Treadmill Motor of Destiny: The Arbor Factor

Hubert S.

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One way I could see this working for (a little) while is to put the motor in an enclosure under the table and use a belt to drive the grinder. You could seal all that reasonably well and put filters on your motor enclosure to allow ventilation while keeping most of the dust out. Of course, if you have to go out and buy shafts, pillow blocks, pulleys and all that, it will probably cost a good bit of money...
 

fitzo

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About 15 years back there was a fellow here who built an elaborate box to house his recycled treadmill motor. Sealed, fan cooled, filtered, it lasted a month or two and blew anyway.
Unfortunately, can't remember who it was. Perhaps Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith may remember. Was it Roger, Stacy?
 
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Fwiw,
Alot of treadmills use TENV motors.
Not for grinding, but I’ve used couple for homebrew shop equipment.
 

Randydb

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You can pick up a 1-2 hp three phase enclosed motor of craigs for under $100 if you watch for a week or two. You can pick up a new vfd off ebay for about $100 and put it in a tool box so it doesn't get dust in it.
For $200 you get something that will last and do all the things you mentioned above.
 

Crag the Brewer

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Cheers for all the info. Yes, I've been able to find some good stuff locally, especially at a used tool store. True about a false economy - the treadmill economy is all I can afford now, ha…I'm not disagreeing.

Good point about the mount - I just went back to the treadmill wreckage and discovered there were mounting brackets.

I'm planning/hoping to simply use the treadmill's controller…seems to work OK. It's waaaay too big and looks ridiculous. But…it has 10 programable speed buttons, big ol' start/stop buttons…and I get to know how many calories my knife worked off. Even the fan works!



That looks Great...... Make sure you use the Fat Burn cycle for rough grinding, and the Cool Down mode for final sharpening.....

Don't ask me how I know. ;)
 

Not Steve

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Thank you, everyone, for all the advice. I'll respond in this Mega Response Reply

He is in Cape Cod, Mass fellows. Anyone up there able to help him with a motor?

Cheers, mate.

That adapter converts a M10-1.25 metric angle grinder to a 5/8"-11 thread. It isn't going to work with a 5/8" bore drive wheel. You said the motor has a 1.25" threaded shaft. If that is correct, you will need a drive wheel with a 1.25" hole. If you can't use the old drive wheel in some way, your best bet for using the motor is to get a friend with a small lathe to take the wheel and bore out the center to 1.25"

Thanks - that's helpful to know…yeah, a custom drive wheel seems like the only option. Really miss the machine shop at uni.

That grinder frame is the bare bones. It will require the motor to be perfectly aligned in three planes to run smooth. You will need to mount the motor with the ability to make fine adjustments.

That's a really good point. Origin has a motor-mounting kit…I'll check it out.

Show us a clear photo of the old drive wheel, motor shaft, and verify the shaft diameter.

Much appreciated - I'll wait on asking for more of your time, and first check all the points that you and everyone have suggested.

When your treadmill motor dies you will hate the fact that you spent money making things work with a treadmill motor and to get your grinder going again you will either need to get another treadmill motor that also may not last or throw away the stuff you bought to make the treadmill motor work and buy a TEFC motor and drive wheel anyway. Like I said some people use them so... its your choice.

I'm starting to notice a consensus here, ha…I should prob reevaluate my approach.

OP, you're trying to save $? We're trying to learn ya.

…and despite my best efforts, I'm starting to learn…

That adaptor is not going to work. The motor will burn up quickly. Find another option. You're trying to make lemonade using bananas.

Mix in some rum, a splash of pineapple, and…still need a motor. It's weird because a treadmill motor seems like it'd be perfect…the burning up part is the most surprising.

Just one thing to consider if you proceed is the direction of rotation. Depending on the cooling fan and whether the drive wheel is threaded onto the shaft, it might not be a good idea to reverse it.

Thank you - another good point.

Folks, I don't think Not Steve is going to listen to us. If he had acknowledge that he needed to change his plan I might have mailed him a motor. What I think what we should all do for now is let him make his grinder ( almost surely doomed to fail) and hope he posts photos of the build.

…actually, I've been pretty well swayed…thanks for your advice and patience. The plan now is: If the tread motor fits Origin's motor adapter, and it spins the right direction, and there's a matching drive wheel somewhere…then might as well try it. Otherwise, it's off to Craig's list (and then the gym, because I'm out one treadmill).

It's funny how there can be so much inertia behind an idea that it becomes difficult to realise it's not a good one.

And not to put too fine a point on it…but anyone who goes to a message board, asks the experts there for (free) advice, and then ignores it…probably is about as bright as a treadmill motor.

I will point out to the members posting here that his info does not exactly seem to match his posts about equipment levels and budget. He posts no age, either ( I thought that was a requirement when signing up?) This is his personal info: I'm relatively new to forging. Starting with a coal forge, I moved to a home-built propane forge, and then bought some commercial ones. There's a lot of tools in my shop, but not many that are ideal for forging. I'm hoping to get some better tools, such as 2x72 and press. At the same time, I'm also working to build a real shop…that one is getting close. Still need a ventilation system…are shops ever done?

