I am considering bidding on this planer:
I have just sent Oliver Machinery an inquiry as to whether the 3 phase
motors can be replaced with single phase and, if so, what their
recommendations would be for replacements. I will only consider
bidding on this planer if the motor(s) can be replaced. I would like
to think I may be able to acquire this planer for less than $500,
considering past histories of bidding on this site.
I am not knowledgeable for doing this replacement work, myself. Can
anyone give me some idea of how long it should take for a competent
person to replace the motors on this planer?
Though I've inquired of Oliver, does anyone know if the 3 phase
motor(s) can be replaced with single phase and the planer still
In the past, it has been suggested I get/use a converter (or converter
system?) for 3 phase machinery. I don't know enough about all that,
to know what I am supposed to be getting and how to employ/install
it. I'd have to hire someone to do that, for me, and that may be a
greater expense than replacing the motor(s)... I simply don't know.
If simply replacing the motors can be done, I'd much prefer to have
that done, if costs are reasonable. I guess what I'm driving at is:
Is it easier/cheaper to replace the motor(s), if this can be done, as
opposed to using/installing a converter/converter system?
Sometimes I feel I'm beating this subject in the ground. I'm
researching as much as possible, in order to find and get the best
deal for the best tool. This planer looks really good, it may be very
affordable, it's easily accessible and I really do need a planer.
Way cheaper to buy an MG set or VFD. Leave the planar alone and create
your own 3phase. Thems 9.5 ponies there, lots of power.
I haven't seen a 1ph in 3ph out vfd for anything bigger than 5 hp,
didn't have time to research it, but even if there is one you would
be looking at $1500 or so.
cheapest way might be to jump the third leg with capacitors and not
expect more than about 6hp of output, it becomes its own rotary
dang, I didn't intend to get in on an electrical thread.
A single phase motor is surely available. Very easy to replace likely
3 bolts. There are standard nominclature for motor sizes and types
that define the attachment bracket so you just get the number and buy
a matching number in single phase. 3 phase is same power, just more
economical to operate.
A converter might be cheaper and is an easy concept. You need to make
sure it has the same or more hp capacity. Yes, you can build one but
if you are not an electrician you can buy one. Ebay has converters and
kits. A converter is just an electric motor that someohow has some
electronics added to it to make it convert the juice. For me, I just
bought one of the right size from craigs list. It is just a small box
with a cord to plug it into a 220 outlet and a plug where I plug in my
You can run multiple 3ph machines atthe same time, you just can't
start them at the same time.
Bottom line, 10 hp single phase lists for $1223 and will require almost
40A service (and these really are short of full 10 hp).
If you have any intention at all of this type of gear it's your only
logical choice other than getting shop space somewhere that does have
3-phase power available.
It's not rocket science, go to one of the converter manufacturer's web
sites and start reading. In general altho it sounds harsh I'd say if
you don't know enough mechanics/electrical to be able to install such
equipment you're probably better off to stay away from it and simply buy
a consumer-intended piece of gear from Griz or one of the other imports.
It's not rocket science, go to one of the converter manufacturer's
Not harsh at all. Considering my lack of knowledge, with the
electrical aspect, at least, that is exactly what I wanted to
hear....tell it as it is.
I had supposed this planer was too much to tackle. I needed more/
better knowledge than I was finding by Google searching.
Hey, if you are looking for a large planer they are surely out there
and actually not that hot of an item in most auctions so you can get
good prices. So keep watching. I like to watch these guys
. Like the gov auct guys you were looking at these guys have some fake
name to make it sound like they have som affiliation with the
government. Kind of sleeze and an insult that they think they are
Can also look at exfactory.com but not such a bargin basement as
Also, if you can buy a converter then you can get a lot better deals
because most home shop guys are out of competition once you have 3
phase and most big 3 phase shops don't really look for used stuff. At
least those still in business.
These guys have a decent amount of information...
Not necessarily recommending them over any of the others; simply that
the site is informative and gives idea of sizes needed that can look at
your proposed gear and see what you might be talking about.
One thing to note is that a planer will probably be considered a "hard
start" load which will bump up the size of the converter and that 10 hp
is pretty beefy to begin with for home shop use (not that wouldn't love
to have such a beastie here meself...).
Remember you'll need a minimum of 2X the three-phase running phase
current as the single-phase current ssupply line...I didn't actually
look it up but I'm guessing that would be between 80 A minimum to
perhaps as much as 125 A; you'll have to run that circuit to the
converter. That's for the extra demand of the starting current that
will have to have the breaker sized to handle. And, of course, when the
breaker is that big, the wiring associated w/ it has to be as well. The
point is, you're not going to just run this puppy off a 20 or even 30A
240V circuit you happen to have in the garage.
Nor are you going to do that even if you could somehow retrofit some
single-phase motors into it at lesser horsepower which is probably no
mean feat as it's likely the motor is similar to that for commercial
cabinet saws; built to fit a specific casting mounting, not a universal
mount. (That's why I said I could pretty reliably tell you what Oliver
is going to say about fitting a single-phase motor... :) assuming they
even bother to respond.)
Anyway, it's all doable but I think when you're done you're not going to
have saved a tremendous amount of money over buying a single-phase
planer of similar overall capacity, just somewhat less capable in speed
and heft, etc. Only if you are in a production shop environment where
are going to really put a _lot_ of material through it will it be worth
the effort. And, of course, if you're going to be doing that, what are
you doing for effective chip collection and disposal for that size of
planer? That's going to be a 3+hp unit at a bare minimum...and, btw,
you better check but it may not be possible to even run this puppy w/o
chip collection 'cuz it may not have sufficient clearance w/o the
assistance through the hood just into open air...and I'm sure it's a
minimum 5" and probably 6" port.
As an example, we only had a single Powermatic 180 18" plane in the shop
and ran 40,000 bd-ft thru that shop annually for a several years making
decoupage plaques and the high platform shoes blanks when was doing that
lo! so many years ago before we eventually upgraded to something roughly
this size...that generated far more traffic in material in/out than any
residential zoning would allow.
I don't know from circuits but I bought a packaged 3hp phase converter
and it has been starting my 2hp powermatic TS and shaper and 3 hp edge
sander with never a single pop of my home breaker. I just added a
second 220 plug off of the one that came with my house for my clothes
dryer and I have even run my equipment at the same time as the dryer
lots of times.
Is this a rotary converter you have? I'm wrestling with a motor
replacement/converter issue myself at the moment. I'm looking at either
getting a heavy duty (1 3/8" shaft) 5 HP 3 phase up and running on my
new-to-me 36" bandsaw or replacing it with a single phase. I wouldn't rule
out getting other big commercial iron--when I can steal it and have a use
for it--so I'm thinking that a rotary converter makes sense. It's the
running off my home electric service that has me concerned...
Yes, rotary converter. I have this exact unit from Anderson Converters
It is $350 new. I found it on Craigs for $100, nearly brand new and
with 12 feet of heavy duty cable for the plug-in side attached. The
guy who bought it had a CNC and it wasn't quite right for him but has
been flawless for me.
A 24" planer will require a single phase motor that does not exist.
About the only way to realistically attack this problem is to use an
engine-generator set as a source of 3 phase power.
You need 2 engine HP for every electric motor HP so you are going to
need at least a 25HP diesel, engine generator package.
With out an eng-gen set or a utility source of 3 PH power, that
planer won't even make a good paper weight.
I'd start by trying to find a deal on an eng-gen set.
On Fri, 16 Apr 2010 18:21:11 -0700, Lew Hodgett wrote:
If I had this planer...
It looks like a short coupled direct drive which means the motor
armature is pressed on the head shaft.
I would remove the motor, pull the armature, have a 4 groove
pulley made for the shaft, mount two 5hp single phase motors
each with a two groove pulley and belt both to the head shaft.
use one motor to start the head and pull the other in with a timer
after the head is up to speed, that way you only have to
provide inrush for one motor. It is important for both motors
to be identical brand so they will work well together.
In fact this is done on the top head of almost all industrial
planers(both motors direct drive), one of the machines at work
has a 75 hp motor on both ends of the top head shaft and some
machines have as much as 300 combined hp on just the top head.
With care in purchasing parts this could be done for less than
$1300 and planer would have more hp than the factory setup.
Why not keep it 3 phase and put in a rotary or static 1 to 3 phase converter ?
Then the machine isn't a special or odd or underpowered.
Three phase can also be run off an electronic speed system - generating
three phase and the speed control - mostly full blast - but could be
lowered for softer woods or narrow planks.
If you need info on the rotary or static - post a question - easy answer.
That would be a monster single phase motor - and you likely don't have
the single phase power needed. A 10 HP motor or larger to make up the
power loss from three phase to single.
*FIRST* you have to _find_ such motors. NINE-AND-ONE-HALF horsepower single-
phase motors are not common.
*THEN* it has to have the right 'form factor' for mounting.
*Theoretically* there's no reason why not.
_Practically_ there are a bunch of difficulties.
9.5 HP is around 7 kilowatts (theoretical at 100% efficiency), closer
to 10kw at, say 80% efficiency. That's merely 40A. *BEFORE* one
considers the 'inrush' at start-up. scale up by a factor of 5 to 10.
*NOW*, for single-phase, you have to have a capacitor for the motor
to provide the phase-shift for the starting winding -- so that the
motor always runs ins the 'correct' direction.
*DEFINITELY* not 'easier'. PROBABLY _not_ cheaper.
A 'converter' is something that takes single-phase power as input, and
produces 3-phase power on the output.
One way to do this is with a 'motor-generator' set. "any old" single
phase motor, powered by the 'mains', mechanically coupled to a 3-phase
motor (running 'backwards' as a generator) to produce the 3-phase power
to drive the equipment. Since you don't have to worry about matching
the motor mounts to an existing device, you can use -any- cheap motors
that you come across. Can be literally 'cents on the dollar' vs having
to find the specific motor that mates to the mountings on a particular
piece of equipment.
The next alternative is a 'rotary converter' -- a motor and generator
in a single unit.
The third alternative is a 'variable frequency drive'. This is the
priciest choice, but has all sorts of advantages -- "soft start",
automatically gives 'variable speed' to any device it powers,. etc.
The 'bad news' -- the -biggest- units I found in a quick look that ran
off single-phase INPUT power were only rated at around 3hp.
Rotary converters to handle a 10hp motor start at a couple of -thousand-
dollares (new), and go up from there. These are -simple- devices
to install, *assuming* you have the power distribution to the premises
capable of handling it. You'll need a dedicated 50 A (minimum, probably
more like 80A) 240v circuit.
If you've got the capacity on the mains, but nothing 'adequate' out of
the breaker panel, figure a few hundred for the electrician to wiere
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