Does anyone know when Powermatic Model 90 lathes were made?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by Elksniffer posted 04-01-2010 05:52 PM 12607 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Elksniffer's profile


101 posts in 3392 days

04-01-2010 05:52 PM

I am looking for a used lathe and have seen some powermatic model 90 lathes in at least three different colors.
Green, a reddish brown color, and a gold color. Does color indicate production date and which is the most recent. When were the model 90’s made? How about Model 45’s? And what was before the 3520A? Thanks for any help and if you any recommendations on what to look for in a used lathe I would appreciate it.

2 replies so far

View Michael Murphy's profile

Michael Murphy

453 posts in 3000 days

#1 posted 04-01-2010 05:57 PM

Powermatic made two basic wood lathes through and into the ‘90s. The smaller machine, model 45, was far less popular then the larger machine, the model 90. The primary end user for these lathes was the public school system with thousands of them sold. Schools nearly always use three phase power so be careful that you know what you are buying when you locate a used machine for sale. For some reason woodworking hobbiests are fearful of three phase power while metal workers pretty much assume the used machines they acquire will be three phase. The early model 90s had a Reeves drive (variable width pulley system) that went straight to the spindle from the motor. This version is very hard to change the motor in as it is tucked way up in the headstock casting and there is no room for the capacitor and its protective cover. The later model 90s had an intermediate jackshaft between the motor and spindle allowing the motor to be mounted much lower. This later design has a broader spindle speed range and the lower mounting position makes it easier to change the motor. The later models will be painted dark green or gold metal flake. The early models will be grey, pea green or dark green unless repainted. The hardest sub assembly to get for these lathes is the tailstock followed by the tool rest support. Without these components the lathe is substantially worthless and basically a parts donor for seldom needed parts.

MarMachine rebuilds these lathes and offers them on eBay. We also rebuild components and offer some will fit parts. A recent repro part is tailstock spindles for both the 45 and 90 lathes. Our latest will fit part is 24” straight tool rests. S-curved tool rests are coming, I promise! Since we part out some lathes we can supply some used parts also. Original equipment tool rests, faceplates, outboard handwheel/faceplates and outboard tool rest stands are normally offered on eBay when available.

-- Michael Murphy, Woodland, CA.

View ibewjon's profile


38 posts in 2788 days

#2 posted 07-05-2014 03:03 AM

any idea on the size of the motor pulley, jack shaft model, and the size of the two belts? i cannot get the proper speed from mine, i can gat 450 to 1250. jon

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics