Carl’s New Powermatic 2014 Lathe

Meta Description: Carl's Powermatic 2014 Lathe setup and REAL WORLD review. Photos, experience, opinion and measurements, for people interested in purchasing a PM 2014 Lathe.

Carl’s New Powermatic 2014 Lathe

Photo: Carl's New Powermatic 2014 Lathe (pm2014_stand_33)

I decided to purchase a new Powermatic 2014 Lathe. I wanted to check it out and write a REAL WORLD review. I am going to sell it to a friend after I am done writing the review.

What do I mean by REAL WORLD? All of my turnings will fit in an imaginary 12" x 12" x 12" box. No bowls, plates or hollow larger than 12" in diameter and 12" high. Longer spindles are ok. But, I generally don't do spindles.

In the real world no one needs a "wedding punch bowl" size salad bowl. What is wrong with refilling a 12" salad bowl if you run out?

I am NOT going to mount a HUGE out of balance log on my Powermatic 2014 lathe and show that the lathe jumps around. There are already way too many useless videos on Youtube, etc showing this.

If you want to turn big logs then you need a VB36 lathe. Get the right tool for the job BEFORE you kill yourself! If you are looking at a PM 2014 then you are definitely in the wrong place.

Full disclosure: I have been turning for 20+ years. I own 4 big woodturning lathes. A Powermatic 3520C, 2 Oneway 2436, and a VB36. I am a long time (12+ years) Powermatic 3520 owner and a big fan. I also own a mini lathe and metal lathe. I owned a Model B Powermatic 3520 for 10+ years. I replaced it with a Model C in 2018.

In a Nutshell

After a couple of weeks of use, I think I am going to be a long time big fan of the new Powermatic 2014 Lathe.

The Powermatic 2014 is a GREAT LATHE! It packs a lot of punch in a small footprint! The HP, the big heavy bed, etc make it the hands down winner in it's price range! I think it is a great lathe for people who do not want to spend more than $2000 for a lathe!

There are some things I don't like. The lathe comes with a USELESS 60 degree live center. Rather than a nice cup center. A longer locking lever on the tailstock would be nice. But, overall I am very happy.

The $2000 Powermatic 2014 is a GOOD scaled down version of the $4500 Powermatic 3520C. Powermatic did a very good job when it scaled things down. They made only the necessary and "right" decisions and compromises.

From now on I am going to abbreviate Powermatic as PM. My new Powermatic 2014 Lathe is PM 2014. My bigger Powermatic 3520C lathe is PM 3520C.

Photo: New PM 2014 Lathe Specs for Reference (pm2014_selling_sheet) New PM 2014 Lathe Specs for Reference

Click on the photo at the right for new PM 2014 lathe specs. I downloaded this info from the PM web site.

The important specs are: Plugs into a 110 volt outlet, 1 HP, 14" Swing, 20" Between Centers, Headstock and Tailstock are MT2.

Note: MT2 is "Morse Taper size #2". Wood lathes may be MT1 (old or small lathes), MT2 (most lathes) or MT3 (large lathes).

MT2 has a bigger diameter shaft than MT1, etc. You can purchase good (adequate, but not great) MT1 to MT2 adapters on Amazon for around $10 or less.

Most mini/midi lathes are now MT2 rather than MT1. Thus MT1 is almost dead.

Photo: PM 2014 Stand (pm2014_stand) PM 2014 Lathe Stand

Should I purchase the "PM 2014 Stand" or make my own? That is the question!

I have mixed feelings about the PM 2014 stand. I think you are better off spending your money on a bench with drawers. That is what I did for this review. See my "Carl's New Powermatic 2014 Lathe Stand" blog entry.

However, if you are not handy, then purchasing the stand is probably the way to go. The $400 price is a bit high, but reasonable.

I DO NOT think the negative stand reviews on the web are realistic. I agree with Powermatic's decision to go with a sheet metal stand, rather cast iron. If you are not willing to pay $4500 for a PM 3520C with cast iron legs, then you have to comprise somewhere to get down to $2000.

The old Delta, General, etc wood lathes were really metal lathes sort of converted to a wood lathe. They came on sheet metal stands. They were notorious for rattling and vibration noises. I know from experience the noise can really drive you crazy!

The old solution was to glue plywood to all of the sheet metal parts to dampen the noises. Then weight them down with sand bags. You can use the same old solution on the new PM 2014 stand.

I would make the following modifications to the stock PM 2014 stand.

  1. Reinforce and noise dampen the ends on this stand with good 3/4" southern yellow pine plywood. Attach the plywood on the outside of legs (AFTER setting the height) with construction adhesive and sheet metal screws.
  2. Prevent any left/right flex with good 3/4" southern yellow pine plywood attached to the back. Make the plywood as big a possible. From the top of the feet to the bottom of the lathe bed.

    I would probably get rid of the yellow cross member that comes with the stand to make room for a bottom shelf. You don't need it with a plywood back.
  3. Install a hefty bottom shelf weighted down with stone. Support the shelf with 2×4 cleats bolted THRU the side legs. Make the shelf out of a Douglas Fir 2 x 12. Install four or more 40 lb bags of landscaping stone on the shelf. I prefer bags of landscaping stone, rather than sand bags. Stone does not escape and run all over the floor like sand.

    Note: I install a shelf with weight on all of my lathes. See my "Carl's New Powermatic 2014 Lathe Stand" blog entry or my "Bottom Shelf for Powermatic 350C Lathe" bog entry.

Part 1: Unboxing and Set Up

Photo: Lathe on Pallet (pm2014_setup_01) Lathe on Pallet

The PM 2014 comes nicely packaged on a pallet. It fits in a small pickup no problem.

The total size of the box and pallet is 23" tall, by 34" long, by 19-1/2" wide. 204 lbs.

I think it would fit in my Honda Fit hatchback. If I removed the box and just left the lathe on the pallet, then I am sure it would fit in my Honda Fit. See photos below.

Some people may be shocked by the small size of the pallet in this photo. When you see the PM 2014 in a catalog or on the web, they blow it up to be the same size as the bigger Powermatic lathes (PM 3520C & PM 4224B).

