1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. ATTENTION FORUM MEMBERS!

    Guest, if you have not yet updated your forum bookmark to a secure log in connection, please delete your unsecure book and add the following secure bookmark: https://www.aawforum.org/community/index.php

    You can dismiss this notice by clicking the X in the upper right of the notice box.

    Dismiss Notice

Laguna 18/36 vs Powermatic 3520C

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by Ken Loy, May 21, 2020.

  1. Ken Loy

    Ken Loy

    Joined:
    May 21, 2020
    Messages:
    6
    Location (City & State):
    Arlington, VA
    I'm a self-taught woodturner who's been turning on a Jet 1236. It's been fine for my bowl turning, but I'd like to step up to the next level machine which I can grow into. I'm not turning regularly, nor do I expect that I'd make it a profession. Bowls are my focus. I think you all know the satisfaction in giving away gifts.

    I've been looking at the Laguna 18/36 and the PM 3520c. This forum is great and I've read as much as I can on the two machines. I'll also say that I looked at the Nova Galaxi Revo, but it doesn't seem to garner much support.

    Who else has gone through this decision? What tipped your scales one way or the other?

    Both seem to be fantastic lathes, with the PM apparently being more of a "pro" or "forever" machine.
    Any opinions on Laguna 110v vs 220v?

    Thanks!
     
  2. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2004
    Messages:
    6,561
    Location (City & State):
    Lakeland, Florida
    Home Page:
    Take a look at the Jet 1840.
    Did a demo on this machine and I would not spend $2k more for the Powermatic unless I needed to turn 18 bowls.

    Spend the savings on a quality class.
    I was self taught turner and doing pretty well.
    In 1994 a week long class with Liam O’Neil and a week with David Ellsworth in 1995 let me reach a level of expertise so I could sell enough work to buy a ONEWAY in 1997.
     
  3. Mark Hepburn

    Mark Hepburn Artist & Chef

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2014
    Messages:
    1,480
    Location (City & State):
    Houma, Louisiana
    I completely agree with you, Al. I mostly use my Jet 1642 these days instead of the big lathe and it does everything I need. the 1840 would be the way forward for me if I were buying. I have some other Jet tools and they have performed, without exception, flawlessly. And I did get to spend some time with David Ellsworth and it was for sure worthwhile.
     
  4. GRJensen

    GRJensen

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2011
    Messages:
    188
    Location (City & State):
    Bay Settlement, WI
    I went through the same process a couple of years back ... decided on the PM3520C. I have a couple of friends with Laguna 18/36's ... both have had some problems with their tech support. I have Laguna 2hp cyclone that is on its third motor now (I know ... apples to oranges). The last go-round, Laguna had the cyclone motors on back-order for 3 months (I found a used one for $100). In contrast, the switch on my PM3520C started to act up, so I called their tech support. Tech stepped me through a work-around, and a new switch arrived less than 48 hours later.
     
  5. Doug Freeman

    Doug Freeman

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2019
    Messages:
    253
    Location (City & State):
    Lebanon, Missouri
    I went through the process about 2 yrs ago, and I am a strong supporter of the Nova Galaxi. The work process that can be used with it for bowls/platters vs the others you discuss was the primary driver of my decision.

    The pivoting head allows hollowing/facing without reaching over the bed, or removing the TS and then sliding the HS down to get the bed out of the way. The Nova outrigger assembly works great for outboard turning, and tucks in close to the lathe when not in use. It's very quick, easy, no lifting to change between inboard and outboard. The DVR motor and speed selectors work very well, no belt changes, though that aspect was not a prime driver for me. I also do sanding and finishing with the work swung out to the side, improving accessibility of the work. The Grizzly G0766 was my choice for best value for a non-rotating HS, but the rotating head feature with an attached tool rest was the prime requirement for me. An attached tool rest is far superior, as it moves in unison with the lathe when cutting down unbalanced work.
     
    Timothy White likes this.
  6. Ken Loy

    Ken Loy

    Joined:
    May 21, 2020
    Messages:
    6
    Location (City & State):
    Arlington, VA
    Doug, I hadn't thought of the value of a pivoting head. I expected with the bigger swing of the 16" Laguna, that would be enough for what I'd ever want.

    Mark, Really good point. I only know the Jet products firsthand, so I really appreciate hearing others' experiences. My Jet 1236 has been a good intro machine, and from my experience with Jet products, my impression is that I'd like to step up to another class.

    I read another thread where the writer compared this type of decision to one in which someone has to decide between a Mercedes, an Audi, or a Cadillac. A fortunate position to be in.
     
    Mark Hepburn likes this.
  7. R Henrickson

    R Henrickson

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2010
    Messages:
    172
    Location (City & State):
    Kentucky
    Several years ago when I got new lathe and had to decide between getting rid of a 3520B or an older Jet 1642, I sold the 3520 and kept the 1642. I never did really like the 3520.
     
