Lathe Replacement Motor (Upgrade to Modernity)

Lathe machine is one of the ancient machines that have been used for centuries and still is in use at large. But just because it is an ancient machine that does not mean you have to use it like one. 

There are hundreds of motors in the market that can turn a backdated lathe into a speedy beast. 

However, due to the varieties of lathe machines, it can be difficult to figure out which one will be the best for you. 

Here, we will specifically talk about the best lathe replacement motor for woodworking. 

Now, if you don’t know already there is a difference between a wood lathe and a metal lathe. For your understanding, we have also attached a segment on that right at the end. 

So, let’s not waste any more time and start-

1. A.O. Smith GF2054 Belt Drive Blower Motor

At A Glance

  • Revolutions Per Minute: 1725
  • Voltage: 115 
  • Amps: 7.2
  • Horsepower: 0.5
  • Frame: 48
  • Efficiency: 64.5% 

First off, we have the A.O. Smith GF2054 Belt Drive Blower Motor.

Now, if you have previously worked with motors, you are no stranger to the name A.O. Smith. And it shouldn’t come as a shock to you to see more products from this brand on this list.

However, for someone taking an interest in motor upgrading for the first time, it may seem a little weird. Kind of like a forced promotion. 

But believe us, we have our reasons. And as we will discuss the products you will also get the reason behind our soft-spot for this brand. 

So, let’s discuss the configuration of the product-

“A.O. Smith GF2054 Belt Drive Blower Motor” has 0.5 horsepower. Among all the listed products this is the highest.

Now, you may think why does it really matter? Well, the horsepower of a motor signifies its work potential. And that is directly connected to the efficiency of a motor.

In a wood lathe, the motor’s main purpose is to deliver energy. So that, the machine can transform the electric power into mechanical power and rotate the wood to shape it accordingly. 

And how efficiently does it do the work depends on horsepower. 

Now, we know all the energy that is consumed does not transfer. Some get wasted or consumed. So, obviously, the efficiency cannot be hundred percent. 

Yet, the efficiency of “A.O. Smith GF2054 Belt Drive Blower Motor” is very promising. It is about 64.5%. 

Now, let’s move on to the current it requires-

One thing people often misinterpret is that they think more amps mean more power. But this is a faulty assumption. 

Amps do not indicate a motor’s power. It indicates its ability to cool itself. Now, this is a very important thing. 

Always remember heat is the enemy of the motor. Heat will kill your motor. 

But there is an in-built savior in your motor that can protect it. And that is its required current rate. The higher this rate the longer it will take to heat up. The motor uses the amps to cool itself down.

And because of the rapid cooling, the motor lasts longer. Therefore, the durability of the motor directly depends on amps. 

Not only that, but the running time of your motor also indirectly depends on this. Higher amps ensure longer running time. Because it helps the motor to work for a long time without overheating. 

A.O. Smith GF2054 Belt Drive Blower Motor requires 7.2 amps. It has the highest amp rate among all the four products on our list. That means, compared to others, A.O. Smith GF2054 Belt Drive Blower Motor will run longer and last longer as well. 

Next is the voltage of the motor. “A.O. Smith GF2054 Belt Drive Blower Motor’s” voltage is 115. Voltage is a crucial feature that directly affects the speed of the motor.

Voltage is directly proportional to RPM. Now, “A.O. Smith GF2054 Belt Drive Blower Motor’s” speed is 1725 RPM. This is its no-load speed.

Now, what is a no-load speed? 

Well, no-load speed is the speed at which a motor turns when nothing is attached to it. Theoretically, this speed is supposed to be constant. As you will read further, you will notice all the AC motors on the list have  

But, in reality, a lot of factors can dial down the RPM. For instance, depending on the intensity of the job, the motor’s rpm may decrease. 

Here is where the voltage comes to the rescue. 

Higher voltage increases torque. And the increased torque increases the supply of speed. So, even if you are doing some heavy-duty curving, no worries. “A.O. Smith GF2054 Belt Drive Blower Motor” will be able to supply the speed you will need for that. 

But keep in mind, “A.O. Smith GF2054 Belt Drive Blower Motor” is a split-phase motor. It is similar to AC single-phase motors. 

So, even though they are economical and simple, they are not the speediest motors out there. Only if your aim is woodworking we will suggest this as a replacement motor for your lathe.

2. A.O. Smith GF2034 Split Phase Electric Motor

At A Glance

  • Speed: 1725 RPM
  • Amps: 6.8
  • Horsepower: 0.33
  • Volts: 115
  • Frame: 48
  • Frequency: 60 Hz

The second product is another A.O. Smith product. 

Now, do not blame us. We have already warned you, we here stan A.O. Smith AC motors. 

“A.O. Smith GF2034 Split Phase Electric Motor” is also a single-phase AC motor, just like the previous one. Now, what is so great about a single-phase motor?

Well, their price. Their price is one of the best features. You do not want to upgrade your lathe by creating a permanent dent in your wallet. And, there is no other motor more economical than the single-phase ones. 

Apart from the financial side, they also offer you what you want, performance. 

