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Thread: Vicmarc v130 chuck for Powermatic 3520c

  1. #1
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    Vicmarc v130 chuck for Powermatic 3520c

    I have a Powermatic 3520c and am wanting to purchase some Vicmarc chucks. Is a 5” Vicmarc or Oneway chuck too heavy for a 2hp Powermatic lathe? I have heard of people not wanting to use that heavy of a chuck on the 3520 lathes. Thanks

    sorry meant to type v120 chuck
    Last edited by gordy haycock; 04-07-2021 at 1:24 PM. Reason: Spelling error

  2. #2
    Jeeze, then which lathe would be the most appropriate for heavy chucks? Just imagine the forces imparted on the headstock during an operation like bowl coring... the machine will be fine.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    No. A 5" Vicmarc or Oneway chuck is not too heavy for the Powermatic 3520C. The lathe was designed to handle very large and very heavy blanks. There is no way one for one of those chucks to exceed the lathe's capacity.
    David Walser
    Mesa, Arizona

  4. #4
    Shouldn't be any problem. I would expect you would want the low gear when using it, and I would want low gear anyway for coring. Part of why I think the 3 speed lathes are a better option. Low gear is essential for coring, but too slow for turning smaller bowls. High gear is too high for coring, but has the speed range for all bowls. With a middle gear, it is 'just right'.

    robo hippy

  5. #5
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    I agree that that chuck is not too heavy for that lathe.

  6. #6
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    I used a Stronghold chuck on a 1-1/2hp lathe with no problems for many years. The weight on most chucks is going to be pretty close to perfectly balanced. If anything, it may act as a small flywheel so decelleration may be slower but I've never noticed it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Reed Gray;[URL="tel:3113138"
    3113138[/URL]] Part of why I think the 3 speed lathes are a better option. Low gear is essential for coring, but too slow for turning smaller bowls. High gear is too high for coring, but has the speed range for all bowls. With a middle gear, it is 'just right'.
    robo hippy
    Robo - the last two lathes I've owned have had only two step pulleys. The AB I've turned on for the last 9 years was one of the first with the two-step pulleys in place of the three-step pulleys the earlier versions had. The two pulleys effectively split the high end speed in half - the speed at any point on the control panel is half (or twice) depending on the range. This holds true for the full range, except at the lower end of the range where either range can be brought down to nearly stopped.
    I wind up using the low speed range almost exclusively for bowls. 1500 rpm is plenty for most bowls I turn and coring happens at 750 or slower generally. The increased torque is appreciated in the lower range. I only use the high end range when turning spindles or small work (very small knobs or inlays).
    Am I missing something? I just don't see the need for a third, mid-range pulley. All it buys is a very small increase in the higher end of the range.

  7. #7
    I am not sure what the low end speed on the Robust lathes is any more. I stepped up from a 3520A where the turn off speed was about 10 rpm. When they came out with the B, the minimal/turn off speed was 50 rpm. They told me I would fry my electronics and burn them up, "But I have sanded thousands of bowls at those speeds, and never had any problems." "We have run experiments in our labs and you will fry your motor and electronics...." They also dropped their low speed range to 1200 from 1500. With the 3 speed AB, I think it was 0 to 900 in low, 0 to 1500 in mid, and 1 to 3000 in high. When I am turning smaller bowls, in the 6 to 8 inch diameter range, I go faster than 1500. No clue as to how fast my rpms are since there is no read out. I had Brent walk me through changing the speed ranges. I need low to be about 15 or less rpm for sanding my warped bowls. Can't do it at 50 as the abrasives won't stay on the wood. Only real speed range I know of is 10 or so, up to 2200 in low range. That has all the torque I need for coring and heavy roughing, and is fast enough for the smaller bowls. I can also do rolling pins at those speeds. Low range I only use for sanding. High end there might be 900. No clue on high range, maybe 4000. I do have a Vic 240 now, which has a read out, but I never bother to look at it. As a production turner, I needed that higher speed range. Mostly for being able to rough out faster and finish cut faster. Those higher speeds are necessary for production work. 1500 is fine for most turners who are not concerned about time. Higher than that for them can be dangerous. The higher speeds make accidents much more spectacular....

    robo hippy

  8. #8
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    Reed -- I'm interested in your thoughts on the Vicmarc VL240. In the past you've been a big advocate of sliding headstock lathes, such as the Powermatic 3520 and the Robust American Beauty. The Vicmarc VL240 has a rotating headstock, not a sliding headstock. What are your thoughts and why did you make the switch?

    In terms of quality, I've always rated the Vicmarc lathes in the top category, with lathes from Oneway and Robust. So, I'm sure it comes down to a matter of personal preference -- which might depend a lot on the type of work one does on the lathe.
    David Walser
    Mesa, Arizona

  9. #9
    I may have to do a video review on my lathe preferences.... I do get asked this a lot. For starters, I do not like turning bowls on long bed lathes. They do not allow you to stand up straight to turn bowls without having to extend your arms out away from your body, or you have to lean against the lathe to turn, and I don't like being unbalances. When I saw the 3520A, I was instantly in love, without even trying it. Made perfect sense, slide the headstock down to the end and turn bowls and stand up straight for all of the cuts, while being able to keep your arms in close to your body. Also worked for boxes and hollow forms. Slide to the other end for turning spindles. The other alternative to the sliding headstock is the pivoting headstock. The first versions of these were pretty funny... Lots of fussing and fiddling to get it back into proper alignment. The Vic 240 eliminates this. One stop, with a pin, at 0, 30, and 90 degrees. The set pin allows for exact repeatable alignment every time. The 30 degree setting is perfect for being able to stand up straight, and still be able to use the banjo that comes with the lathe. There is a set screw/pin, like the one on your banjo, to anchor the rotating plate in place to eliminate any vibration. It is rock solid. I guess I could get used to turning on a long bed lathe, but don't want to.

