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Unread 09-19-2012, 10:50 PM   #1
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Default 3 phase power for a bridgeport mill

Ok so here is my problem. I picked up a used bridgeport 3 phase mill VERY reasonable. Now I need to get that three phase power to run it. I have been doing some reasearch and came up with this http:// The thing I like about this one is that it has a switch for the forward/off/reverse. Much easier to grab then finding a button. And more what I am used to at work with a standard drum switch. This should also work well for power taping.

Has anybody used one of the variable frequency drives before?

How hard are they to hook up? I have wired a house or 2 but that seems a lot different than 3 phase power.

I have looked at the rotary(too expensive, could buy a motor retrofit) and the static(some say they don't work well?) converters. Having to listen to the rotary and find a place for it is another turn off. The static ones seem to loose a third of the lil power that I have now(1 HP).

Thanks for any and all input!

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Unread 09-20-2012, 08:32 AM   #2
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Default Re: 3 phase power for a bridgeport mill

This is good for 1, 1hp motor.
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Unread 09-20-2012, 08:58 AM   #3
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Default Re: 3 phase power for a bridgeport mill

Phase-a-matic phase converter.( model pam- 200hd) is all you need . The Bridgeport has a drum switch on it all ready. You are not going to be running it in an environment were it will be running all day every day ... The loss that you think you are going to lose will be at a minimal .. The only way that you will know you have a loss is that you run a large fly cutter making a deep cut ..the normal end user will not ever put this machine to it's full capability.

Look at
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Unread 09-20-2012, 09:57 AM   #4
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Default Re: 3 phase power for a bridgeport mill

Just another option but I remember a buddy of mine had a similar situation where he had bought something 3 phase. One of our EE guys said to get another 3 phase motor, attach it with a belt and pulleys to another 110/220 motor and make sure the 3 phase will be spinning a little faster than its normal rpm with the pulley setup. Power it up and it will spin the new 3 phase to put out 3 phase power. Or just buy that adaptor
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Unread 09-20-2012, 11:21 AM   #5
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Default Re: 3 phase power for a bridgeport mill

I don't know what you have available to you, but I have a friend who got a similar machine ( vertical mill ) and just swapped out the 3 phase motor for a single phase motor. If I remember correctly, he used a 5hp motor on his. He got his motor from a salvage yard for $20.
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Unread 09-20-2012, 12:12 PM   #6
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Default Re: 3 phase power for a bridgeport mill

I went down this path a few years ago, and if your a bit electrical savy this is the way to go. Espcially if your bridgeport is a step pulley head on it.

Instead of having to tinker with phase converters and all that. Just go with a sensorless vector frequency drive setup. They can be pricey, but once you get used to it, and have it setup just the way you want it, they are worth their weight in gold!

I have a hitachi SJ200 series on my 3hp bridgeport, and its one of my favourite mods ive done to any of my machines. You can setup the speed up slow down ramp rate, auto braking, and a whole slew of other goodies. Plus for a milling application you want the sensorless vector feature because it will give your motor almost full torque down to 0rpm. (not all drives have this feature, and is a must if your using it a frequencys below 35-40hz ie drilling, etc)

Heres some models to look at
the WJ series is the cadalac of the hitachi drives (same as my SJ), it has the sensorless vector feature, and has a built in braking resistor (A MUST!)
The X series is the entry level, just a basic drive, no frills. HOWEVER! if you find out that you keep on tripping the overload circut when you stop the motor, you will need to buy the addon braking resistor, and it ends up costing more then the WJ drive.

Oh and if you want the simple controls of the fwd/rev thats already on your machine, you can wire the switch into the drive logic control circuts and setup up so that it controls the drive direction.
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Unread 09-27-2012, 08:54 AM   #7
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Default Re: 3 phase power for a bridgeport mill

We are just building a brand new cart shop, and at our location we are unable to get 3 phase power. We ordered a phase converter from Phoenix Phase converters to run our Press brake, Shear, and CNC milling machine. It will be here today and they are easy to install. Just another option!
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Unread 10-11-2012, 08:25 AM   #8
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Default Re: 3 phase power for a bridgeport mill

Hi! Aron i have two of these one is a Ronk and I made the other years ago on the one that I made was just a 5Hp 3phase moter they through out at work when they cleaned house I used a few relays and capaciters. I use this one a couple times a week and the Ronk about the same, the rotary unit is running a 7HP motor on a Sharp 14" Lathe so I have to start it in a low speed before switching to a high speed the 5HP should have been a 7 HP. The easyiest thing for you to do is just buy a Ronk Or somthing equally to and just wire it in. To do it cheaplly make your own but that would take some research. Good luck to you on your project. Joe Ps Do you want to sell the Mill??
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Unread 10-15-2012, 09:29 PM   #9
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Default Re: 3 phase power for a bridgeport mill

ENCO sells a roto phase I have a friend using one on a hydraulic test stand with a 20 hp 3 phase has not had any problems
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Unread 10-16-2012, 06:21 PM   #10
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Default Re: 3 phase power for a bridgeport mill

The static converter is cheap and works just fine. I wouldn't be doing any power tapping with it tho unless it's through holes. You could stop it with the brake then reverse it. I don't know how things would work out just slapping it into reverse, that's a HELL of a load on the electrics.
Are you sure it's just 1hp?? I don't recall ever seeing one that low. Usually 2-3 HP. Step pulleys are better than variable belt drives with lower HP.
I ran my Kondia in the garage on a static converter for a couple years chomping away on O1 and A2 tool steel. The R8 collets are more of a problem than the HP. Larger cutters (1/2+) like to pull out of the collet on heavy cuts.

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