Author Topic: I have a 230v Mafell lock mortiser. Powerbright 110-120volt step up transformer?  (Read 1588 times)

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Offline Spud

  • Posts: 10
Mafell SKS 130 lock mortiser. 230 volts 1600 watts.



Tool is 230 volt; Mafell does not make a 110-120 volt version. Timberwolf sells this 230v tool and suggests a Powerbright 3kva transformer for it. There are other Mafell tools sold here in the US by TW which are 220-240 volt.

I also need the transformer to power a Fein 220volt battery charger. A Fein US distributor does sell their 220volt charger.


Does anyone have experience with the black box Chinese step-up / step-down transformers branded Powerbright or Simran? Opinions ?

https://www.110220volts.com/ac-3000w.html?gclid=Cj0KEQiA5vXEBRChycOl36LPn5EBEiQAJV2-bLd1Tz3B3picPk_ake0v9G2Hlqba_DChA1tQr3CaUCIaAo5-8P8HAQ




I assume since TimberWolf sells them for use with Mafell and other expensive Euro tools these transformers must be fine? I would think if these Transformers were shoddy TW would not sell them. But as they are Chinese and kinda cheap I am still a bit cautious. 


I was thinking of Kreiger step-up / -step-down transformers, and while they are also Chinese the exterior design seem to be of higher quality , and cost almost double the price of the Black box ones. Anyone here have any experience with Kreiger transformers?

Kreiger only makes them up to 1700 watts but it is continuous watts (per Kreiger's specs) so it should be fine for my 1600 watt Mafell? If it was intermittent watts I would need a transformer atleast 50% more than the wattage of the tool ?

http://www.kriegermfg.com/product/999/

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Offline Tom Gensmer

  • Posts: 615
  • Residential Remodeler in Minnesota
I do not know about step-up/down converters, but in my research on generators the rule seems to be to double your expected watts draw.

I'd be concerned running an expensive Mafell tool on an underpowered converter. I believe the owner at Timberwolf has some experience in the electrical industry, if they are recommending an aftermarket converter I'd be inclined to place a fair of weight in their recommendation.

When I was considering buying the Erika 85 at 230 volts 2500 watts I was looking at converters in the 5000 watt range. Hope this helps!
« Last Edit: February 10, 2017, 12:05 PM by Tom Gensmer »
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Online Holmz

  • Posts: 3970
A US220v male to Eu 230 plug female running off the US220v grid would be ideal... but a lock Morticer sort of implies it will not be in the shop but in the field.

Does the TW one differ from the Amazon unit?
I would probably go off the specs when comparing those two and the Krieger one. The Krieger one looks good from the outside, but whether the beauty is more than skin deep is the question.

Offline Bohdan

  • Posts: 790
In transformers a good indication of quality is the weight, the Powerbright 3kva transformer is 30# while the Krieger one is only 13.9# and 1.7kva. This would suggest that (roughly) the Powerbright one is a better built product.

Offline Max Fracas

  • Posts: 81
I use a Powerbright VC-1500 transformer to step up 120V to use with the Jura coffeemaker I bought when I lived in Germany.  I've used it every day for the past four years without any problems.  Only use it for about 30 minutes at a time.  I was in an amateur rock band in Germany and several of us used other (smaller) Powerbrights to step down 240V to power our US gear.  Sometimes popped a fuse, but generally very reliable.  BTW, haven't replaced a fuse on the VC-1500 yet.  Now that'll probably happen tomorrow.

Offline Spud

  • Posts: 10
In transformers a good indication of quality is the weight, the Powerbright 3kva transformer is 30# while the Krieger one is only 13.9# and 1.7kva. This would suggest that (roughly) the Powerbright one is a better built product.

Yeah I was thinking the same thing, about the weight.