Just like the “A.O. Smith GF2054 Belt Drive Blower Motor”, it turns at 1725 revolutions per minute. 

Now, you may wonder why the speed is the same? As we have mentioned earlier, this is a no-load speed. It means before you put any wood on the lathe, the motor will help it to turn at 1725 revolutions per minute. 

The reason that the no-load speed is the same in both cases depends on two factors. 

One is the frame rate and the other is the frequency rate. The frame and frequency rate is the same in both products. The frame rate is 48. And the frequency rate is 60 Hz. 

In an AC motor these two controls the torque. And as an extension control the speed. 

Moreover, the required voltage is the same as well. “A.O. Smith GF2034 Split Phase Electric Motor” also requires 115 volts. So, there is no scope for increasing the speed through voltage rate. 

Well, if the speed of both motors are the same, then why is “A.O. Smith GF2034 Split Phase Electric Motor” standing in the second position?  

Well, the Horsepower is the one to blame…

The efficiency of a motor is calculated by horsepower. Now, there can be a top speed. But the ability to use that topmost speed depends on horsepower. 

And that’s where “A.O. Smith GF2034 Split Phase Electric Motor” lags behind. 

Its horsepower is 0.33 which is less than the GF2054 motor. So, this means during the heavy-duty load “A.O. Smith GF2034 Split Phase Electric Motor” will turn slower than the previous product. 

Another thing is the amperage rate. “A.O. Smith GF2034 Split Phase Electric Motor” consumes 6.8 amps current. This number is also less than GF2054. 

As the voltage is the same but amps are different, it means the resistance of the motor is higher. And that can be a problem in cases of sudden power bursts. Your motor can overheat and get damaged.

Now, compared to the GF2054 motor, the features of the “A.O. Smith GF2034 Split Phase Electric Motor” may not seem so special. But remember, we have selected the four best replacement motors from an array of motors.

All the specification of “A.O. Smith GF2034 Split Phase Electric Motor” is perfect for any wood lathe machine.

3. A.O. Smith GF2024 Split Phase Electric Motor

At A Glance

  • Speed: 1725 RPM
  • Voltage: 120 Volts
  • Amps: 5
  • Frame: 48
  • Frequency: 60 Hz
  • Weight: 12.5 pounds
  • Efficiency: 54%

The upcoming product is the “A.O. Smith GF2024 Split Phase Electric Motor”. The third and last A.O. Smith product on the list.

Just like the previous two, it also turns in 1725 RPM speed. This speed rate is adequate for any wood lathe. 

Now, the intensity of woodworking isn’t too much as that of metal. So, buying a heavier and far pricier motor is actually a waste of money. 

Now, moving on to the reason we had to put it behind the other two motors-

The horsepower is less than the other two. Its horsepower is 0.25. Now, horsepower is not just a mere number. It indicates the ability of the motor.

Here, the less horsepower, the less is its ability to perform.

Now, all these are true. But in this case, the difference is of point something which is very low. 

So, yes, “A.O. Smith GF2024 Split Phase Electric Motor” has less efficiency than the GF2054 and the GF2034. But the difference is not very critical. It is 54% efficient. 

Therefore, you can still opt for this motor if you wish to get a lightweight motor. 

The “A.O. Smith GF2024 Split Phase Electric Motor” is lighter than the previous two. It weighs only 12.5 pounds. 

If your lathe machine is rather smaller, not at all big like those industrial ones then choose this instead. 

Moving on to other technical configurations-

The voltage of the “A.O. Smith GF2024 Split Phase Electric Motor” is higher than the previous two. It contains 120 volts. But the amp rate is less, only 5 amps. 

This means the resistance is even higher than the GF2054 and the GF2034. High resistance is not necessarily a bad thing. But at times, it can be a matter of concern. 

However, the low amp does not create overheating. Because one, it is an ODP motor. ODP means open drip-proof. This type of motor has a cooling system inside them. The GF2054 and the GF2034 both are also ODP motors. 

Above that, the A.O. Smith GF2024 Split Phase Electric Motor is not as heavier as the previous motors. Therefore, even with less amp, it can cool itself down. 

Moreover, it also has a supportive bearing system. The bearing system in the A.O. Smith GF2024 Split Phase Electric Motor is sleeve bearing. 

Sleeve bearings are easy to maintain and reduce noise at low speeds. They are easy to replace as well. 

4. STEPPERONLINE Nema 23 Stepper Motor

At A Glance

  • Motor Type: Stepper Motor
  • Speed: 200 Steps Per Revolution
  • Voltage: 3.78 Volts
  • Amps: 4.2 
  • Holding Torque: 3 Nm
  • Weight: 3.9 pounds

The last product on the list is *drumrolls* not an A.O. Smith product. In fact, it is not a single-phase AC motor at all. 

The “STEPPERONLINE Nema 23 Stepper Motor” is, like the name suggests, a stepper motor. Now, what exactly is a stepper motor? 

Stepper motor is a brushless DC motor. A full rotation is counted as a division of equal steps. Therefore, we do not count the speed of a stepper motor by RPM or revolutions per minute. We count them by steps per revolution. 