Photo: Lathe in Hatchback (pm2014_in_hatchback) Lathe in Hatchback

Photo from Powermatic web site. It shows the lathe will easily fit in a hatchback.

I agree, it's doable. However, it is probably not something most people are going to do every day. The headstock is 66 lbs. The bed is 72 lbs. The bed shape is easy to handle. The headstock shape is awkward.

Photo: Cast Iron is NOT Light Weight (pm2014_setup_04) Cast Iron is NOT Light Weight

Well, the PM 2014 really does not weigh that much. It is only 185 lbs. On the pallet it is 204 lbs. The label on the box agrees with PM web info and my measurements below.

For reference: My PM 3520C lathe weighed 726. 770 lbs on pallet.

When I used the lathe, I found that the lathe was a good weight. Light enough to be moved. Heavy enough to stay put, on a bench with out bolting it down. When used for small things and plates. It needs to be bolted down and weighted down for bigger things. Like when turning bowls and hollow forms from raw logs.

I weighed each of the parts as I unpacked things. I used a modern electronic bathroom sale. Thus all weights are approximate. Probably +/- 2 lbs. I rounded all weights UP to next pound. i.e. 3.4 lbs is 4 lbs. See "Bathroom Scale Photo" below.

Here is what I found for the PM 2014:

Headstock: 66 lbs
Tailstock: 27 lbs

Banjo: 12 lbs
Tool Rest: 3 lbs
Box of Parts: 4 lbs

Bed: 72 lbs (I weighed it)

Total: 66 +27 +12 +3 +4 +72 = 184 lbs  (Label on box says 185 lbs)

I did NOT purchase the PM 2014 stand. Thus, I could not weigh it. However the PM specs on the web say the "Net Weight" with stand is 238 lbs. With out stand it is 185 lbs. This suggests that the stand weight is 238 – 185 = 53 lbs.

Here are some more PM 2014 stats that I measured. They are not on the PM web site.

Bed Length: 32-1/2"
Bed Width at Top: 7"
Bed Width at Bottom: 11-1/4"
Bed Height: 6-11/16"

Top of Bed to Center of Spindle on Headstock: 7-5/16"
Bottom of Bed to Center of Spindle on Headstock: 6-11/16" + 7-5/16" = 14"

Distance Between the Ways: 1-3/4" (Note: PM 3520C is 2-1/4")

Headstock Height: 10-1/2"
Headstock at Bed: 7" x 7"
Headstock at Top: 6-1/4" x 6-1/2"
Headstock Nose Width: 1-1/4"
Headstock Width with Nose: 6-1/4" + 1-1/4" = 7-1/2"
Headstock In-board to Out-board Bearing: 7-1/2"
Headstock Depth with VFD: 14"

Tailstock at Bed: 5-1/4" x 7"
Tailstock at Top: 6-3/4" x 7"
Tailstock Length with Handwheel: 13"
Tailstock Quill: 1" diameter, 2MT, extends 4"  (Note: PM 3520C extends 4-1/4")

Banjo Height: 4"
Banjo Length: 12"
Banjo Width: 4" at front, 2-3/4 at back

Toolrest: 8" wide by 4-3/4" tall (top of tool rest to bottom of post).
Toolrest Post: 1" diameter by 2-1/4" long.

Headstock Mounting Holes: Metric M12-1.5 (For Light, etc).  Can easily
be re-tapped to SAE 1/2"-13 if you are not a purist.

Given the above, if you want to make your own bench and you want the Center of the Spindle to be XYZ" above the floor, then the height of your bench with feet needs to be XYZ" – 14"

Note: Should I call it the lathe "bed" or "ways"? I decided to go with "bed". Same as PM spec sheet. The "ways" are just the top part of the "bed".

Photo: Down the Ramp (pm2014_setup_05) Down the Ramp

I decided to unload the lathe in one shot by myself. It only weighs 204 lbs on the pallet. I just slid the pallet over to the ramps and then down my ramps. No problem. The 2×10 ramps, I use to load and unload my snow blower, rototiller, etc.

Note: When I got my PM 3520C lathe it weighed 726 lbs. Thus, I unloaded it, by removing things from the pallet while it was still on the truck. See photos in my "My New Powermatic 3520C Lathe verses My Old Powermatic 3520B" blog entry.

Photo: A Peek Inside (pm2014_setup_08) A Peek Inside

A peek inside the shipping carton. It looks good. Nicely packaged.

Photo: Shipping Carton Removed (pm2014_setup_09) Shipping Carton Removed

The shipping carton was made to be easily removed. Just lift it up.

The lathe basically comes assembled with out the legs. Ready to go. Sitting on the pallet.

I put a 5 gallon bucket in the photo for scale.

Note: The parts box (see next photo) is behind the bed on the pallet. Thus you can't see it in this photo.

Photo: Contents of the Parts Box (pm2014_setup_11) Contents of the Parts Box

This photos shows what I found in the parts box. Most of what I found here looks good.

I like the sheet metal face plate wrench. Including a big heavy cast iron wrench (like the one that comes with PM 3520C) would just be a waste of money. I already own some of these sheet metal wrenches. I like them. Light weight, easy to use. They get the job done. Ignore the negative wrench reviews on Amazon, etc.

I also like the simple knock out bar that comes with the PM 2014. It works just fine. Ignore the negative reviews on Amazon, etc. The gold plated fancy one that comes with the PM 3520C is a waste of money.

The USELESS 60 degree live center really SUCKS! This is what they use on metal lathes. Where they are standard and a good option in metal. However, when you run that 60 degree point into the end of a piece of wood it just splits the wood. It's a useless WOOD SPLITTER!

You should replace the 60 degree live center with a good Oneway Live Center (MT2 size). Do it ASAP. From the start! See "Oneway Live Center" near the end of this blog entry.

Note: My PM 3520C lathe came with a very good "Jet" knockoff of the Oneway Live Center. I like it and use it. The Oneway center is my favorite. It is best of breed.

