Setting up new Powermatic Lathe

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Project by reggiek posted 1836 days ago 4165 views 0 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I spent this weekend setting up my new Powermatic 3520b lathe. I played with the chucking…and tailstock…along with making sure all the components were working and within tolerance.

I started out on a round of Paduak that I had sitting around….I didn’t mind using this as it had some big checks running down through the center…In the later pictures…I have glued up the checks, hollowed out the vessell and am deciding on a nice finish?

This is the first time I have worked with this wood….it is nice on the lathe….although it is very similar to turning oak. The color is beautiful as is the grain patterns….the dust from this wood is said to be very irritating so I used a respirator and heavy coveralls….even with them…I found some skin irritation where my gloves didn’t meet the sleeves.

All in all it was a good run…and I will surely start showing the real finished items as I turn them….I am now working on a very nice staved blank…but have run out of purpleheart for some of the contrast…Hopefully my order will get here soon so I can run another.

I yearn to turn…

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

19 comments so far

View mmh's profile


3382 posts in 2347 days

#1 posted 1836 days ago

Oooooh! NICE NEW TOY! Keep us posted on your work, it looks like you’re due for a lot of creative fun!

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

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3154 posts in 2448 days

#2 posted 1836 days ago

Nice looking tool good luck all your new project….Blkcherry

View Loucarb's profile


2388 posts in 2070 days

#3 posted 1836 days ago

Sweet. You should get many years of enjoyment out of that beauty.

View DocK16's profile


1139 posts in 2712 days

#4 posted 1836 days ago


-- Common sense is so rare anymore when you do see it, it looks like pure genius.

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Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2447 days

#5 posted 1836 days ago

That is a nice looking lathe that you have in your shop. About a year or so ago I saw one of these in the classifieds that was 3 years old and came with a complete set of turning gouges and tools for $1800. I thought about it over the weekend and when I called on Monday it had already been sold. I have kicked myself many times for hesitating on this. This is a solid lathe that should last you a lifetime.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View huff's profile (online now)


2795 posts in 1910 days

#6 posted 1836 days ago

Great lathe and looks like your first project turned out just fine. Look forward to seeing many more creations coming from that lathe. Keep us posted.

-- John @

View scrappy's profile


3505 posts in 2055 days

#7 posted 1836 days ago

Tool envy !! I to have a yearn to turn!

Very nice job. and looking forward to seeing many more projects comeing from this new toy.

Keep it up.


-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

View LesB's profile


1061 posts in 2068 days

#8 posted 1835 days ago

Great lathe. I bought one about 3 years ago and wish I had done it sooner. In my opinion it is the best lathe for the money on the market. Enjoy it.

-- Les B, Oregon

View Billp's profile


784 posts in 2825 days

#9 posted 1835 days ago

You lucky dog

-- Billp

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 2183 days

#10 posted 1835 days ago

Man can I use one of them. I envy you….............LOL

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

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3584 posts in 2038 days

#11 posted 1831 days ago

This is a great lathe I also have one in my shop, I love it.

-- Whether You Think You Can or You Think You Can't, YOU ARE RIGHT!!!

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112008 posts in 2202 days

#12 posted 1824 days ago

sweet lathe

-- Custom furniture

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Gary Fixler

1000 posts in 2007 days

#13 posted 1817 days ago

Nice lathe Reggie! But are you sure that’s padauk? It doesn’t look like any I’ve seen so far. The tree is a deep orange heartwood all the way through with very little sapwood, and all the stuff I’ve seen made from it is deep orange, too, like this pen and blank, these bottlestoppers, this dulcimer back, and this speaker enclosure. Also, the slab I got from Rockler, and my sample from Woodworker’s Source were deep orange, heavy, and very tight grain as well. I did find this plate with some sapwood that looks closer to what you got there, but your piece is from the heart (pith is where all the cracks are radiating from).

Anyway, just curious. I’ll have to ammend my ideas about padauk if that turns out to be padauk, too :)

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 1895 days

#14 posted 1801 days ago

Gary, sorry I didn’t see your post until today.

I too was skeptical about this wood when it was given to me (it had too many checks to be a saleable blank). It was in a stumpish round and had no bark of course. It did act somewhat like the redder colored Paduak that I have turned in the past (as far as how it came off when using different tools)....yet I just could not see how such a reddish/orangish wood could bleach out to yellow…my experience with Paduak is that it will typically darken with age. Anyway…I have looked through many identification sites….and to me it looks a lot like the mango type wood or white milkwood….Anyway, this wood came in a mixed shipment from South Africa and South America…so it’s real identity would have to be confirmed by some kind of arborist or such…

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1000 posts in 2007 days

#15 posted 1801 days ago

Thanks for the reply, Reggie! You know, crazy as it sounds, I’ve actually sat for awhile thinking hard about the idea of picking up a microscope. I’d like to be able to look at things like cell layout and structure, and understand wood at an even deeper level. Maybe one day in a few decades I’ll be that arborist!

Cleary, I am insane ;)

-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator

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