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PM1340GT vs PM1440BV

Discussion in 'PRECISION-MATTHEWS' started by Kamloopsendo, Mar 24, 2017.

  1. Kamloopsendo

    Kamloopsendo Canada H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I've Sent Matt a deposit on a 1340GT with 3 phase motor planning on adding a VFD to it. BUT, noted later that the switch between high and low range requires change of the belt drive which the way I read it is a significant hassle. Also talking to my electrician friend who will wire it up for me it's going to run me close to a $1000 by the time I run power, add the VFD, box for the VFD, make the internal wiring changes required to take advantage of the VFD. The 1440 is chinese not Taiwanese and I'm sure not as nicely done but does come with a simple plug into my existing wiring, DRO, variable speed drive, a lever to change from high to low range and a 2" spindle bore. I've a friend with a chinese 1236 and one with a grizzly 1440 both are happy with them.
    I'm a bit anal about stuff, like it neat and nice but am having second thoughts about giving up spindle bore, and DRO and over $1000 difference in the end to end up with a "nicer" but perhaps somewhat less capable lathe
    Thoughts anyone? AND, thanks for the time to read this far.
    Alex
     
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  2. petertha

    petertha Canada H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Be interested in what you decide & why in the end. Aside from the spindle bore increase on the 14", I cant think of too many features you would be gaining over the 1340 +/-some accessories that might sway you. A bit of apples & orange reference but I gave a Taiwan (1997 King label) CT-1440G which I suspect is kind of like an old uncle to the current 1340GT. Despite a few hiccups I'm experiencing, its amazingly nice compared at least to (my local) Chinese offerings, especially around the tactile things, knobs & levers. DRO makes this not as important but I would just say fit & finish overall. Maybe Matts are different.

    I cant speak for the VFD because I don't have one. I can visualize the upside but ya, that's some extra shekels. What type of machining operation or other advantages do you envision utilizing VFD? The nice thing about current lathe offerings either way is they come with taper attachment. That was a spec-up-front option in my era & completely different cross slide screw & assembly. And better n the fly gear changing. I am now incensed with jealousy :)
     
  3. DrAsus

    DrAsus United States Steel Registered Member

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    Tagged



    Sent from my XT1575 using Tapatalk
     
  4. wrmiller

    wrmiller Chief Tinkerer H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Unless I actually needed that 2" spindle bore I wouldn't even bother to compare the two lathes. Spec sheets don't tell you things like quality or accuracy that are much more important to me.

    I spent the time to modify my 1340GT to use a VFD, and while I don't remember the particulars, it didn't cost anywhere close to $1000 dollars. Largest expense was the VFD itself, and I bought mine from Matt. I also already had my eyes on a different DRO so had no need to buy one already installed. As for the belt change, well I haven't changed from the high range since installing the VFD. Don't need to, as I don't do really coarse threads and the VFD allows me to turn below 100 rpm on those rare occasions that require it. Almost all of my threading is done between 100 and 200 rpm. Other folks put the belt on the low range and never move it. Different folks, different usages. If I ever do upgrade to a real VFD rated motor that will go to 120Hz, I may make my own single step pulleys that take advantage of the extended abilities of the VFD and motor and eliminate the factory two-step pulleys altogether. Problem solved. :)

    My current lathe configuration is very accurate, and that is the most important quality for my uses. I don't care about pretty. The only thing left to upgrade is the stand, which I don't 'need' per se, but I'd like to have the added stability of the cast iron stand. Had it been available when I bought my lathe I would have ordered it then.