Photo: The Headstock & Face Plate (pm2014_setup_13) The Headstock & Face Plate

The headstock weighs 66 lbs. The shape makes it a bit awkward to handle but the weight is not a big problem. It was easy to remove from the pallet.

The 3" face plate that comes with the lathe is shipped on the headstock. I like this! It protects the spindle threads during shipment and set up. The face plate is good but not great.

The big screw hole size in the face plate was a pleasant surprise! The holes are big enough to take a #14 sheet metal screw. The ones I recommend. I did NOT have to drill out the holes to make them bigger. The screws I like are www.mcmaster.com part #93945A071.

More about the headstock and control box later.

Notes:

  1. Lots of people are big fans of "4 jaw chucks" for everything. I only use 4 jaw chucks for small things.

    I use face plates for most of my work. A face plate with appropriate screws is the most secure way to mount things on the lathe. A $50 face plate is a lot cheaper than a $250 4 jaw chuck. I recommend and use "Oneway 4" Carbon Steel Face Plates" for most things. Stainless steel is not worth the extra money.
  2. Is it "Face Plate" or "Faceplate". I don't know. They both appear on the web. I decided to go with "Face Plate" in this blog entry.

Photo: Bathroom Scale Photo (pm2014_setup_12) Bathroom Scale Photo

I weighed each of the parts as I unpacked things. I used a modem electronic bathroom sale so all weights are approximate. Probably +/- 2 lbs.

See "Cast Iron is NOT Light Weight" above for all of the weights.

Photo: PM 2014 on PM 3520C (pm2014_setup_15) PM 2014 on PM 3520C

Time to sock people. I already mentioned above "Some people may be shocked by the small size of the pallet in this photo. When you see the PM 2014 in a catalog or on the web, they blow it up to be the same size as bigger Powermatic lathes (PM 3520C & PM 4224B)."

This photo shows the scale of the PM 2014 verses PM 3520C.

If mini/midi lathes are small lathes, then the PM 2014 is a step up. It is a medium size lathe. I DO NOT think this is a bad thing! In latter blog entries I am going to show me turning plates, bowls and hollow forms on my new PM 2014. No problem!


Part 2: The Details & Review

The above photo shows that the PM 2014 lathe and PM 3520C are different beasts. I am NOT going to try to directly compare the PM 2104 to a PM 3520C.

Photo: PM 2014 Headstock (pm2014_setup_17) PM 2014 Headstock

Here is what the PM 2014 Headstock looks like.

Overall, it is a nicely scaled down version of the PM 3520C headstock. They keep the best PM 3520C features in a smaller (more affordable) PM 2014 package.

I REALLY like the new spindle lock. More about that later. I like the bearings. More about them later.

The base of the headstock is 7" wide. Wide is good. It improves the stability of the headstock. My PM 3520C is 10" wide. PM did not skimp here.

The headstock is 66 lbs. See "Cast Iron is NOT Light Weight" above for all the dimensions.

Photo: Movable Control Box (pm2014_setup_18) Movable Control Box

The PM 2014 comes with a low voltage movable control box for on/off, direction and speed. Pointed to by red arrow. The magnet on the back of the control box is good. Not too strong and not too weak.

The PM 2014 senses and displays the ACTUAL spindle speed. If you hand rotate the spindle with the motor off the digital display shows your hand rotation rpm. This is a lot better than cheap lathes that do not show the actual speed. They just show you where the variable speed knob (dial) is set.

There is no "dock" for the PM 2014 control box, like there is on the PM 3520C. I really don't have a problem with this. It docks nicely on the headstock belt door with out a fancy dock. See photo.

I personally, do not move the control box much. Old fashion habits. But, I like being able to move the control box around. Move it to the tailstock end when I am hollowing a hollow form, etc.

The PM 2014 control box is the same as the one on PM 3520C.

Photo: 14 14″ of Swing

The 14 in PM 2014 is the "swing" of the lathe. The "swing" of a lathe is the maximum diameter work piece you can turn on a lathe. It is two times the distance from the top of the bed ways to the center of the headstock spindle.

This photo confirms the swing is little more than 14-1/4". Like it says in the lathe specs on the web and in the owners manual.

Note: The ruler in the photo is NOT straight up/down. The real number is 7-5/16". Not 7-1/4".

I was measuring things here so I could build my own lathe bench. I found "bottom of the bed" to "center of the spindle" on the headstock is dead on 14". I wanted 42" of distance from the floor to center of the spindle. Thus my bench (with feet) needs to be 42" – 14" = 28" high.

The Swing over the Banjo (Tool Rest Base) is 10-3/4". This is the more important number for me. When the banjo on a lathe will not pass under a blank mounted on the headstock it is a real pain in the backside. It does not make things easy or fun! Thus 14" of swing looks like a good number here because it gives me 10-3/4" over the banjo. Which is what I need to turn a 10" piece that starts out as a 10-1/2" diameter blank roughed out on the bandsaw.

Most dinner plates are 10" or less in diameter. People are use to this size. When we see related things (plates, bowls, etc) our subconscious mind tends to measure them in our minds relative to the size of a dinner plate. Thus being able to EASILY turn, dinner plate sized things (plates, bowls, hollow forms, vases, etc) on a lathe is important.

Thus, my verdict is 14" of swing is enough. Would 16" be better? Yea, of course. 20" would be even better. However, if you want to sell a $2000 lathe then you have to make comprises. I would have really pushed the PM people to go to 16" rather than 14". But, I think the 14" is enough and ok. Because, you can EASILY turn 10" diameter, dinner plate size things!

If you want to turn things bigger than 14", then you need to pay more and get a bigger lathe like the PM 3520C.

The Laguna Revo 15/24 lathe is in the same price range. It has 15" of swing. Rather than 14". I do NOT think the 1" of extra swing makes any real difference. You can turn a 11" dinner plate. Rather than a 10" dinner plate. So what? I don't care. People are use to seeing things (plates, bowls, hollow forms, vases, etc) that are dinner plate size! 11" is close to 10" dinner plate size. Thus people will not notice the difference.

