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Wattsy 02-04-2011 02:47 PM

3 Phase Lathe
Anyone still have use for this type of ancient thing? It's a Sheldon gotta be from the 60's/70's, pretty decent size lathe. But it's sitting in a garage that's only capable of 220v power. We can't even test to see if it runs without pulling the whole thing apart, taking the motor somewhere with 3 phase and running it. My father and myself don't know a lot about the mechanics of it, just want to sell this thing and have more space for a parts car we're about to put in the garage.

OneMoreTime 02-04-2011 03:32 PM

Please list it in the classifieds section..forums are for how to do it or make it work..sales go in classifieds..


Mike H 02-04-2011 04:09 PM

You can run it off of single phase with a three phase motor as an idler/generator for the third leg. I have had my Bridgeport running this way since I bought it almost three years ago.

Wire up the idler legs to the single phase and two legs of the lathe motor with the third leg of the idler to the third leg of the lathe. You have to pull start the idler when putting power to it, once it is running you have the third phase and your lathe will run fine.

oldred 02-04-2011 04:09 PM

That's like asking if someone still has a use for ancient 60s Corvette! :eek:

Heck yeah I would love to take a look at thing if you were closer, run an ad in CraigsList and DON"T JUST GIVE IT AWAY! A Sheldon in decent shape could bring a nice piece of change right now and are quite desirable so do a bit of research before pricing it.

BTW, the three phase power is not a problem at all and a lot of us use three phase lathes/mills on single phase power, it's done all the time with a common phase converter. I am powering a 14"x40" engine lathe right now with a static phase converter (about $160-$180 new) and it runs just fine with it.

Wattsy 02-04-2011 05:06 PM

I really don't know how to move this thread but I'm not taking bids on it here! Sorry for the false post. It would be pretty cool to make it run though as it's been sitting in the garage for 5 years making more of a shelf than a lathe. Thanks for the input on how to run this too by the way. It looks like the previous owner was going to attempt to put in a 110/220v motor to replace the 3 phase, it took me about 30 seconds to realize the shafts wern't right.. (some people!) Once it gets a little warmer out maybe we'll give it another shot trying to run it!

Kind of sad but I know I went through this before with my uncle whos actually an electrician with his own company, who couldn't give me this information! Thanks!

Mike H 02-04-2011 06:07 PM

Here is a how to on Ebay it explains it in detail

930dreamer 02-05-2011 05:39 AM

Hello, what size 3 phase motor is on the Sheldon? Look into a VFD also. Can you post some pictures, thanks.

timothale 02-05-2011 06:38 AM

3 phase converter
I have the capacator converter to run my Milling machine, It will only give me less that 2/3 of the rated motor HP, I can only run it slow. I have an old 3 phase motor for an idler-start. . first I have to turn on the power to the system, then start the 3 phase motor , then start the milling machine then I can turn off the 3 phase idler motor, it's a hassel. I priced a rotory converter. they run from 500 to 2 grand depending on the HP you need. A neighbor has 3 lathes in his shop, offered to sell me an 18 in X 12 ft monster that he has never wired up after buying it at auction . I also have a 9 ft tall drill press in the corner, never wired up and a 10 hp 3 phase compressor I got free, I will have to decide if i want to rewire and relocate machinery to get everything running. sometimes it's easier to farm out some machine work.

Wattsy 02-05-2011 07:11 AM

Thanks for the input guys.. It is a tid bit cold out at the moment, and with the snow storm here in Wisconsin, I have to climb over snow that's plowed higher than my truck to mess with it I'll try to throw some pictures up today possibly, if not on Tuesday after I clean it up with some brake clean so you can have a better look. The serial number and catalog number I wrote down last time I was out there.. I couldn't find any but maybe someone else knows something about it? The Serial number is: GR-72-P with the catalog number at GR-25229 I believe. If any of you would be able to find any information about it, I'd be forever in your debt!


oldred 02-05-2011 11:39 AM

Is this the machine you have? Is yours a 13" swing? What length bed?

This one is rough and still the guy wants about $1400 for it but I have seen better looking ones go for much more, reasonably clean and running they would easily bring twice that or more around this area.

Wattsy 02-06-2011 12:50 PM

It looks extremely similar to that, has all the original paint that's obviously starting to fade. I guess we have a lot of the tools for it too? Yet to take pictures as it's Super Bowl Sunday, and snowing yet again!! Go Pack!

bentwings 02-17-2011 10:18 AM

Those were almost brand new when I started in the machine shop. haha :eek:

oldred 02-17-2011 11:06 AM


Originally Posted by bentwings
Those were almost brand new when I started in the machine shop. haha :eek:

Yeah I remember running one that was fairly new also, darn nice machines. From the way he worded the original post I was thinking he was about to sell that old Sheldon for scrap! :pain: He called it an "ancient thing" from the 60's or 70's, heck that is NEW to some people and lathes that are nearly 100 years old are still being used by some hobby machinists! There are a bunch of people who would love to get their hands on a decent Sheldon that is "only" 30 or 40 years old and if in even half-way decent shape it could bring as much or more than a new Chinese import of comparable size.

11echo 02-17-2011 02:05 PM

I've got a lathe (monarch model A) that's near 100 yr.s old (+ -) and when I got it it had a 3 PH motor. I looked into all kinds of ways to try and use it ...there are afew, bottomline save yourself the heart ache and go out and get a single phase motor!

...Well worth the effort!!! :D

oldred 02-17-2011 04:18 PM

Dang Echo you caused me to slobber all over my keyboard, that thing is nice!

Actually the three phase motors are becoming quite a trick these days for reasons mentioned before. Using a phase converter is easy and works quite well but with single phase power a single phase motor usually makes more sense, at least it did in the past. Now three phase motors are becoming even more desirable than single phase even if the user has single phase power and some guys are even changing out their single phase motors for three phase type. With a three phase motor and single phase power the addition of a VFD will let those machines do all kinds of neat tricks no matter how old the design. With a VFD and three phase motor speed becomes infinitely variable without loss of torque at low speed and it also is instantly reversible with the same variable speed capabilities in reverse, all this with a simple dial and single phase power! :)

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