    The only other lathe I would consider in this size/capacity range would be Matt's new 1440 from Taiwan, but honestly, it is outside my budget range. :(
     
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  5. Kamloopsendo

    Kamloopsendo Canada H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Thanks to both of you for the thoughts. As to the cost thing - I'm in Canada and our Canadian Peso has dropped considerably in the last few years so a $249 VFD from Matt comes in landed at $370 Cdn, the lathe costs $250 more (without a 4 jaw chuck also) so that's another $370 and I need a box and probably a bit of labour from my electrician friend who I refuse to let work for free just 'cause we're friends so well over $1000 CDN the way i see it.
    I'm figuring that most of what i'd use a 4 jaw chuck for I can do on a mill so not sure I'll even end up really missing that option although I can always add one later.
    The 1340GT also uses a D1-4 Camlock vs what I understand to be a stronger D1-5 arrangement on the 1440BV chinese lathe
    I may be reading too much into the complications of wiring the VFD and can do it myself in which case it would be just under $1000 Cdn total cost. The Chinese offering does come with a heavy cast iron base std. The 2" spindle bore is appealing but truthfully at this point I'm not even sure what I'll use it for - just like the option I guess.
    I can always add a DRO later I know - just becomes a how much do I spend and when does it stop (NEVER apparently!). Nice to hear about the speed Range with the VFD on the GT Bill, Matt had indicated to me that with VFD I would not have to worry about speed range but I had read another thread on this site about a VFD on 1340GT in which he would not vary more than about 25% for fear of overheating the motor which sounds like it really is not a concern. Thats a strong point for the 1340 'cause that belt change sounds like a PITA.
    At this point my use for a lathe is associated with my hobby of fixing up old Japanese Motorcycle from the '60's and early 70's some of which require reasonably precise parts.
    I noted your tag line Bill - about removal of warning labels and wonder if you're the same guy on the VJMC list as I've seen the line before (and it makes me smile!)
    Let you know what I decide in the end.
    Alex
     
  6. Muskt

    Muskt United States Home Shop Tinkerer Active Member

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    OK, just another opinion.

    DRO on the lathe (to me) falls into the "nice, but a luxury" category. 'Nuff said.

    3 phase is really nice--I have it on my 1236. Belt changing is a moot point, especially with the VFD. I leave mine on low, and can get 48-2000 RPM. I have my VFD set for 40-90Hz.

    You didn't specify (or I missed it) if you are experienced with a lathe. If you are, then 3-phase & VFD is probably the way to go. If not, why not learn on a standard drive? Untold thousands of lathes are in use without VFDs. I'm not, in any way, saying that a VFD is bad--I'm just thinking about someone just getting started, & diving into the deep end too soon.

    As to the wiring & setting up a VFD. It is not that tough. Especially when you consider the quality and quantity of very knowledgeable help available here on the forum.

    I have done 2 VFD installs. One on a Grizz mill several years ago while living in Alaska. I had ZERO help available. No blue smoke at all.
    The second was recently on my 1236. It was considerably more involved due to all the whistles & bells on the lathe. With some hand holding by MKSJ & a couple of others, I got it up & running--again without any blue smoke. I used a totally different VFD than most (irrelevant). It came in a water-tight enclosure. It has two rather serious drawbacks. First is cost, & second is that it has no provision for a braking resistor. It does incorporate some type of regenerative braking and will stop significantly faster than without the braking turned on.

    1236 VFD.jpg

    Here is what I see as the biggest factor (other than money) in your decision. (The following is not intended to be mean or hateful or derogatory.)

    "I'm a bit anal about stuff, like it neat and nice"

    Neat & nice generally cost more (in some cases -- LOTS MORE). As you can see in the above pic, I have 3 wires connected to the VFD. One of them is in power from the outlet on the wall to the left. Second is out power to the motor. Third is control cable to the existing power box on the back of the headstock.
    Since I am pretty "unclever" about electricity & electronics, I left all of the "stuff" inside the box. I disconnected the wiring from the various switches and reconnected them to the appropriate terminals inside the VFD via the control cable (It has 9 wires inside it.). I have NO HIGH VOLTAGE inside the box on the lathe. The only thing missing from my install is the "jog" feature. That would require running another separate wire to the VFD since I used all 9 of the ones in the control cable. I do not have the coolant system connected, and have the non-oem work light connected to a "wall wart". Power for it arrives via the silver connector on the back splash panel below the VFD.

