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When I picked up my Sheldon 10" lathe in early 2008, it came with a 3HP 3-phase motor controlled by
an AC Tech VFD (variable frequency drive.) VFD's are the hot ticket for machine tools, as they not only
let you use 3-phase machines in your residential single-phase home shop, but offer an array of features
such as ramp-up, ramp-down, dynamic braking and near-infinite variable speed.
I mounted the AC Tech box to the wall and hard-wired it in. But, the box was poorly placed to easily access
the controls, and I disliked the "membrane" buttons which had no apparent 'feel' when actuated.
Most VFDs allow the addition of remote-mounted controls, either a separately-mounted switchbox,
or an external controller like a PLC or industrial automation control. So, I wanted to make a box that
mounted to the lathe itself, in a convenient location, close at hand, and would have nice, big, "clicky"
buttons that were easy to see and use. There's a wide array of industrial switches available for just
this sort of thing, but on a whim I went the other way and bought a selection of arcade-style buttons.
They ran less than $3 each, are large and appropriately "clicky", and were available in an array of colors.
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Copyright 1998- 2015, Doc's Machine & Airsmith Services. All Rights
Information contained in
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purposes only. Our methods are not always the best,
quickest, safest, or even the correct ones. It's up to you to know how
to use your own machines and tools.
Keep your fingers away from the spinny blades o' death and you should
be all right.