I bought my mini Jet a few months back. It was my first experience with a lathe. I knew stopping to change belts would be an annoyance, but it's not as bad as I expected, now that I only have to lift the lever, flip the doors open, move the belt and reverse the process.
That said, I just picked up a Rockwell Delta 46-450 with a Reeve's drive, like you described. Though I tore it apart to restore it (bearings, rust removal and paint), the drive is working and I think it will spoil me, as long as I keep in oiled.
Everywhere I look, people seem happy with their drives, but it depends on the machine. It's indicated some of the drives are more poorly made and can be problematic. Then there are the electronic versions that can have their issues too.
I just pulled the 120/240 VAC motor off my four wheel grinder and installed a 3/4 horse DC servo motor, which came with a connected, but separate controller.
With the DC beast installed, I can reverse direction, if I wanted to hone, and I can run it from zero to about twenty-five hundred RPM's.
The motor works so well I might consider a more powerful one for my lathe, if the Reeves drive comes to annoy me too much.
3/4 horse variable speed, reversible DC motors can be had, new, with controller, for one fifty or less.
Originally Posted by Cherryville Chuck View Post
Kelly I've got a Delta with a variable speed pulley which is two halves that move apart or closer together changing the diameter where the belt rides. I've never been particularly fond of the system. Other than the the time to change belt position how do you like the fixed pulley system?