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What is a DC Treadmill Motor?

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oskar

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#1
Just wondering what is a DC Treadmill Motor. Why?

Recently I bought a Taig mini metalworking lathe and eventually I plan to convert it to cnc. I have experience with cnc mills but never used or seen a lathe before and it’s all for hobby use.

Back in 2012 I bought a set of Taig ER16 headstock along with a Sherline KBIC DC Motor Speed Control for the cnc mill I was building. Since then I replaced the Taig / KBIC with a VFD / water cooled spindle and I’m thinking to use the KBIC on my new Taig.

Somehow I believe the Treadmill and KBIC do the same thing but not sure
 

Ulma Doctor

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#2
a DC treadmill motor is a small but powerful permanent magnet DC motor. sometimes up to 3 hp
A treadmill motor and a controller like the KBIC can be used for operating a lathe, provided that the KBIC controller matches the HP rating of the DC motor, otherwise you will not get full performance from the motor and may damage the controller as a result
 

Hawkeye

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#3
If you were going to use a treadmill motor for a piece of equipment, but didn't have a suitable controller, the best (or cheapest) approach is to use the controller that came with the motor. A newer, push-button controlled treadmill is a pain to run. They don't seem to ramp up by holding down the button. You have to punch the button a hundred times to get to the speed you want.

The older treadmills with rotary or slide pots are much nicer to run.
 

jwmay

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#4
DC stands for direct current, which is like a battery, or your cell phone charger output. There’s a positive (+) and negative (-) electron flow. AC current is what your refrigerator, air compressor, and hair dryer run on. The electron flow is cyclic. And now I see someone else posted, so they’ve probably answered it better than I would have in much less time. There are books devoted to the subject though. Google can help.
 

oskar

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#5
Thanks to all for the great help

BTW the KBIC DC Motor Speed Control I used came together with a 90VDC motor and both worked nicely on my cnc mill and hopefully will work nice on my Taig conversion
 

jwmay

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#6
That’s great! I’ve always guessed Cnc machines used stepper motors, so that’s interesting to me that plain old dc motors do the job. Did you buy the motor and controller as a package from a vendor, or how’d you come across them? Apologies if you already mentioned it.
 

Timothyj999

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#7
You need both. CNC machines use stepper motors to control the MOVEMENT of the tables or cutting head in the x, y, and z directions. However they still need to SPIN the mill or lather spindle, and that’s where the DC treadmill motors come in. People are finding them a good substitute for the AC motors that come standard on a lot of small machines (which require a pulley or gear change to adjust the rotational speed of the spindle). A brushless DC motor can be made variable speed with the right controller, and most people upgrade the spindle motor at the same time they’re doing the CNC conversion.
 

oskar

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#8
Tomothyj999 above said it right.

I bought a package back in 2012 of a Taig headstock, Sherline 90VDC motor, the KBIC DC Motor Speed Control, and 4 stepper motors for a cnc mill I was building.
 

jwmay

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#9
Ha! Silly me! I wasn’t even thinking about the spindle motor. Well that explains it all. Oops!
 

Z2V

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#11
That’s what I used. 3 hp. Works great, I can spin it over 7 k sfpm
 

ttabbal

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#12
Thinking about using a treadmill motor & controller on my 2X72 belt grinder

Thoughts / Suggestions?
If I hadn't lucked into a great deal on the ideal motor, I would have used a treadmill motor.

3 phase, sealed, 2hp marathon motor in my case. Even had the common size shaft and key to fit the wheel sets sold by the knife makers. Add a VFD and off you go. I even have a treadmill in the garage half disassembled, but I couldn't pass it up. I'll use the treadmill motor for something else.
 

brino

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#13
@oskar,

Check your local for sale site, craigslist, kijij, or equivalent.
I have picked up two treadmills for no cost........the owner just wanted to get rid of them.
One was working perfectly, the other had a bearing gone in one belt axle (the motor and controller worked fine).
Of course they are always in the basement.......take some tools, dis-assemble and make many trips.
(I forgot allen wrenches for one and had to use vise-grips on the heads)

So these motors can be free, for the effort of hauling the treadmill machine away!

-brino
 

middle.road

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#14
@oskar,

Check your local for sale site, craigslist, kijij, or equivalent.
I have picked up two treadmills for no cost........the owner just wanted to get rid of them.
One was working perfectly, the other had a bearing gone in one belt axle (the motor and controller worked fine).
Of course they are always in the basement.......take some tools, dis-assemble and make many trips.
(I forgot allen wrenches for one and had to use vise-grips on the heads)

So these motors can be free, for the effort of hauling the treadmill machine away!

-brino
That's how I scored my two. Now just need to find the time to put them to use...
 

outsider347

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#15
Anyone know the fix to not have to reset the speed controller pot every time the the motor is started?
 

Chris Hamel

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#16
I am pretty sure if you put a switch between the speed controller and the motor you won't have to reset the pot after you turn it off. Switch needs to be a 20 amp rating. It should be a dc switch, but I have gotten by with an ac switch.
 

Chris Hamel

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#17
Another thought. If you put a toggle switch to break the connection on the "wiper" wire you can use it for your on/off and rpm setting should stay.
 

markba633csi

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#18
Actually it's risky to break the connection between the controller and the motor with power applied. It can damage things. Better to switch the pot wiper as mentioned above
Mark
 
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