    So, in summary, I would go with the 1340GT Single Phase, and upgrade in a year or two.

    Best to you,
    Jerry in Delaware
     
  7. petertha

    petertha Canada H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    One of the guys on our local forum is from Edmonton Alberta & had nothing but positive things to say about Matt personally after successfully landing a milling machine into Kanuckistan. Sounds like the shipping & customs paperwork was relatively painless, which is what caught my attention. He goes the extra mile apparently.

    Not to dissuade your path, but provide more data points - Modern Tool carries 14" varietals, Chinese sourced (with their specs, bearing upgrades? CSA...) & usually bundled with chucks, DRO, taper attachment etc. Closest to you is Vancouver. Unfortunately they don't carry Taiwan lines anymore in this size so no equivalent to the PM & I saw nothing with VFD. Also convince yourself you actually like the quality of bundled accessories, that's another consideration. I'm not sure about KBC in Vancouver, they might have different 14" flavors under their own name. Same deal with King Canada, seems to be a common business model.
    http://www.moderntool.com/products/category/lathes-new/

    I just peeked at this 14"model on the floor in Calgary. More weight, higher cost, wider bed, but some nice extended features if that's of interest. Again, comes complete as a package. Coincidentally looks like Matt carries this one or a variant so could speak firsthand to pros & cons & matchup to your work.
    http://www.moderntool.com/products/modern-14-swing-40-between-centers-gh-1440-zx-heavy-duty-lathe/
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2017
  8. mksj

    mksj Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I have to agree with Bill on all his points, the difference in machines is more apple to oranges, and it really comes down to how much you want to spend and what you want to do with it. I started out I was looking at 12x28-36 or smaller, and I ended up with a 1340GT and spending almost twice as much as my original budget. I also had "0" experience with VFDs. So maybe a few comments and suggestions, we all see things differently so it is all shades of grey.

    1. In general, a Taiwanese machine is going to cost something like 25% more, the difference is in the details and the fit/feel of the machine. Compared to the less expensive Chinese machine, they will both give you a finished product and hold similar tolerances at the end of the day. But there may be a number of annoying idiosyncrasies or palpable difference in how the controls work and the user experience. Myself, I had a higher quality Chinese mill that I used for years, but I put a lot of work into making it better. I sold it for a Taiwanese knee mill, and I will never buy a Chinese machine again. That being said, I had more wiggle room on the budget and I saved through the years for the upgrade.

    2. I think there is a lot of merit in going with a 3 phase machine for a number of different reasons. It is generally accepted that the surface finish on a 3 phase machine will be better and you do not have an issue with the failures seen with single phase motors, usually due to the capacitors failing or the starter switch. When you are doing operations that require frequent on/off motor cycling, the start capacitors tend to go quickly. Single phase Chinese motors are notoriously bad for failing in a year or two. On this one, on a lathe, I would only go 3 phase. You also have the added issue on the 1340GT that it is not easy to drop in a 3 phase motor at a later point, there are very few motors that will fit and they can be pricey.

    3. VFDs are an adjunct and make life easier in dialing a sweet spot and have a few other control features that can make you life a lot easier. If you are old school and run an RPC, that also works just fine. Cost wise you can put together an RPC for not very much, so a few hundred dollars and you are up and running. You have probably been getting some misinformation on the speed range of VFDs and what works, along with the belt changes. So the stock 1340GT 3 phase motor is very decent, a reasonable operating VFD range is 20-90Hz in sensorless vector mode. Keeping the 1340GT belt on the low speed belt range, you are probably talking a speed range of 40-1200 HZ. I never had to change the belt position on mine, and even if I did, it would have taken about 2 minutes to switch speeds. Using an inverter motor, I use a 20-120 Hz range, with a single pulley, I have a usable spindle RPM of 40-1800. I have never been able to bog down either motor, and an inverter motor will maintain +/-1 RPM. VFDs have the advantage of electronic braking, this is more of an issue with the 1340GT that has no foot brake. With electronic braking you can stop the chuck in about a second, but day to day I use 3 seconds. This makes for very controllable acceleration and deceleration. Add an electronic stop and you can stop the carriage repeatably to an accuracy of better than 0.001".

