Installing a DC motor on the lathe

After many hours of using the lathe, it was time to finally get rid of changing belts and install a variable speed motor. Trolling Kijiji resulted in purchasing a 2.5HP 130VDC treadmill motor.

The result, variable speed and much better finish since I can now set the speed I need instead of making do. Switching between HSS and insert tooling no longer requires getting out the 14mm wrench 🙂

I had read about the tribulations of mating the motor to lathe in various places but in the end the mounting holes were exactly the same pattern as the original 1HP motor. Just need to enlarge the holes. I am using the excellent KBCC125R controller, it includes forward-stop-reverse control so I don’t have to wire up relays to accomplish this. A bonus is dynamic braking, which should come in handy when I add a limit switch for threading to a shoulder.


I mounted a tachometer in a project box along with the speed potentiometer.


The end result is a quieter lathe, with speeds from 35 to 1500 RPM with no belt changes. I might add a belt to the second step pulley if I need higher or lower speeds.

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