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What You Must Know Before Buy CNC Wood Lathe | Wood Lathe FAQ

Publish Date: Jul. 10, 2019 Author: Cherry Publisher: EagleTecModify Date: Jul. 10, 2019

This post here is one useful knowledge for friends who are going to buy a cnc wood lathe machine.


The most common spindle motor on a cnc wood lathe is a 3-phase asynchronous motor. This type motor has no problem for wood-turning jobs, but cannot do broaching and engraving as it does not have positioning function. Therefore, when the broaching is required, the wood lathe needs to be switched to the stepping motor drive mode. This switching is achieved by a clutch mechanism. However, such devices occasionally have a problem of misalignment. Picture below shows the clutch mechanism and 3-phase asynchronous motor combination.

clutch mechanism and 3-phase asynchronous motor on cnc wood lathe – photo

For broaching and engraving, we can have a better choice, that is AC servo. With servo motor, you can do turn-milling, broaching, turn-broaching, and embossment carving on column materials; no need shift, all jobs can be done with a AC servo motor. The most important thing is that the servo motor has high precision and there is no problem of misalignment. If you are going to buy a cnc wood lathe machine with broaching and engraving function, servo is a better choice.

servo motor prior to 3-phase asynchronous motor on engraving and broaching - photo

Compared with 3 phase asynchronous motor, servo motor performs more stable during relief carving, it completely overcomes the problem of losing step which often occurs in 3 phase asynchronous motor design. Wood lathe with asynchronous motor construction, there are two motors to control the rotary; when do turn-milling, it uses the 3ph asynchronous motor, and when do broach, it using the stepper motor to run; stepper or asynchronous motor is switched by a clutch. Due to this point, the lathe with asynchronous motor design is not suitable for relief carving or broaching on rotary; the clutch is often occurring loss step problem due to its construction shortcomings.

Of course, if you want to buy a cnc wood lathe with turning function only, 3ph asynchronous motor can work well also.

both motors are ok for cnc wood lathe with turning function only – photo

Hope you enjoy the post!

Other recommended learning materials: 

Practical wood lathe tutorials part 1

Original Post from EagleTec CNC

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