Reeves drives - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 11-05-2019, 12:51 AM Thread Starter
Bruce Jennings
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Reeves drives

Evening all....quick question. Are working Reeves drives for any particular brand of lathe really that scarce? I have the opportunity to by a Powermatic 45 for $150 in really great condition except that the drive is toast. I've set up other (older wood lathes) with externally mounted motors and VFD's and they work fine...I was just curious.

Thanks for looking.
Bruce J (New Mexico)
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post #2 of 4 Old 11-05-2019, 03:54 PM
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What happens to Reeves drives most of the time is the bushing in the expandable pulley wears out, I had that happen on a PM 87. Powermatic was of very little help, and I have machine tools so I just turned one. It is real hard to lube the bushings is the reason they wear out in my opinion

If you have a source for 3 phase motors a VFD would probably be cheaper if you can't make your own parts

Make friends with an commercial HVAC/R company, and you can get 3 ph motors out of old equipment they have changed out for little or no cost

One thing to be aware of is if you are going to really use the machine a lot or hard, try to find a motor with Type F insulation in it. It doesn't have to be Type F but it does last longer if it is. That being said I have a VFD on my Bridgeport mill and it has been running for about 14 years

There is no app for experience
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post #3 of 4 Old 11-06-2019, 03:55 AM
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Yes, it is common for Reeves drives to be noisy, and the reason for that noise is the wear that loose the clearance between sliding half of the motor pulley and motor shaft. The key way slot will start to widen because of the peeing action of the vibration and finally because the pulleys are made of die-cast, they will begin to warp due to the vibration and torque loading.
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post #4 of 4 Old 11-07-2019, 12:57 PM
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The basic principle of a Reeves drive is flawed along with similar drives used on farm and industrial equipment, as it is the weak link you are not likely to find a working replacement.

Since you have been down the VFD road before you may as well use your experience and convert this lathe as well.

Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something -Plato

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