Daren’s quick set motor lathe

Vieira, Peter

Now that rebuildable stock motors have taken over electric racing, a reliable commutator lathe is more invaluable than ever. I’ve been very slack in the motor-maintenance department, but I’ve resolved to became a hardcore motor man for 2000. To that end, I recently added a (deep breath) Team Orion* Daren’s Quick Set Motor Lathe to my racing war chest. After buzzing all my tired comms, I think it’s the best lathe going; here’s why.


Pinned construction. The Quick Set lathe’s best feature is invisible unless you take it apart. Four steel dowel pins are pressed into the base to keep the side plates in perfect alignment during assembly (large-diameter bolts actually clamp the unit together; the pins just align the parts). If those side plates aren’t perfectly square to the base and parallel with each other, you could end up with a cone-shaped comm; that’s no good. I mica the comms I cut, and they’re the same diameter end to end, just as they should be.

Centering/oil reservoir slots. The armature spins in U-shaped slots that each have a thin groove in the bottom. This groove centers the armature in the lathe and also holds lubricating oil to keep the arm spinning freely.

Adjustable armature centering screws. You can forget shimming the arm or installing a pinion to prevent the arm from wandering in the slots. A pair of screw stops are easily adjusted inward or outward to hold the arm where you need it to be far the precise alignment with the cutting bit and commutator.

On/off switch. A push-button on/off switch is bolted at a convenient spot, and Team Orion’s high-quality Snake Wire is supplied to hook the lathe up to a q-cell pack. I installed alligator clips (not included) for easy connection to my sideby-side packs, but you could install your favorite connector.

Carbide bit. A pair of setscrews clamps the bit into place, and brass shims are provided to set the height of the bit (Orion includes brief but thorough instructions for bit– height setting). A diamond bit is available as an option.

Pilot motor. A Team Orion Pilot 27-turn stock motor is included. This bushing stocker is perfect for lathe power, and it’s nice to bolt in a fresh motor instead of last year’s handout motor.


The Quick Set lathe requires some assembly: the motor and drive pulley must be installed, and the switch must be wired. A single photo shows the wiring hookup, but it’s impossible to see which of the three lugs on the switch should be used. I’ll tell you: use the center lug and either of the two outside lugs. Install the included carbide bit, and you’re ready to cut comms.

The “Quick Set” name is definitely appropriate because it took only a second to slip the drive belt (a big 0-ring) over the arm and drive pulley and then to dial in the “quick set” screws. I clicked on the power button, lubed the comm with Magic Marker (as the instructions suggest) and cut away. I made three passes to put a shine on the well-worn comm of an old machine– wound mod, and the lathe worked flawlessly. There’s no slop in any of the slides (but they can be adjusted if any develops down the road), and they operate smoothly with just the right amount of friction. I found the push-button on/off switch very convenient, and it eliminated the chance of arcing when connecting a pack. I’ll nitpick and say I’d prefer a switch that can be visually confirmed as being “on” or “off,” but that’s me.

– Peter Vieira

Part no.-41600; price-$100 to $150.


Solidly constructed.

Includes everything you need, right down to a motor and wire.

Easy to use and produces high-quality cuts.


Can’t tell whether the push-button switch is “on” or “off” until the lathe is powered.


Battery soldering Jig

When you solder batteries together, make life easy by using a battery JIg. This unit from DuraTrax Is constructed of four plastic pieces that can easily be taken apart and stored In your toolbox. This tool holds up to 1 cells, accepts all sub-C Ni-Cd and NiMH batteries and is always welcome when building packs. Part no.-DTXC 2435; pde$3.99.


Team Factory TC3 Clip-on Long Heat Sink

Not getting enough cooling for your sick 10-turn motor? This mamma-Jamma of a heat sink with its large cooling surface will definitely dissipate heat. The now piece clips onto the motor and can only be used with the stock motor.clamp heat sink. Its large size does cover the fancy label on your motor, but look at it this way: your speed secrets are hidden from your competition. Our test TC3 did seem to run slightly cooler with the heat sink in place. Part no.-3928; price-$13.

Copyright Air Age Publishing Jun 2000

Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved

You May Also Like

.12 engine hop-ups

.12 engine hop-ups Pond, Steve Eustace Moore-president of Moore’s Ideal Products (MIP*)-has a long history in nitro racing, so it co…

Gear ratios

Gear ratios Vieira, Peter WHAT GEAR ARE YOU RUNNING? That’s probably the most asked question among racers setting up for a new track…

Team Orion Element 19T

Team Orion Element 19T Pond, Steve High-torque spec power Team Orion has jumped into the growing 19-turn spec modified market …

Traxxas Nitro Sport: instant nitro excitement

Traxxas Nitro Sport: instant nitro excitement Gonzalez, George M OUR LOYAL READERS will probably remember the Traxxas* Nitro Sport “…