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Member postings for Robert Laurenson

Here is a list of all the postings Robert Laurenson has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Used Lathe Pinnacle PL1340C Gap Bed
16/05/2020 18:49:36
Posted by duncan webster on 16/05/2020 18:46:32:

If the Shetland electricity supply is the same as the rest of the uk the 2 phases are 120 degrees apart, just think of the transformer primary as being one leg of a delta connected 3 phase motor.

However I'm not clear where the 241/480 figures come from, should be 240/440 or thereabouts

As i mentioned above, the DNO people said that it was 2 phases from a center tapped transformer and that they were 180 degrees apart, i dont know why or the details of how it works but i have 240 / 480v and looking at forums in the UK it is'nt uncommon in rural areas.

16/05/2020 18:15:53
Posted by Andrew Johnston on 16/05/2020 18:08:42:
Posted by Robert Laurenson on 16/05/2020 17:16:44:

Just tested the voltages again, not sure if i got a duff reading the other day or was there a voltage drop at the time, but what i have now is 241 phase to neutral and 480v phase to phase.

Those figures make more sense. So the transformer only takes one phase from the overhead as per Stuart's diagram, not two as originally stated?


Looking at the transformer (it supplies my workshop and 4 other houses) it seems to have a leg from each overhead line into the transformer, there are 2 lines overhead and both are connected into the top of the transformer as you look at it. so i assumed that it was a line from each, but i dont know.

As the DNO people said it is a single phase transformer with a center tapping so truly not sure what it is inside.

All i know is that i have two phases at my property, both on 100A cut outs and both 240 to neutral and 480 together.

Have you ever heard of this unique 3 phase transformer method of "converting" this type supply into 3 phase?


16/05/2020 17:16:44
Posted by Andrew Johnston on 16/05/2020 16:13:12:

What Stuart says make sense. But the OP thinks he has something different, as he talks about the transformer taking two phases from the overhead? The voltage readings he gives for phase to neutral and phase to phase on the outpur don't seem to make sense for 2 phases of a 3-phase system or for the configuration elucidated by Stuart. May be it's a one off special?


I do not think i have anything different, i have a 2 phase (Split Phase) supply from a center tapped transformer, the workshop is out in the rural part of shetland and no 3 phase overhead.

Just tested the voltages again, not sure if i got a duff reading the other day or was there a voltage drop at the time, but what i have now is 241 phase to neutral and 480v phase to phase.

A question for all of you, have any of you ever heard of the Unique 3 Phase system, an american guy with another take on the 3 phase conversion using a transformer and capacitors, (dont really know fully how it works but looks interesting)


15/05/2020 10:09:32
Posted by Ian Parkin on 15/05/2020 09:56:50:

Robert have you ascertained yet if the lathe is 2 speed?

Hi Ian,

Yes it is, there is a speed selector switch on the front down at the bottom, can see it on one of the Ebay photos.

15/05/2020 09:30:44

Just spoken with transwave, they have said the static converter will run it, but it may not be all the speeds, or it may just run the motor on one speed and not the other, he also said if that doesnt work then put an idler motor between the static converter and the lathe, (which i can probably get used) and this would make the Lathe motor work as normal. so i think i will probably go for the static and try it out and see if it works.

15/05/2020 07:42:30


Just to say, the DNO people said when they were installing the power cable that it was a 2 phase supply, split 180 degrees apart on a center tapped transformer. hope thats of some help?

15/05/2020 07:38:35
Posted by Steviegtr on 15/05/2020 03:16:37:

Ok so I have just watched the video again. Grab it with both hands before it has gone to someone else. That is a nice machine. I don't know what people are trying to put you off it for. There must be when new today £15 grands worth there. Your paying scrap for it.

Soon you will be truing up Fairline phantom shafts with it. Had a Fairline targa 34 for a while myself , with twin Volvo 200's, 3.5 lire 6 pots.Single turbo before they went to turbo + supercharger. adq I think. With Hydraulic stern drives.

All the best . Let us know the outcome.


Edited By Steviegtr on 15/05/2020 03:24:24

I have already bought it, i know it sounds a bit squealy in reverse but i think its more the video and microphone being sensitive as he said (and i believe him) that there is no real difference in sound where he was, just trying to book shipping for it at the moment.

The 2 phases are coming in from a "split phase" transformer, taking the two phases from overhead, putting a meter across the two reads 445v, and each phase to neutral is 239. that is what i have, so any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


14/05/2020 20:50:03

Hi again all

Ive been offered a transwave 5.5kw static converter, couple of miles from home for cheap, would that work?



14/05/2020 17:44:27
Posted by Oldiron on 14/05/2020 17:36:09:

Robert, One minute you say you have 3 phase and the next breath you say you do not. ???

If you are going into business it might be a good idea to look at what actual resources you have to work with.

It really does help people to help you if everyone is on the same page.


Apologies, it was a moment of madness, what i have is a "Split Phase" supply, or single phase 3 wire, basically 2x single phase supplies, so not 3 phase
Not sure why i would've typed that, anyway.

I may have found a phase converter locally, just had a message after putting out a wanted ad.

14/05/2020 17:16:19
Posted by Steviegtr on 14/05/2020 16:57:01:

Looking at the video & pictures. It is a lot of machine for the money. Not a hobby toy, but a industrial beast. Yes it needs a good clean & paint but would make a nice machine when done.

The motor is as said above is 2 speed. Suspect dual wound as the 4 pole config is 1400 rpm & a 2 pole is 2800. Your 3 phase supply should work fine on that motor. It is French & rating is 380volts , but should not matter.


Thats the biggest issue, i have no 3 phase supply, is there any way to get that lathe working with a VFD? or a phase converter of some sort?

Thanks in advance

14/05/2020 14:39:59

Thanks for the info, i think i'm gonna go for it, he is being fair and honest and lets be honest 1200 for a machine like that isnt a lot of money, 2 chucks, a steady and enough tooling to get me going.

Any idea how i could go about powering this, VFD out the question due to it being a single voltage motor

Also, whats the 2 speed part about? which speed will it be running in, or is there a switch for going between low and high speed?


14/05/2020 14:01:23
Posted by Brian Wood on 14/05/2020 13:53:11:


I would wait for Ian Parkin's assessment, acting as your eyes and ears.

Reverse running sounded a bit rough to me but that might just be in the gear chosen for the demonstration.

If the motor is already 3 phase it will run more smoothly than a single phase replacement. I would be inclined to leave that as it is. .

Kind regards Brian

I actually thought due to him being so honest and everything being photographed and the videos etc i wouldn't bother getting Ian to go, i thought it was a bit squealy sounding as well but its been little used for a while and probably could do with a good clean up and oiling.

Not sure what to say now?

14/05/2020 13:35:15

Hi All,

Here is a link to some photos and a video of the machine working,

I think it seems fine for the money, sitting waiting to push the buy button basically but thought i would check with you guys first to see what your thoughts were.

Also, i was thinking i would have to buy an inverter for this but it's only a 1.5 / 2.2kw motor, so dependant on what speed its set to run at i guess i could just replace the motor with a single phase job?

Hopefully you get back to me quite quickly so i can get the purchase made (Link to photos and videos below)!Am8KvL3hipr4lG1G9wqvshcUG-cI?e=vlexcW



14/05/2020 10:25:10
Posted by Brian Wood on 13/05/2020 18:02:32:


It would have saved you a lot of heartache had he been up front with all this right from the start.

I had the very definite impression from the ebay sale presentation and the limited contact you had from him later it all smacked of "Dunno much abart it Guv, but it's yours for a tenner along with a dirty post card---know what I mean" [nod nod, wink wink]

I hope Ian's visit confirms all that he has just imparted; at that price, for a cared for machine, you may just have found a cracker.

Sorry to be so negative to start with, I put a lot of store on gut feelings and general impressions.

I hope you get years of good service from it--best of luck too in your venture.

Kind regards Brian

Hi Brian,

From speaking with the current owner and looking at his workmanship and what he is turning out, also from how detailed he was on the phone telling me about each and every part of it and how well cared for it was i now have no issues with the machine, he is going to send me videos tomorrow morning and will clock the spindle, chuck, slides etc to show me as he has already said that everything is running sweet as a nut.

Will let you know how i get on and thanks


13/05/2020 16:46:58
Posted by ega on 13/05/2020 16:39:55:
Posted by Robert Laurenson on 13/05/2020 16:22:34:

how often he greased everything etc.

May I intervene to wish you luck with your purchase and suggest that you check that "everything" that has been greased should not in fact have been oiled?

yes i know what you mean, will have a look when i get the videos sent through.

13/05/2020 16:33:33

Ian, yes i see that now, new to this forum so hadnt seen it up till now.
Thanks very much again and if i think i need someone to have a look once he sends me the videos i will get in touch then

Kind Regards
Robert Laurenson

13/05/2020 16:22:34

Ian Parkin

Thankyou very much for the offer, i have just come off the phone with the owner, had a long and detailed phone call about the Lathe, he has had it around 15 years and a shop next door had it from new before that, they had moved into CNC machines so it was never used and changed hands, the lathe has been well looked after and in the past several years just been used to make some bushings and other small items. the guy was very knowledgeable and took me through every last detail of it, including last time the gearbox oil was changed and how often he greased everything etc.
He is also going to take a video of the machine running and cutting on Friday morning and will take a photo inside the top of the gearbox also, so to be honest i think i am even now before the video quite satisfied of the condition, have secured the deal for 1200 pounds with the 3 jaw, 4 jaw and steady.

I will of course wait and see the videos, oh, he also said he would clock the chuck to show there is no deflection in the bearings (which he said there isnt but just wanted to prove it to me)

He has an engineering firm where this Lathe is and it has been in business for many many years so he is a reputable guy, and as i said before very knowledgeable and technically minded so i dont think there will be any issue.

What do you all think of that?


13/05/2020 14:18:01
Ian Parkin

I've actually just heard back from my friend locally, and he is not able to go due to family health issues so he is in isolation,

If you could go for a look that would be more than helpful, infact it would be great.

I am leaning towards buying it to be honest and just hanging on in hope that i could find someone to look at it first.




Edited By Robert Laurenson on 13/05/2020 14:18:31

13/05/2020 13:01:09
Posted by Neil Wyatt on 13/05/2020 12:56:53:
Posted by Brian H on 12/05/2020 17:51:27:

Best thing would be to go and see it, and hear it. Take a knowledgeable friend if possible.


Without wanting to seem flippant, is that practical advice when the lathe is in Goole, the enquirer is in Shetland and the whole country is in lockdown?

But, if its in working condition, and not badly worn it probably is a good buy as parts will be available from other sources of a GH1440.

Can the seller send you a video of it turning bar under power feed so you can see the finish?


I can try and ask him to see if he could send me that, would also like to see and hear it running, also wouldnt mind having a look in the gearbox to be honest.

Do you think the parts for the 1440 would fit this, gears etc?


13/05/2020 12:48:33
Posted by Howard Lewis on 13/05/2020 12:37:10:

Purely a comment,

But if the machine in question is similar to a WARCO GH1440, (or lookalikes from other Importers ) I would feel tempted to put the shipping cost towards the new machine, Assuming that the rest of the budget allows.

You would have a new machine, with a warranty, support, and availability. of accessories and spares, for a time into the future.


Its such a significant uplift from this to a new machine, lets say i get this for 1100, then 150 shipping to Aberdeen, then another 150 to Shetland on the ferry (the ferry cost i would have to pay regardless) so that would total lets say 1300, the new machine delivered to Aberdeen would be in the region of 5k, so nearly 5x the price.

I would love a new machine, but the budget at present doesnt allow for it, and i dont feel i can advertise as a Marine Engineering workshop without a Lathe as it is something which is used so much.

Unless any of you happen to know of a machine for sale, newer, or a better make you can still get spares for?



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