    4. You can do a fancy VFD system, or I have outlined in a previous thread of a simple conversion that you can do in a few hours and the machine will operate exactly like a stock 3 phase machine with the VFD variable speed and braking. It only requires a speed pot, an enclosure for the VFD and a braking resistor. You want to add more, this can be done later. You can have the electrician check out your high voltage wiring, but you are talking a very small nominal cost. A $1000 to install a VFD is a bit over the top, but the components can add up if you want to do a complete system replacement with all the bells and whistles. I both help people with this and on occasion build them. I would have pretty high expectations if you are going to shell out that amount.
    http://www.hobby-machinist.com/thre...g-the-stock-control-board-and-switches.49022/

    5. All this said, the 1440BV is a lot of lathe for the price, and basically being able to hook it up to power and have a purposely built VFD machine at this price level and capabilities is over the top. I do not know of a comparable factory VFD lathe that isn't twice the price. If going with this machine I would get better quality chucks and be done with it. Scope of work wise, I consider the 1340/1440 to be very close, so you are not missing something as far as what you can do on both machines. A slightly larger spindle bore, great if it comes with a machine, but not a huge difference in day to day use. Actually a 2" bore in this size machine in a rarity, and even larger more expensive machines do not have 2" bores. No big deal with a D1-4 vs. D1-5, the latter being a little less common and more expensive. I doubt you will find anybody that says it makes a difference in rigidity at this size level of lathe. The primary advantage is the accommodation of a larger spindle bore, and you need a larger chuck like an 8" to have a large enough through hole to get stock through the chuck.

    So all in all, they are both great machines. One is more turnkey and you get a lot of bang for your buck, the other is a more honed/finish machine but will require the cost and time to upgrade to a VFD. Many of us went with the 1340GT because of the pleasure with using it, and that was important to us. But the 1440BV is a strong contender, and offers so much more than say a generic 1236 machine. They all are capable machines, so it is a difficult decision. There is also a wealth of information as to opinions and assistance at this site without getting flamed for asking.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2017
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  9. richl

    richl United States Active User Active Member

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    Add the 1440hd into the mix and you know my pain
    A youtube review on the 1440 bv is here

    seems to be a decent review for that machine
    neither is a no brainer for me. I might lean more for the 1340gt because i already have most the tooling to fit this lathe, the 1440bv, 1440HD or 1440GT would require more costs .
    the costs are all incremental for the next model and features, and each time i start at the 1440BV, than go for another... I can get... and for another, I can get.... and eventually end up staring at the 1440HD at 6900 and 3000lbs

    hth
    rich
     
  10. Kamloopsendo

    Kamloopsendo Canada H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I've watched the video a couple of times Rich, and it's part of why I leaned towards the 1340GT - a sense that while the BV is OK it is a bit rough and he wishes he could have a taiwanese version!!
    Mark: I had read your threads on converting the 1340GT to VFD and in fact that is what I asked Matt to sell me (with an upgraded 8" 3 jaw). My $1000 is Cdn and is a combo of the cost of the lathe being a bit more, the cost of the VFD (in this case the Hitachi that Matt sells) (the two of which landed is $750 Cdn) and a little allowance for wire, control box and a bit of guidance from an electrical contractor friend.
    I know from nothing about electrical issues other that from an academic perspective so am a bit apprehensive about getting involved in converting the unit to VFD and cost becomes more of a factor if I have to pay a tech to do the conversion for me.

