Variable Frequency Drive (VFD)

VFDI am running my step-pulley J-Head Bridgeport mill using variable frequency drive (VFD).  Basically, VFD converts one-phase power into three-phase required for Bridgeport mill.  It connects directly to the Bridgeport motor bypassing the Bridgeport reversing switch.  I went with WEG CFW-10 VFD model that has potentiometer allowing me to adjust the speed of the motor very quickly.  So far I’m happy with my choice, however, I haven’t used it long enough to recommend this particuar brand.  The set up of the drive is pretty straight forward.  The link above provides good information on how to choose the drive as well as has links to you-tube videos, which explain the drive set up, programing and speed control.  Good luck with VFD selection!

Happy Trails!

– Vlad

Powering my Welder and Bridgeport Mill

While my wife and kids were at the lake last Sunday, I was having fun with setting up my Miller Maxstar 200DX Welder.  This welder works with 1 or 3-phase input power, 230V, which is a great feature because I don’t have to worry about phase converters here.  So, after connecting everything, I did some practice welds and everything worked fine!

My Bridgeport J-Head Vertical Mill has 220v, 4.2apms, 60hz, 3-phase motor.  Since, my input power is 1-phase, I need a converter to generate 3-phase power.  As I learned through research and discussions with electricians, there are many options available on the market, including Static, Rotary or VFD (variable-frequency drive) converters.  At first, I was considering Static phase converter (cheapest option), but after reading reviews on their performance, I quickly abandoned that option.  Rotary converter, is a good choice, since you could power up few machines with it.  However, I decided to go with VFD for the following reasons:

–          provides more balanced flow of current through all three phases

–          provides “soft start” that reduces the wear of the motor

–          more efficient electrically than other converters

–          allows for variable electronic speed control

Prior to selecting VFD make sure that you studied your machine and know the Amps, Voltage, HP of the motor as well as voltage and power available to you.

Stay tuned for review of VFD I just purchased and performance of my Bridgeport in the next blog post.  Happy Trails!

– Vlad

P.S.  Here is an action shot riding Troika last weekend. Riding Troika