Note: You can get 20-1/4" of swing on a PM 2014 if you turn "outboard". i.e purchase the 13" bed extension and mount it in the low position. See "Part 3: PM 2014 Lathe Accessories" section below.

In my not so humble opinion this is just a red herring. Most people have dreams of turning big things. But, then reality sets in. Big things are a lot more dangerous. Big things require a big chainsaw, big band saw, etc. Experience tells me that most people will never turn anything larger than 12".

Photo: Handwheel & Motor Handle (pm2014_setup_20) Handwheel & Motor Handle

I like the PM 2014 hand wheel. It feels good in my hand. No problems with it.

The PM 2014 comes with a long small diameter hand wheel (red arrow in photo) that is pretty much standard on smaller lathes. With a nice big motor, there is no room for a nice big hand wheel like on the PM 3520C. Ignore the negative handwheel reviews on Amazon, etc.

The big silver motor handle (green arrow in photo) is nice. But, I wonder why did PM waste money here? You adjust (lift and/or lower) the motor when you change belt speeds. Once in a blue moon? The PM 3520C lathe has a simple pressed metal handle on the motor. It works fine.

Photo: Bearings (pm2014_setup_26) Bearings

This photo shows the bearing on the outboard side of the headstock. I removed the hand wheel for this photo.

You can not see the bearing on the inboard side of the headstock. It is behind a cover. You have to look in the PM 2014 manual. Where you can see the bearing on the inboard side is double (two back to back) 6005ZZ 20x47x12mm bearings! The outboard bearing is a slightly smaller single 6004ZZ 20x42x12mm bearing. These are great bearings for a small lathe!

Having a nice BIG bearing on the out board side, in addition to the in board side makes the spindle a lot more stable when you mount pieces on the lathe. It is what makes the PM lathes a lot better than the Jet, Laguna, etc "look a likes". Often the "look a likes" use a smaller bearing on the out board side or no bearing at all!

The great bearings on the PM lathes put them in the high end class, with Oneway, Robust, etc.

The distance outside to outside between the inboard and outboard bearings is 7-1/2". This is a good distance. Most lathe manufactures do not talk about this distance. The longer the distance here the better. Moving the inboard and outboard bearings further apart greatly increases the stability of the spindle.

Think about it. If you hold one end of turning tool handle and ask someone else to push down on the far end of the handle they can easily over power you and push their end of the handle down. If you use two hands and move your hands far apart then they can not easily over power you. Thus two bearings are better than one. Moving the bearings as far apart as practical is best! For reference, the distance is 4-1/2" on my mini lathe, 11-1/2" on my PM 3520C, 13-1/2" on my Oneway 2436, and a huge 16" on my VB36 lathe.

Notes:

  1. In the photo, the "out board" side is on the left where the hand wheel mounts. The "in board" side is on the right.
  2. 6005ZZ and 6004ZZ are standard bearing sizes. You can look them up on the web.

Photo: Belts and Pulleys (pm2014_setup_21) Belts and Pulleys

I really like what I see here. Nice wide ribbed belts on big pulleys.

The PM 2014 has 3 belts speeds. The PM 3520 only has 2 belt speeds. I think 3 belts is probably a good idea (necessary) because the lathe is only 110 volts (rather than 220 volts). Thus the motor and VFD needs a little more help from the pulleys to get good high torque at low speeds.

However, I put my PM 2014 on the middle belt and forgot about it. I turned a nice bowl and hollow form from a log on on the middle belt speed. No problem. This leads me to suspect that most people will NOT be changing belt speeds, often.

Here are my "Belts and Pulleys" comments from my PM 3520C review. They are still 100% relevant here.

This is often one of the first things I look at on lathes. Too many people pay too much attention to just the HP of a lathe. They fail to look at the belts, bearings, etc. If you JUST put a big engine in a VW Bug car then you still have just a VW Bug. Because the suspension, tires, etc can't handle all of the HP of a big engine.

The BIG belts and pulleys is another thing that puts the PM lathes in the same high end class as Oneway, Robust, etc.

The PM lathes have great motors with belts and pulleys that are really up to the job.

Photo: Spindle Lock Lever (pm2014_setup_23) Spindle Lock Lever

I REALLY like the new spindle lock lever on the PM 2014. See green arrow in photo. I added the red electrical tape.

The new spindle lock solution is easy to use and easy to see when the spindle is locked! Especially if you add the red electrical tape.

There is NO micro switch attached to spindle lock that prevents you from turning on the lathe. I don't think this is a big problem. We all drive cars. You've just got to known, when the light is red you don't pull out! You wait for the green. When the spindle is locked, don't try to turn the lathe on!

Notes:

  1. The is no micro switch on other PM lathes or Oneway lathes. If you want a micro switch then you need to pay big BUCKs for a Robust or VB36.
  2. Some history: You had to manually "hold in" the spindle lock on the PM 3520B. It was ok with me, but not great. Some people really disliked it. The spindle lock on the PM 3520C was changed to a knob that you twisted (you do not have to hold it in). It is easy to use. People like it. However, it is not real obvious when the spindle is locked. If you turn the lathe on with the spindle locked it is really not kosher.
  3. You DEFINITELY should try to avoid turning a lathe on with the spindle locked. However, turning on a Powermatic lathe with the spindle locked is not the end of the world. IF AND ONLY IF you turn the lathe off ASAP!!!

    I do it once in a while. There is a squeal and you turn the lathe off ASAP. When the motor does not start up (due to the spindle being locked) the VFD turns the motor off pretty fast on it's own. Often (no guarantee) the motor pulley does NOT spin. Thus it does not burn holes in the belt. Thus you do NOT need to install a new belt. Removing the spindle on a lathe to change a belt is not for the faint of heart.

Photo: Spindle Lock Implementation (pm2014_setup_24) Spindle Lock Implementation

I was not able to get a photo of the spindle lock implementation on the PM 2014. Things are just to tight inside the PM 2014 headstock. I can just barely see that it is the same as my PM 3520C. Thus, the photo on right is from my PM 3520C.

This photo shows how the spindle lock is implement. The red arrow points to the round washer where the spindle lock pin engages.

