use of speed limiters on lathes

In my continuing search for a lathe I talked to a friend that does wood working about my search.
He suggested I look into what he called a speed limiter for the motor as a way of getting the speed down on some lathes that look nice but have just too fast a minimum speed for unballanced objects.
Anyone have experience with these?
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On Wed, 14 Jan 2004 04:47:55 GMT, william kossack

I wouldn't do this, I'd just choose a different lathe.
You need the variable speed, sure enough. It's nice to start slow and work up, especially if you're starting with big unbalanced chunks of timber and then working down to narrow spindles. Bowl turning obviously needs slower speeds, but you can manage to swap belts for a session of bowl-work without too much trouble. It is nice though to have dial-selectable variable speed without needing to stop the lathe, even for working bowls (especially sinking a deep one).
I don't think an electronic speed control is the right choice here. A VFD drive (usually used to drive 3-phase motors) would be great, but they're expensive. Maybe if you're already trying to run a 3phase motor on a single phase supply.
The simple and cheap electronic speed control (like a beefed-up light dimmer) only works for universal (brushed) motors, not induction motors. I wouldn't want to use a brushed motor to drive a lathe.
The lathe I use is a cheap entry-level hobbyist lathe. Even that though has a mechanical variable speed drive - they're pretty common these days.
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The problem is that the lathes with slow enough turn rates that I've found run in the $2,000 range. 500 rpm is just too fast to start out with and that is what the $500-$1000 lathes run.
Andy Dingley wrote:

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