size bowls you wanted.

Much easier, and less expensive, with my lathe. Inexpensive, but solid and worked well. But found out the only thing I actually liked making were carving mallets. So after I made enough of those to last the next two lifetimes, sold it, and been happy ever since.
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· Registered
22,912 Posts
Turning turned torturous! I bet you had much more fun writing this than doing it. Wood turning holds no charms for me. Looks messy and I don't much like wooden bowls, which are only usable for holding corn or potato chips, or for the collection of atmospheric dust. One thing I do enjoy about turning is watching it being done by an expert on YouTube.

Amusing and informative as always Colin. One question arises, however, do UK plumbers wear too-short T shirts, as do many of their fellows across the pond?
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