I like what I see. The spindle lock has nothing to do with the indexing mechanism. It is a big robust spindle lock. So when you screw things on and off of the spindle you don't put any stress on the indexing mechanism.

Photo: Spindle Lock Video (pm2014_setup_spindle_lock) Spindle Lock Video

This 1.5 minute video shows me demoing the spindle lock for my friend Joe Larese. Joe is my camera man for this video.

I really like the new PM 2014 spindle lock.

Photo: Index Pin (pm2014_setup_25) Index Pin

The PM 2014 index pin is the same as PM 3520C. I like it.

The red arrow in photo points to the index pin. The index is implemented like most other lathes. The index pin goes into holes in the pulley wheel. See next photo.

The index pin is held out by a spring. If you want to engage it you just push in. If you want it to stay engaged you have to thread the pin in.

Photo: Index Pin Implementation (pm2014_setup_27) Index Pin Implementation

The red arrow in this photo shows the index pin coming thru the headstock. See previous photo.

Things are really tight inside of the PM 2014 headstock. Thus, you can NOT see the holes on the side of the index wheel that the index pin engages. The PM 2014 and PM 3520C are the same. Check out the photos in my PM 3530C review if you need to see a photo of the holes.

There are 24 index holes. For me, this is more holes than I need!

I generally only need 12 or less holes. More holes JUST leads to more mistakes. Trying to use every 4th hole to get 6 divisions. Always gets me all screwed up. I really prefer to use an after market external indexing wheel. I can then easily mark every other hole with a red magic marker, every 4th hole with a blue magic marker, etc.

Note: The PM 3520C has 48 index holes. WAY more than I need!

Photo: Digital Index Feature (pm2014_setup_28) Digital Index Feature

The PM 2014 and PM 3520C are the same.

You activate the digital index feature by pushing the "Index / Indice" button pointed to by red arrow in photo.

When engaged the digital display (pointed to by green arrow in photo) shows the index number. 1 to 24. In photo it is showing index position 4. When you turn the spindle the index number changes.

I am sure, some people are going to love it. It does not do much for me. If I could tell it, I want only 6 index positions and it took care of skipping to every 4th hole it would be of more interest to me.

Photo: Digital Index Implementation (pm2014_setup_29) Digital Index Implementation

The PM 2014 and PM 3520C are the same.

The big silver disk and black box pointed to by red and green arrows in this photo are part of the digital index function.

Behind the green arrow in photo there is a black plastic box with wires and a circuit board. I am happy to see it is protected from the pulleys by a steel plate.

On top of the steel plate there is a laser and sensor that uses the hole in the silver disk to sense the ACTUAL spindle speed.

Photo: Main On/Off Switch (pm2014_setup_33) Main On/Off Switch

The red arrow in photo points to the main power on/off switch. It is just a simple toggle switch. Good location. Easy to use.

It is also time for me to acknowledge that PM has made some real improvements here. In my PM 3520C review I was not kind to the PM people when it came to the main on/off switch and no power cord. I really like the PM 2014 switch and location. The PM 2014 comes with a power cord!

Photo: VFD Enclosure (pm2014_setup_30) VFD Enclosure

Some people refer to the "Variable Frequency Drive" (VFD) as the "motor controller", etc.

The PM 2014 VFD is just a smaller (1 HP) version of the PM 3520C VFD (2 HP).

I have had no problems with my PM 3520C VFD. No, overheating due to plastic box, etc.

Notes:

  1. A VFD allows you to get high torque out of a motor at low speeds by using a 3 Phase (rather than a Single Phase) motor. The VFD converts 120 volts Single Phase input power (standard household current) to 230 volts 3 Phase power for the motor. It varies the frequency of the 3 Phase power to control the motor speed.

    The on/off, direction and speed, control box on the front of the lathe sends low voltage (typically 24 volts AC) control signals to the VFD on the back. So all high voltage wiring is limited to the back of the lathe. This is pretty much standard today on all high end lathes.
  2. The Laguna Revo 15/24 lathe is in the same price range. It uses some new newfangled DC motor with PWM inverter stuff. I am an electrical engineer. I personally, strongly prefer a good 3 phase AC motor with VFD. Any day of the week. I know what I am getting. See my "Revolutionary New 110 Volt Lathes" blog entry for more info.

Photo: The VFD (pm2014_setup_31) The VFD

Here is what the VFD looks like with the covers removed. I am an Electrical Engineer. So, you know, I just had to take that cover off.

Photo: VFD Model (pm2014_setup_32) VFD Model

Here is the VFD model number in photo. It looks like it is a E series VFD at www.deltaacdrives.com

The VFD is made by "Delta". I am not really sure, but I don't think this "Delta" company is the same as the old Delta Power Tools company. Or maybe it is a spin off?

Delta VFDs are not as widely known as other brands because they do a lot of OEM stuff. They are known to be a good brand.

Photo: Lathe Plate (pm2014_setup_34) Lathe Plate

See photo for all the lathe plate information.

It correctly shows the lathe should be connected to a 1 phase, 120 volt, 13 amp power source.

Photo: Motor Plate & HP (pm2014_setup_35) Motor Plate & HP

See photo for all the motor plate information.

I am glad to see here they are correctly showing the motor as a 3 phase motor.

The PM 2014 plugs into a 120 volt single phase 15 amp outlet. The VFD converts the 120v input to 3 phase 230v for the motor via voltage doubling and frequency modulation. FM is a well known, and much loved method to get good torque out of a motor at low speeds.

The motor is 3 amps. The input to VFD is 120v, 13 amps. i.e. the lathe should be plugged into a 15 amp, 120v circuit.

The web says this lathe comes prewired for 115v. The owners manual does not tell you how to convert it to 220v. Thus you probably can NOT convert it 220v with out voiding your warranty.

The motor on my PM 3520B and PM 3520C lathes have been great motors for 10+ years. One of their biggest selling points. On my PM 3520s I have found that the motor is really a good old fashion 2 HP motor into a LOAD. Rather than foreign crap where they falsely label motors as 2 HP when they can not deliver that under load.

