Instructables

How can I find cheap electric motors?

For an upcoming project(lathe) I need a 1/4 or 1/3 hp motor around 2000 rpm. Are there any tricks to getting them for cheap. The cheapest one Ive seen is 84 bucks.. 

Washing machines are a really good source of motors for lathes. Our first one was powered with a washer motor for years, until we went three phase. An older motor, with its speed controller would be a sweet find - try the local waste site, or ask on Craig's list or somesuch.
imthatguy1125 (author)  steveastrouk4 years ago
I would use a washing machine motor but I dont have the skills to make the speed controller.
Then use a pair of 4 step pulleys and speed control the old way.
+1 Harbor Freight do them I think.
Hiyadudez4 years ago
A drill motor. You could pick up a cheap drill from a second hand store, or maybe a garage sale or eBay.
imthatguy1125 (author)  Hiyadudez4 years ago
I wouldnt think a drill had enough torque to spin oens and chess pieces
rickharris4 years ago
A drill motor (mains powered) may not have the torque to drive a lathe of any size, 1/2 to 1 Hp is more normal for a lathe that is more than 12 inches between centres.

If you have got the rest of the lathe fairly cheap then I suggest investing $80 in a decent motor isn't going to be a bad deal especially if your electrical experience is low.

+1. Its the swing over bed that suggests the power rating to me
yokozuna4 years ago
Treadmills- You'll find them for free on craigslist all the time, and they should be quite sufficient to suit your needs.