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Thread: VFD for Old Northfield Jointer Question

  1. #1

    VFD for Old Northfield Jointer Question

    I posted a question several months ago about how people move old American made jointers when they are able to find and buy them. The responses I got were very helpful. I finally found a 1967 Northfield 12" jointer. It has a 3-phase 3 HP motor. I got it off the truck and into my shop thanks to a forklift I rented. It worked very well. The next step is to figure out a good VFD that will run it. I know absolutely nothing about VFD's or how to select the correct one for the jointer. Any suggestions on a good VFD and where to buy it would be much appreciated. I haven't decided if I am brave enough to wire it myself or if I will hire an electrician to do it. I'm leaning toward the latter.

  2. #2
    This is an example VFD that would work for a 3HP motor and single-phase input: https://www.factorymation.com/TD200-2003-1PH

    But then you'll need an enclosure for it, to wire and program it, and will need to re-wire your controls (on/off buttons) to work correctly with it.

    Is it the belt drive or direct drive jointer? If belt drive, it may be possible to just buy a single-phase motor for less money: https://compressor-source.com/produc...30v-3450-rpm-1

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Leander, TX
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    I got a VFD for my CNC spindle from https://wolfautomation.com. I went with a TECO Westinghouse model and have been very happy with it. There is a learning curve on programming the thing, but it is doable.

  4. #4
    It's direct drive.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Friedrichs View Post
    This is an example VFD that would work for a 3HP motor and single-phase input: https://www.factorymation.com/TD200-2003-1PH

    But then you'll need an enclosure for it, to wire and program it, and will need to re-wire your controls (on/off buttons) to work correctly with it.

    Is it the belt drive or direct drive jointer? If belt drive, it may be possible to just buy a single-phase motor for less money: https://compressor-source.com/produc...30v-3450-rpm-1

  5. #5
    What does programming involve?
    Quote Originally Posted by Bryan Hunt View Post
    I got a VFD for my CNC spindle from https://wolfautomation.com. I went with a TECO Westinghouse model and have been very happy with it. There is a learning curve on programming the thing, but it is doable.

  6. #6
    You might consider talking to Jack Forsberg about one of his VFDs. Google his name and his site pops up easily. Very knowledgeable craftsman in Ottawa that also sells nice VFDs that come with over the phone tech and programming support. Literally walks you through how to program the VFD to your specific machine on the phone. 3 HP drive will likely be around ~$250 ish with enclosure and optional control remote.

    Ive had one on my Oliver jointer for 4 years and itís fantastic.
    Still waters run deep.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Feltner View Post
    I posted a question several months ago about how people move old American made jointers when they are able to find and buy them. The responses I got were very helpful. I finally found a 1967 Northfield 12" jointer. It has a 3-phase 3 HP motor. I got it off the truck and into my shop thanks to a forklift I rented. It worked very well. The next step is to figure out a good VFD that will run it. I know absolutely nothing about VFD's or how to select the correct one for the jointer. Any suggestions on a good VFD and where to buy it would be much appreciated. I haven't decided if I am brave enough to wire it myself or if I will hire an electrician to do it. I'm leaning toward the latter.
    I really like like the fuji brand. I get them from Marshall wolf automation. I have several of them in my shop. Here is one that would work https://www.wolfautomation.com/vfd-3...0aAhvEEALw_wcB

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Modesto, CA, USA
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    Make sure to lock out reverse . I would not accelerate or decelerate faster then three seconds. Decelerate can probably be set to coast down with no braking applied.
    If you like the. existing on off switches you can rewire then as low voltage controls for the vfd. Feel free to add an extra stop switch on the outfeed.
    Bill D
    Last edited by Bill Dufour; 01-03-2022 at 10:51 PM.

  9. #9
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    I see no need for variable speed on a jointer so can ignore those settings. You should not need a braking resistor.
    Bill D

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Feltner View Post
    What does programming involve?
    Typically full-load amps (which you read right off the motor data plate), ramp up and ramp down time, and frequency. There are a myriad of other optional settings too. I can recommend Automation Direct. They're not the cheapest but their stuff is high quality and their phone support is great.

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Dufour View Post
    I see no need for variable speed on a jointer so can ignore those settings. You should not need a braking resistor.
    Bill D
    VS isn't needed but the ability to run at a higher HZ is nice. I run my DD Newman at 70hz to get the cutter to 4200rpm.

    OP, the fuji frenic 3hp unit will drive a 3hp jointer without any issue. I'm driving 5hp+ machines with them.

    https://www.wolfautomation.com/vfd-3...oaAo1sEALw_wcB

  12. #12
    I wonder if you'd be better off replacing the motor with a ~5hp single phase? 3hp does seem a tad light for a 12" machine. A good rotary phase convertor is ~$600-700 on the lower end to handle a 3hp / 3 phase.

    Excellent find and would love to see some pics of that puppy.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert London View Post
    I wonder if you'd be better off replacing the motor with a ~5hp single phase? 3hp does seem a tad light for a 12" machine. A good rotary phase convertor is ~$600-700 on the lower end to handle a 3hp / 3 phase.

    Excellent find and would love to see some pics of that puppy.
    Not possible on a direct drive machine.

    Vfd(s) are $200-250.

  14. #14
    I guess that's why a 3 hp / 3 phase machine can out perform a 5hp single phase belt. Direct drive muscle.

  15. #15
    Join Date
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    Huang Yang is the generic VFD. It may use a different brand name. Look online for programming instructions.
    Bill D.

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