I believe the same is true on PM 2014. It is only 1 HP but it is REALLY 1 HP into a load.

Does it have the same HP as my big VB36 lathe? No, of course not! I found that the PM 2014 has enough HP to get the job done! I turned a bowl and hollow form from a raw log on my new PM 2014. No problems with not enough HP! See "HP and Stability Tests" below.

Note: 110, 115, 120 volts are all basically the same thing. What most people call 110 volt standard household current. Single phase. 220 and 230 volts are basically the same thing. They may be single or 3 phase. Almost always single phase in residential buildings. Single and 3 phase are different beasts. I decided to go with a mix of 110, 120, etc numbers in this blog append. Because, I decided to go with what it says in PM 2014 manual and web site.

Photo: Headstock aligned with Tailstock (pm2014_setup_37) Headstock aligned with Tailstock

The PM 2014 headstock aligns with tailstock. Right out of the box. No problems here.

Note: The Laguna Revo 15/24 lathe write up on the web brags about "A brand new feature is the patent-pending Precise Point that allows you to dial in the tailstock quill to meet with the headstock center." This "feature" is NOT needed on the PM 2014. Because, PM just does a good job manufacturing the lathe.

Photo: Bottom of Headstock (pm2014_setup_38) Bottom of Headstock

No surprises here.

Photo: The Banjo & Tool Rest (pm2014_setup_39) The Banjo & Tool Rest

Note: I added the black shaft collar between the tool rest and top of the banjo. I forgot to remove it before taking the photo.

The PM 2014 banjo is 4" tall by 12" long by 4" wide at the front, 2-3/4" wide at the back.

I am already on record. I REALLY do not like the PM 3520C banjo. I don't like the height of the banjo and I don't like the offset design. I recommend replacing it with a "best of breed" Oneway banjo from the very start.

After use, I decided I like the PM 2014 banjo. I would NOT recommend replacing it with the Oneway banjo. Oneway does not have a banjo that fits this lathe perfectly. The Oneway 12" banjo is 4" tall. The right height. But it is only 10-1/2" long. Too short.

If someone is purchasing a PM 2014 rather than a PM 3520C to save money then suggesting they should spend an extra $250 on a Oneway banjo is not appropriate.

The 4" height of the PM 2014 banjo is NOT too low. You can use any standard "off the self" tool rest in the PM 2014 banjo. You don't need to purchase special new tool rest(s) with a longer post.

Note: The PM 3520C banjo height is to low in my not so humble opinion. You CAN NOT use standard "off the self" tool rests in a PM 3520C banjo. You have to purchase tool rests with an extra long tool post. Extra expense and a pain in the back side.

The 4" height of the PM 2014 may be a SMALL problem. The post on "off the shelf" tool rests may be too long. This is not a huge problem because can just hack saw them off. Or, just let the extra stick out the bottom of the open hole on the PM 2014 banjo.

The 8" width of the tool rest that comes with the PM 2014 is good. However, I would also purchase a second longer 12" rest ASAP. See "12" Tool Rest" below.

See "Cast Iron is NOT Light Weight" above for all the weights and dimensions.

Photo: Tool Rest Clamp for Photo (pm2014_setup_40) Tool Rest Clamp for Photo

I forgot to take a photo of PM 2014 tool rest clamp. It is the same as PM 3520C. This photo is from my PM 3520C.

This photo shows tool rest clamp slid out so you can see what it looks like. The next photo shows it installed.

The tool rest clamp on the PM 2014 is very good. It holds the tool rest post, rock solid, even under heavy loads.

Photo: Tool Rest Clamp Installed (pm2014_setup_41) Tool Rest Clamp Installed

I forgot to take a photo of PM 2014 tool rest clamp. It is the same as PM 3520C. This photo is from my PM 3520C.

The red arrow points to the jaws that actually clamp down on the tool rest post. It looks almost the same as a Oneway banjo when you look down the tool post hole.

The new PM design is as good as the Oneway "best of breed" tool rest clamp and probably a lot cheaper to manufacture.

Note: Other lathes, even big ones that cost bug bucks, often have a tool rest clamp design that really sucks! It is often just a knob on a screw that screws in or out. This allows the tool rest to move around or drop down while you were trying to turn. Extremely frustrating when you have to stop the lathe to fix the tool rest position.

Laguna lathes like the Laguna Revo 15/24 use a split clamp design that is cast into the cast iron banjo. It is better than a knob on a set screw. However, I know from experience, it is not great. The PM design is far better.

Photo: Lubricate the Banjo! (pm2014_setup_43) Lubricate the Banjo!

At first I really did not like the PM 2014 banjo. I ran into a BIG problem. The handle would spring back up a little, every time I REALLY pushed the locking handle down to lock the banjo in place. I had to hold the handle down for a few seconds to get it to stay down. Err… Really frustrating.

After a lot head scratching and thought, I decided the problem was there is too much friction between round collar that slides along the round shaft and the round shaft. Red arrow in photo. The collar is a little on the wimpy side. I was deforming it when I pushed down really hard on the locking lever. When I let go, the collar was springing back and rotating the round shaft.

I solved the problem with some white lithium grease. After greasing the round shaft (see photo) the locking level does not spring back up.

Note: There is not enough room in the bottom of the Banjo for a less wimpy collar.

Photo: The Tailstock (pm2014_setup_44) The Tailstock

The PM 2014 tailstock is good and heavy. But, not too heavy. It weighs 27 lbs. Almost as good as the PM 3520C tailstock. See "Cast Iron is NOT Light Weight" above for all the weights and dimensions.

The PM 2014 and PM 3520C have basically the same great hand wheel. The Quill (the part that screws in and out) is basically the same. Acme threads in the quill for fast in/out. The "anti-rotation" key is the same. See next couple of photos.

The PM 2014 handle (lever) that locks the tailstock to the bed is on the back of the tailstock. It is not visible in photos. See photos below.

Note: There is no hidden storage compartment in the PM 2014 tailstock, like there is in the PM 3520C. Some people may miss this. NOT ME! I really hate it when I spend days and weeks looking for something that a friend or student put in that stupid compartment. I removed the tailstock compartment door on my 3520C long ago!

