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Old 12-18-2002, 05:18 PM   #1
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Default Motor lathe and comm stick questions

I want to get more serious in racing electric cars (on and off-road). I only race stock motors. I have a few questions about motor lathes and comm sticks. The only comm cleaning stick that I've heard of is the Orion one, does anyone know how well those work? Also, what does a comm stick do? Does it just do the same thing that a lathe would do but just manual? The main reason I don't want to buy a lathe is because of the price. I'd be willing to pay up to around $170. But all the lathes that I've seen all require a diamond bit cutter, and those can be like 97 dollers . I thought there was a different type of cutting bit that only cost like 10 dollers. But I've never seen that advertised. What is the difference between stock motor lathes and modified lathes? The main reason I want to buy a lathe is because the only hobby shop that will cut a comm (yes cut, not replace) charges you $20.00 , and thats not even with brushes or springs ! I think thats a rip off. So after a few motor rebuilds I would of already paid for a lathe. Can anyone point me towards a good motor lathe, that doesn't require a diamond bit, and is easy for a beginner to operate (if thats even possible to have an easy to operate lathe ). I really don't want to pay $20.00 the next time I need a motor rebuild. Thanks!
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Old 12-18-2002, 05:38 PM   #2
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Comm sticks work ok to clean the black parts off of the brushes and comm after a few runs but you need to cut the commutator after you have ran it for a couple of race days when it gets uneven. The comm stick only cleans the comm and brushes. The lathe will resurface the comm making it completely round again. You can buy a comm lathe with diamond bit for around 199 from Speedworld Raceway . Carbide bits sell for about 10 bucks. The difference between stock and modified lathes are that the stock lathes are to cut sealed stock motors. You use the modified lathes to cut rebuildable mod and stock motors. Call Billy at Speedworld Raceway and Hobbies to get all the info on the different lathes. He sells the Cobra one for 199 and i think that is the best deal on lathes out there right now. Tell him James sent you.
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Old 12-18-2002, 05:41 PM   #3
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All a comm stick does is remove carbon build up on the comm. This does nothing to restore performance. The biggest reason brushed electric motors slow down is because the comm gets out of round and the brushes dont make good contact at speed. This is where the lathes help. The fix the out of round problem that is caused by the heat of the brushes. Carbide bits are a cheaper alternative to diamond. Mcmaster-carr has a website and they sell diamond a carbide bits way cheaper than hobby shops. Not sure their address though.
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Old 12-18-2002, 06:15 PM   #4
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are u serious? it usually cost a dollar to do that! 2 at the most
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Old 12-18-2002, 06:16 PM   #5
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You can pick up Cobra lathes with carbide bits for around $120 I think, but you will also need to buy a drive motor and a 3 or 4 cell drive pack to operate the lathe. The drive motor can be any stock motor. With a stock motor you can go for a pretty good number of packs before you need to cut it again. I havn't ever ran any of my stock motors long enough for em to need a cut, I just cut em ever once and a while to try to gain a little preformance.
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Old 12-18-2002, 06:19 PM   #6
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you can get the Orion lathe complete with slave motor, wires, switch, and carbide bit for around $130. A diamond bit for Mcmasters is only $50. I have also seen some good deals on e-bay for lathes
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Old 12-18-2002, 06:40 PM   #7
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yup, i'm a big fan of ebay for certain items. a lathe being one of them. they are fairly tough to damage and a new bit is less than four bucks from mcmaster-carr.


also check the other active thread about lathes. you'll have to sift through alot of bantering or biased opinions, but it's packed with tons of info.

you should be able to pick one up for much less than $100 with carbide. the stock motor lathes are almost extinct. they cut to com in the can for those motors that can't be taken apart. now, any good or newer stocker will be rebuildable so don't waste your money on the stock lathe. although, my buddy got one for $25 and turned it into and auto feed, v block masterpiece. but, then again, he's a tool and die maker!

good luck.
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Old 12-19-2002, 03:36 PM   #8
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Ohhh, I thought that a stock motor lathe meant stock 27 turn rebuilable motors . I think that Orion lathe deal sounds pretty good, and I've always liked Team Orions products . Where can you buy the Orion lathe from? In an R/C Car Action of mine, theres an add for a Cobra modified lathe with a diamond bit for 160 dollars. Is that a good deal? What do people think of the Cobra lathes? Is it hard to learn how to cut a comm? Thanks!
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