Is it my lathe, the electrics, or both? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 02-12-2012, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
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Is it my lathe, the electrics, or both?

Hi all,

I recently purchased a new lathe,the harbor freight 34706 clone of the jet 1236. I read a bunch of reviews beforehand, and understood that I would be getting a good lathe for the price ($200) but with a potentially underpowered motor which can get bogged down on larger bowls.

I”ve been very pleased with the purchase, but have a question:

The motor seems to get bogged down easier than I’ve read should be the case. First, on a maple platter 10” x 2.5” deep, I could take only very light cuts, and it would still slow the motor. Next, on an 8” x 5” deep pine bowl, which is actually very lightweight, I’m getting slowdown as well. On a few occasions, on a longer cut, the lathe slowed down then the circuit breaker to my garage tripped. Notably, that has also happened with my bandsaw.

Now, I’m sure there’s a problem with the Electrics in my garage,and have scheduled an electrician to come out. But, do you think that fixing that may also improve the lathe’s “oomph”? Or is that likely a different issue?

I”m also having problems with the reeves drive slipping at higher speeds, even after changing the belt for a napa replacement, but I think that’s down to the cold weather more than anything else…

Thanks for your suggestions,

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post #2 of 5 Old 02-12-2012, 11:12 AM
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I'm guessing it's both as you probably already know. Which one is more of the problem is a toss up but I would lean more towards overloaded wiring since the band saw has the same problem.
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post #3 of 5 Old 02-12-2012, 11:57 AM
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Get some belt dressing to improve the grip on the pulleys if retensioning has little effect. Are you running the lathe on the low speed pulleys when turning the bowls and platters?
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post #4 of 5 Old 02-12-2012, 12:16 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies, I'm also thinking it's both issues.

I know the lathe will never be a powermatic or such, but is it possible that fixing the electrics might improve the slowing down?

Gary: I've tried it at all speed settings, and the problem is definitely worse at higher speeds, but still more than I'd expect at the lower speeds.

How do I retension a reeves drive? When I changed the belt, I didn't see any way to change the distance between the pulleys. The only adjustable part that I could see was the lower pulley which widens/narrows to change the speed.

Thanks again,

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post #5 of 5 Old 02-12-2012, 12:48 PM
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If the bandsaw is able to trip the breaker, then the bigger problem is your garage wiring. The wires running to the garage might be undersized, or you may be trying to run a tool on a circuit that is already running other things and you are overloading it. If you've got a multimeter then you can check your outlets to see what voltage is actually being supplied, or you can wait for the electrician. And when he checks it out - make sure you get a clear explanation of what is going on - he should be able to diagnose the problem and provide the most cost effective solution. Don't just let him slap a bigger circuit breaker in the box and call it fixed.

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