Where I get my motors from
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Where I get my motors from

March 5, 2020


I’m often asked, “Where is a
good place to buy a motor?” Well, in Canada,
probably Princess Auto, in the States, probably
Harbor Freight. But, I’ve never been desperate
enough to actually have to buy a new motor, so I thought
I’d shows you the motors that fit on my machines,
and where I got them from. This is my homemade bandsaw two, and on it is a 1/2 horsepower
furnace motor, it’s not the most powerful,
but I don’t do any re-sawing on this saw,
so it works just fine. This one, I think it came
from a yard sale. On my strip sander,
is another furnace motor, this is a 1/3 horsepower motor,
and I’m not sure if I got that one from a yard sale or
if I picked it up off the curb. Old belt-driven furnace motors
are great to re-use, but belt-driven furnaces haven’t
been installed since the 1980’s, and those furnaces have all been
thrown out already, so the only belt-driven furnace
motors that you can get, is if somebody saved the motor,
and then eventually decides to get rid of it.
Here’s my big old lathe and on here I’ve got
a1/2 horsepower motor, this one I picked
off the garbage. It’s 1750 RPM, and it’s
reversible, which is very useful for a lathe Here’s my small dust collector,
and on here is a 2/3 horsepower 3500 RPM motor,
and I bought a really crappy table saw that had an induction
motor on it just for that motor. Cost me $25 dollars,
but it was worth it, because to buy a motor like that
new would have cost a lot more. Here’s my bandsaw,
my first homemade bandsaw, and on here is
a 1 1/2 horsepower motor, it runs at 220 volts,
came with a switch, it’s completely sealed, and has
no cooling fan on it whatsoever, but it’s never gotten
terribly hot on me. Only problem with this motor is,
it weighs about 85 pounds, so not exactly portable. Here’s the motor for my lathe.
This is a 1/3 horsepower pump motor, starting torque
on it is very low, not a problem for a lathe. This is the motor on my buffing
wheel, it’s a 1/4 horsepower. That’s a bit weak, I do stall it
from time to time when I buff things really hard. Oh yeah, and this one
came from a yard sale, this one came out of a dumpster, and this one came with
my beastly lathe that I bought at a yard sale.
Paid $70 dollars for the motor, and lathe. I am, perhaps,
a bit of collector of motors, here’s a box fan
motor, a ceiling fan motor, a bread maker motor, and this is
a furnace exhaust blower motor. None of these are really
powerful enough for a machine, but I’ve got more motors
down here 1/2 horsepower from a yard sale,
probably two horsepower, somebody sold that to me
for $15 dollars. This one came off a compressor
somebody threw out, 3/4 horsepower, this is an old
table saw motor, I bought at a yard sale,
this is a washing machine motor, this is a furnace motor that’s
never been used, $5 dollars at a yard sale, and that one down there, I’m not
sure where that one came from, probably a yard sale, and this
motor a friend gave to me, it’s two horsepower, very
powerful, I used that for my saw mill.
People ask me from time to time, they say, “I have a
two horsepower shop vac motor, what can I re-use that for?”
see this one is two horsepower supposedly.
The answer is nothing, shop vac motors
are only good for shop vacs, and that’s it.
Perhaps more re-usable would be a bench grinder motor,
people have asked me about that from time to time, I’m not sure
if they’re powerful enough, this one’s only a one amp motor,
so it wouldn’t have enough power for a homemade machine,
but you’d have more luck with that, than a shop vac,
I’ve never tried a bench grinder motor myself though.
And, there’s a few more motors in my other shops,
so let’s check that out. And, now I’m at my other shop,
and I found a few more motors here to show you.
This is a really old 1/4 horsepower motor, it came
with a homemade metal lathe that this was also part of.
The motor on this homemade blower, is from an old
clothes dryer and it works surprisingly well,
surprisingly powerful, it might even be good enough to
power a small band saw. And, then next to this is my
cheap dust collector, which I only paid $150 dollars
for, and it has a supposedly one horsepower motor,
it’s a sealed motor, which is really good,
so if you need a motor, buying a dust collector,
just for the motor may be a good deal.
Here on my 14 inch homemade bandsaw, I have a one horsepower
motor, and this is a pool pump motor that the neighbor threw
out, the thermal fuse on it had blown, so I shorted that,
and I’m using it here. Because I don’t use it
unattended, I’m not too worried about it locking
the thermal fuse. And, on my 14 inch bandsaw,
that one, of course, came with a motor, it’s got a
sealed 3/4 horsepower motor, and I’ve actually ran out of
power on this saw sometimes when I was re-sawing some stuff that
was about eight inches thick. I was doing that by taking this
blade guide off, and having an internal blade
guide up here to give me more re-saw capacity.
And, here’s a 2/3 horsepower motor from the Sears Craftsman
bandsaw that I failed to fix. I kept the motor, this may
power a bandsaw at some point, in the future,
and here’s a box fan motor, for small motors,
they’re kind of powerful, but not really enough to power
a real machine. And, down here is an old
garage door opener, and it has a supposedly 1/2
horsepower induction motor on it I really doubt that this motor
is meant for continuous duty I’d probably have to run it at
a reduced voltage if I wanted to run it continuous,
at which point, at best, that would have 1/4 horsepower.
And, another motor, which I don’t know why
I’m saving, this is from a radial arm saw.
It’s a 10 amp motor, these brush motors are not
really good for anything other than what they’re made
for, so other than trying to turn this into a table saw,
that motor has no use at all. And, I’ve already made two
homemade table saws, so I should just
throw this one out. And, up here
is a furnace blower motor, this one is a brushless DC motor which is kinda cool, because
they could run at any speed, if only I knew what the control
signals going to it where. As it is, I don’t think I’ll be
able to use it, but if you get a furnace motor
that is not brushless DC, those could be quite useful
for a tool as well, they’re typically
1/3 to 1/2 horsepower. And, yet another motor.
This is a sump pump it’s a 1/3 horsepower motor,
these are 1750 RPM, quite usable
for a homemade machine. So, as you can see, there’s
motors just about everywhere. So, if you’re even vaguely
thinking of building a homemade machine,
and you come across a motor, just save it, because even
a 1/4 horsepower motor, will do in a pinch, until you
find something bigger. And, since I’ve filmed this,
I’ve used up yet another motor,
video coming soon.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. If I was going to be scrapping things for motors like these, what type of items would I scrap? I already scrap treadmills for their motors and have 3.

