PennSt:Variable Speed Midi Lathe Conversion Kit: for Turncrafter , Jet & Delta Lathes

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  • PennSt:Variable Speed Midi Lathe Conversion Kit: for Turncrafter , Jet & Delta Lathes

    I bought this unit to turn my Turncrafter lathe into a variable speed lathe.

    In the kit, you get the new brush motor, speed controller, and associated hardware to make the conversion.

    I bought this unit in Dec 2011. It worked like a dream for 6 mos. Had good linear speed control. Then, during a project I was turning for my sister's birthday this weekend, the unit died.

    The controller has failed. This was just with occasional use. The motor brushes are fine, the fuse is fine, reset switch is fine etc. I design custom controls for a living, so I knew my way around this controller. The warranty was 30 days. I'm out $100.

    I hate to disparage any tool or company because no company nor product is perfect, but I'd feel bad if anyone here bought this kit and experienced the same thing I did.

    I put the original single speed induction motor back in the lathe to finish the project. I don't care for moving the belt from pulled to pulley, so I believe I'll pick up a name brand variable speed lathe down the road.

    This isn't the first time I've had an issue with a PennState product. I believe I may shop elsewhere from now on.

    • LCHIEN
      LCHIEN commented
      Editing a comment
      I don't believe there's anything special about that speed controller. Looks like the kit comes with an ordinary universal motor (one with brushes) that runs on 0-110V AC or DC. I think this is it?

      I would think it the speed controller broke, you could very successfully replace it with any of those off-the-shelf router speed controls.

      either of these (15- and 20-amp models) would work considering Penn State says the motor is a 1/2 HP motor (about 3.5 Amps max):

      Just add an AC plug to the leads from the motor and plug into the controller.

      P.S. one of the reviewers on the Penn state web site said that he has several of those and dust in the power switch is a recurring problem, apparently the switch is not sealed. Try blowing out the switch with compressed air or if you know your way around electronics, bypass the switch. Or use an ohm-meter to check the switch.

      your profile says you do custom controls but I'm not really sure exactly what that means. could be electronic controls but it might not have anything to do with electronics.
      Last edited by LCHIEN; 06-19-2012, 11:46 PM.

    • Denco
      Denco commented
      Editing a comment
      I design custom electrical control panels and have a degree in engineering electronics. The unit had no dust, I'd kept up on that and kept it protected. The switch was fine, I tested it.

      Yes, I can replace the controller, but my point for others was to beware of this unit in that it's weak.

    • leehljp
      leehljp commented
      Editing a comment
      On the pen forum, quite a few people, including me, have had problems with this unit. The problem for every single one, including me was the switch. It seemed like the controller itself. This is the first one that I noticed of the controller itself dying.

      What was really weak to me was the motor itself. Itb does fine for pens but when I put a 12 inch bowl blank on mine, it did not have the power to work it except for tender touch-n-go type of cutting.
      Last edited by leehljp; 06-20-2012, 11:47 AM.
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