Washing Machine Motors Unlocked

There’s great potential in salvaging a motor from a broken appliance, but so often the part in question is very specific to its application, presenting a puzzle of wires to the experimenter. This was very much the case with older washing machines and other white goods, and while their modern equivalents may have switched to more understandable motors, there are still plenty of the older ones to be had. [Matthias random stuff] sheds a bit of light on how these motors worked, by means of a 1980s Maytag washing machine motor.

Many of us will be used to old-style induction motors, in which two windings were fed out of phase via a large capacitor. This one doesn’t have a capacitor, instead it has a primary winding and a secondary one with a higher resistance. We’re not quite sure the explanation of the resistance contributing to a phase shift holds water, however this winding is connected in for a short time at start-up by a centrifugal switch. Even better, reversing its polarity reverses the direction of the motor.

The result is a mess of wires demystified, and a mains powered motor with a bit of strength for your projects. We’ve let a few of these motors slip through our fingers in the past, perhaps we shouldn’t have been so hasty.

This is a subject that we’ve looked at in the past.

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The Home-Made Drill Press Of Your Dreams

We are lucky to live in an age when tools have almost never been so affordable, when if we’d like a drill press on our benches we can pick one up for not a lot from our nearest discount store. If the cheapest tools aren’t very good quality then even the better ones aren’t that much more expensive. It’s evident that [Workshop DIY] has the resources to buy a decent drill press if he wanted one, but we’re fortunate that instead he’s taken the time to build one of his own from scratch (Russian language audio, Anglophones will have to enable YouTube subtitle translation).

The press itself is made entirely from box section steel tube, with what looks like 25mm square used for the base and 50mm for the vertical shaft. Instead of a rack and pinion to raise and lower the tool it has a slider that runs on a set of bearings and is lifted with a bicycle chain. The chuck itself is mounted to a shaft that runs through another set of bearings to the large pulley and motor from a washing machine. The result is a beautifully made drill press that seems to work very effectively. It may lack an adjustable table or selectable speeds, but we certainly couldn’t build it better than he has. Take a look, the video is below the break.

It shouldn’t be surprising what can be made in a well-appointed metalworking shop, perhaps we have been blinded by the convenience of readily available tools. If you’d like to see more, take a look at this DIY engine crane.

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