There is an answer in a question, and there is hope within despair
And there is beauty in a failure, and there are depths beyond compare
There is a role of a lifetime, and there's a song yet to be sung
And there's a dumpster in the driveway of all the plans that came undone
A rheostat/potentiometer slows down the motor by intentionally wasting power, AKA generating heat, and it can get very hot even with a 30W motor (1/25 HP). A modern dimmer or speed controller instead uses a triac, which rapidly turns on and off completely, so it wastes little power and stays far cooler, regardless of the speed of the motor or brightness of the lamp
I'd be scared of using a motor controller from Harbor Freight because the quality of their electronic products tends to be very, very low, but HF is really good about warranties, at least during the first 90 days. OTOH about every light dimmer sold at hardware stores, Wal-mart, and Home Depot is UL or CSA approved for safety, so as long as you put it in a steel box and use a 3-wire grounded power cord, you shouldn't have to worry about fire or electrocution.
A fan speed control switch selects among different motor windings, but a 2-speed motor can also be controlled by putting a diode in series when it's desired to cut the voltage in half. A diode rated for at least 3 amps and at least 400 volts peak inverse voltage should work fine with for this. Even though a 1/25 HP motor doesn't draw more than 1/4 amp, you want the diode to be rated much higher to withstand surges. Whether you use just a diode or a light dimmer, install a fuse ahead of it that's rated for no more than the maximum amp rating of the dimmer or diode.
At one time Radio Shack used to carry stuff like Potentiometers, but not sure if they still do...I tend to avoid going into crap-shack for the most part.
The op could look at some of the woodworking sites for a better quality Router Speed Control that was posted above but from Harbor Freight.
I agree with TR and that anything electrical in nature from HF is of questionable quality and durability...I'd hate to be jury-rigging something together using their stuff vs. what they were actually designed for, like using a router with that Pot.
from The Raddish
That thing is a piece of crap, and I'd advise heavily against it.
But...it sure looks purdy!
Last edited by DC; 10-06-2012 at 07:36 AM..
Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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