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Need your input about a Rockwell/Delta 46-525 Variable Speed (Read 260 times)
 
Barry Jenicek
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Rockwell/Delta 46-525
Need your input about a Rockwell/Delta 46-525 Variable Speed
Aug 27th, 2017 at 6:12pm
 
Hi There!!

I have a Rockwell/Delta 46-525 Variable Speed, Lathe that I picked up for free…Because it was so darn heavy to remove!   Smiley

The problem I am having (or at least I believe it to be a problem) is when I began to increase the speed, the belt (from the Reeves Drive that connects to the Spindle Pulley in the Headstock) begins to flutter.  In other words, the belt (as it is spinning upward toward the Spindle Pulley) has, what I believe, a lot of “Slop”.  So much so, that the slop is hitting the interior of the Headstock which means, the belt will have a premature failure and brake due to friction.

I’m trying to understand how the Variable Speed works.  I saw a really good video on YouTube showing how the Reeves drive works, so I understand that principal.  What I do not understand is why is there a 5 Step Pulley in the Headstock??  Having a Step Pulley indicates that by moving the belt on to one of the steps, will either increase or decrease the speed.

This is where I am having a problem understanding.  To my way of thinking, since this is a VARIABLE Speed Lathe, I should not have to manually MOVE the belt into one of the steps.  Since there is a 5 step pulley, I believe that the belt should move up and down the Steps by itself…Like the chain on a multi speed bicycle…when you want to change the peddle speed, you simply change gears and the chain will automatically move on to the next sprocket (step).  I could be “all wet” here, so, that is why I am seeking your input.

I have the 434-04-651-0001 manual dated 12/15/85 but that mostly tells about setup and maintenance.  It does not tell you how to properly use the machine.  (Which, in my opinion, should talk about setting the speed)

Any help would certainly be appreciated.

BARRY
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Jeff Vanden Boogart
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Re: Need your input about a Rockwell/Delta 46-525 Variable Speed
Reply #1 - Aug 27th, 2017 at 6:46pm
 
Many variable speed lathes also have step pulleys...including all the new 5 to 10 thousand dollar ones!  The reeves drive by itself will not give you the full range of speeds you want....something like 100 to 3000.  By MANUALLY moving the belt on the step pulley you can get a much wider overall speed range.  Depending on what you're doing you may be able to leave the belt on one pulley, and get the speed adjustment you want for a particular project.  The step pulley comes into play more at the very high or very low speeds.
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David Hill
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Re: Need your input about a Rockwell/Delta 46-525 Variable Speed
Reply #2 - Aug 27th, 2017 at 9:09pm
 
Welcome!
+1 on the step pulley info above.
After having several lathes with the Reeve mechanism, think the step pulley gives more control on the speeds you want. 
You may need to replace the belt.  I found with the Reeve drives I had that the belt fluttering usually was  the first signal to replace it.
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Barry Jenicek
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Rockwell/Delta 46-525
Re: Need your input about a Rockwell/Delta 46-525 Variable Speed
Reply #3 - Aug 29th, 2017 at 11:57am
 
Thanks Jeff and Dave, your response was greatly appreciated.

Having to MANUALLY move the belt on the Step Pulley makes complete sense, but I wanted to ask the question anyway.  I seem to remember in 10th grade Shop Class, we had Lathes that would increase the speed via a wheel without manually moving a belt…for sure, it was a different model lathe. 

Yep David, I think it is time to change the belt to reduce the amount of fluttering.

I’m going to start a new Post asking about manuals.

Thanks again  Thumbs Up

Barry
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Ed Weber
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Re: Need your input about a Rockwell/Delta 46-525 Variable Speed
Reply #4 - Aug 29th, 2017 at 12:56pm
 
If I've got the correct lathe in my head.
You have what is sometimes called a stepped reeves drive.
A standard reeves drive has adjustable pulleys on the motor and the spindle. (2 pulleys0
Your reeves setup is in between the motor pulley and the spindle step pulley. (3 pulleys)

Standard belts do not last very long with reeves drive pulleys, they abrade too quickly do to the nature of the design.
I have used the link belts on reeves drives without issue and they have lasted much longer although they are expensive. You should replace both belts at the same time no matter what you choose.
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Jennifer Hasan
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Re: Need your input about a Rockwell/Delta 46-525 Variable Speed
Reply #5 - Aug 29th, 2017 at 8:13pm
 
Hi Barry,

Thanks for asking the question. I too have a 46-525 lathe and could never figure out how to use the step pulleys. I thought having both variable speed and step pulleys on one machine was a way for Delta to save on production costs.

If I knew each step's speed range, I'd be more inclined to use it. For now, I just keep it on the third step.

Jenn
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Barry Jenicek
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Re: Need your input about a Rockwell/Delta 46-525 Variable Speed
Reply #6 - Sep 2nd, 2017 at 10:42am
 
Hi Ed,
Yep, I have the three pulley system, a Single Step on the motor with a 4 Step on the Spindle and the Reeves Drive in between the two.

Jenn
I'm with you, if I knew each step's speed, I'd me more inclined to use it as well.

Barry
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Ed Weber
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Re: Need your input about a Rockwell/Delta 46-525 Variable Speed
Reply #7 - Sep 2nd, 2017 at 11:36am
 
IMO
Don't get caught up on what the speed "actually" is, it's irrelevant.
It's more a matter of feel.
What orientation are you turning in, bowl or spindle ?
How is the piece held or secured ?
Does the piece vibrate the lathe at a certain speed ?
How is the wood cutting?

Every piece of wood is different, from grain structure to moisture content, to silica content and so on. You need to know at what speed the wood wants to be cut not what speed you want to cut the wood.

I have a digital readout of the RPM on my lathe but rarely even look at it.
Up is faster, down is slower that's all you really need to know.
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George Stratton
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Re: Need your input about a Rockwell/Delta 46-525 Variable Speed
Reply #8 - Sep 2nd, 2017 at 11:48am
 
I have a Delta 46-701 with the varidrive and advertised as 500-2000 rpm when new. I bought a hand held electronic tachometer on e-bay for $16.95 including shipping. Checked out the entire range of speeds and came up with 467 to 1700 with everything gone over on the drive so that nothing was binding and working smoothly. Comes with stick on reflective targets, put one on your spindle and run through the speeds and in your case the step pulleys. Very accurate and very repeatable. I marked all the speeds with a marker on the handle plate and they are right on the money with repeatability. Going over the drive found a loose set screw on one sheeve that was causing lots of noise and speed changes.Its quiet now and repeatable. Cheap fix to a problem.
Geo.
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