Ramblin' Dan's Workshop

The Sanctum of Fine Art and Invention

Foredom LX Power Tool

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Foredom LX Foredom SR

A second Foredom flexible shaft rotary power tool has been added to my available tools. It is the LX model with the “L” indicating it is low speed. The “X” may be a code for DC or permanent magnet motor. All users of the Foredom discover there is quite a selection of products in the line. The KautzCraft Studio now has the LX and the SR versions of the motor power head. There is one more heavy duty industrial series, the TX.

The fist one (SR) has been in use here for about three years. I could not do the level of hand work I now do without the Foredom tool. It one of those machine tools you don’t know what your missing until trying to work without it after owning one.

I have several brands of the hand held rotary motor tools. They have their uses but the Foredom shaft tool is just so versatile to have right there constantly at the ready. That may be it’s best virtue.

The SR (Standard (speed?) Reversing) power head is a Universal (A/C - D/C) 1/6 hp motor and can spin up to 15,000 rpm. It has a switch so the direction can be changed. This is definitely the first one to acquire. The other two versions are special purpose.

My newest tool (LX) is about 1/10 hp and has a top speed of 5,000 rpm. It is a permanent magnet DC motor rather than the Universal wound A/C of the SR. This requires a specific DC controller (foot pedal or Table top controller) that IS NOT COMPATIBLE with the SR series motor. Mine came with the compatible foot controller.

The low speed and good torque of the LX is perfect for wax carving. The 5,000 rpm range is spread out over the entire foot control travel so there is finer control over the operating rpm. That is the reason this tool is available. With some work these conditions are an advantage. I am loving it!

The TX series can be purchased with a standard shaft or the recommended special HD (stronger) square shaft which requires totally different hand pieces because of the square shaft. The motor is a permanent magnet DC 1/3 hp and will spin up to 15,000 . This is the tool for industrial heavy duty work like porting engine heads and very heavy wood carving.

For that reason I may never own one. It’s available, and that’s good to know. Advice – Don’t spend the extra cash unless HD features are actually needed. It’s more powerful features doesn’t necessarily make it the best choice for the general home shop or studio workshop. The best over all version belongs to the SR primarily because it can be reversed. (But honestly, a feature I have never used.) Save the money and TX for heavy duty industrial applications.

By-the-way, there is an interesting engineering conundrum here. The universal motor of the SR (It uses brushes and a commutator) should make it compatible with both A/C and D/C controllers. That’s why it is call “universal”. I have not tested, but the SR should run fine with the DC controllers of the LX and TX motors. However the SR (A/C) controller would most likely damage the LX and TX motors or the A/C controller. I have not, nor likely will, reverse engineer the controllers to see how they tick,

Since the various foot pedals and desktop controllers can be plugged in various combinations, I assume it is far safer for Foredom to declare the two control systems totally incompatible. I intend to heed that warning. Having the two separate control systems is difficult enough for Foredom to support. I suspect the reversing switch on the SR may be the reason not to run it on DC.

Bottom line. The reason for the second Foredom is because I was getting weary of lugging my single flex-shaft between my two bench locations. I have one bench in the garage studio for metal and wood work and the other (wax carving) bench is in my office. The LX low speed is actually a benefit to wax carving so the purchase decision was eventually justified. Perhaps being lazy was a factor too.

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