View Full Version : Santa Came Early this Year – WARNING Dirty Pictures! (Long)

Kent Cori
12-22-2005, 10:52 PM
A few weeks ago, I turned to this august body for advice on which new lathe to buy. My venerable Harbor Freight lathe had bitten the dust so what better excuse to buy a new, more powerful lathe? The fact that SWIMBO had agreed to a new one as my Christmas present meant that the stars were all aligned for once. :rolleyes:

I received a ton of great thoughts, insights and recommendations from my fellow SMC’ers. A Powermatic 3520A was the overwhelming consensus. So, being a well trained Creeker, I called up Amazon and told them to send one right over. :D

It showed up less than a week later on an 18-wheeler. Fortunately, it had a lift gate and one of Santa’s elves complete with pallet jack. For a measly $20 donation to the elf’s Christmas fund, ;) he wheeled the 700+ pound package right into my garage and within about a foot of where it needed to be. He even helped me remove the steel bands and cardboard box that weighed 40# all by itself.

Getting it off the pallet, installing the adjustable machine support feet, moving it into final position and getting it all level proved to be a piece of cake. The input I received to a second SMC query regarding how uncrate it and set it up was invaluable. I easily managed to do it all myself with a small floor style car jack, a 6-foot long 2” x 8” and a little of that good old engineering ingenuity. Think leverage! :cool: One person can easily get this monster off the pallet and completely set up within 20 minutes and not even break a sweat.

I’ve now had a couple of weeks to really work with my new favorite tool. I built a box to hold 3-50# sand bags to add even more mass low down below the center of gravity. I also installed a piece of wire closet shelving at an angle to hold all my turning tools. Finally, a sprinkling of rare earth magnets to hold all the other various other lathe tools completed the ensemble. Total investment was less than $25.

I know many of you like those catalog ready photos showing the new tool in a pristine environment without a speck of saw dust. Unfortunately, in my shop those moments are measured in nanoseconds and the 3520A was no exception. As soon as I had it all set up, I threw a bowl blank cut from a really, really punky Live (Dead?) Oak that had come down in my back yard a few weeks ago during a storm. It was still so wet I needed a snorkel when I began to turn it. It is shown in several of the photos and is about 14-inches in diameter.

Some of the things I like:

1. The power – that 2 hp motor is heavenly after the ¾ hp HF unit.

2. The smoothness – the speed adjustment in either the low or high range is very linear and silky smooth. I suspect I will just leave it in the high range.

3. The mass – this baby isn’t going anywhere!

4. The power!

5. The sliding headstock – it makes bowl turning a lot easier if you don’t have to be a contortionist.

6. The 20-inch swing – the 14-inch bowl blank still has plenty of room to spare.
7. The power.

8. It reverses – this comes in handy when making the final cuts on the inside of a bowl. It is also nice when sanding.

9. The price – only a few hundred dollars more than a Jet 1642 with similar motor and $500 less than a 3520B. The legs are the new 3520B configuration for no extra charge to boot!

10. Did I mention the greater power?

A couple of things I don’t like:

1. The color – it looks like something that came back up after a hard night of drinking in college.

2. Location of the readout – what could possibly have prompted the design team to put the digital readout on the back of the headstock and not even have it read in rpm?

The bottom line is that this is an outstanding lathe that will last me a lifetime. :D Thanks to all you Creekers for your great counsel!

Jim Ketron
12-22-2005, 11:04 PM
Congrats, you will love it!
Still Love mine:D

Andy Hoyt
12-22-2005, 11:08 PM
!tneK ,og ot yaW

This is to help you learn how to read the rpm indicator

Travis Stinson
12-22-2005, 11:09 PM
Ahhhhh, Ain't life grand?:D

Keith Burns
12-22-2005, 11:21 PM
Man oh man Kent, you dirty dog:D :D

Kent Cori
12-22-2005, 11:25 PM
!tneK ,og ot yaW

This is to help you learn how to read the rpm indicator

ROFLMAO Andy! :D :D :D

Mark Cothren
12-22-2005, 11:35 PM
Congrats Kent! Lookin' good in there!

Ernie Nyvall
12-22-2005, 11:37 PM
!tneK ,og ot yaW

This is to help you learn how to read the rpm indicator

Kent, got to way????

I can't wait to get to this point Kent. Good idea on the magnets.


Bill Stevener
12-22-2005, 11:46 PM
Hay Kent, great for you. This must be yellow day, can't wait to see the first turning off that big un.


Jim Becker
12-23-2005, 12:01 AM
Another hearty congratuations!!

Bernie Weishapl
12-23-2005, 12:11 AM
Congrats to you Kent. Looks like a awesome machine.

Dennis Peacock
12-23-2005, 12:15 AM
That thang looks so bad.....you'd better send it to me.......

so I can set it beside mine and they can "talk" while the shop is quiet.:p :rolleyes: ;) :D


Corey Hallagan
12-23-2005, 12:18 AM
Sweet machine Kent, congrats to you!!


John Hart
12-23-2005, 1:12 AM
Geez Kent...You too??!!! I want one!!!! Congratuations!!!

Dick Parr
12-23-2005, 3:00 AM
Congrats Kent. Like I told Ernie, Enjoy....:D

Chris Barton
12-23-2005, 8:50 AM
Welcome to the "A" club Kent! You may want to rethink where you have your turning tools stored on the lower level of the machine. Anything below the bed of the lathe will be covered in chips. In my shop, anything below the bed within a 10' radius of the lathe is covered in chips:D .

John Miliunas
12-23-2005, 2:22 PM
Awright Kent!!!:D You got yourself one heckuva' machine, sure to please you and us with pics of all your wonderful products coming off of it! Enjoy!:D :cool: