Ok, I need some advise. I have a Blount wood lathe, cir 1929. It's in preetty rough shape, but that's not a problem for me. I can get it working like new in about 6 months, I'm a machinist too. I've restored several old machines but this one has me questioning my morals. The Lathe is huge, and has a cross slide saddle that acts kind of like a metal lathe. I think it is a pattern lathe. The tail stock can be rotated, it is marked in degrees! I think this is for turning perfect tapers.
Here is my moral delema; The motor is integral to the head stock. It is a 3 phase, 8 speed, 5 horse monster. The switching box alone is a work of art, there must be at least 60 connections. The problem is that where I live there is no 3 phase power. A phase converter for this motor will still require me to upgrade my electric service. The phase converter will cost about 3 grand! I cannot spend all that money, but I really want to use THIS lathe, I have fallen in love with it. My plan is to gut the motor keeping only the shell and the central shaft. I'll machine a pulley and press it onto the shaft. Then I'll cut a hole in the bottom of the motor and install a variable speed DC motor below the original motor and belt the power to the original motor shaft. From the outside nothing will be visible without really close inspection, I'll even use the original speed selector switch to run the new motor.
Is this blasphemy? Is it wrong to so radically change this machine just so I can use it? Will the gods of machine tools strike me down? Or will they smile upon me for saving and using one of their lost children? Every other tool I have restored has been faithful to the original. If original parts weren't available used or new, I have machined new parts so well that you can't tell I did it.
I live in Half Moon Bay, CA and anyone is welcome to come and see this baby!