Photo: Bottom of Tailstock (pm2014_setup_45) Bottom of Tailstock

No big surprises here. Well. The big black round washer (red arrow in photo) is bigger on the PM 3520C. Thus, this one looks a little small to me. The ways on the PM 2014 are 1-3/4" apart. The ways on the PM 3520C are 2-1/4" apart. Thus the washer on the PM 2014 has to be smaller. When I used the PM 2014 it was not a problem!

I really like the ROUND washer used by PM on their lathes. The same washer is used on the headstock, tailstock and banjo.

Round washers DO NOT have any sharp corners that hang up when you slide things around on the lathe bed (ways).

The square washers use by other lathe manufactures have sharp corners that hang up and prevent you from easily sliding the banjo around. I really hate how the square washer banjos start to stick after they have been used for a while. This seems to be aggravated by using washers that are NOT big and beefy. Over time they bend and distort? Eventually, you have to remove the square washer from the bottom and file off all the sharp edges. Then, it still is not as good as the PM round washer.

Photo: Back of Tailstock (pm2014_setup_46) Back of Tailstock

You use the hand wheel and other parts of a tailstock a lot! Thus the details really matter!

The PM 2014 and PM 3520C have basically the same great "best of breed" hand wheel (green arrow in photo).

The locking lever (red arrow in photo) that locks the tailstock to the bed is adequate, but not great. It would be nice if it was longer (taller). I fixed this by adding a short piece of pipe see next photo.

When I was doing small things and plates the length of the locking lever was not a problem.

The lever was too short. When I mounted a log between centers for a hollow form and I REALLY needed to lock the tailstock down to stop if from sliding back. I had to push REALLY hard on the lever. It hurt my hand. Yea, I am a sissy.

The lever is a SINGLE piece of steel. This is good. Really important. If it was two pieces screwed together then sooner or later the joint would fail and you would be screwed. I know this from experience on my old Delta steel bed lathe. This tailstock locking lever on ANY lathe gets a lot of HARD use. It needs to be one piece and dead rock solid.

I suspect that all the lathes by other manufacturers in the PM 2014 price range suffer from the same problem. Thus, I sort of feel bad about pointing out this short coming in the PM 2014.

Note: The PM 3520C lathe has a fancy silver chrome locking lever (handle) on the end of the tailstock. It is sort of overkill. I don't need a chrome handle. But it is easier to use. It takes less force to lock the tailstock. It is on the end of the tailstock so you don't need to reach over the tailstock to use it.

Photo: Tailstock Pipe Handle (pm2014_setup_47) Tailstock Pipe Handle

The red arrow in photo points to the 3/4" EMT Pipe Handle I added to PM 2014 tailstock handle for leverage. An easy and cheap fix.

Note: As I have gotten older I have decided I need to take better care of my hands. I try to avoid using my hands as hammers, etc. Pounding on things may lead to arthritis, etc in my hands. Thus, maybe I am not a sissy.

Photo: Tailstock Details (pm2014_setup_48) Tailstock Details

The red arrow in photo points to the PM 2014 quill locking mechanism. Same as PM 3520C. Best of breed. A lot better than the crappy knob and set screw you find on lesser lathes.

The green arrow in photo points to the PM 2014 quill "anti-rotation" key. Same as PM 3520C. It is done right. Another place where lesser lathes fall flat on their face. They just use a set screw. Often it is the same as the knob and set screw that is used to lock the quill. That sucks. It becomes, a never ending source of trouble.


Part 3: PM 2014 Lathe Accessories

Carl's take on the PM 2014 Lathe Accessories in Owners Manual and/or on the Web. All prices on 2/16/2021.

Photo: 13 13″ Bed Extension

I think the bed extension at $224 is a good deal. I would get one sooner, rather than later. Then I could just slide the tailstock down to get it out of the way for sanding, etc. Removing the tailstock is not a big deal. But, putting it back on later, gets real old real fast!

The black thing in photo is a tool post extender. You only use it when/if you mount the bed extension in the low position to increase the swing on the lathe to 20".

Note: The distance between the ways on PM 2014 is 1-3/4". It is 2-1/4" on PM 3520. Thus you can NOT use PM 3520 bed extension on PM 2014.

Photo: 12 12″ Tool Rest

I would purchase a second tool rest ASAP. A longer one. 12" or 14" long. Probably only 12". Because the banjo is not really big enough to support a 14" one with out to much flex.

However this is NO WAY I would spend $50 on the 12" Tool Rest (JWL1442-205) in the PM 2014 Owners Manual. This is the JET tool rest. It is ok. But not great!

I would get a $85 "Standard 12" Tool Rest" from "Advanced Lathe Tools by Steve Sinner" at www.advancedlathetools.com . I really like doing business with Steve. He is a great guy. Tell Steve you want the distance from the top of the tool rest to the bottom of the 1" post to be 4-3/4". Like the 8" tool rest that comes with the PM 2014.

Or you could get a $69 12" Low Profile Rest from Robust.

Robust tool rests are all the rage with some people. I have both the Sinner and Robust tool rests in my studio. Everyone likes the Sinner rest better than the Robust.

I personally like my custom tool rests better than Sinner or Robust. See my "Carl's Tool Rest Design" blog entry.

Photo: Tool Rest Extension (pm2014_tool_rest_ext) Tool Rest Extension

If you think you need one of these then think again! What you need is a bigger lathe. Or smaller projects!

Don't waste your money. Tool rest extensions are notorious for not working worth a damn. The basic problem is that the bed of the lathe and/or banjo is not stiff enough to handle one of these. The bed or banjo will flex when you get out on the end of the tool rest mounted in one of these. The tool rest will bounce around. Getting a good or even acceptable cut becomes impossible.

They are really notorious for not working in Nova lathes with their wimpy beds.

The bed on the PM 2014 is a lot bigger and more robust than most. But, I would be willing to bet, it still is not going to work. Why? Because, using a long 12" J Bowl Turning Tool Rest in the PM 2014 banjo did not work well for me. Too much flex in the banjo or it's connection to the bed. I had to switch to a shorter J rest. Thus, using a Tool Rest Extension is NOT going to work.

