Troubleshooting a Variable Speed Lathe Motor Troubleshooting a Variable Speed Lathe Motor

If you have a variable speed lathe, then you should always try and keep the motor in good condition. When the motor is working well, you should simply be able to turn it on, and it will power up straight away. From time to time, however, even the most well maintained variable speed lathe motor will stop functioning, and you will have to perform some basic troubleshooting processes in order to get the problem solved quickly and easily. Knowing what can go wrong with your variable speed lathe motor will also help you in solving any of the little problems that occur with any motor.

Motor Not Running at All

If you are not able to start the motor at all, then you should check that the lathe is properly connected to the power, and that nothing has gone wrong while you were trying other things. In order to get the motor working again, you might try turning the electrical supply on and then off again. If this does not work, then look at the fuse box, and the plug, and also check the fuse in the lathe itself. You should test out the power supply on other instruments in order to make sure that everything is working correctly. If you are happy that the power itself is good, then you should consider the electrical connections in the motor. Make sure that all of the wires are properly secured, and that none have been damaged. If you can find nothing wrong with the electricity supply to the motor, you might consider giving it some lubrication, and leaving overnight before trying again.

Only Running Occasionally

If the motor is only running occasionally, for example at half-speed, or only when it is in certain speed conditions, then you should check that the motor controls have not been damaged, or that the electrical circuits inside the motor are working correctly. If you hear popping or hissing noises, then you may find that the motor brushes are not making a good connection with the power supply, meaning that electricity has to pass between the two points. If you fear that this is the problem, then take off the caps to the brushes, and look at the copper wire inside. If you notice any scaring or damage, then you should replace the brushes immediately.

Motor Blows Fuse

All machines will blow a fuse from time to time, but if you have a problem with yours repeatedly blowing, then you may have a problem with the electricity supply. Check the wire connections again, particularly those that are older, or are slip-on connectors. These can sometimes work themselves loose. You may want to use an Ohms meter to check the voltage coming from the plug or socket, and also look at the circuit board, to ensure that there are no blown wires here. If you find any signs of burning or looseness, then replace the relevant wires immediately.

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