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Thread: Dilemma re General model 130 planer with 3-phase motor

  1. #1

    Dilemma re General model 130 planer with 3-phase motor

    Hi All,

    I'm a voracious reader of this site, but this is one of my first posts, so I hope you can assist me.

    I've recently purchased a General 590 bandsaw (14" VS) that had a 3 phase motor (3/4 hp) with a Teco FM50 VFD and magnetic switch. Works great.

    I also just purchased a General 130 planer, also 3 phase (3 hp). It has a non-functioning mag switch, but I got it for a very good price ($900 CDN).

    My shop power is single phase.

    I am wondering if I should switch out the bandsaw motor to a single phase 3/4" hp motor, and use the Teco FM 50 for the planer, given that I have a used 3/4 hp 1 ph motor that came out of a Powermatic spindle sander on hand. This would obviously be cheaper than trying to buy a new/used 3 hp single phase motor.

    (I don't plan on purchasing any more 3 phase equipment, as I run just a small 1 man hobby shop, so no need for a phase converter or more expense than necessary.)

    What are your thoughts on this idea? And what type of switch would I need if I switch the VFD to the planer?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Buck Lake, Alberta
    Posts
    152
    Assuming both motors are 230v 3phase. As long as the Teco FM50 is rated for 3hp 10.5amp (model 203-C) everything should work. You will need to set the parameters on the drive for the amp draw of the larger 3hp motor.

  3. #3
    I'm surprised the bandsaw has both a VFD and magnetic switch. You should NOT have a magnetic switch, because the point of a magnetic switch is to interrupt the large flow of current to a motor, and with a VFD, that should never be done (you should use the low-voltage controls on the VFD to turn the motor on/off). It's possible the magnetic switch was re-wired to actuate the low-voltage controls on the VFD?

    The FM50 comes in various different current ratings. As Mike said, you would need to see that yours is large enough for the 3HP motor on the planer if that were to work.

    Would the 1ph, 3/4HP motor you have available easily mount to the bandsaw (is the frame size/mounting the same)?

    Is the 1ph, 3/4HP motor the same speed (RPM) as the existing motor? (It may not be).

    I think the easiest/cheapest option would be to buy another VFD for the planer and leave the bandsaw alone. But, if you're lucky, the bandsaw VFD is oversized and can power the 3HP planer motor, the 3/4HP motor is the same speed and can be mounted to the bandsaw, and some swapping around could get everything working at "no" cost. A new 3HP VFD is only $200 (USD), though: https://www.factorymation.com/FM50-203-C

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Central WI
    Posts
    5,032
    The General 130 is probably the highest regarded small planer ever made. It deserves to be left intact so put a good properly sized VFD on it and wire the controls through the vfd. Well done, your machine is rare and sought after. Dave

  5. #5
    I agree with buying another VFD for the planer. It has everything you need to run the machine and you do not need the magnetic controller. Leave the bandsaw alone.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,193
    how do you know the planner switch is bad? i would expect the switch to last longer then the machine bearings. what is a Magnetic switch? Do you mean a switch or is the controller is bad?
    BILL D

  7. #7
    I'm thinking this is the way to go (new properly sized VFD). Anyone know the model of VFD I would require for the 3 hp 575v motor? More reading today seemed to indicate the Teco FM50 is only rated to 460v, so I think I will just leave the band saw alone.

    The magnetic planer switch I think had a bad interior portion, but the casing was also cracked, and as pointed out, with a VFD, no need for the mag switch. The mag switch on the bandsaw is just on-off, as I understand it.

    Thanks for all the replies, was trying to pin down which Teco (or other brand) I would need.

    Obviously dying to get the planer up and running, seller had it connected, and it purred like a kitten. Just bought a new set of blades for it

  8. #8
    Jon, you're in Canada? Is your supply voltage 240V 1-phase?

    Any chance the motor is dual-voltage?

    I'm not certain, but I don't think you'll find a VFD that will run a 600V motor from 240V. You could buy a step-up transformer and a 600V VFD, but I think it would be much cheaper to just buy a new (1-phase) motor...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Buck Lake, Alberta
    Posts
    152
    I’m not sure about finding a reasonably priced 600volt VFD either.
    If I remember correctly the 130 like most General machines run common frame sized motors, I would look for a 3hp single phase motor.

    What frame size is your motor and where in Canada are you?
    My guess Quebec or Ontario by the voltage of your motor, but we see 575 out here once in awhile.
    Last edited by Mike Delyster; 01-11-2019 at 12:08 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Central WI
    Posts
    5,032
    If you are in Canada you should contact Jack Forsberg or Matt Matt. They may know of a used transformer to step the voltage to 600 and then supply you with a vfd. The 600v motor does make things harder and a motor swap might be the cheapest fix. 240-600 transformers can be found cheap in Canada but you still need the vfd. A vfd can't step up voltage. If you swap the motor you will also need to replace the starter. Dave

  11. #11
    Ontario, near GTA. Frame size is 146T.

    Y9ou could be right, I spent a lot of time yesterday trying to track down a VFD that would work off 220v input - 3 phase 575 output, and I'm not having any luck.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #12
    David, are these two forum members?

    Transformer + VFD = new motor and starter/switch, so I agree it's probably a wash. Maybe the latter option is going to be easier to source. Any recommendations for good motor sources?

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Barnett View Post
    Ontario, near GTA. Frame size is 146T.

    Y9ou could be right, I spent a lot of time yesterday trying to track down a VFD that would work off 220v input - 3 phase 575 output, and I'm not having any luck.
    Hi Jon, I'm just up near Peterborough and went through the same thing recently. A great planer and I converted to 1ph, 240v and it took me less than a day to find an appropriate motor.

    B

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Buck Lake, Alberta
    Posts
    152
    Ask about a motor over on the Canadian forum, lots of very helpful members in your area.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Posts
    273
    Jon: looks like you got hold of some old school machinery. Bought this one a few years ago. Came with a 3 Phase motor. I swapped it out for a single ph. 240 V. , 2 Hp. for $200. Had to get one set of knives reground. Other set brand new. Really quiet machine to work with. Will never leave my shop. Enjoy. Greg

    my pictures 116.jpgmy pictures 117.jpgmy pictures 115.jpg

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