Powering a Windmill

I just got a Heidelberg Windmill with a 1.5 HP 3 Phase motor. I only have single phase power in my shop and I’m trying to decide how to manage this. On one hand, I could replace the motor with a single phase motor, but I would like to leave it alone if possible. The press was running great in its former location and I don’t wanna screw it up. Am I being too cautious?

Secondly, I could get a phase converter, but I’m not sure what kind it would need. In an older post someone mentioned a Phase A Matic rotary converter. Now, these are pretty pricy (a good deal more than a new motor, I would think) but their static converters are cheaper. Is there a reason that I would need to employ a rotary converter rather than a static converter. The main distinction appears to be that with a static converter the motor supplies 2/3 of it’s rated horsepower, whereas the rotary converter gives you 100%. What is the practical difference I would see? I’d like to make a decision soon so I can get the thing running.

So, new motor or converter? Rotary or Static? What would you do? And are you the sort of person that regularly makes good decisions?

Thanks for your help,


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When I bought my Heidelberg, I thought I had the same situation. Turns out the motor had been switched out to a 220 single phase 1.5 horse motor.

The press runs flawlessly. I’d forget about the three phase thing. I eliminated the cheapo convervters from the get go for the reasons you cited. The expensive converter (essentially another motor to power) didn’t make economic sense. Bottom line, a motor is a motor. If it starts properly and maintains speed, it doesn’t need to do much else.

“And are you the sort of person that regularly makes good decisions?”

hmmmm…that’s a little tougher question.

Yes, it’s much tougher. I, for example, took the guy’s word for it when I was told it was 3 phase. Yesterday, I started to clean 60 years of grease off the press and when I wiped off the the motor, sure enough, it read “single phase”. I soon regretted posting this question, but all of that was cast aside when I got some 220 juice to it and it started running like a champ. All’s well that ends well. But then there are the rollers…