    A big part of why I looked at 3phase and VFD is simply the range of speeds and the ability to add a brake as you noted the GT does not have a foot brake. If I understand what you've said the Hitachi unit that Matt sell requires considerable work to install or am I misunderstanding you. I can follow instructions quite well but have no intuitive understanding of electrical issues hence my concerns here. If I can convince myself that the GT is simple enough to convert to what I want I think I can swallow the $ but if I have to get an electrician involved to rewire it then I think I'm going to go for the BV.

    Ultimately it does largely come down to cost as I could keep going to the 1440GT for considerably more $ etc, etc or go for the simpler but less elegant route of the 1440BV!

    With respect to Modern in Calgary, they sell the twin to the Grizzly G0709 1440 lathe for $7500 Cdn (plus tax) which is a full $1000 Cdn more than the grizzly lathe landed in Canada so a bit of a tough sell from my perspective. I did phone and talk to a sales rep in Calgary and while he did sound reasonable the price point is a bit out of line and the PM1440BV sounds like a better lathe for less money.
     
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  11. mksj

    mksj Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    OK, I follow the costs now, your are talking the package upgrade. I would keep it between the 1340GT and the 1440BV, you also need to look at service and support. It is a toss up between the two, as to what is more important. The 1440BV is an easy setup and will work very well out of the crate. But if fit and finish is high on your list, then I would swing to the 1340GT. The 1440GT a substantial price hike, so it is in another category and no price room for a VFD. The big question is what type of machining you want to do and what is high priority on your list. It is very rare that you will be doing a project that you will need a bigger lathe, and unlikely a 1440 would work any better.

    On the VFD, many of us have started out with the basics and learned as we go, but it is a big expense to have as a boat anchor if you run into problems. My main concern with the 1340GT was not having a brake, most of this is physiological as I could have learned otherwise. But having the electronic brake gives one much more confidence that the machine will stop quickly. Still a mechanical brake is more foolproof. Push a VFD beyond its braking capacities and it will unexpectedly freewheel. I do not believe installing a VFD (electrically) is that difficult, there is lots of information and posting with pictures as to how to do the wire hookup. The basic wiring is not too difficult, but designing, building and wiring a full system replacement is more daunting especially if you do not have the electrical background in these things. Purchasing a full control system replacement is costly, but there is very little to figure out with the install. Alan installed a system, this gives you an idea of what is involved and he also detailed the VFD enclosure build elsewhere; http://www.hobby-machinist.com/threads/jacobs-vfd-control-system-installed-on-pm1340gt.55294/ . Programming the VFD can be a pain, but at least all the parameters have been worked out, and once you start doing it it should become more familiar. It is hard for anyone of us to say what is the better route. If you do have a local electrician or someone to help then you than I would consider installing a VFD system, otherwise the 1440BV makes it very simple and you save some $$. I wish the factory made a VFD 1340GT, I asked when I bought mine, but had to go down the rabbit hole and managed to build a VFD system. It took me 3 months to get it worked out.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2017
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  12. dpb

    dpb United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    mksj was nice enough to help me with my basic VFD conversion on a 1440GT. Other than some power supply issues that had nothing to do with the lathe, the VFD, or the conversion, the change over went smoothly, and works perfectly. The cost of materials in excess of the VFD was less than $150, not counting 50' of 10 gauge, needed to bring power to the lathe.
    Mark knows his stuff, and is very helpful.
     
  13. Kamloopsendo

    Kamloopsendo Canada H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    David. Thanks for the response concerning your experience with Mainland Chinese equipment, I've read a few posts from you and think I understand where you're coming from. I look forward to seeing the final results of your installation. At this point I'm not sure I have the time or motivation to go thru what you've gone thru to set the lathe up. I did toy with building my own stand partly influenced by a desire to have organized storage underneath. I"ve two shops of just under 700 sq ft each one for wood, one devoted to old japanese bikes that I putter with. Space is a big issue as they're not big enough and I"ve no excuse as i designed the shop areas and we did a custom build house so its my own bloody fault that I'm tight for space!! However time and energy is a finite resource and I'm not sure I want to expend the time and energy in this area and am tempted to go the quick and easy route with the mainland chinese lathe from Matt. your experience with the VFD however gives me HOPE!!! It sounds like the experience was straight forward enough. Thanks for the thoughts.
    Alex
     