Well, there goes my charade of pretending to be the treadmill motor, itself. (I loved the fast pace of gym life, but I yearned for the grim satisfaction of pure grinding…and escaped, becoming sentient after watching a TED Talk.) Ha.

Not Steve is two people (Bill and Jeremy). Bill is the one writing. Jeremy has the shop, which replaced his garage. (The car gets a house after it gets a job.) Most of the tools have been gifted or purchased at our local used tool store. Slowly, those tools are being swapped out for more appropriate ones…we've got like four sanders that are almost useful.

Not Steve has updated his profile.

My last question to Not Steve is - Is your shaft like this? If so, everything that Herbert said about direction of rotation is going to be a problem (left-hand threads). You would have to get a custom made drive wheel ... which could cost more than a proper motor. There is a lot more I could add, but I don't think it will change your mind.

Thought I was at the doctor's for a sec, there. Thanks for the question - I don't think the shaft is, but I'll def check.

Trust me, I get shopping on a budget, and I'm the king of Macgyvering things to work on the cheap, but sometimes it's just really not worth it. Save a little bit more cash, sell a couple of things, and have a little patience, and before you know it, you'll find a good deal on the perfect motor.

That's what I'm leaning toward, ya…it's that locomotive of having spent so much time invested with the idea of the treadmill motor.

And for all the guys on these facebook groups swearing that they've run their grinders on a treadmill motor for years without any problems, color me suspicious. Either they're grinding little to no steel, they're using their machine very little, or their treadmill motor happens to not be an open frame (TEFC DC motors certainly exist, but they're not often seen in consumer grade treadmills). For every guy saying they got a treadmill motor to work (for now), there's 50 more makers who burned out their motor, or are already on their 2nd or 3rd control boards, or their "free" treadmill ended up costing as much to make work as the better options mentioned above.

Right? I've read people claiming to have built 2x72 with a literally EVERYTHING for a motor…it's always something like, "Yeah, so I built my grinder from a mothballed AH-64E Apache, two identical snowflakes and the motor from CERN's particle accelerator."

Agreed, there's no point is throwing money at making the wrong tool better.

One way I could see this working for (a little) while is to put the motor in an enclosure under the table and use a belt to drive the grinder. You could seal all that reasonably well and put filters on your motor enclosure to allow ventilation while keeping most of the dust out. Of course, if you have to go out and buy shafts, pillow blocks, pulleys and all that, it will probably cost a good bit of money...

Thought about that (and cheers), and started realising (as you mention) the potential cost and frustration.

This is definitely one of those scenarios when you spend a lot more money (and especially time) trying to save a few bucks.

Agreed.

You can pick up a 1-2 hp three phase enclosed motor of craigs for under $100 if you watch for a week or two. You can pick up a new vfd off ebay for about $100 and put it in a tool box so it doesn't get dust in it.
For $200 you get something that will last and do all the things you mentioned above.

After Stacy's insight, I'm curious about mounting any motor. Origin has a mounting kit, but I'm guessing there isn't a standard mount spec (like VESA) for 1-2 horsepower motors?

That looks Great...... Make sure you use the Fat Burn cycle for rough grinding, and the Cool Down mode for final sharpening.....

This is the way.
 
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Drew Riley

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HAHAHAHA. I almost spit out my beer on a few of those replies. Well done!

As for using a motor from CERN's particle accelerator, I thought I would help me make knives faster, but every time I turned it on, obscure facts about the world around me would start to change in a subtle way... like my Sinbad movie collection no longer contains the well known cult classic "Shazaam!". o_O
 
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After Stacy's insight, I'm curious about mounting any motor. but I'm guessing there isn't a standard mount spec (like VESA) for 1-2 horsepower motors?

NEMA motor frame sizes

Stay with Frame 56C motors, they will all have the same mount specs.

That's North American.

Euro /metric has it's own metric standards and specs.

I'd stay away from the Origin, Oregon, dictator line.
It's the cheapest possibly built thing to maximize returns
 

Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

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I'm glad to see that you are realizing what we are trying to tell you.

Thanks for clearing up the profile. I have to ask - why are a scientist and an auto engineer trying to save a few dollars by using a torn down treadmill? (or is "Scientist" and "Auto engineer" not really your professions, but a description of your activities?)
It is an amazing coincidence that you both have the same birthday;) ( or is that also a two-person total?)
 

weo

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I'll second Drew's reaction. Good post and it clears up a lot. I think you have the right way of looking at things to make whatever direction you go work. You just have to decide how long it needs to work for you to be satisfied... I'm now interested in watching your knifemaking progress to see some cool stuff in the future, not merely to see how badly things fail.
Good luck.
 

Mecha

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I'm glad to see that you are realizing what we are trying to tell you.

Thanks for clearing up the profile. I have to ask - why are a scientist and an auto engineer trying to save a few dollars by using a torn down treadmill? (or is "Scientist" and "Auto engineer" not really your professions, but a description of your activities?)
It is an amazing coincidence that you both have the same birthday;) ( or is that also a two-person total?)


Scientist:

6gXMqY3.jpg



Auto engineer:

Y24romP.jpg


:D
 

Crag the Brewer

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Scientist:

6gXMqY3.jpg



Auto engineer:

Y24romP.jpg


:D


I might of misread it, or misunderstood their self-deprecating inferring they Might be schizofrentic???
Hopefully in a joking, light-hearted way...

saying they are two people?
actually, maybe it's just him......

Sorta like the devil whispering in his ear...hahah
 

Not Steve

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NEMA motor frame sizes. Stay with Frame 56C motors, they will all have the same mount specs. That's North American. Euro /metric has it's own metric standards and specs. I'd stay away from the Origin, Oregon, dictator line. It's the cheapest possibly built thing to maximize returns

Thanks - I was really wondering about the mounting. I hear you on the quality of the kit…maybe for a first 2x72, the Ori stuff is OK.

I'm glad to see that you are realizing what we are trying to tell you. Thanks for clearing up the profile. I have to ask - why are a scientist and an auto engineer trying to save a few dollars by using a torn down treadmill? (or is "Scientist" and "Auto engineer" not really your professions, but a description of your activities?)
It is an amazing coincidence that you both have the same birthday;) ( or is that also a two-person total?)

Thanks, Stacy. Ha, Jeremy is an AUDIO engineer. I'm a scientist (supposedly) and music producer. Things in the music industry are tough right now, especially the past year…Jeremy couldn't have clients coming to his studio. I've been doing some post-production and cool research, which is good, but music sales aren't really a thing any more. When we looked at everything we reasonably need to be a good forging shop, including all the safety stuff…it's just a huge investment.




I might of misread it, or misunderstood their self-deprecating inferring they Might be schizofrentic??? Hopefully in a joking, light-hearted way... Saying they are two people? Actually, maybe it's just him...... Sorta like the devil whispering in his ear...hahah

Ha, it's two only mildly insane people. I've always wanted to be a mad scientist…I need a lair, though…and probably a cyborg (or at least a sassy robot).

HAHAHAHA. I almost spit out my beer on a few of those replies. Well done! As for using a motor from CERN's particle accelerator, I thought I would help me make knives faster, but every time I turned it on, obscure facts about the world around me would start to change in a subtle way... like my Sinbad movie collection no longer contains the well known cult classic "Shazaam!". o_O

What a coincidence…I say "Shazaam!" every time I break a blade. If only my steel had bigger Hadrons…

I'll second Drew's reaction. Good post and it clears up a lot. I think you have the right way of looking at things to make whatever direction you go work. You just have to decide how long it needs to work for you to be satisfied... I'm now interested in watching your knifemaking progress to see some cool stuff in the future, not merely to see how badly things fail. Good luck.

Thanks - yes, agreed. We're gonna get to work now, and will update here with poorly-framed photos in 1-2 weeks…assuming the shop is still standing.
 

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fitzo

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"Scientist" covers a lot of territory. As a fellow scientist, may I inquire as to your discipline, please? I was a chemist in R&D for a Big Pharma company, now retired. Thank you.
 
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Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

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Yes, scientist covers a lot of disciplines. I was a research chemist when I was 18, and then in (classified) electronics for the Government in my 20's. I dabble in metallurgy and physics now. When I was just 14 I had fully setup micro-biology lab at home. I worked in pathology at the local hospital at 17. For those reasons I consider myself a scientist.
 

fitzo

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I think Not Steve/Bill is a scientist in psychoacoustics or something on that order. Maybe computer math, too.
Interesting bio, especially as my other interest is music and this meager workstation I have.

And I agree, Stacy, scientist is a general term. And doesn't always mean the staid, conservative set of definitions set up by academia. Bacon was a scientist; I doubt he had a PhD. Scientist is a state of mind and practice.

And then it comes down to whether one is a good scientist or not. I've met both, in scores.
 

Tyson A Wright

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"Scientist" covers a lot of territory.

Yes, scientist covers a lot of disciplines.

In the link he provided (here it is again) he talks about his PhD thesis in audio post-production. He has worked with some of the best musicians on the planet implementing his ideas. I don't know him personally, but I've heard some of his work - if he can get his knifemaking up to half of what his music work is, we will all be impressed.

-Tyson
 

Mecha

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If only my steel had bigger Hadrons…

I hear it has to be LARGE hadron collisions for it to work right, and your particle accelerator must be oriented with the Sun's magnetic north pole. o_O

But don't mind me, I'm just a simple metalworker, tending to my heat treatment ceremonies, rituals, and bewitchments.

BfpQ4O5.jpg
 
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