Lapys

Wiring my first forge blower

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I'm new to the forum, and new to forging. I've been collecting pieces of equipment here and there, and am about ready to start my first project. The last thing I need to do is get my blower set up. The wife purchased one for me as a Christmas present, but as I've never done any wiring, I have some concerns I'd like to pick someone's brain about. The biggest thing being this:

The blower doesn't have much in the way of instructions, but it does say that I need to ground the thing by running a new wire to the bare metal of the blower. I picked up a 3-pronged plug with a pigtailed end (has a ground wire of course) and some wire nuts and electrical tape. Do I need to run a wire from that ground to somewhere on the blower? Or do I just need to connect the white and black and tape down the ground?

 

I didn't have the info for it at first, but my wife still had the link, so I had her send it to me. It's a Dayton 1TDN1 shaded pole blower, 115V. (Amazon link here here some more specs: https://www.amazon.com/Dayton-1TDN1-Shaded-Pole-Blower/dp/B001OM1L92/ref=redir_mobile_desktop?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&ref_=ya_aw_od_pi#feature-bullets-btf)

 

Let me know what you folks think. Thanks!

blower 1.png

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If that's a 12V motor, you won't be able to plug it into the wall, which is 120V.

And if you meant 120V, you still won't be able to plug into household power if it's three-phase.

Sorry, I don't know how you'd run one of those...

-- Dave

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Well, one learns new things every day! Thanks very much, friend. I was thinking about trying to find a hand crank blower anyhow, so this one not being something I can even use kinda gives me the push to do just that. Much appreciated.

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I have never seen a 12vdc, nor 120vac 3 phase anything other than a 1981 Cadillac alternator for the heated windshield option.

12vdc could be run off of a 12vdc power supply....I just bought one at a garage sale this week. 

Can you post a picture of the box it came in, or the label ?  Dayton brand is carried by Grainger's industrial supply.

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Okay okay. Here we go. It seems that the little pamphlet deal that came with the motor might not be for the same product. Looking at the side of the motor, I see clear as day "115V." And I got my wife to send me the link to where she purchased it, and here it is:

https://www.amazon.com/Dayton-1TDN1-Shaded-Pole-Blower/dp/B001OM1L92/ref=redir_mobile_desktop?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&ref_=ya_aw_od_pi#feature-bullets-btf

 

Clearly says 1 phase and 115V there as well. So should I be able to hook this puppy up to the three prong?

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Yes Lapys, When you wire this up, Wire the black and white up properly. And for the ground, there should be a grounding screw attached somewhere on the casing, If there isn't. Find a spot inside the casing that you can attach the wire securely

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Thanks for the advice, Crytin. Do I just use a length of wire like copper? Also, do I need to worry about the wire being exposed? Should I tape it up after I add it or take some further precaution?

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Grounding wires are simply there for safety reasons. Under normal circumstances, they are safe. A 3 pronged  plug is designed for the purpose of grounding you machine. It might be worthwhile for you to stop by a hardware store and pick up about 10ft of 14/2 wire or utilize an old extension cord. It will also give you the advantage of not having to be RIGHT next to an outlet. This is all assuming you live in the U.S.

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You might want to consider wiring in a switch for the blower when you hook it up (or using a power strip with a switch).  Kind of convenient to be able to just switch off your blower rather than pull the plug when you are done using it.

Get some kind of basic electrical wiring book out from the library to make sure you wire the plug correctly.  You want to switch in line for the hot lead (black wire in both the outlet you connect to and the lead on the motor).  We have prominent, certified electricians on the forum who can give you better advise, but I'd bet that you can get by with #12 or possibly even #14 wire for such a small motor.  Small wire nuts or crimp connections to make safe wire joints and keep those joints inside some sort of metal box.

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One thing to keep in mind is the ability to adjust the airflow into the forge. You can do this with a valve, but it may be possible to put some kind of variable (dimmer) switch to adjust the motor speed and thus the air output.

However, I am NOT an electrician, and I don't know it this would be possible for this kind of motor. If the electricians say "Don't do it", DON'T DO IT. If it's NOT possible, then get (or make) a simple gate valve to go between the blower and the forge. That will give you a lot more control over the fire than just a simple on/off switch.

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I'd love to add a dimmer to it, but considering I don't even know where or how to hook up a ground to the thing, I'm a little stumped going into wiring a switch as well. But I'm willing to learn. Latticino, good advice about the book. Do you happen to know of any resources or specific books I could take a look at to get a real novice's view of how these pieces fit together? A lot of the stuff I find online ends up being about bigger, more complex, high voltage appliances and doesn't really answer the question of how to string things together.

 

And JHCC, good thought about the valve. If I find that I either shouldn't or for some reason can't wire a variable controller, a valve of some kind would be great to control things with. Hopefully I won't need to, as it seems some reviews complain about the blower not being strong enough for their uses, but thankfully I have quite a small forge that I'm starting out on, so I don't think having too little will be an issue.

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Here's my post about the gate valve I made from pallet wood.

I don't know what fuel you intend to use, but if the blower is on the weak side, consider charcoal. A charcoal fire (with lump charcoal, not briquettes) likes a weak blast; too much air actually cools it off.