  14. Kamloopsendo

    Kamloopsendo Canada H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    When I phoned ModernTool in Calgary and talked to the sales guy and asked about that 1440 heavy they have retail is about $16,000, nicely equipped tho' but that is way above what I'm remotely prepared to spend, they do have a 1440 which is identical to a Grizzly G0709 but costs about $500 more (they have a Chinese DRO on thier version - Grizzly does not) and this is very similar to a PM lathe which I've asked Matt about and he felt strongly that the 1440BV was a nicer lathe (and he sells both versions). I think it's very difficult for Canadian suppliers selling small volumes to match the prices that Grizzly or PM can get simply because of the volume although tax structure etc may be the issue as whenever I compare identical units from south of the border with the stuffavailable here the equipment from the american store almost always comes in cheaper (in adjusted $) than when purchased in Canada. A bit I feel guilty ignoring our guys but with PM in particular I've heard such consistently good reports on back up and service that I am very strongly biased towards dealing with PM.
    Alex
     
  15. Kamloopsendo

    Kamloopsendo Canada H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    David Best described briefly an easy "basic" conversion of his 1340GT to a VFD with your guidance for what appeared to be very reasonable cost. I absolutely am not getting involved in a complicated conversion with the GT - I'll go with the 1440BV before I do that. Can you give me some basic indication of what this "basic" conversion David did consists of - did he for example use the Hitachi VFD from Matt at PM? Is it viable to put an electric brake on this version of VFD.
    Thanks again for the support.
    Alex
     
  16. Kamloopsendo

    Kamloopsendo Canada H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I am an absolute Newby to this game, I last ran a lathe 40+ years ago going thru a mechanical engineering degree and have only played with my son's small chinese 7 x 14 occasionally. That said, it is not easy (read economical) to retro-fit a 3 phase motor to the 1340GT and every thread I've read on the subject seems like 3 phase is the way to go. I would much rather spend a bit more up front and not be wanting to "trade up" in a couple of years. I can't ever see myself really needing more capacity than either the 1340 or 1440 so that's kind of where I'm at size wise. Thanks for sharing your experience it does give me encouragement that the conversion is viable and worthwhile.
    Alex
     
  17. mksj

    mksj Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Hi Alex,
    The basic conversion is outlined in the post below. On the 1340GT I would say 3 phase is the way to go with the basic VFD conversion as a starting point. You can always upgrade to a more elaborate control system at a later point as needed, either way you go you will have a very nice lathe. http://www.hobby-machinist.com/thre...g-the-stock-control-board-and-switches.49022/

    As mentioned the basic conversion gives you the same functionality as the stock lathe control system plus speed control and basic braking. On the factory control system it takes probably less than an hour to make the wiring changes. You still need a VFD enclosure and to do some basic wiring. If you have any questions if you choose that route, you can post it or send a PM and a number of us can help you out. The conversion on the 1440GT is similar, but a bit different because of the coolant contactor. All good choices and can be done at a very reasonable cost. So far the basic VFD conversion posted has worked well and can save you about $400 over a full control board system replacement, the caveat is that the contactors must be new, if used they develop too much contact resistance from arcing.
    Mark
     
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  18. Kamloopsendo

    Kamloopsendo Canada H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    OK, that sound adequate for me Mark, which VFD do I purchase to do this as it sounds like the Hitachi unit is a LOT of work to utilize. If I'm going this way - which sounds good I'd like to get the VFD installed in it's box with power to it before my Lathe arrives (early July it looks like) so that I can get the lathe up and running ASAP. Thanks again for the help.
    Alex
     
