3PH Timesaver In 1PH Shop?


From original questioner:

Other than bringing in 3 phase power for one piece of equipment in a 2 man shop, is there an alternative to making this possible? I recently came across a 25" Timesaver to replace our Grizzly dual drum and would love to make this transition. I would have to assume this scenario is very common for smaller shops.

From contributor Ti

Google "rotary phase converter" , you should come up with some ideas. You can either buy a commercial one, or do as I did and build your own. Just be aware that one leg to ground will be wild, with higher voltage, do not us this one to power any single phase digital controls that it may have.

From contributor Ad

Do not waste your time looking at static converters. You need a rotary phase converter.

From contributor Da

Ditto the rotary. Do a search here in Woodweb and you will find a few good discussions. I dealt with a firm in Shelbyville, IN several years ago that makes them and it was simple and easy to install and setup - bulletproof and safe. I did have an electrician check it all to be safe.

Not too expensive, and it allows me to use 9hp shapers, and old 3ph euro equipment with ease. Much easier than I ever expected.

Call them and describe what HP you need, etc, and they will gladly help you out, give prices, etc.

From contributor Mi

I was seconds away from pulling the trigger on a new powermatic line boring machine a couple years ago when I found a great deal on a Detel machine. It was three phase and I don't have three phase power, I bought a phase converter off of eBay. Basically its a panel box and an electric motor, I hooked it up myself and had an electrician to check it out to make sure I did everything right. I think I gave 7-8 hundred for the converter .

From contributor La

The comment about having a wild leg applies to delta wired systems typically 240 V. Our power comes in as 208V Y and has no "wild leg" to worry about. A long time ago as a micro shop I also built my own rotary phase converter. Be aware that, I think, all rotary converters will not provide quite full HP from the driven motors.

From contributor Do

I have a homemade one from guy that makes them ( Anderson ) it came with a 5 hp motor that sits on the ground. turn it on first and it adds the extra phase. Paid about 400.00 for it 5 years ago. If you need any more info on it I can get you #, its at my shop.

From contributor Da

I also heard that converters would not give the full HP or that the machine motor life was shortened. I asked the folks that sell the converters and they dismissed all that and sent me to the linked page below.

The absolute only drawback is that you have to turn on the converter first. Once you retrain yourself, you don't even have to think about it. There are operating costs to run the motor, or course, so if you run a full 8 hrs or more, you may want to factor it in.

When you see some 40HP water pump in a rural situation, it is 3 phase, run on single phase with a rotary converter. That way, the more expensive (to pull and hang wire) 3 phase power doesn't have to be everywhere.

From contributor Ti

With static converters you only get about 2/3 power, rotary it's close to full. In a sense, the rotary converter is just a static converter running a motor which produces full three phase. It will have running capacitors hooked to the three legs to help balance out the voltage. As I mentioned earlier, the third leg if measured to ground will be high, so don't use it to run any single phase controls. If you measure between legs they will measure close to specs. I've been running mine (rotary) for 25 years without any problems.

From contributor Jo

as i understand it ,3ph runs approximately 1/2 the amperage as 1ph ,so it would run on smaller gauge wire(cheaper)....
i would set the rotary as close to the 1ph power supply and pull the smaller wire to the machine.

From contributor Br

I have a 37 inch, single head SCM SANYA in my shop. I started my shop with a 20 HP rotary phase converter powering a slider,and DC. I bought it from American Rotary. They are excellent to deal with and their after sales service is second to none.. I then bought the wide belt which has an 18 hp motor and a 1 hp belt motor. Wide belts have a huge draw on start up and American Rotary suggested that I may have trouble getting the wide belt started due to this heavy amp draw on startup. To keep the phases balanced I bought a second 20 hp and have them connected in parallel when using the wide belt. I normally have only one running unless I am using the wide belt. Each RPC is connected to a 60 amp breaker on the single phase panel. I suspect a 25 in widebelt would have a smaller motor so a 20 hp RPC may do the trick

From contributor Br

I ran a 25" wide belt sander, 15 HP on a rotary phase converter without any issue. My Busellato line drill had an issue until the grease in the head heated up. I kept a light on the head overnight in the winter, that worked.