Reply To: Lathe motors…

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Bob Tascione
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Great thread! My lathe came with a Hamilton Beach motor (I assume 3450 RPM, but it seems faster?) about 1/16 HP. It doesn’t have a speed control, and rather than go the foot rheostat approach, I was wondering about using a servo or stepper motor. New they’re a lot more expensive, but can be found used fairly reasonably. The thing is I really don’t want/need another project.

What do you think about this one? It would take pulleys which would push the cost up a bit (and become a bit of a project).

Hi Evan,
That’s an interesting motor. Torque can become a big issue with jewelers watch maker lathes when heavier cuts are needed…especially when dealing with low rpm. When used for normal staff and stem work it’s not usually a problem but when larger stuff needs to be machined it can be a hassle. One way around it is to use a counter shaft setup. What many watch makers are doing now is going with a motor and controller setup like Sherlines constant torque motor/controller combo thus eliminating the need for the countershaft system. I’ve heard many good reports about their use with watchmakers lathes. Sherline used to have a torque chart somewhere either on their site or possible it’s up on mine that shows the torque curve at differing rpms (go to my page at and scroll down to where it says “Sherline Products”). I’ll try to locate it for you. These motors are great and may be what you’re looking for. I don’t know about the one you linked to but would be curios to find out.

Hope this helps Evan!

Bob TascioneReply To: Lathe motors…