Photo: Oneway Live Center (oneway_body_only_center) Oneway Live Center

The PM 2014 ships with a CRAPPY 60 degree live center. You should replace it with a good Oneway Live Center (MT2 size). Do it ASAP. From the start!

The Oneway Live Center is a cup center. It has a cup around the point in the middle of the center. The cup engages your work. It prevents the point from acting like a wood splitter and it holds your work very securely. The Oneway center is best of breed.

I use the Aluminum cones that come with the Oneway Center once in a blue moon. Therefore I recommend saving some money. Purchase the "Oneway Live Center Body Only" with out the cones.

When/if you need a cone then make your own out of UHMW plastic. UHMW plastic is more forgiving (softer) then aluminum and thus works better. See my "Custom Centering Cones" blog entry.

Notes:

  1. "Revolving Center" and "Live Center" are the same thing. A center on which the end rotates freely. They are used in the Tailstock end of a lathe.

    "Dead" centers are used in the Headstock end of a lathe. The end does NOT rotate. It's dead! If the end rotated then there would be no way to "drive" the work mounted in the lathe.

    In the "good old days", before live centers were invented or affordable, they used a dead center in the headstock and tailstock. They let the wood "slip" and burn on the dead tailstock center. Ugg! I can do with out this pain.
  2. My PM 3520C lathe came with the very good "Jet" knockoff of the Oneway Live Center. I like it and use it. The Oneway center is my absolute favorite. It is best of breed. The Jet knockoff is a very close second. What's the difference? The threaded part on the Oneway is made of steel. On the Jet it is very hard aluminum.

    Jet and PM are owned by the same "WHM Tool Group" parent company.
  3. On 2/18/2021, I can NOT find the "Jet" knockoff of the Oneway Live Center on the web. It appears that it MAY now be the $80 "Savannah Heavy Duty Dual Bearing Live Center" on Amazon.

    I DO NOT recommend the Savannah Live Center because the steel center point is TO BIG in diameter!. It sticks out to far! If you install the STEEL point then the cup part of the center CAN NOT be used (engaged) because the point sticks out too far! This is all wrong! It makes the Savannah center COMPLETELY useless in my not some humble opinion. You should be able to use the center point and the cup at the SAME TIME. Like with the Oneway center.

    I experienced this myself. I was really pissed! Most of the photos on Amazon look good. But, there is one "photo" that shows the point sticking out to far.

    Was this done by some metal lathe person who does not understand wood lathes? Are they trying to make it like a 60 degree metal lathe live center? Wrong! 60 degree metal lathe centers are USELESS on a wood lathe! They are WOOD SPLITTERS!
  4. The Robust Live Center is a good center. I do not recommend it because it costs too much. The Oneway costs less and is a great center that has been around for 20+ years. A long track record.

    The only thing the Robust center has over the Oneway center is an "adjustable center point". You can adjust how much the center point sticks out. Nice, but a pain!

    When I want a shorter center point I don't want to look around for a wrench and then dork around with adjusting a point. I JUST pop out my Oneway center and install a Craft Supplies USA "Turners Select Multi-Tip Revolving Center" with a shorter tip AND a SMALLER CUP. If you need a shorter point, then chances are pretty good you also need a smaller cup. Just swapping back and forth between two different centers avoids a lot of dorking around with adjusting point length.

    Beware! When you see the $130 Robust Live Center on Amazon, etc. It is the live center with NO aluminum cones. aka "Body Only" Thus you should be comparing it to the $95 Oneway "Body Only" Live Center. Not the $120 Oneway Live Center with Aluminum Cones. The Robust Live Center with Aluminum Cones is $158. Prices on 2/18/2021.

    Some people rant and rave about anything made by "Robust". I like to evaluate things one by one. Rather than lump everything together. Is it best of breed? Is their a better solution?

Photo: Stupid Marketing Photo! (pm2014_stupid_log) Stupid Marketing Photo!

I decided I really needed to comment on this photo because I think it has encouraged some of the PM 2014 negative reviews on Youtube, etc. Videos showing how the PM 2014 jumps around with a HUGE out of balance log mounted on the lathe.

I got this photo from the Powermatic Web Site (www.powermatic.com). There is also a video. It has to be the STUPIDEST marketing photo on the face of the earth!!!

I know it is a marketing photo because only a marketing guy would be foolish enough to mount a log this big on a small lathe! No one in their right mind would every mount a log this big on a PM 2014!!!

ANYTHING you mount on a lathe will SOONER OR LATTER will break lose and go AWOL. When big logs go AWOL, they fly THRU (rather than bounce off) of walls and ceilings! They INSTANTLY crush, feet, arms, legs and bodies. I know this from experience with smaller logs!

This photo has to be staged. The banjo just barely fits under the log. So how did they turn off the bark? That big white face plate is a Oneway 6" face plate. Not a PM product. I think, this log was turned down on some big lathe and then moved to the PM 2014 for photo.

If you want to turn big logs then you need a VB36 lathe. Get the right tool for the job BEFORE you kill yourself! If you are looking at a PM 2014 then you are definitely in the wrong place.


Part 4: HP and Stability Tests

Photo: 1st Bowl HP Test Video (pm2014_1st_bowl_10) 1st Bowl HP Test Video

I mounted a 10" out of round, out of balance, bowl blank on my new PM2014 lathe when I turned a Live Edge Bowl. This 1.5 minute video shows me making the blank round. 1 HP is enough! No problems.

For more 1st Bowl info see my "1st Bowl on New Powermatic 2014 Lathe" blog entry.

Photo: 1st Hollow Form Stability Test Video (pm2014_1st_hf_video_01) 1st Hollow Form Stability Test Video

I mounted a gnarly 10" raw log on my new PM2014 lathe when I turned a Hollow Form. This 1/2 minute video shows that my stand worked at 500 RPM. No problem.

For more 1st Hollow Form info and videos see my "1st Hollow Form on New Powermatic 2014 Lathe" blog entry.

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