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Looking to Upgrade to a PowerMatic 3520C: I Have a Few Questions

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Aaron does your prefab sit directly on the ground (did you have to add a stone or gravel base that it sits on?) My prefab outbuilding (that houses my extra lumber) sits on a stone/gravel base. If that's the case you will for sure have no problems.
No, Bill-Because it is on slightly sloped ground, the building's frame sits on leveled cinderblock piers, with tie-down straps for extra rigidity and wind resistance (probably not relevant to its floor support). Jeff-I will look into the kind of support you are describing too.
 
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I agree with others that DT jaws are better for short tenons, and for OW profile jaws the end of the tenon can interfere with a serration - match tenon length to a serration valley.
 
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Congratulations Aaron! I brought a Powermatic 3520C as a retirement present to myself a couple of years ago. I too, have it in a 12' x 20' portable building. The floor is doubled plywood and it works great! I do have mine on a Lift Lock and Roll mobile base as well. I use this just to move it out for cleaning, as space is tight. May you be as blessed with your purchase as I have been with mine. Good luck Sir!
 
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Boyd-This is great to hear, that this will hopefully work out okay in my building. If I've read correctly (maybe on the Mustard Monster site?), they quit selling the mobility kits due to stability issues if I remember correctly. Is this the mobile base PM used to sell with it? If so, did you leave off the risers?

I'm about 5'11"-plus, so I figure I'll need the risers to get to elbow height. I'm reading, watching videos and studying in preparation. I'm about 5 years from retirement, but I'm thinking this may be my retirement job/hobby.
 
Joined
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Aaron Harris - here’s another mobility solution. I think I heard about this on the AAW site 20yrs ago. I’m 6’3” so I also put in a spacer
 

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Joined
Dec 25, 2020
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Manakin-Sabot, Virginia
I just upgraded from a Laguna 1216 to a 3520C and it’s great! I bought it thru Acme Tool and would not do that again. Ordered the less expensive Anniversary model which they said would ship in 3 to 5 days. After over 6 weeks and multiple calls they admitted it wasn’t available after all (to their credit, they then shipped the mustard at the same price)
I don’t have a muscleman next door so I took the forum’s advice and bought a harbor freight 1000 lb hydraulic lift table, which made unboxing and building a breeze for this 72 yr. old woman and her husband. It also is an easy way to move the lathe, serves as a table for stuff while you’re turning, and you can slide the tail stock onto it when bowl turning (and it was cheaper than the swing away). On top of all that the handle folds down for easier storage.
I kept my Nova chucks. Be sure to get an adapter with set screws rather than the cheaper versions.
and you will find that any tool rests you bought for the Laguna may have posts that are slightly short for the Powermatic - for instance, you need Robust long rather than standard posts.
Have fun! You will love this new lathe.
 
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My first mini was a Delta and I bought or it came with a black no name chuck. Every time I hit the stop switch that chuck would unscrew. After the third time of automatically trying to catch it I s---canned it as my hands were becoming a bloody mess. My Nova chucks some have the ILNS and some have the IWNS insert. The ILNS has the set screw to tighten to the spindle and the other does not. Now the very first time I used the one with the set screw I forgot that it was on there when I tried to unscrew the chuck. Luckily I only moved it a 1/8" before remembering that the set screw was engaged. You can ruin your spindle thread easily. With all my current lathes I have never had a chuck loosen off the spindle whether or not if there was a set screw. But all of the ILNS inserts now have brass set screws that won't damage the threads. Let me be clear that only a third of my chucks have these set screws yet no matter which chuck I'm using I have never had one unwind while sanding in reverse. I would never turn in reverse without a chuck with a set screw.
 
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"If so, what are the dimensions of the legs installed so that I can cut out a base? Online specs say: 55.25" L x 27.25" W. Would 59” or 60” long x 29” wide safely cover for the leveling feet installed?"

