AC370WL upgrades

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SimonStevensCanes

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I have an AC370WL which despite its drawbacks, I love. It's incredible value for money imo. However, it does have said drawbacks...
  1. lever based speed change - particularly that it can only be used when the machine is spinning
  2. power - it's relatively easy to stall, particularly on a wide piece
  3. lack of brake/lock
It occurs to me that the first two should be easy enough to solve with a bigger motor and a speed controller. Does anybody know of anybody that has undertaken such an exercise? If so, could you point me to posts/articles/videos please?

Obviously it would be a whole lot easier to buy a new lathe, but I need the length for making canes, and the jump up in price for something worth having is massive compared to the £500 I paid for this. More power and control over the speed would see me right for many years to come.

Additionally I think I need to replace the bearings as it makes quite the racket, if anybody can point me to a video/article for that, I'd appreciate it. I have no experience with tinkering with machines, so it's a bit overwhelming.
 
No lathe should have a brake but a spindle lock is useful.
The pulleys and belt were designed to transfer the power from the existing motor so a bigger one would need a wider belt/pulleys. Also, even with more power, the lathe would still be limited but it's physical size, distance between spindle bearings etc. so by the time you have upgraded, you might as well just buy a bigger lathe.
 
No lathe should have a brake but a spindle lock is useful.
The pulleys and belt were designed to transfer the power from the existing motor so a bigger one would need a wider belt/pulleys. Also, even with more power, the lathe would still be limited but it's physical size, distance between spindle bearings etc. so by the time you have upgraded, you might as well just buy a bigger lathe.
Yes I suppose spindle lock is what I meant.

I wondered about the design of the machine meaning a bigger motor might cause issues. I guess that's why I'm asking if anybody has already done this.
 
Guess you are not the only one thinking this way:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Axminste...p4429486.m46890.l6249&mkrid=710-127635-2958-0
Iirc these kits are around £500-600 so not a cheap option.

When your lathe stalls do you hear the motor bog down? Or is it the belt slipping?
May be worth investigating the springs that press the reeves pulley plates together, along with the condition of the belt. A member (CHJ I think) posted a good description of the drive system on here some years back if you can find it. Just be aware that the plates making up the pulley are often very fragile and prone to snapping if mistreated


Edit to add: there's a Paul Howard indexing system that could work as a lightweight stop/lock, especially for decorative work
 
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Guess you are not the only one thinking this way:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Axminste...p4429486.m46890.l6249&mkrid=710-127635-2958-0
Iirc these kits are around £500-600 so not a cheap option.
thanks, I've been pointed to options like this on instagram, definitely something worth looking at, but yeah not cheap
When your lathe stalls do you hear the motor bog down? Or is it the belt slipping?
May be worth investigating the springs that press the reeves pulley plates together, along with the condition of the belt. A member (CHJ I think) posted a good description of the drive system on here some years back if you can find it. Just be aware that the plates making up the pulley are often very fragile and prone to snapping if mistreated
I think I've experienced both, which is weird enough to make me doubt myself. I've definitely experienced the belt slipping, so yeah, maybe that's what I need to look at. Some new belts and bearings sound like a good idea.
 
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