View Full Version : Stock feeder speed control

Jim Harmon
03-12-2009, 12:36 PM

I have a delta 36-850 stock feeder and need to get the speed down. It has a 1/4HP 120VAC motor. What's the best way to do it? Variable transformer? Rheostat control? Has anybody done this before?

Thanks for any tips!

David DeCristoforo
03-12-2009, 12:52 PM
Is the feeder geared down to the lowest speed? I believe it's 14 FPM. Are you saying you need it to be slower than that?

Jim Harmon
03-12-2009, 1:04 PM
Hi David,

Yes, I have it geared down to it's lowest. 14FPM is still fast for my application and I need to be able to do fine control with variable speed.

You see, I am constructing my own edge banding machine and I need to allow for the melting of the adhesive and the bonding action as it is pressed against the roller and moved along. I have variable control of the heat gun and with variable control of the feed rate I can dial it in with precision.

I see these rheostat speed controllers on Ebay that supposedly can control 1/4HP AC motors but I am dubious about them.


Rod Sheridan
03-12-2009, 1:27 PM
Hi Jim, your feeder has a single phase induction motor.

You cannot use a phase angle control (like you can for a router which is a wound rotor motor), or a variable transformer (which also would be for wound rotor motors).

If you want slower than that, and variable speed, you'd need a feeder with a three phase motor and VFD (these are available as one unit from several manufacturers).

If you don't need much power, there are very small wound rotor motor feeders with variable speed available from several suppliers.

Regards, Rod.

Jim Harmon
03-12-2009, 1:48 PM
Thanks Rod for the explanation. Much appreciated.

3 phase/VFD combo sounds expensive. Plus I have already purchased my 36-850 Delta unit. Looks like I'll just be cranking the heat and edge banding at 14 FPM! :)


Rob Russell
03-12-2009, 2:17 PM
A 1/4 HP motor is a really small motor. You may be able to replace the motor on the feeder with a 1/4HP 3-phase motor. You could then use a VFD to drive it and a VFD for a 1/4HP motor can be bought for $100.

3-phase motors are typically physically smaller than single phase motors, so you should be about to fit the 3-phase motor in your feeder.

Another option is to see if you can get the gear from the 36-855 feeder that cuts the feed speed in half to 6.5 FPM.

Jim Harmon
03-12-2009, 3:14 PM
Hi Rob,

Interesting point. I actually went to Ebay and saw a vfd that says it's for a 1/4HP for $79. So, now even more interesting. Hmmm, now motor...

But, how do I know, or how can I figure out which motor can work with this? Or where to get one... Sorry to be obtuse but is it just that I get a 1/4HP 3 phase motor and plug it in?

I'm sure it's not that easy. Where's the FAQ on this one? :)

Thanks Rob

David DeCristoforo
03-12-2009, 3:55 PM
"A 1/4 HP motor is a really small motor. You may be able to replace the motor on the feeder..."

The catchword here is "may". For some reason, this whole thing is sounding like a "can of worms" to me. There are a number of feeders that will go down to 6.5 FPM. I would be thinking about returning (or selling) the 36-850 and using the dough plus what you are going to save by not buying VFD'd and motor that may or may not even fit and getting something like the 36-855. More dough for sure and maybe not an option but
that's what i would be thinking....

Brian Peters
03-12-2009, 4:07 PM
What about a 1/8HP feeder? I have one and it will slow down to a crawl where it is almost not moving. It's probably still powerful enough to do what you're trying to do too.

Chip Lindley
03-12-2009, 4:40 PM
The feed speed could be mechanically altered by downsizing your feeder tires. This would NOT help with variable speed, but would slow down the feed rate somewhat. Do the math and see if smaller diameter tires would help you. A set of *worn* tires might be acquired and trimmed to a much smaller diameter than when new. (El Cheapo Chip!)

I see many DC motors with geared speed reducers on eBay which may better suit your need for variable speed. DC motor speed can be controlled with a simple rheostat from the DC power supply. (Woodmaster uses this setup for variable speed control of drum sander conveyor belts)

Jim Harmon
03-13-2009, 8:31 PM
Thanks for all the comments. I actually own the variable speed 1/8 HP feeder but found it too wimpy. Maybe if I integrate some rollers or ball transfers or something to make the job easier. Good idea about the smaller wheels too - something to think about.

Does anybody have an automatic edgebander? What is the speed it which these usually run? 14fpm sounds fast, no?

Thanks again

Steve Rozmiarek
03-13-2009, 8:47 PM
Jim, with the used edgbander prices in the sub-cheap level, maybe it makes sense to just buy a decent used machine right now?

David DeCristoforo
03-13-2009, 8:53 PM
"... automatic edgebander...What is the speed it which these usually run?..."

15 - 25 FPM is "typical"