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Thread: Shopping for new lathe

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Southwest Louisiana
    Posts
    88

    Shopping for new lathe

    Iím looking at a new lathe and have narrowed my search to the Robust AB or the new 3520C. I havenít turned one the 3520 and looking for opinions from those who may own one. Thanks in advance for your comments.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Tellico Plains, TN
    Posts
    18
    Can't tell you anything about the 3520, but if Jet Tools can't get my Spindle Pulleys in stock for my Jet 1442, may have to join you in your search... Ordered pulleys in March and still on back order.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Durango, CO
    Posts
    162
    I just sold my 3520B that I turned on for 5 years, and my Robust AB should arrive in a week. I'm biased, but I would lean toward the AB.

  4. #4
    I went from the 3520A to the Robust American Beauty, more for the 3 hp motor and made in America than anything else. I think the pivoting tailstock set up is the best one I have seen for getting the tailstock out of the way. As far as the differences between the stainless steel and the cast iron ways and bodies are that they make different noises when you turn. Only other lathe I would consider is the Vicmark with the pivoting headstock. They did that right, pull the pin and pivot on a big post. It goes back to exact positioning and you don't have to fuss with it. My AB is one of the early ones from 10 years back. It has 3 pulley/sped ranges. I do prefer that to the two pulley set up. The 1500 is too slow for some bowls, and the high speed range isn't as good for coring. With the 3 pulleys, in the middle is just right. Oh, the protability set up on the Robust is pretty sweet too...

    robo hippy

  5. #5
    I own an AB. The 3520C's addition of a remote control box & split-nut tool post lock make it a very compelling lathe - I feel that unless the option to have a 3HP motor is critical, then objectively the 3520C is a much better buy than the AB. But Robust has a lot of subjective things going for it making it a hard decision! I live in Wisconsin so it was pretty cool to be able to buy my most-used tool right from the source and pick it up myself.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Kapolei Hawaii
    Posts
    2,763
    Isn't there a significant difference in price? If you can afford the Robust, I'd get that. I've turned on a Robust, and IF I could afford one, I'd buy it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Suwanee (near Atlanta), GA
    Posts
    801
    I have a 3520b and demonstrated on the c model in Portland. I really like some of the new features. Here is a short video I did with a link in the description to a very comprehensive written review by Carl Ford.
    God is great and life is good!

  8. #8
    Well, one question I have about it is what is the minimum rpm speed? I liked the 3520A because it would go down to almost 0 which is ideal for sanding my warped bowls, but with the B model, they went to 50 rpm, then it would shut off. Also, what are the speed ranges. On the A it was 0 to 1500 low range, and 0 to 3000 on the high speed range. This was great. On the B they went to 50 to 1200 on the low range which is too slow for a lot of my bowl turning, and the high speed range went up a bit. Problem with coring on the high speed range is there is barely enough torque to core, and the lathes seem to protest much more on the high speed range as in you trip the breaker more. I am also not a fan of the big cones that come off of the headstock, which is done to give better access to the bottom of the bowl for twice turned bowls. No vibration issues while the tailstock is attached, but remove the tailstock and you get more vibration because the mount is much farther away from the headstock, kind of like long hollow forms....

    robo hippy

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Spokane, WA
    Posts
    216
    Reed, I was playing with the 3520C that Powermatic had on display at the symposium and while the specs in the manual state the slowest speed is 15 rpm I had no problem consistently getting it down to 11. Speed range as per manual is 15-1200 and 40-3200.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Southwest Louisiana
    Posts
    88
    Damon, what is your option of the 3520c

  11. #11
    My Beauty will go down to about that same range, seems to vary from about 10 to 15+. I will maintain that I think 1200 is a bit slow for a lot of smaller bowls. I do know the speeds can be tweaked with the phase converters, but that would probably put the rpm on the high end up a bit high. On my A, I had the brake time set from 4 seconds (I think) to 8 seconds. The reset kept tripping when I was coring and some times when I turned it off with a good sized bowl blank on it. Switching to low range took care of that. The 3420 is a very popular and much imitated lathe for a number of reasons...

    robo hippy

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Spokane, WA
    Posts
    216
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Nix View Post
    Damon, what is your option of the 3520c
    Steve, I'm assuming you meant opinion. I turn once a month on a 3520b at a nearby retirement community center and really like that lathe. I spent a lot of time with the 3520c at the symposium but haven't turned on it. What I do like is the thread on the tailstock quill, very few turns of the handle to move the quill an inch. I think six turns. I really like that. I also like the movable control box, my favorite feature of the C model. I turn a lot of winged platters so not reaching across the line of fire will be nice. I also like the easier to use spindle lock but was disappointed that there is no power disconnect, you can still turn on power while forgetting to disengage the lock. Over all I really like it and though I didn't turn on it I would expect to perform the same as a 3520b.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Walworth, NY
    Posts
    66
    This fellow is selling a Stratos XL. I never read about it on the forums, and can't find much info on it. It seems solid and has a weird bed extension coming out in the middle of the bed.
    Maybe another option for you. https://elmira.craigslist.org/tls/d/...621819402.html

  14. #14
    I had a Jet 1642 then a 3520b. I actually preferred the 1642. After I spent a week using a Robust during a class at Arrowmont two years ago, I bought an AB. The PM certainly did hold its value -- I sold it for about 85% of what I had paid several years earlier. The PM is a good lathe, just not for me. I still have the 1642.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Melbourne Australia
    Posts
    19
    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn C Roberts View Post
    It seems solid and has a weird bed extension coming out in the middle of the bed.
    Maybe another option for you. https://elmira.craigslist.org/tls/d/...621819402.html

    That would more than likely be for placing a bed extension on, thereby enabling one to turn the other side of the piece without requiring one to reverse the piece. Quite helpful when turning fragile stuff, or stuff where reverse mounting can be hard to manage; for whatever reason.

    Here is a picture of a Stubby lathe with the accessory extension in place enabling the turner to work either side of the piece without removing it from its centred position.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=stub...VMPL06DwO49EM:

    Also, if you look at the current Laguna Revo lathes, you will see mounting points on the side of the lathe to allow one to mount the bed extension for the same purpose. Quite a few lathes are now adding this feature. The Stubby lathe, as far as I know, has had this feature for many years.

    I have turned on a Stubby S750 with all accessories ever made for it, ex factory, as well as a Stubby S1000. That feature, allowing one to turn either side without removing/reversing the work piece, was one of my must have if possible features, in any new lathe I wished to purchase.

    Mick.

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