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Wiring a switch is a fairly easy process. Simply connect the hot (black) coming from your power supply to one contact on the switch and connect the hot going to your blower to the other side. There are tons of books and videos showing you exactly how to do it. I would strongly recommend using a box to house your switch. And ground your box for safety. 

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32 minutes ago, Lapys said:

Do you happen to know of any resources or specific books I could take a look at to get a real novice's view of how these pieces fit together?

Here's what you want:

https://www.amazon.com/Wiring-Simplified-Based-National-Electrical/dp/097929455X

You may be able to find this at a Menards or Home Depot, also.  Good book that shows you exactly how to hook up your plug and switch, etc.  Geared to beginners.

If you need to restrict airflow you could partially block the input of your blower.  Some little bit of sheet metal on a screw that you can pivot over the intake.  The fan in your photo looks like a little squirrel cage fan, which won't be able to build much pressure.  If you need more air you may want to look for a radial vane fan like the traditional hand-cranked coal forge blowers.  Or like what is used in shop vacs.

Here's an example of a radial vane fan.  Not that you'd want to use this one in particular, but you can see how the fan vanes are differently arranged: http://www.surpluscenter.com/Electrical/Blowers-Fans/DC-Centrifugal-Blowers/12-VDC-DRAFT-INDUCTION-BLOWER-16-1390.axd

-- Dave

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2 hours ago, Lapys said:

I'd love to add a dimmer to it, but considering I don't even know where or how to hook up a ground to the thing, I'm a little stumped going into wiring a switch as well. But I'm willing to learn. Latticino, good advice about the book. Do you happen to know of any resources or specific books I could take a look at to get a real novice's view of how these pieces fit together? A lot of the stuff I find online ends up being about bigger, more complex, high voltage appliances and doesn't really answer the question of how to string things together.

I have been pretty happy with the Time/Life Home Improvement series of books.  Presented for the novice with lots of good pictures.

As regards use of a dimmer, there you do need to be careful.  The best modern variable flow blowers are controlled by either a variable frequency drive (expensive, typically multiphase motors) or ECM (electrically commutated Motor).  These vary the flow by adjusting the motor RPM.  I'd prefer to have a electrician or electrical engineer clarify, but I think that conventional dimmer switches work by bleeding off some voltage into a resistance coil.  Typically synchronous motors don't appreciate this method of speed control.  Of course I could be totally off base, but I would also recommend a outlet blast gate or inlet shroud for volume control rather than using the dimmer unless you know your motor is rated for that kind of control.

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1 hour ago, Latticino said:

I would also recommend a outlet blast gate or inlet shroud for volume control rather than using the dimmer unless you know your motor is rated for that kind of control.

Simpler and safer.

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I am amazed at how lightly you take this sort o questions on electric wiring. In Australia this thread would either be deleted or the answers would be in unison, "call an electrician" 

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Their is a question of liability and personal safty, so the owner and moderators tend to do just that. We also have a master electrician or two lurking around as well. But the truth is that single phase 110/120 and  220/240 isn't exactly rocket science (bet we have one of those lurking around as well) but one needs to do your research as shock and fire hazards are a real risk. 

Properly grounding a metal housing is a real good idea, as a short to the case, even with a path to ground threw you is not likely to trip a standard breaker, make sure you do not combine or cross the common and the ground, as this will get you bit.

As to 12vdc motors, some will run on 120vac, as will some 120vac will run on 12vdc. Not all by any case, but one will find that most hair driers will, tho its against the odds, it sure isn't a blanket statement. The same goes for reastats and electric motors, some will work some won't, some will last a long time some won't, some will over heat the reastat, some won't. 

So, that said either learn about basic AC wiring or consult a compitent electrition.  

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45 minutes ago, Charles R. Stevens said:

... isn't exactly rocket science (bet we have one of those lurking around as well) ...

I have a friend who works for the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center who does some pretty amazing things with modifying CNC milling machines to spin ultrafine copper wire into precision sensor arrays. I'm trying to get him interested in blacksmithing.

 

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I am an industrial electrician. So while familiar with electrical  control circuits and their wiring, it's been awhile since I dealt with residential applications. IIRC, You will run into issues if you utilize a dimmer because the motor is not designed to work with the varying voltage which is how a dimmer works

Edited by Crytin
Incomplete

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Depends on the type of dimmer, the old rheostat works by varying the voltage the triac dimmers work by clipping the waveform.

Universal motors can be controlled with a rheostat, regular AC motors will not work well that way.

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One thing that I see everyone saying that I don't totally understand is that I should wire this to a plug (presumably) and then put all the wire nuts in a metal box, and run a ground to the box. So two questions about this:

1) Do I just have a blower, with its wire going to a metal box that's just sort of hanging from the motor?

2) People are saying to ground this metal box to the plug, but doesn't that mean there's not a ground running to the blower itself? Is this a problem?

 

I think if I get these last two answered then I should for sure have everything I need to get this thing done. Thanks everybody for all the lively and informative discussion.

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Mount the metal box somewhere away from the heat on your forge. Run a ground wire which is a green insulated wire to your blower and attach it to the metal casing via a screw

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ok thread over.

 

Hire a real electrician before you kill yourself or others. Its not a hard concept to understand why. whn OP pospts he is  not understanding the  idfea of switch and ground wires.

I am also a licensed electrician.

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