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southbend countershaft question


Active Member
first of all i'll say this might be a dumb question but im gonna ask it any ways. can i remove the countershaft from my lathe and run it with a larger motor and a vfd? i understand the counter shaft provides the torque advantage needed to remove metal but if i acount for that while choosing a larger motor could this theoretically work?


Ultra Member
Which Southbend? My 9A spindle speeds (without back gear) range from 300 to about 1400 rpm. If there is no belt reduction the motor/vfd would have to be at 10Hz to get 300 rpm I suspect this would be outside typical motor/vfd operating range? You would also have to make sure you don’t exceed the upper limit as the headstock bushings lose lubrication at higher speeds.


ersatz engineer
+1 to @Johnwa comments. You know you can run a bigger motor: the flat belts are capable of handling a lot of torque. 1400 RPMs is not too shabby for any lathe.