I bought a brand new General Electric step-up / step-down 2000 watt continuous transformer to power this tool, and it weighs 45 lbs ,  but it's a p.i.t.a. to wire because the wires do not come connected to any plugs so I need to get appropriate plugs and also add extension wires to Primary+Secondary wires in the transformer because they are too short to be able to connect a plug to. Plus I need cord-grips at the point where the wires lead out of the transformer. So I changed my mind and just decided to either get the Krieger or the Powerbright.





I got the G.E. because it would be better quality , considering it is branded G.E. and sells for nearly $480.
http://www.temcoindustrialpower.com/products/Transformers_-_General/GT1005.html

After reading the replies here and seeing as how TW recommends them for Mafell tools , I am going to go with the 3kva powerbright.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2017, 09:05 PM by Spud »


Offline antss

  • Posts: 1373
This is all the lock mortiser you'll ever need:

http://www.portercable.com/Products/ProductDetail.aspx?ProductID=11582


Been tested on USA jobsites for 30 years, doesn't require a heavy transformer and is half the cost. 

The ergonomics of the Mafell look dicey to me with that drill motor setup. But I must confess I have not used one personally.  The only reason to get the Mafell for use on North American jobsites is just so you can say you have one.  It makes no sense from a business capital expenditure standpoint.

Online Holmz

  • Posts: 3970
This is all the lock mortiser you'll ever need:

http://www.portercable.com/Products/ProductDetail.aspx?ProductID=11582


Been tested on USA jobsites for 30 years, doesn't require a heavy transformer and is half the cost. 

The ergonomics of the Mafell look dicey to me with that drill motor setup. But I must confess I have not used one personally.  The only reason to get the Mafell for use on North American jobsites is just so you can say you have one.  It makes no sense from a business capital expenditure standpoint.


That is a good point.
@Spud I'll be happy to trade you a brand new Portercable 513 for the SKS130 and then we both have no issues with power sources.

Offline Spud

  • Posts: 10
This is all the lock mortiser you'll ever need:

http://www.portercable.com/Products/ProductDetail.aspx?ProductID=11582


Been tested on USA jobsites for 30 years, doesn't require a heavy transformer and is half the cost. 

The ergonomics of the Mafell look dicey to me with that drill motor setup. But I must confess I have not used one personally.  The only reason to get the Mafell for use on North American jobsites is just so you can say you have one.  It makes no sense from a business capital expenditure standpoint.

Yeah will eventually get the PC. Bosch and Virutex also made similar mortising machines.

Unlike the PC/Bosch/Virutex The Mafell will leave square corners though  . With the PC the radiused corners on the face isn't an issue if you use locks with radiused ends on the faceplate. 

With the Mafell the bottom corners will be radiused and will need to be chiseled out if you choose to have a cavity that fits the lock mechanism exactly , but if you use a lock body whos bottom corners are radiused there is no need to chisel after using the Mafell.

You can mortise out square/rectangular holes for purposes other than lock cavities , as long as the cavity is larger than the width and depth of a single chain in the Mafell ; you can run it with just 1 chain if you need a smaller cavity. The machine clamps onto timber as wide as 4 1/8 " and the whole cutting mechanism can be moved side to side for mortising out whatever size cavity you need.

Offline antss

  • Posts: 1373
Morticing a lot of 4" thick doors are you ?  [eek]


And if you really need larger mortises, then there are better units out there too.  Makita has one for timber framers and it runs on 110v to boot.  Mafell has a big honker too if that's what you really need. This is a specialist tool , not one to lend itself to a multipurpose role.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2017, 10:26 PM by antss »

Offline Spud

  • Posts: 10
One can put on the Neutrik TrueOne onto that GE transformer:
http://www.markertek.com/product/nac3fpx/neutrik-nac3fpx-powercon-true1-female-1-4-inch-flat-tab-terminals
(They are ideal for for that.)


And one onto the tool:
http://www.markertek.com/product/nac3mx-w/neutrik-nac3mx-male-powercon-true1-screw-terminal-ip65-cable-connector


And you probably want a longer cord so on the transformer ends:
http://www.markertek.com/product/nac3mx-w/neutrik-nac3mx-male-powercon-true1-screw-terminal-ip65-cable-connector

Tool end: http://www.markertek.com/product/nac3fx-w/neutrik-nac3fx-w-female-powercon-true1-screw-termina-ip65-cable-connector

And you probably want a US 220 female end for coming off the transformer.
And a US220 Male to http://www.markertek.com/product/nac3fx-w/neutrik-nac3fx-w-female-powercon-true1-screw-termina-ip65-cable-connector for the shop or near a dryer outlet.

The Neutrik ends look very attractive ; I could use 2 of the female ends for the Transformer and 1 male end for the tool and 1 male end for an extension cord that will connect the Input/Primary voltage from the mains to the transformer.

I have a question though: Can the female Nutrik end in your link be used on the Primary (110v-120v) connection and the Secondary (220-240v) connection on the Transformer ? That would be 1 Nutrik female connector for Primary and 1 Nutrik female connector for the Secondary. Or is there a different Nutrik female connector for 220-240volts ?

I think I will go with a 3kva Powerbright because the G.E. does weigh 7lbs more and does not have a carry handle. And I will have to drill holes into the Transformer body to secure the Nutrik female connectors.

The links you provided are usefull for future projects. I spent hours trying to find female connectors that would fit inside the punched out hole in the GE transformer without any luck. I searched the Leviton and Hubbell catalogs and googled various terms.

Offline Spud

  • Posts: 10
Morticing a lot of 4" thick doors are you ?  [eek]


And if you really need larger mortises, then there are better units out there too.  Makita has one for timber framers and it runs on 110v to boot.  Mafell has a big honker too if that's what you really need. This is a specialist tool , not one to lend itself to a multipurpose role.
That's true , it is a specialist tool but it can easily be used for mortising cavities other than door locks and will mortise out a cavity smaller than the other chain mortisers, when using 1 chain only. It's not the ideal chain mortiser if mortising large beams is the main need but if one wants to mortise locks and also does a lot of other beam mortising (under 4 1/8" thickness) then this is a good tool.

Offline Spud

  • Posts: 10


That is a good point.
@Spud I'll be happy to trade you a brand new Portercable 513 for the SKS130 and then we both have no issues with power sources.
[/quote]

 [big grin]

Online Holmz

  • Posts: 3970
...
The Neutrik ends look very attractive ;
...
I have a question though: Can the female Nutrik end in your link be used on the Primary (110v-120v) connection and the Secondary (220-240v) connection on the Transformer ? That would be 1 Nutrik female connector for Primary and 1 Nutrik female connector for the Secondary. Or is there a different Nutrik female connector for 220-240volts ?
...

The yellow TrueOne are what I use for 230v, but can be used for either.
Most Eu stuff is 2 wire double insulated, and the TrueOne is 3 conductor, so one just leaves off the ground from the tool to the input connector (as there is no ground present in the tool).
On all extension cords, then they are wired 3-wire, in case you ever have a 3-wire tool in the future...

They also make a blue one (PowerCON): http://www.markertek.com/product/nac3fca/neutrik-nac3fca-powercon-lockable-cable-connector-power-in-screw-terminals-blue
These are 3 terminal, and most US gear is 3 wire.

Both (TrueOne and PowerCON) are rated to do most all you would be doing.
But to avoid plugging in a 110v tool to a 230v outlet (and getting smoke)... I would use some yellow-230v and blue-110v scheme (or visa-versa) and then you avoid the common boneheaded mistakes.

So I would suggest that you just pick a scheme...
The 230v usually only needs a smaller gauge wire, so those extensions will likely be different wire sizes... One can chain them together so maybe a 13' 16ga , and if you have something that needs a lot of Amps then a longer (50-75') extension as a 12Ga.

Offline Spud

  • Posts: 10
Thanks for all the help you provided Holmz