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Thread: tool gloat and questions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Southern California
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    50

    tool gloat and questions

    I sold my contractors saw two weeks ago in anticipation of buying a sawstop PCS. Before I took the plunge I checked Craigslist and found a sawstop ICS for sale in the area. After some negotiation it was deliver to my garage this morning. :-) :-)

    There are some cosmetic issues, but it appears to be in great shape overall.

    Now for the questions. It came with a 52" fence. I cannot really use something that large in my garage. My intention is to cut it down to a 36" fence. However, if anyone is would like to trade a 36" fence in good shape for this one (also in good shape) they should contact me soon.

    The second issue is that it came with a 5 HP 3 phase (230 V) motor. I knew this when I bought the saw and understand the general problem. My current plan is to buy a 3 HP 1 phase replacement motor from sawstop and rewire the saw for 220V 1 phase. I have looked into it and I am not going to get three phase delivered to my home. I know there are some converter options to produce 3 phase. Should I seriously consider the three-phase converter option instead of switching down to a 3 HP 220 V one phase motor?

    Even replacing the motor and other parts I will come in hundreds less than the list price for a PCS.

  2. #2
    I would suggest looking into building a rotary phase converter if you can find a used three phase motor you can build one for under two hundred dollars.
    Universal M-300 (35 Watt CO2)
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    Glass With Class, Cameron, Wisconsin

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Northwestern Connecticut
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    7,149
    Cost me around $1k to put in an American Rotary phase converter that will start and run 5-8 hp 3 phase. I did the wiring from panel to plugs, it was a no brainer with basic electrical experience. I guess you would have to consider whether you want to add additional 3 phase machines in future thus dividing the cost of converter by more units, and the quoted cost of the new single phase motor, plus you will need new starter controls most likely, not sure about the other electronic/safety circuits. I have since added several 3 phase machines at considerable cost savings versus 1 phase options making the convertor a good value for my situation versus motor swap.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Bloomington, IL
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    5,961
    What voltage is wired to the brake and controller on the 3ph 5hp? There is more to a sawstop than just a motor. Aare they just splitting off a 120V leg or what?
    Glad its my shop I am responsible for - I only have to make me happy.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    50
    Looking at the manual wiring diagram, it looks like the switch and other specialty electronics one powered by one hot line. This is just a guess because I am not sure what is in the electrical diagram boxes.

    On a related note, how much amperage do I need at 220 V one-phase to power a 3-phase, 220 V 5 HP converter? 20 amps seems like it might just reach 5 hp, which suggests I would need a 30 amp circuit or higher to power the phase converter. What would people advise? Unfortunately, I only have a 20 amp 220V circuit in the garage, which seemed like plenty at the time. A phase converter may require a visit from an electrician.

  6. #6
    I looked at a used Sawstop at a machinery broker that was 3ph. 440V. and was told that it was more than swapping out the motor. I think you need to make a call to Sawstop and find out if the electronics also need to be changed, and if the saw can be run on a 3ph. convertor.
    Half of my shop is run an a 20/60hp. RPC, keep us updated on your progress.
    David Werkheiser

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Phoenix AZ Area
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    2,375
    A more cost effective solution is a VFD or variable feed drive. I used TECO brand with great success. A VFD is a small electronics box that takes single phase power in and creates 3 Phase out. I paid like $400 for a new 5HP VFD.

    Pros;
    - VFDs create very clean power
    - they are small and not in the way, typically mounted on the tool
    - less expensive than a rotary converter
    - All the electronics on the factory saw are retained and used.

    Cons:
    - One VFD per machine so if you want more 3Ph machines you spend more

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
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    Thank you for all the advice. I decided not to go with the 3-phase route because it was complex and I did not know that I would use it for another machine. The VFD would appear to disable the sawstop safety features, which negates the whole point of the exercise.

    I will say that SawStop has GREAT customer support, and their replacement parts are very reasonable. I switched out the motor to 3 HP one-phase, and ended up making almost no other changes in the electrical system. (I capped the red lead to the motor and did not wire a red lead into the power cable. These changes followed their instructions.) The saw runs well. I have not yet tested the safety system, but the self-diagnosis stuff all seems fine. I also replaced most of the cosmetic worn parts (fence edges, tape measure, blade guard, belts) for a nominal cost with new equipment. It all works well, and I am about ready to embark on a project!

    I have an extra USED 5 HP 3-phase sawstop motor. As far as I can tell they have little resale value. If anyone has a use for it let me know, and I will hand it over for the cost of shipping.

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