Setting up new Powermatic Lathe

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Project by reggiek posted 08-10-2009 10:02 PM 4995 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


3647 posts in 2760 days

#1 posted 08-10-2009 10:46 PM

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

View blackcherry's profile


3230 posts in 2861 days

#2 posted 08-10-2009 10:52 PM

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

View Loucarb's profile


2388 posts in 2483 days

#3 posted 08-10-2009 11:30 PM

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

View DocK16's profile


1162 posts in 3125 days

#4 posted 08-10-2009 11:38 PM


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

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2860 days

#5 posted 08-11-2009 01:00 AM

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


2826 posts in 2323 days

#6 posted 08-11-2009 03:30 AM

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


3506 posts in 2469 days

#7 posted 08-11-2009 04:04 AM

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


1150 posts in 2481 days

#8 posted 08-11-2009 09:05 PM

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 3238 days

#9 posted 08-11-2009 10:46 PM

You lucky dog

-- Billp

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 2596 days

#10 posted 08-12-2009 02:27 AM

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

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

View Innovator's profile


3584 posts in 2452 days

#11 posted 08-15-2009 07:42 PM

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!!!

View a1Jim's profile


113725 posts in 2615 days

#12 posted 08-23-2009 03:28 AM

sweet lathe

-- Custom furniture

View Gary Fixler's profile

Gary Fixler

1000 posts in 2420 days

#13 posted 08-30-2009 09:19 AM

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 2308 days

#14 posted 09-14-2009 11:27 PM

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 2420 days

#15 posted 09-15-2009 10:45 AM

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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