Author Topic: Is this a washing machine speed controller?  (Read 264 times)

Teddy

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Is this a washing machine speed controller?
« on: 06 June, 2021, 09:20:26 pm »
Hello All
This item was given to me last week.
It has a variable speed cone drive on the left which drives a 3:1 gearbox and a small sprocket  (not visible) on the output shaft from the gearbox.
The handle in front can disengage the drive-by moving the cone drives away from each other.

I think it is probably from a washing machine because of the very lightweight drives (small vee pulleys and small sprocket) and because of the rather fancy handle which looks far more domestic than industrial.

Or am I completely barking up the wrong tree?
 Teddy.

Beech

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Re: Is this a washing machine speed controller?
« Reply #1 on: 06 June, 2021, 09:37:38 pm »
From the very early 60's to the mid 70's I used to repair washing machines never saw anything like this in any machine at that time. having said that the oldest machines we saw were probably from the 50's so this could be from an earlier machine but cannot see what its use would be.

Beech.

Teddy

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Re: Is this a washing machine speed controller?
« Reply #2 on: 07 June, 2021, 06:37:45 am »
Hey Beech, thank you for your reply.
I must admit that I know nothing about washing machine drive systems, old or new.

The cone drive gives a variable speed ranging from about 3:1 in the highest speed position to about 20:1 in the lowest speed.
The whole system can be disengaged with what my mate called a clutch, moving the cone drive apart, so the system stops. That is the lever at the front of the unit.

The white handle on the right screws the assembly in and out, and smoothly changes the speed on the cone drive.

If it is not from a washing machine (and I do not argue with that) I wonder what it might have been from.

Thank you again
Teddy

rustyengines

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Re: Is this a washing machine speed controller?
« Reply #3 on: 07 June, 2021, 10:45:32 am »
I would say not from a washing machine as the vintage washing machines were vertical with a Ringer no need for different speeds
https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=vintage+washing+machine+club&id=9513252FE91946F6640E0AC8B36574DE8837C34C&form=IQFRBA&first=1&disoverlay=1
Southern Cross Engines, Lawn Mowers and old tools * TOWNSVILLE

cobbadog

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Re: Is this a washing machine speed controller?
« Reply #4 on: 07 June, 2021, 09:18:42 pm »
Sounds like a woof woof from Teddy. I dont have a clue what it is from but I bet many of us could put it to some sort of use being driven by a small engine at a Rally. The seamless drive ratio with the cone is sort of a modern thing isn't it? Similar to drive lines in a vehicle
Cheers, John & Dee. Coopernook. NSW.

Beech

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Re: Is this a washing machine speed controller?
« Reply #5 on: 07 June, 2021, 09:41:03 pm »
These drives have been around for a while, after electrical service I moved onto structural steel and engineering, and in doing that I built and maintained a number of different machines in wool processing, and used electric motors with that variable drive system attached to them, to vary the speed of some of the machines.
I am blowed if I can think of the name at the moment but am fairly sure they were made in Melbourne and were completely trouble free, you changed the speed as it was running by turning a wheel attached to a worm that in turn moved the cone across the drive wheel, you could get them in a number of different sizes.

Beech.

Teddy

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Re: Is this a washing machine speed controller?
« Reply #6 on: 07 June, 2021, 09:52:20 pm »
Thanks Cobbadog and Beech,
I have looked at it carefully and can find no ID at all.
Looking at it again today, and taking your thoughts into account, I agree that it is way too unwieldy to be part of any sort of domestic washing machine.
Teddy.
 

franco

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Re: Is this a washing machine speed controller?
« Reply #7 on: 08 June, 2021, 06:22:53 pm »
Wild guess - a variable speed drive for an industrial sewing machine? I googled variable speed drives for industrial sewing machines. Apparently modern industrial machines mostly use variable frequency drives (VFDs), but industrial sewing machines have been around for a long time: there must have been a variable speed drive available for them, and yours looks to be physically in the size range for this purpose.

I've seen photos pre WW2 old drill presses using a double cone drive to achieve variable speeds, so they have been in use for many years.

Frank.
Cairns, Queensland

cobbadog

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Re: Is this a washing machine speed controller?
« Reply #8 on: 08 June, 2021, 08:49:41 pm »
Hi Frank, I have had and still have a few industrial sewing machines we use in our business. The oldest one from the early 1950's through to the early 2000's only used a resistor from the pedal to the motors electrics and the latest is a ceramic direct drive with a bigger computer power than my laptop. I don't think this would have been on a sewing machine. Dee also drove a rather large machine for making those large bags for putting super phosphate and alike in with twin needles the size of nails and that just used a larger elctric motor but no friction drive.
Cheers, John & Dee. Coopernook. NSW.