A VFD would give you the ability to run your 3 phase machine on single phase 220 at full power. It will also give you variable speed, overload protection and low voltage control (replaces a magnetic starter).
If you have more than one 3 phase machine you might consider buying or building a rotary phase converter. This will give you full power but it will NOT give you variable speed.
The 3rd and least desirable is a static phase converter. It will NOT give you variable speed and it will only supply about 2/3 of rated power. These were common before low cost VFD's became available but I don't see much reason to go that route anymore.
I briefly considered phase converters when I got my 1HP Bridgeport but after doing some research I went with a Hatachi VFD and couldn't be happier. It's so nice just to reach up and change the speed by turning a knob.
So plus one more vote for a VFD. You won't regret it.
VFD. Unless you have the parts lying around already you'll likely get close to the cost of a VFD trying to setup a RFC and a VFD is much easier to work with and takes up less room.
Worth noting that the VFD is pretty noisy (electronically) though, so if you have a CNC machine or electronics around the machine (computers, radio, etc) you could get noise issues. Not likely to be a big problem, but something to keep in mind.
I have the same mill and have a VFD on it. It's fantastic, variable speed control at the twist of a knob, added an E stop switch, soft start and stop. Soft reversing for ridged tapping.
We have a vari speed Bridgeport at work and it's only a few years old where mine is 52 years old. I'm much rather use my mill than the one at work. I'm actually trying to talk them into putting a VFD on the mill.
I have the exact same mill - a 36" BP with 1HP motor. I went with the TECO 1 HP with a variable pot built in (JNEV-201-H1). I could not be happier but would like to add a reverse switch and emergency stop sometime.
Another vote for the VFD.
I just got mine running.
The original switch is used to control the VFD.
I mounted the speed pot in the name plate. Handy spot and an empty cavity behind it.
I will add the e stop when the button comes in.
I can run the motor from zero to 75 hertz to give me a little more speed range available for each belt step.
Here’s a vote for a simple static phase converter if you have multiple 3-phase machines. I run my Bridgeport, my Kalamazoo saw, and my Powermatic PM2000 from a single 3 phase line. (Not simultaneously). I also have a Powermatic wood lathe that I control with a VFD, because rpm is so important moment to moment while turning.
The VFD has to be somewhat customized for the particular motor in use, and should not have any switching inserted between a VFD and motor, so driving multiple machines from one VFD doesn’t seem desirable to me. And of course where do you put the VFD so it’s accessible from all stations?
I have never come close to running out of power with the phase converter on any machine.
Sorry, I know this is an older thread but I am considering using VFD's for my Enco (Bridgeport clone) as well as a couple of other machines. Is there a simple stand-alone version of a nice VFD drive that doesn't require any fancy DIN rails or elaborate housings? My mill is a 3 phase 2HP model so the ability to smoothly control speed would be nice...
Here is where I had my VFD mounted, just put it in place of the original motor switch.
I did some other mods and part of that was replace the VFD so this is where I have it mounted now, on the back of the electrical panel. Don't panic, most of those cables have nothing to do with the VFD
Thanks for the reply. That looks like a nice and compact installation. Very similar to what I was hoping to achieve. As I read more about these installations I seem to come across many references to people changing motors in the process of these conversions. Is it necessary to change motors as well? I already have 3 phase power available (at least after I wire up a sub panel) and I really didn't want to go through the hassle of messing with the motor. Is the issue that the old (cheap?) motors can't readily deal with a wider frequency range?
Sorry for all the questions, but I am trying to figure out what the best way is to wire things up here...
Here is a pic of my VFD control panel. I loosely designed it, Jim refined it and made it on the mill he showed pics of.
A nice feature of that particular VFD we are both using is that it has a tachometer output. Very handy since the head on my mill was specifically made for a VFD and you have no speed dials or belts to swap for certain speeds.
I vote for a nice reliable overhead line shaft, with an economical wood fired boiler and steam engine. You kids and your new-fangled gizmos. Why when I was a boy, yada yada yada. For a single machine a VFD would be the way to go. Mike
Thanks for all the feedback. I like the fact that many of these have been made to almost appear OEM. Is there a default pulley configuration when you go the VFD route? Do you leave the pulleys in a state where something close to maximum torque is produced at the spindle (i.e. motor gear reduction)?
Mine came with a static converter, but I learned those reduce the power you can get from the motor. I thought about setting mine up with a rotary. But the power loss while on standby just annoys me. With the VFD I got, the efficiency is at least 80% no matter what, worst case. Also, at normal speed , you have full motor power. Not that you often would need it. Plus the extra noise I didn't want either. And it does a nice ramp up to speed, and brake to stop. AND I have the variable speeds. I switch the belt for coarse speed selection, then turn the pot on the VFD to get the speed I like.