  19. Kamloopsendo

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    AS you can tell by now I'm a bit slow. I finally clicked on the full PDF and went thru it. Does sound straightforward and I'm assuming that is the same Hitachi unit that Matt at PM sells. This helps my decision process, thanks again.
    Alex
     
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  20. petertha

    petertha Canada H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Depending on when you inquired, I think they shuffled the flavour of that particular style & apparently now settled on GH1440W model which goes for 12,974$C including DRO, taper, 3J & 4J chuck... It has more extended ranges but is heavier machine. Based on what I suspect are your needs & wants, you are going down the right path with PM. Look forward to what you end up with & particularly your VFD-ification! :)
     
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  21. bobshobby

    bobshobby Australia H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    These are always difficult and controversial questions. Fact versus fiction and personal opinions always makes for much discussion. I personally don't think I'll ever buy another Chinese machine, The few I have bought I have always regretted. Sure the Taiwanese price is usually about 25% higher but I think you get at least 50% better quality and therefore value.

    I ended up buying the Liang Dei 1216, which is apparently made in the same factory in Taiwan as the Taiwanese PM machines in fact the LD1340 appears identical in every way to the PM1340. Just a different name on the face plate. The PM brand does not appear top be available here in Australia, the local dealers just bring in the LD brand.

    Prior to buying my lathe I looked at numerous Chinese machines, but was always disappointed in the quality or lack of, particularly in the finish and feel of the machine, so ended up with the Taiwan model, and don't regret the extra cash, quite happy with it.

    Single phase or 3 phase. mine is only single phase 1.5 HP. I certainly don't need any more power. VFD or not. I've never used one adn don't see the need and can't justify the cost. The braking with a VFD is not really fast enough to save your arm. so what's the point? Speed control , again I can't justify the cost. I've got enough speed as it is. DRO, again I've never used one and can't justify the cost. I thought we are supposed to be precision machinists here. A DRO appears to me to be and expensive and complicate way to compensate for lack of skill. I put it the same basket as CNC, great for production volume but the skill is programming not machining.

    These are all personal choices and decisions here, and at the end of the day you will have to make your own, but and unless you need the extra swing and spindle bore, which you haven't said you do I'd put my money on the 1340, by all accounts it's a very nice machine
     
  22. Kamloopsendo

    Kamloopsendo Canada H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    The guy at Modern was good to talk to but I think too that I'm better off with what I can get from Quality Machine & Matt. After all the info I've received I am still a bit undecided between the two but given the info from Mark it would appear the basic VFD set up is simple enough to install and I think I'll go that way although they're still time to vacillate more!
     
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  23. Kamloopsendo

    Kamloopsendo Canada H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Must say virtually everyone has indicated the 1340GT is the way to go and your thoughts are consistent. If I do go that way and am leaning that way I will go VFD as it does not sound all that complicated after all and does offer some very real advantages. I'm a bit in your camp with regards the need for DRO but have not read anyone who has it that doesn't like it.
    Alex
     
  24. mksj

    mksj Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    There are different preference based on ones experience and what they are looking for. So a few things to clarify, the braking on a VFD system can be very quick when you consider it will stop my 60lB+ chuck in one second from speed. It is good enough that many manufactures use a VFD brake on their lathes instead of a mechanical. Nothing is fast enough to stop a chuck if your shirt/arm are caught in a lathe. In most accidents it is someone else that hits the machine kill button. Braking adds consistance to the stopping distance and is advantageous to assure quick predictable stopping quickly, like when threading.

    A 1.5Hp motor may be sufficient for smaller machine, but if you want to take a deeper cut and more material you need Hp. Everyone I know that has installed a VFD on their machine, has usually said they should have done it a long time ago for multiple reasons. I am not saying it is a must have, but it sure improves the user experience and adds some safety features. Same goes on a DRO, once you start using one, it is a time saver and makes repeat work much easier. DRO's are not complicated, you basically are reading two numbers on a screen, not any difference then reading dials (which at my age is becoming increasingly more difficult).