  2. + Matthias Wandel
    Nice video, as usual.
    But I would have been interested in hearing Your explanations/motivations as to why the different motors You presented were (or weren't) fit for different tasks.
    For instance You "wrote off" the "ShopVac" which I'm sure is correct, but I would have loved to understand why.
    Best regards.

  3. 85 pounds=??? w8 it's 38,5 kg!?
    I have a 2hp motor (3 phase ) and it only weighs 16 kg- 36 pounds
    and by the way that motor 1:45 has a fan inside

  4. I missed an opportunity to salvage the motor from a belt driven furnace my mother was getting replaced last fall, I'm still not over it.

  5. I have used motors from old or damaged washing machines. Great power and so far many are many years old and are still operating . Also I use motors from upright vacuum cleaners. These are powerful and most of all FREE !

  6. you can also get all sorts of motors from recycling places. People recycle them as scrap, usually alot of them still work and where i live the scrap places give them away very cheap

  7. Matthias,
    It is a virus that has this collecting thing happen,… Many of us have it and it there is no cure. BTW you do have a terrible case. ;-}

  8. btw – many of the home made dust collector/separators use old shop-vac motors (1 to 2hp).
    Ah… I just read your warning about dust collector motors (burning out).
    I just realized that shop-vacs are short use devices, not designed for continual use.
    I haven't the room for a large collector.

  9. depending on the voltage of the DC blower motor. if its in the 90-130 vDC range. just get a good size full bridge rectifier to convert the 120 vac to DC. there you go. just Google the motor and get the specs and pin outs. if its low voltage get a transformer. then rectify the output from it to the motor.maybe rewind a microwave transformer. remove the vigh volt winding. wrap about 12-14 gauge wire until you get the needed voltage. I been wondering about the drier motors. are they 120 or 240v? only use 1 leg or two legs for 220/240v. great videos

  10. i buy small tile saws they have 1/3 hp motor or better. They come with power switch and flanges i use them for homemade machines you can get them for less then 60 bucks new and around 30-40 used

  11. Mathias,
    I'm totally frustrated with my furnace motor. I intend to replace the burnt our 1/3 P motor with a 1/2 HP because I have one. There was a power cord attached but the wires were touching. I plugged and short extension cord and touched the terminals on the motor. All I got were sparks. I tested the terminals and found that there was continuity across them. I checked a motor on a tool that was working and there was also continuity across the terminals. Now I'm stuck on how to hook up this motor which is a Connor model H. Can you help?

  12. It's quite common for old air handler blowers to outlast the air handlers in which they were originally installed. I see them all over the place where I live.

    If that totally enclosed motor didn't come off of a lathe it would had probably come from a service station.

  13. I looked up local dryer listings on Craigslist and there are lots of free ones. But then I thought about lugging one home (I don't have a pick-up), taking it apart, and lugging the carcass to the dump, and… gave up. As they say, no such thing as a free lunch.

  14. To the viewer the statements you make the reasons are not clear. For example why the shop vacum motor is not suited for home made tools? And why other motors with smaller power are better. Somehow I conclude that Power is not the key here. Is it RPM? A? volts?

