|Review by Chris||posted 03-29-2009 05:34 AM||14753 views||1 time favorited||21 comments|
Some of you may remember my blog post regarding this Christmas Gift . I just wanted to post a review now that I have used it for a while….
Assembly: Ouch! Get help, Get a Friend but whatever you do don’t do it by yourself! It’s heavy and unwieldy; you could easily hurt yourself if you are not careful. Make sure you assemble it where you plan to leave it, moving it is no simple chore. Make sure there is enough room behind it for the cage to open fully and plenty of room on the right hand end if you plan to do any outboard turning (anything over 20” diameter).
Outstanding!!!! If you purchase this lathe you will not be sorry… When assembling this lathe all of the parts fit perfectly and there were none of those little fit & finish issues you normally just put up with.
Simply put, Rock Solid. My first Lathe (a Jet mini) would shudder and shake if a blank was the least bit out of round. Weighing in at 650lbs the Powermatic just hums away. I’m sure it is possible to make it dance if you turn a large blank outboard, but it’s not a problem I have experienced as yet.
Ease of Use:
Variable Speed: The use of the dual range variable speed motor is simple and intuitive. No issues what so ever here.
Reversible Motor: Where has this been all my life? Finish sanding time if significantly reduced and removing torn out fibers is a lot easier with this feature.
Spindle Lock: It works as advertised. What more can I say?
Head Stock/Tail Stock: Nothing on this lathe is small; If you must remove the tail stock I recommend having a table or cart nearby at close to the same level as the lathe bed. Your back will thank you! As for the head stock, it slides fairly easily along the bed even to the far end for outboard turning. It’s no light weight either so be prepared to put your mass into it.
Drive & Tail Centers: The drive center is simply a spur drive, enough said. The Tail center is a ball bearing cone center that works wonderfully. —Update— I forgot to mention that the cone is removable and you are left with a a spur, which is also very useful.
This very large lathe is quiet as a mouse; if you are more than a couple of feet away you hardly even hear it. Typically the only noise you will hear is the tool against the wood and not much else.
I was reminded to post this review today while hollowing a Cherry vase. During the hollowing process it occurred to me that I was getting zero deflection in the headstock (this happened quite often on the mini); it makes turning a dream instead of a struggle. I am glad that I waited to purchase this tool instead of settling for one of lesser quality. However, if it had not been for the experience gained on the mini I would not have known what to look for when I upgraded.
One other note: It is my humble opinion that no matter which lathe you own you should purchase the best quality chuck possible as well. One is not much good without the other…...
This lathe requires 220v, so keep that in mind if you intend to purchase. Also, it has an indexing head, which I have yet to use, so I cannot comment as to it’s operation.
-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein