Suggestion for those preppers that need heavy machines for their plans.

in #prepping9 months ago

Some preppers plans, like mine, lean towards metal working heavy equipment. As always, the best we can afford takes unusual directions. This will focus on mill, but works for any machine needed.

A homestead ready knee mill can set your budget back $3000.00; but if you're frugal, you can find one for a lot less! Look for commercial equipment that has been replaced with more modern gear. The problem with this route, is they are almost always powered by a 3 phase industrial motor. Since consumer power is almost always single phase, most people avoid these machines.

You have 3 basic choices for using these retired machines:

1) Capacitive phase shift network, that fakes 3 phase power, at 70% efficiency, which is likely the least expensive.

2) A rotary converter is a rolling transformer, that accepts single phase power, and supplies the other two. This makes real 3 phase power, at about 90% efficiency. This is the oldest solution, and the most expensive.

3) A Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) that uses modern electronics to make all 3 phases. This has the added benefit of being able to change the power frequency from 60 Hz to any selected value in the drive range (usually 10 to 400 Hz) which allows the user to change the motor speed digitally. This VFD runs at about 98% efficiency, and is the easiest to hook up!

The VFD looks like this:


This is small enough to holding one hand and will run about $150.

I have all of these converters, and will replace the capacitor phase shift unit with one of these soon.

With this unit, I have located a medium knee mill; with a 3 phase motor, for under $500! Combined with this unit, which was new for $110, I have a $600 mill headed to the homestead; while saving $2400. Obviously that money will be used elsewhere, to ready the homestead for SHTF problems. Once I get moved, I will move the Cincinnati beast there too. This will give me machine shop capability at both ends, for needed fabrication work.

If you can find an old industrial machine, it is usually inexpensive because people don't know this information. So snap up a deal, and enhance your homestead plans...on a budget.

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