    Mark Hepburn likes this.
  8. robo hippy

    robo hippy

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    Messages:
    2,934
    Location (City & State):
    Eugene, OR
    Well, 220 volt for sure, especially if you plan to core. As for pivoting headstock, they do work, but in my opinion, the only one done right is the Vicmark 240. I think the Jet 18 inch lathe deserves to be looked at. I think that since the first 3520 came out, there have been issues with the on/off button and the speed range button. A minor thing to fix. I have turned on the Jet 16 inch lathe. Didn't like the 110 volt model, but did like the 220 model. Have almost no experience with the Laguna lathes.

    robo hippy
     
  9. Chris Edwards

    Chris Edwards

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2020
    Messages:
    85
    Location (City & State):
    Lebanon, TN
    Not an expert by any means and still consider myself a rookie woodturner.

    I recently sold my Oneway 1224 and bought a Laguna 24/36, still about $1000 below the price of the PM3520 (if I remember correctly), which puts the 18-36 almost $2000 cheaper.

    I'm happy so far, I heard more positive stories than negative, and a lot of the negative ones had favorable outcomes.

    Jet and Powermatic are headquartered about 10 miles from where I live. I had issues with a duplicate delivery of a PM719 mortiser that PM were a pain to deal with (who buys two PM719 floor standing mortisers for their home shop?), plus I contacted them and the dealer several days before the delivery attempt.

    So I guess no company is perfect.

    Although I've for used my Laguna lathe much, I've happy with my decision.
     
  10. Doug Freeman

    Doug Freeman

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2019
    Messages:
    253
    Location (City & State):
    Lebanon, Missouri
    I run my Galaxi on 120v and have not had lack of power issues. I dont rough with a scraper like Robo - that would take more power than a gouge I think. I core with the Bowlsaver 2 blade, I think is 12”, no problem. Freehand coring is going to take more power as blade binding becomes an issue and depth of cut is not as controlled as well.
     
  11. Ken Loy

    Ken Loy

    Joined:
    May 21, 2020
    Messages:
    6
    Location (City & State):
    Arlington, VA
    Thanks for the solid advice, guys.
    I pulled the trigger on the Laguna 18/36!
     
  12. Michael Lyle

    Michael Lyle

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2016
    Messages:
    100
    Location (City & State):
    Bonney lake, Washington
    My thoughts on the Cadillac, Mercedes, etc comparison is that it is flawed.....
    Laguna is only a Chevy/Ford....
    and if you are looking to really upgrade to a higher level
    Buy Oneway or Robust.
    and remember....Robust is made in America

    JMHO
     
  13. Michael Lyle

    Michael Lyle

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2016
    Messages:
    100
    Location (City & State):
    Bonney lake, Washington
    I have a Laguna.......It is a great buy at the price!!!!!! and a good
    lathe you should be happy with it....
     
  14. Bill Currier

    Bill Currier

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2020
    Messages:
    58
    Location (City & State):
    Ponte Vedra, FL
    Ken, I recently went through much the same evaluation process. Though my final list boiled down to just two: the Jet 1840 and PM3520C (which I ultimately bought). The Laguna 18/36 was definitely in contention until quite late in the evaluation.

    The reasons I knocked the Laguna off the final list included the steel bed, seeing a few too many reports of electrical issues with Laguna machines a couple of years down the road, and service/parts availability. I'm also not a fan of the Laguna controls, which come off as kind of cheap to me. Nonetheless, many people are very happy with their Lagunas and it's one of the easiest brands to check out in many locales as Woodcraft often has them in-stock and set up in their stores. I've only seen a couple of Jet lathes on display - ever - and have never seen a PM lathe on display. I've seen PM/Jet demos and some personal machines, but had never laid eyes on a 3520C until I uncrated my own.

    I've owned two Laguna machines to-date, a bandsaw, which I ultimately returned, and a C-FLUX dust collector, with which I'm pretty happy. I can't really complain about their service response per se. After all, Torbin Helshoi himself showed up in my garage when the bandsaw issues cropped up (this was in the 90's). But they clearly don't have the depth that companies like JPW (Jet/PM) have or the very personal service you get with say, a company like Robust (my Torbin H. story notwithstanding).

    My decision on the Jet vs the PM revolved mostly around the cost vs value difference, with weight weighing in behind that (forgive the pun). Sale prices, shipping costs, taxes, and financing options tipped it toward the PM for me, but I have little doubt that I would have been happy with the Jet. I've owned 3 Jet tablesaws and a jointer/planer combo to-date and all of them were good machines. [edit] ... Plus the Jet drill press I recently bought (duh).

    There are no perfect machines! I'm not a huge fan of the PM banjo, for example, and could wish for something more robust (sorry ...) than the plastic box housing the controls. The Jet was longer than I needed, and lighter than I wanted, but has a stellar reputation and is a killer value at the current promo prices. But everyone's priorities and preferences differ anyway. I'm more conservative than some on the service point and more sensitive to potential vibration sources, for example, the latter largely due to a Record lathe I owned. Your mileage will differ.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2020

Share This Page