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How to Convert your AC Tools to DC with a Treadmill Motor

I have been buying up old 1940’s era power tools like a drill press, a bandsaw and more. They all use a huge, power hungry AC motor and in many cases has pretty light duty ones attached to them.

Over the years people move motors around to different tools depending on their needs at the time. In the big scheme of things, the AC motor is frequently the most expensive part of the tool. To counteract this and get more bang for my buck out of my old tools I have been converting them over to DC power. The advantages of DC are many, ranging from more torque, reversible, variable speed, etc. The best part is you can do conversion like this for very little, and even sometimes, no money at all. You simply need an old treadmill and little bit of gumption.

I plan on converting this page over into a very detailed “How-To” to help you convert an old school, cast iron power tool over to DC power. This page will give you step by step instructions, links to the parts you may need, upgrades and alternatives parts too. Stay tuned as I build this out.


Parts List
These are the different parts and accessories used to convert your tools over to using DC treadmill motors.

The Big Parts

The Smaller Bits

Do some scavenging

Many of these parts can be harvested from old treadmills. Check out Craigslist or Facebook market and you will see free ones pop up from time to time.

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