From my original list of questions. Would one of you mind measuring that actual footprint so I don't cut a base too small? I'd like to have a 1" plywood base (or something better if anyone has a sturdier option) ready to put the lathe on before it arrives-just trying to cover my bases lol. Thanks again!
 

hockenbery

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"If so, what are the dimensions of the legs installed so that I can cut out a base? Online specs say: 55.25" L x 27.25" W. Would 59” or 60” long x 29” wide safely cover for the leveling feet installed?"

From my original list of questions. Would one of you mind measuring that actual footprint so I don't cut a base too small? I'd like to have a 1" plywood base (or something better if anyone has a sturdier option) ready to put the lathe on before it arrives-just trying to cover my bases lol. Thanks again!

This is a different number - You can check the manual - might be worth a read before it arrives.

67B19A42-58C3-44AD-89FD-B57B0CFF7A28.jpeg
 
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"If so, what are the dimensions of the legs installed so that I can cut out a base? Online specs say: 55.25" L x 27.25" W. Would 59” or 60” long x 29” wide safely cover for the leveling feet installed?"

From my original list of questions. Would one of you mind measuring that actual footprint so I don't cut a base too small? I'd like to have a 1" plywood base (or something better if anyone has a sturdier option) ready to put the lathe on before it arrives-just trying to cover my bases lol. Thanks again!
If you put a 1" base under the footprint of the lathe, what are you going to do about that difference in height between that raised base and the surrounding floor? You will be standing right in that area when turning.
 
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If you put a 1" base under the footprint of the lathe, what are you going to do about that difference in height between that raised base and the surrounding floor? You will be standing right in that area when turning.
I've thought about that. I plan to cut away a relief of maybe a few inches between the legs/feet of the lathe to account for my feet at the lathe. I might need to do some more measuring-hoping with the base and the risers installed, my elbows will still be about spindle height, which for me is 46".
 
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hockenbery

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Thanks, Al-I have bookmarked that manual. I will go with those dimensions unless someone tells me different after measuring. I read different measurements on some website, can't remember which.
Some else mentioned consider where you stand
I like to slide my feet under the bed at times. I’d want a surface to stand on level with the surface the lathe is on.
 
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Some else mentioned consider where you stand
I like to slide my feet under the bed at times. I’d want a surface to stand on level with the surface the lathe is on.
Yep, I just went and checked. I put my feet a bit under the footprint of my Laguna, no telling how I will modify my stance for comfort on the much bigger lathe. I'm thinking about a sort of modified "I"-shaped footprint if that makes sense.
 
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Might check a Tractor Supply or similar for a rubber stall mat. They have
a 4’x6’x3/4” that might get you close to level. Congrats on the new machine.
Thanks, Larry-I was thinking about that very same item from my local Tractor Supply down the road. I don't have the machine yet, still in the getting ready phase (which I plan to be, at the risk of over-thinking it. I teach Hamlet, who was the king of over-thinking lol).
 
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Aaron - if you’re thinking of adding a plywood base for stability I’d recommend that extent for a few feet off the end (where I turn for bowls) as well as in front. If you cut that down towards an I shape to allow your foot underneath etc you’ll be significantly compromising the floor stability you’re trying to gain. Better to have a level platform that the lathe sits on, and you move around, and to adjust height of the lathe with castors etc instead of with flooring.
 
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Wherever you buy the lathe, see if they will throw in their anti-fatigue mat. They were offering a good light and the mat as free promotional items with the anniversary edition - they might be willing to do it for you.
 
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I agree with Ron if you cut a I shape in the ply you will be defeating the purpose of the sheet by weaking the effect. Instead add another sheet or half shet in front of the lathe for standing. Now for one more thing to consider : that 3/4 or 1 " will create a trip hazard. You can add some rubber moulding or paint that edge a bright color. We had a platform for our club lathe and I painted the edges RED.
 
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@Aaron Harris perhaps you’ve already said, but how is the wooden floor/joists supported? Everything so far has discussed putting something on top, but if you concerned about the floor sagging, reinforce from under the joists if you can get under there.