    So, if you have seen Stuart Batty, Mike Mahoney and maybe Glenn Lucas, they all comment about how the sliding headstocks and pivoting headstocks cause added vibration. They all turn on the Vicmarks. They make the same comments about the steel bed and ways lathes. After pondering this, I do not agree for a couple of reasons. Some of the early sliding headstocks used the same pressure plate on the bottom of the headstock that they used on the banjo. That idea should not have made it off of the drawing board because the headstock takes a lot of abuse as far as pressures endured during turning. If you look at the AB, the pressure plate on mine is the same length as the headstock tower. On my 3520A, first one was cast iron, which broke when I was coring some black locust. I replaced it with a 1/2 inch metal plate and a couple of strips to fit in between the ways. I think it was about 4 wide by 6 inches long, which I consider to be ample. So, when I first got my AB, right away, I noticed some vibration when turning medium sized bowls, 10 and over. Note here, I rough with scrapers, and with my PM, I almost never used the tailstock, and carried that habit over to the AB. So, why was I getting this vibration that I never had before? Best explanation I came up with is the bell housing for the headstock spindle. This extends the piece out another 2+ inches away from the headstock tower. This idea first came up, at least as far as I know, on the Oneway lathes. The purpose of it was to allow you to remove the headstock spindle as a unit rather than having to remove the entire headstock if you want to change the belt or bearings. It also allows you to have more access to the outside of the bowl. Having that access is a good idea if you twice turn your bowls, which I don't. When I reverse my bowls, they are finish turned on the outside. If you look at the headstock design of the Vicmark lathes, it comes directly off of the headstock tower. That extra cantilever distance of 2 inches can make a big difference in vibration issues for medium sized bowls. Another note here, when turning your bowls, if you use the tailstock, there is no turning vibration at all. If I don't have to use the tailstock for stability, that is a time saver for production work. Next time I get to see Stuart turn, I will bring this up with him. Worst case I ever saw for the headstock design was the early Laguna lathes where the housing extended out 4 or more inches off of the headstock, which they seem to have modified. I guess that if I want to turn bigger bowls with no tailstock support, I should get a VB36.... Don't think I will add that one to my arsenal, but I have been thinking about adding another Vic. Of the lathes out on the market that I am familiar with, the best manufacturing quality ones are the Oneway, Vicmark, and Robust. I have no experience with the Harvey or Titan lathes. Never turned on one of the Serious lathes, or a Nichols lathe, which are not made any more...

    I have wondered why those who twice turn their bowls don't finish turn the outside before they reverse it to true up the inside of the bowl. With my once turned bowls, I usually have less than 1/16 inch run out in my bowls when I reverse them to turn out the inside, and that measure comes out to +/- 1/32 of an inch. That small of a run out is only going to make a difference if you are trying to turn less than 1/8 inch thick walls on your bowl. It takes some practice to do this, but it isn't too difficult. As I said, I have almost no experience with twice turned bowls, I prefer the warped ones and they have always sold very well for me...

    As near as I can tell, the stainless steel ways and tube bodies of lathes like the Oneway and Robust make no difference in vibration issues at all when turning. Only real difference I noticed was that the lathes made different noises when I turn. The same appears to be true with the headstock mounted in the middle of the bed rather than close to or directly over the legs of the lathe.

    Both my AB, which was one of the very early ones, and my Vic have 3 speed pulley systems on the headstock. This I prefer. On the 2 speed lathes, low speed is too slow for a lot of the smaller bowls I turn, but perfect for coring. High speed has the speed range, but not the torque for coring or turning larger pieces, Mid speed range is just right. I don't want to have to stop and change belt speeds. Maybe if some one made an automatic transmission for lathes so they could have more speed ranges, other then the Reeves drive, that could be really good, but probably too complicated for a lathe. If minimum speed is 50 or above, that is a deal breaker for me.

    Oh, one other thing I prefer about my Vic, is the low speed, which seems to be in the 10 rpm or less. This speed is essential for sanding my warped bowls, and even if they aren't warped, I prefer those low speeds for sanding all my pieces. It allows me to see the bowl surface as I sand. The Oneway goes way down, and the 3520A did, then there was a trend in the industry for the lathe to turn off at 50 rpm. I think they are coming back around on that one. For sanding purposes or some slow set finishes, it is essential. The motor actually runs cooler when running at those slow speeds. I did have Brent help me adjust the converter so the AB would run down to almost 15 rpm. No clue as to what the minimum speed for the 3520C is.

    I am not an engineer by trade, but my dad is, and I think like one, "If it ain't broke, take it apart and fix it anyway." There are always ways to improve things. I guess if I was 20 or 30 years younger and into turning seriously, I would design and build my own robo hippy lathe. Just have too many other things to do now...

    robo hippy

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