    The question is always budget and what is important to you and how you want to quantify "quality". Both machines discussed here will do the same thing to near equal tolerance, but I still would not buy another Chinese mainland machine. Others may not have this options, and they do as good or better work on their machines. You need to decide what works for you given the information at hand.
     
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  25. petertha

    petertha Canada H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I'm just a hobby machinist but I can say with 100% certainty I would sorely miss my DRO after having run several years without. It provides SO many benefits to lathes like being discussed. Its an independent, repeatable measure of travel on multiple axis. It saves me mental math errors. It helps mitigate (lets call it what it is) sometimes not-so-pretty dial graduation & reset-ability on many offshore machines. It sees backlash float & sometimes iffy clamping mechanisms which help with accuracy. Now I basically use the dials for roughing increments & rely on DRO thereafter for finishing & repeatability. You can mic your part & enter this dimension within a few seconds of button click effort, then away you go again. Temporarily switch between IMP/SI, no problem. Touch off to an arbitrary datum & enter this reference dimension, no problem. I actually don't use many other features myself. If this is 'compensation for lack of skill', guilty as charged. But I like it :)

    Expensive is of course a personal decision. You can drop that or more on a decent chuck. I've seen some very cool mechanical setups using test indicators, verniers, fixtures... & have the utmost respect for those methods. But they also cost money & effort if its not in your current kit. Buying a lathe without DRO may not actually reduce cost significantly if its a package deal. Inquire about this. Some companies are standardizing on DRO bracketry, drill/tapping all the mounting holes at factory or dealer point.

    Also consider - lets say a year from now you decide a DRO would have been nice in hindsight. Your lathe may well be parked adjacent to a wall. So you have to disturb the setup, pull it out to access the rear, disassemble lathe components to mount the scales, encoders, display, cable routing etc. And pay extra shipping to get the DRO landed as a separate item. I did this on my lathe so speaking from experience. Sure its doable, but only you can decide if its worth it. Just one mans opinion :)
     
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  26. wrmiller

    wrmiller Chief Tinkerer H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I have DROs on both my mill and lathe. Love them, and won't own a machine without one. They don't make a machine more accurate, nor anyone a better machinist, but they do make certain tasks easier/quicker. Do they prevent me from making mistakes? Hardly. For me, they are just easier to use rather than squinting at dials, worrying about parallax, and trying to remember a turn count. ;)

    Same for VFD... Just because something was done differently a half a century ago, doesn't make it better than a more modern technology that didn't even exist way back then. The ability to fine tune spindle speed for a better cut/finish is not something I'm willing to give up for the sake of saving a few bucks. But that's just me.
     
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  27. sanddan

    sanddan Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    If I had to give up one, (VFD or DRO) on my 1340GT I would keep the DRO. I ran a 1236 lathe without a DRO for several years before upgrading to the 1340GT with DRO and VFD. The DRO made a bigger impact on my personal experience with the lathe making it a lot easier to "hit the number". I now could not get along without it. I do use the speed feature of the VFD very often, sometimes dialing the the speed during the cut. That and the braking feature are very nice to have.
     
  28. Kamloopsendo

    Kamloopsendo Canada H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    In this case given I want to go with the 3 phase and VFD, it's a decision that really has to be made up front with this lathe (as it's an expensive to change later) so I've elected to go that way and I'm sure will add DRO once I've got things set up and working over the next year. Thanks for the thoughts, I've not talked to anyone with DRO that does not love it.
    Alex
     
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  29. wrmiller

    wrmiller Chief Tinkerer H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Adding a DRO to your lathe later will not be that big of a deal. Plenty of folks here to help when you get to that point. :)
     
  30. Kamloopsendo

    Kamloopsendo Canada H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Kind of my hopes too Bill, and did I ask if you're on the VJMC list - I recognize the line about removing warning labels
     

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