Powermatic 3520B lathe
This post will specifically review the Powermatic 3520B lathe.
To see reviews of other models click the links below.
To see our overview on wood lathes click Wood Lathe Reviews
If you’re simply looking for the best place to purchase, I have found that Amazon has the best prices and usually includes free shipping on their tools.
Powermatic 3520B Lathe
Is this the right lathe for you?
The other lathe reviews on this site are intended for people who are just starting out in turning or who are experienced but looking to get their first real lathe like a Delta or Jet.
If you’re considering a Powermatic 3520B lathe, you are no doubt an experienced turner. You’re ready to tackle larger projects like 20 plus inch bowls or extra long spindles.
You’ve heard that “Mustard Monster” Powermatic lathes are at the top of hill when it comes to wood turning. Well, you’re right. Yes, the price reflects their quality and features, but the results of your finished turnings are unmatched.
So let’s see if we can discuss a few of the features, so you can justify your purchase or not.
There is so little vibration that you can put a cup with water in it on the base of this lathe and you have to use a magnifying glass to see the water move when this lathe is on. This lathe weighs in at around 700 pounds. For comparison the typical jet lathe weighs a respectable 400 pounds.
The extra weigh keeps the lathe still and smooth when you’re turning big bowls. You will see a noticeable difference in lack of vibration, noise and when turning large pieces of wood.
The extra weight is also handy when you’re turning heavier chucks of wood like big pieces of burl that weigh 60 or 70 pounds. The heavy base provides the need stability to handle such a piece of wood and keep it stable.
How Powerful is it?
The other feature that will allow you to cut a piece of wood like that is the powerful motor. At 2 HP it’s more than twice the typical jet lathe. If you’ve ever felt like you’re straining the motor on other lathes and worried that the wood was going to fly off, don’t fear with this tool. It feels like it’s got plenty of power to spare even with the heaviest of stock.
Sliding headstock. OK, this is a lathe that is really great for bowls. Many lathes have angled or swing heads. Good idea. But for me, I really like that the headstock slides down to the end of the lathe and I can turn a bowl standing in front of it versus standing on the side at an angle. This is one of those features that once you use you won’t go back to any other way.
Digital readout. You would expect this feature at this price range. The numbers are actually big enough to see, even if you’re not wearing your glasses, OK, I just recently got glasses and it’s still hard for me to accept it, so suddenly larger numbers are actually important to me.
The digital readout and variable speed work great. Yes, you can turn blanks at different speeds. Full speed is not always best. (Experience turners should be laughing now, we all have turned this way)
The safety guard is actually designed well enough to use. It flips in and out of place very easily. I wish the guy who designed this could create a guard this usable for my table saw…
Ultimately, this will be your last lathe. If you get this lathe, you’ll one day die knowing the pleasure of turning on the best of the best…
Weight. The mustard monsters are really heavy. Ok, this is great for turning, but realize you have to get the lathe into position. A really strong friend or friends is recommended here. Realize the lathe will need to be delivered by a trucking company or some special type of delivery. But they will help you unload and deliver to your shop. But I also think a few minutes of heavy lifting is worth a lifetime of quality turning.
Powermatic 3520b lathe Conclusion
This Powermatic 350b lathe is designed for a skilled, experienced turner. If you fit that description, I can’t imagine a better lathe for you. I can, however imagine what type of masterpieces you can create. This lathe will take you from craftsman to artist, PERIOD.
I hope this review on the Powermatic 3520B lathe has been beneficial. If you would like to read more reviews or purchase this lathe, click the link below. I have found that Amazon has the best prices, free shipping on this saw, and in most cases no sales tax.
Enjoy your new tool and go out and turn something!
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