There is an Edelstaal knee mill for sale in my town that I’d like to get IF it’s compatible with other equipment and accessories etc. Does anyone know if the generally available mitering fixtures, vices etc. will go on such a mill? Is it like a Bridgeport knock-off or something?
Also the tray/table deal is way to long and would like to get a much shorter one if possible…
thanks and sorry for my total ignorance, ha!
I have no personal experience with this brand, but a little bit of snooping shows that it’s a Bridgeport clone made in Austria by UNIMAT, which is considered high quality.
It uses R8 collets, so spindle tooling is no problem. Any tooling should be accommodated on the table or in a vise. If the price is right, and it’s local, don’t worry about the length of the table, you’ll fill it up!
Hey, thanks this is extremely helpful!!! I also just consulted an engineer friend and since the Edelstaal unit I’m looking at is 3 phase 220, he said I’d have to get a $1,500 phase rotary phase converter or some such to make this work in my home garage.
So now I’m wondering the worth of such an endeavor…
Modern electrics no longer require a rotary phase converter. They are probably still the best solution, but there are static converters available, possibly for less. Do a Google search, or is any one reading this that has static converter experience or advice?
I did this with my Bridgeport. Phase converter from Amazon. About $90.
Edit: this is the one I used.
Single Phase to 3 Phase Converter, MYSWEETY AC 220V/2.2KW 3HP 10A VFD Inverter Frequency Converter for Spindle Motor Speed Control (1 Phase Input and 3 Phase Output) https://a.co/d/gwYZ7fO
Agreed! I use a Teco Westinghous L510 (specifically the L510-202-H1-U) VFD for my Bridgeport 2J head mill. It’s as simple as you want it to be and effortlessly converts 220V single phase to 220V 3-phase. I picked the L510 as it seemed well supported & documented. It was $270 shipped which I was happy to pay as 3-phase installation would’ve been in the $10k+ range.
Price is $2K and in my town. That sounds dern good, yes?! (assuming it works fine, which is claimed)
If that were in my town, I’d RUN over there with ca$h!
From @liberationfab :
I use a Teco Westinghous L510 (specifically the L510-202-H1-U ) VFD for my Bridgeport 2J head mill.
The big advantage of a VFD (Variable Frequency Drive) is that it’s more than just a phase converter. By varying the frequency, you vary the RPM of the motor, meaning you don’t have to change the belt position on the pulleys to change RPM, within a reasonable range. If there’s a specific RPM you need, you can fine tune it pretty close. If you’re not familiar with this, Google it for more info than you’ll ever need. There are also a lot of how-to videos on YouTube.
I just went through this… Here’s what I learned. Hopefully this saves someone some time. You’ve got 4 options:
“Static Phase Converter”. These have been around a long time, and are cheap. They use capacitors to essentially bump-start the three-phase motor and then run it off single-phase. Once running, the motor is limited to ~1/2 of its horsepower. Cheap and simple, but apparently hard on the motor. I don’t have any experience with these things.
“VFD (Variable Frequency Drive)”. These are super cheap and widely available. They run the three-phase motor directly with single-phase input, and–like Mark said–allow you to vary it’s speed. You need a separate VFD per machine. If all one had was, say, a step-pulley Bridgeport, they could wire it to a VFD and have variable speed. That said, more complicated machines (like my Hardinge lathe with its multiple motors) don’t like VFDs.
“Digital Phase Converter” I think this is what Mark was referencing. These are basically static converters, but they have electronics inside that manage a bunch of start/run capacitors and are supposed to produce consistent 3-phase power. “Phase Perfect” is one brand name, but I’m sure there are others. I purchased a Phase Perfect “Simple”, but found it to be extremely finicky. The voltage coming into my shop is on the high side, and I couldn’t get the Phase Perfect to work correctly, despite a week of tinkering. I’m sure the error was mine, but in the end I ditched it. Support wasn’t super helpful.
“Rotary Phase Converter” These use a small generator–powered off of single-phase 240v–to produce the third hot leg of power. You’re basically making your own three-phase. Typically, you wire the phase converter to your 240v, then run the output into a 3-phase breaker panel. From there you can wire in as many machines as you want. The size of the converter will dictate how many you can run at once. These are a little more expensive and the generator produces some noise, but–from a motor/power standpoint–I decided this was the best option.
To run my variable head Bridgeport and Hardinge lathe, I wired an American Rotary (Model AR-5) to a dedicated 40-amp, 240v circuit. The output power runs into a three-phase panel with two 10-amp circuits… one for each machine. The voltage is really stable throughout the whole setup, and both machines run great (and at the same time if needed). I’m no expert, but I’d recommend the American Rotary. Uses a really quiet Baldor generator, and documentation/support from the company was good too. You could hide the generator in a closet, to keep it quiet.
Hope that’s helpful.
Don’t fret about the long table! I looked around for a 36" Bridgeport, but ended up with the big 48" version. A big table doesn’t necessarily mean milling big stuff, it also means you can have keep multiple set-ups mounted at the same time.
I keep my vise on one side, and then my tube mitering fixture or rotary table gets the other side. With the 48" table, I’ve got enough clearance and travel for both.
This is really good info. I’ve been fortunate enough to always have genuine 3 phase, so I have no actual experience with this. Thanks for posting. PS- Nice tube block collection!