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Thread: Best lathe for budget of 6500

  1. #1

    Best lathe for budget of 6500

    Hello all. I am outfitting a shop and have looked at the Powermatic 3520 and like what I see. We would mostly be doing bowls and shorter items and rarely a longer part like a table leg. This would be in a wood shop and not used on a daily basis. I have used all of the One Way lathes and liked them. Just wanted to see if there is one I may have overlooked. I would like to be out the door and shipped under 6500 . Also open to recommendations for lower priced machines as I would use the remaining funds for chucks and other lathe accessories .

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Peoria, IL
    There has been a 2hp Oneway 2436 on the AAW Forum since Nov 16. "The Oneway lathe is like new. It is a 2hp. Accessories include bed extension , extra banjo,braking resistor, remote start and stop,tailstock swinger,extra indexing positions, 6” tool rest,hand wheel hub, stronghold chuck with #1 , # 3 jaws, #2 Morse taper spur, #1 chuck spur, jumbo screw, verse mount coupling, 4”, 5” and 6” faceplate rings. Asking $ 6500 for everything."

  3. #3
    Hi Richard , thank you for the response. I forgot to mention that the purchasing agreement at my place of employment allows new purchases only.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Vadnais Heights, MN
    I love my PM3520B. Its been a great addition to my shop and I use it often. I know the 3520C is around $4400 but if you get it on sale youd have over $2,000 for accessories.
    Doug Swanson

    Where are John Keeton and Steve Schlumpf anyway?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    TX, NM or on the road
    When you start adding up the cost of safety equipment, a dust collection system, sharpening equipment, chisels, and chucks, you will find that you can easily spend a big chunk of coin.

  6. #6
    With that budget I would only be looking to purchase a Vicmarc (Australia), Oneway (Canada) or Robust (USA) in probably that order of preference. All are quality machines.
    Last edited by Steve Mathews; 12-08-2018 at 9:35 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Pauline, South Carolina
    For your budget I would go with Powermatic 3520C and use the remainder for tools, dust collection etc. By far the best lathe for that money....

  8. You owe it to yourself to check out the Grizzly G0800. Made by the same folks as the Powermatic line, and is one fine beast of a lathe. You can look up threads where it has been discussed. I have turrned on the Robust American Beauty, the megga beast Serious SL2542 and numerous Powermatic lathes......I chose the G0800 because yes, it really is a high end, heavy duty machine with advanced features!

    Solid cast iron, heavy duty in every respect, and comparable in class to a PM4224b ...accessories like bed extension available. Mine has super torque at low speeds, advanced induction motor/inverter combo and braking resistor, really heavy duty bearings, ....etc,...

    Last edited by Roger Chandler; 12-08-2018 at 1:38 PM.
    Remember, in a moments time, everything can change!

    Vision - not just seeing what is, but seeing what can be!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Erie, PA
    You won't go wrong with the Powermatic, 15 years of trouble free operation, not even the smallest of problems. Plus a 5 year warranty. Sliding head stock and solid cast iron.

  10. #10
    My preference, especially for bowl turning is the sliding headstock. This is primarily the Robust (made in the uSA), the PM, or Laguna. Not sure about Grizzly, I seem to remember that they require an extra long tool post, at least for some models, which, even though I haven't used them, the idea doesn't make sense to me. Next bet would be a pivoting headstock, and the only one that does that right or is the best at it, is the Vicmarc, not sure which model number. The big Robust and PM lathes are at or slightly over the $6500 limit. Not sure if you said, but you spend as much or more for 'accessories' like grinder, dust collection, tools, bandsaw, chainsaw, abrasives, finishes, etc. as you do for the lathe. The Oneway is a good lathe, but for bowl turning, I would use the outboard set up rather than over the long bed. Just more ergonomically efficient as you don't have to bend over or reach way out away from your body.

    robo hippy

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Spokane, WA
    After turning on numerous Powermatic 3520B lathes for a year I purchased a brand new Powermatic 3520c. Unfortunately it took four and a half months and four lathes to get one that worked. In my opinion the new C models are not built like the previous B models. I agree that Vicmarc, Oneway and Robust are all excellent lathes with great support should you need it.

    If you have turning club nearby you might want to see if there are any members in your area that can show you or give you a hands on demo on any of the lathes mentioned.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Cambridge Vermont
    Seams like your replies are based on two different ideas. Is your budget just for the lathe or will it have to include the tools. Since you are in a woodworking shop I'm assuming that you already have a dust collection system, a band saw, and probably a way to sharpen tools. I would still plan on investing up to $1500 into the chuck/ tools needed. If your making bowls for selling then a coring system could also be something you'll want to look into. I don't mind 80% of my blank being turned into shavings but if I was paying for the wood I'm sure I would feel differently. So the question really is if you do spend $6500 for a top of the line lathe can you still spend the extra money?

    My personal opinion is that a $4000 price range lathe is going to give you what you want. If you were planning on using this lathe on a daily basis or if it was going to be a personal lather then I would spend the extra money. From what I have learned almost any lathe in that price range is going to be a very good. So it comes down to features. I have a lower end Grizzly. If I was to upgrade to a $5000 lathe both the Laguna 24/36 and Grizzly G800 would be at the top of my list. I just like the Laguna lathes and the G800 has an optional bed extension that can be mounted in line with the bed to extend the length if needed, it can be mounted lower than the bed to do outboard turning of large blanks, and it can be mounted perpendicular to the bed so you can move the banjo to the side and out of the way of the tailstock.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Blog Entries
    3 Grizzly G0766's and half a dozen chucks.

  14. #14
    What features are most important to you?

    Tilting/swinging tailstock?
    Outboard capability?
    Stainless steel?

    There is no right answer here, but you may find that the right lathe for your budget is getting a great (not best) lathe and then paying for additional features that make the experience better. As an example, while I love my lathe, I LOVE having a few extra chucks and jaws and having splurged for fantastic tools and dust collection. These latter things really make the experience enjoyable and efficient. This investment was easily an additional $1000-$1500.

  15. #15
    Hey Jason, for bowl turning I would go for a machine with outboard capability and a remote control pendant. Check out my big list of lathes to cover any models you might have missed!

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