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Motor control for Shaper machine

Elliott 18M Shaper

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Mick Dobson27/12/2015 19:41:47
21 forum posts
10 photos

Hello all,

I picked up an Elliott 18M shaper some 12 months ago but have only just got around to look at setting it up to use.

The motor is a Brook Crompton 400V 3 phase, marked as 4 hp and 1400 rpm. My workshop only has single phase, although there is a 40 amp outlet on the fuse box. I use this to run my 2hp lathe and my compressor, when needed.

So my immediate choice is, do I swap the motor for a single phase type or go the VFD route and stick with the 3 phase motor?

If I go single phase I reckon a 3hp motor would suffice, I won't be taking half inch cuts for my purposes, even if the machine is a brute of a thing! It may involve some engineering mods to adapt the drive pulley and fit the motor to the mounting bracket, otherwise should be reasonably straight forward. The down side may be less smooth running, but is this so critical on a shaper?

If I stick with the 3 phase motor, which VFD to buy? There are some tempting prices on those Huanyang VFDs on ebay, but are they any good? Is it a case of you get what you pay for? European and Japanese VFDs to handle 4 hp seem a bit juicy in terms of cost. Much cheaper to buy a single phase motor?

The shaper has a clutch, so VFD feature of creep control not so crucial.

Anyone done this before? All suggestions welcome.

Regards, Mick

John Stevenson27/12/2015 19:52:00
5068 forum posts
3 photos

2HP three phase with VFD will be more than adequate for a shaper in a home shop.

Remember you have oodles of gear reduction down to ram speed to increase torque.

Dropping to two HP will also drop prices considerably on motor and VFD.

Alternative for a shaper which as you say doesn't need the functions of a VFD just fit a 2HP single phase motor.

Chris Evans 627/12/2015 19:58:11
1726 forum posts

I use Huanyang VFD on my 2HP Bridgeport mill, been on nearly two years now and trouble free. Only downside is the "Chinglish" instructions. A friend installed mine for me, he has five of them on various machines in his shop.

Rik Shaw27/12/2015 22:39:33
1355 forum posts
369 photos

Mick - I have an Alba 1A shaper. These were originally supplied for the single phase market with a one horse six pole motor which ran at 900-960 rpm or so. Before I acquired it a year or so ago, someone had fitted a replacement single phase 4 pole motor which even on the slowest of the geared speeds is to fast (even with a small motor pulley).

To sort this out I need to source a replacement single phase 1hp 6 pole motor. I might as well be searching for the holy grail - they are virtually non-existent these days.

Instead I have bought an inverter and when I get round to it will use it to run the shaper with a new 3 phase motor.

Hope this gives you an idea of what might be involved.


Ian S C28/12/2015 09:46:24
7468 forum posts
230 photos

Rik, a cheaper way out would be to make up a jack shaft to drop the speed of the 4 pole motor, a couple of pulleys, a couple of bearings, and a bit of shaft. A 6 pole motor is going to be pricey if you buy new.

Ian S C

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