  15. Wish you clarified what each type of motor is. Split phase, capacitor, shaded pole, single phade or 3 phase etc. Just so one can recognize them. Maybe you can do a video on motor type recognition . Thanks

  16. Great info. I picked up a 1.5 hp 3450 rpm dayton motor for free. I've been wondering what to use it for. Any suggestions? Thanks

  17. Hi, Have you ever thought about using treadmill motors, the motors are Small, DC powered, and they are usually 2 to 3.5 hp and can be set up with a low-cost variable switch?

  18. You appear to be a motor kleptomaniac! Nothing wrong with that, just interesting, probably typical for an inventor such as yourself. Good job with the videos, keep em coming!

  19. 6:30 I hear there is a site on the internet where people post videos about all kinds of stuff, including how to control DC motors!

  20. " In my other shop' 🙂
    sadly where i live not too many yard sales and I have never seen a motor there. Yet when I was young my dad always seemed to have motors

  21. i have a 60 volt chinese motor that gos on a trike /cart that i use for work i changed the motor and now cant get it to go in reverse have 4 wires two off the brushes other two on the windings the problem is all for wires are 60 volts until in acccelerate thyen one tunrs neg got any ideals or help i have pictures

  22. Can u maby give me one or two motors,because I do things like you but I can't find god motors I live in Norway Hønefoss😥😥😥

  23. Old HVAC or furnace blower motors are fun because they usually have a multi tap arrangement that lets you select a variety of speeds. Usually at installation, the tech would likely set up for the highest speed for AC and lowest or near lowest for heat.

  24. Make me a table saw . plz I can really use one . I wish I lived down the street from you it's would be awesome to have a good neighbor such as yourself. Keep up the informing videos.

  25. Matt that DC blower motor stood out from the rest. If you have a dc source of sufficient amperage thst could be really useful for something in the future due to the ease of speed control. I bet AvE on youtube could give you a pretty fair guess of how the control scheme works, if he's willing to consult with you.

  26. @4:16 quickly, build a cover for the terminals, before anyone of importance sees knocks on your door. (also your kid is probably curious about shiny things 🙂 )

  27. I am starting to believe that I need to change careers. I seem to already have the same habits, skills and desires to build and create… I have a lot of motors and things I have already built.

  28. I have a 6hp motor that I took out of an old jacuzzi. Is that motor to powerful to use for anything? I ask because I noticed all of your motors were 2hp or less.

  29. I have really been enjoying you and Marius's DIY dust collection system videos and would really enjoy building my own. What types of motors are good to use for the blower, or what should I be looking for in a motor?

  30. Great and fantastic explanation keep it up, I have got a question that ….what kind to motor is good for machine has to operate in low speed with arm(50cm) holding up 10kg of weight

  31. Here in the U.S. you can find furnace fans with motors almost everywhere. Most were saved and tucked away in a garage or attic. I just used one to power my lathe.

  32. Yes dear,I am also a motor maniac. Everytime the motors proved themselves to be useful.I also collect different types of motors.

  33. It is always a good idea to keep old motors if you learn how to wire them. I wonder if you could do a video on more and how to wire them correctly. Thanks . Matthias

  34. I have a 3 HP 3450 RPM motor on a compressor that recently got a small leak. The compressor pump on it works ok too. It is just old and got a small leak. If the tanks on those wouldn't rust the compressors would last a lifetime. I think they designed it so that it would get a small leak rather than explode for safety reasons. I took the belt off it just to keep anyone from attempting to use it. I won't throw it away but I should fund something to use it on. What to use it for is a mystery to me at the moment but I will find a use for it unexpectedly.

  35. I have a idea for you..
    I haven’t come across a video yet were someone has built a 2×72 belt grinder out of wood or plywood only. Giving that blacksmithing and knife making are very popular on YouTube no one has built one. Keep up the great work ❤️watching your videos

  36. I am but a wee babe. My collection consists of a single 1/3hp trash compactor motor, and I don't know what the wiring is, or what capacitor to use with it.

  37. I had a 12A, 3/4 HP, 3450 RPM motor that I used on an old school lathe. Direct belt drive with step pulleys. I got one handle turned then as I was turning the next, the motor started smoking terribly and something (I'm assuming wax) started dripping out of the starter capacitor housing.
    It had a blown temp fuse, but like you, I shorted it and it seem to run fine. Any ideas on what I did wrong?

  38. What's with electric lawn mower induction motor? They range from 1000-2000w, which seems crazy powerful for the size of it especially being induction motor.. But no info on someone using it for a machine

  39. Hola desde España,querido amigo Matthias ¿tendrías la amabilidad de aconsejarle sobre las características técnicas de un motor para regruesadora para madera (nivel bricolaje) y para lijadora mixta),te estaría muy agradecido por tu estimado consejo,recibido un saludo de éste humilde aficionado y seguidor de tu canal,MUCHAS GRACIAS

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