Category Archives: Popular

Travel Tool Set


Updated: 12/31/2019: I now use a red tool tray rather than a Tool Roll. See new section at the end of this blog entry.

I recently created a new Travel Tool Set that I can EASILY take to demos, club meetings and symposiums. I have been using it full time in my studio recently to test it out. I am real happy with it. See photo below.

The heart of the system is a new 5/8″ Quick Release Tool Handle from Jimmy Clewes. It works really good. I saw Jimmy use it on the 2018 Norway Woodturning Cruise. I was real impressed with the Quick Release mechanism that Jimmy has come up with. Just a simple 1/4 turn of the handle with your hand (no tools) locks a tool in place or releases it. You can change tools real fast. So, swapping tools does not interfere with the flow of a demo.
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My New Powermatic 3520C Lathe verses My Old Powermatic 3520B

Chick here for printable PDF

My New Powermatic 3520C Lathe verses my Old Powermatic 3520B Photo: My New Powermatic 3520C Lathe verses my Old Powermatic 3520B

I decided to replace my old Powermatic 3520B Lathe with the new C Model.

Here is my unpacking and set up experience. Plus some comparison of the B and C models.

I purchased the new model C on 2/1/2018 for a little less than the $4400 list price. Continue reading My New Powermatic 3520C Lathe verses My Old Powermatic 3520B

So you want to buy a lathe? A real lathe?

Updated: 9/10/2020. I have a lot of trouble updating this blog entry. It is to big. WordPress often crashes when I try to do anything in this post. My php buffer size is not big enough. I am waiting for GoDaddy to upgrade my web sever.

In general everything in this bog post is still valid. However, some good new 110 volt lathe options have become available. See my Revolutionary New 110 Volt Lathes blog post.

Updated: 7/8/2017. Change bars in Purple on left. Add new “Parts of a Lathe” section with link to AAW video.

Updated: 2/5/2017. Change bars in Blue on left.  Summary of updates:

1. The new version of the 10″ Penn State Mini Lathe is still my favorite Mini Lathe.

2. I do not like the new Jet lathes. Add them to the list of “Lathes I DO NOT Recommend”.

3. The new 110 volt version of Laguna Revo 18/36 lathe has won me over. Move it to my list of “Recommended 110 Volt Lathes”.

4. The 220 volt version of the Laguna Revo 18/36 is now my low cost “Recommended 220 Volt Lathe”.  It replaces the 220 volt Jet 1642 EVS that is now longer available.

5. The US economy has been stuck in neutral. Thus, lathe prices have not increased by much, if any, in the last 2 years.

Updated: 8/9/2015.  Change bars in Green on left. Add Laguna lathes to not recommended list.  They are close but no cigar.

First published on 7/31/2015.

What lathe should a newbie purchase?

Here is a long winded answer I gave to a student who had a Shopsmith and decided it was time to buy a real lathe.

For the record.  I personally own  a VB36, a Powermatic 3520B,  two Oneway 2436s, and a Penn State TCLPROVS lathe.   At various schools and clubs I have turned on Stubby, Vicmarc, General, Delta, Rockwell, Jet, Grizzly, Vega and old metal cabinet lathes.

pm_3520bIn a Nutshell

Hands down the best lathe out there in my not so humble opinion is the Powermatic 3520B with a Oneway Banjo.

The list price is still $3999 on 2/5/2017. It was the same price back on 7/26/2015.

Continue reading So you want to buy a lathe? A real lathe?

My Modern Woodturning Tool Set

Click here for the demo handout PDF.

I like many turners, started out by purchasing a set of tools from a well known manufacturer. Then while attending classes, demos and symposiums, I learned that I did not need most of the tools in the set. Modern turners have moved on beyond the scrapers and spindle turning tools featured in the old fashion sets still sold by many well known manufactures.
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