Therefore, according to this, the speed of “STEPPERONLINE Nema 23 Stepper Motor” is 200 steps per revolution. 

Now, we have given a comparison between AC and DC motors below. But still, we would like to point out some specific features of the stepper motor as a type of DC motor. 

Now, a stepper motor does not have a high speed. So is the case for “STEPPERONLINE Nema 23 Stepper Motor”. The speed is not much like the rest of the motor in this list. 

But what makes it stand out is its constant holding torque. Now, holding torque is a technical term that is used to describe a motor’s ability to work at a constant speed.

When you put a load on your machine, depending on its intensity, the motor tends to lower its speed. 

But with a constant holding torque, this does not happen. 

No matter what load you put, the “STEPPERONLINE Nema 23 Stepper Motor” will work at the same speed. 

So, if you do not mind a slower motor, but do need a constant speed then you should definitely opt for “STEPPERONLINE Nema 23 Stepper Motor”.

Now, another thing is when a motor offers higher torque at low speed, it means it has a higher horsepower. 

Therefore, the efficiency of “STEPPERONLINE Nema 23 Stepper Motor” is also high. 

Even though the speed is low, you can be sure that it will deliver what it promises with greater efficiency. 

AC Motor VS DC Motor: Which One to Choose? 

lathe replacement motor 

Now, as you have already seen, we have selected three AC motors and one DC motor. Generally, you may have a question in your mind which one is better?

Well, the answer depends on a lot of factors. For instance, your purpose, your budget, etc. 

Therefore, we have tried to put the best of both together for you to see and select the one that matches your need the most.

AC Motor: The Budget-Friendly Option

Now, AC means alternating current. Because it means alternating current, then there must be more than one power source to alternate from. 

There are two types of AC motor: single-phase motor and triple-phase motor. 

All the AC motor in our list is single-phased. That’s because they are more economical. 

A triple-phased motor has a higher voltage that allows a lot of current to pass from the circuit. But that is mainly for industrial use. Hence, it is not budget-friendly like the single-phase one. 

AC motors operate in synchronization between the rotor rotation and current frequency. And therefore, the speed remains constant, well at least in theory. However, in reality, they are subject to change. 

Now, AC motors are particularly used where continuous movement is required. They aren’t as powerful as DC motors. But they are cheaper.

DC Motor: The Consistent One

Let’s move on to DC motors…

DC motors have direct current sources. You can also control the speed by changing the supply voltage. 

Now, there are mainly two types of DC motors: brushed motors and brushless motors. The one we have on our list is one kind of brushless motor. 

Brushless motors are better than brushed ones because they cause less friction.

DC motors are more powerful than AC motors. And therefore, they are mainly used in industrial sectors. 

They have a constant holding torque which makes them more powerful. And help them to be consistent with their speed. And that’s why they are a great option for heavy-duty works. 

But the high torque results in low speed. So, if you need more speed then maybe this one is not for you. Keep in mind, we are specifically talking about DC motors for wood lathes. Other types of industrial DC motors can have more speed than these. 

Wood Lathe VS Metal Lathe: What’s the Difference?

As we said in our intro, lathes are ancient and versatile machines. There are various lathes for various purposes. But here we specifically focused on lathe replacement motor for wood lathes.

Now, if you don’t exactly understand the difference then this segment is for you. 

Wood Lathe

Wood lathes are specifically designed for woodworking purposes. Anything you want to do with a piece of wood, wood lathes help you to achieve it.

You want to cut a block of wood, sand it, turn, deform it; name it and these machines can do it.

Now, as you can see these works don’t require much power unless you are doing it on an industrial scale. 

So, the motors that will power these machines also do not need to be very powerful. 

Moreover, as woods aren’t very hard material, there isn’t a need for extreme force to penetrate them. You can do it with moderate force. 

So, in short, wood lathes are very simple and small. Unlike their counterparts. 

Metal Lathe 

Compared to wood lathes, metal lathe requires more power. Because the materials they work with are harder in general. 

As the name suggests, they are used for metalworking applications. Now, it is important to understand that even though the name says metal lathe, you can use it to carve a block of wood.

But that’s not the case with wood lathes. You cannot carve a metal with that. 

Hence, the motor of a metal lathe needs to be very powerful. You cannot replace the motor of a metal lathe with a motor that is more appropriate for a wood lathe. 

And because the motor needs to be really powerful, it doesn’t require to say that it will be far more expensive as well. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Is the rotation of A.O. Smith GF2034 Split Phase Electric Motor clockwise?

Answer: The rotation of A.O. Smith GF2034 Split Phase Electric Motor is reversible.

Question: What kind of bearing does A.O. Smith GF2054 Belt Drive Blower Motor have?

Answer: The A.O. Smith GF2054 Belt Drive Blower Motor has a sleeve bearing. 

Final Words

That was it. We hope now you know all the differences and crucial configurations that you need to take into account to find a lathe replacement motor.

For any further clarification, comment below. Take care.

Kevin Smith

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