Screwing and gluing your additional flooring ply to adjacent joists, under each end of the lathe, will gain as much strength as running it the length of the lathe. You dont need an I beam shape.
 
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@Aaron Harris perhaps you’ve already said, but how is the wooden floor/joists supported? Everything so far has discussed putting something on top, but if you concerned about the floor sagging, reinforce from under the joists if you can get under there.

Screwing and gluing your additional flooring ply to adjacent joists, under each end of the lathe, will gain as much strength as running it the length of the lathe. You dont need an I beam shape.
Thanks Doug and others for adding these considerations. I am taking notes and will be prepping my shop for the lathe probably in early December if everything works out.
 
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Okay, a little update here. I had been waiting on Black Friday sales, and so just pulled the trigger on the 3520C on Woodcraft's site on their 10% off sale: PowerMatic 3520C

$5129, plus I got the PM lathe light (also on sale) and a 1.25x8TPI insert for my Nova chuck. With free shipping, it seemed like about as good a deal as I was going to get. Several other vendors are all running the same sale, basically. I've been busy getting my shop ready for the new arrival. I had been contemplating making turning my retirement gig in a few years. I guess now I HAVE to, lol (I can't wait!).

I will update when I have it up and running.
 
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Okay, a little update here. I had been waiting on Black Friday sales, and so just pulled the trigger on the 3520C on Woodcraft's site on their 10% off sale: PowerMatic 3520C

$5129, plus I got the PM lathe light (also on sale) and a 1.25x8TPI insert for my Nova chuck. With free shipping, it seemed like about as good a deal as I was going to get. Several other vendors are all running the same sale, basically. I've been busy getting my shop ready for the new arrival. I had been contemplating making turning my retirement gig in a few years. I guess now I HAVE to, lol (I can't wait!).

I will update when I have it up and running.
Congratulations Aaron! Please keep us updated!
 
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Well....if anything happens to this sale, u might took in For Sale section.....he'll of deal over there
 
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Okay, a little update here. I had been waiting on Black Friday sales, and so just pulled the trigger on the 3520C on Woodcraft's site on their 10% off sale: PowerMatic 3520C

$5129, plus I got the PM lathe light (also on sale) and a 1.25x8TPI insert for my Nova chuck. With free shipping, it seemed like about as good a deal as I was going to get. Several other vendors are all running the same sale, basically. I've been busy getting my shop ready for the new arrival. I had been contemplating making turning my retirement gig in a few years. I guess now I HAVE to, lol (I can't wait!).

I will update when I have it up and running.
You'll love it! Yea, I'm biased, I have one. I looked for a while, did a lot of reading and pulled the trigger little over 2 yrs back. I don't regret it and I bet you won't either. It's a beast, good and heavy and mostly stays put. I do mean heavy! I have a small tractor with a loader, used it to unload and assemble my lathe. I couldn't have done it without it. I suggest finding someone with a small loader tractor, or find some beefy friends to assist! Since I've settled down with it, figured out real quick to not get ...fancy.... with it, we get along so much better. Speed wise, I have found I really leave the belt on the slow side, turning on the fast side is, IMHO, not needed for much for what I do. If you do need speed, it can give you alot.
 
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You'll love it! Yea, I'm biased, I have one. I looked for a while, did a lot of reading and pulled the trigger little over 2 yrs back. I don't regret it and I bet you won't either. It's a beast, good and heavy and mostly stays put. I do mean heavy! I have a small tractor with a loader, used it to unload and assemble my lathe. I couldn't have done it without it. I suggest finding someone with a small loader tractor, or find some beefy friends to assist! Since I've settled down with it, figured out real quick to not get ...fancy.... with it, we get along so much better. Speed wise, I have found I really leave the belt on the slow side, turning on the fast side is, IMHO, not needed for much for what I do. If you do need speed, it can give you alot.
Thanks for the tips, John-As for moving and assembly, I am hiring the powerlifter neighbor nextdoor, who is also a beast haha.
 
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