Turning Archive 2004
Mike Schwing from Maryland
>I suppose a follow up is in order since we have a lot of 3520a owners on board.
The day after the spindle lock collar broke, about 3 weeks ago, I called Powermatic. They immediately accepted the claim and put the repair in motion. Repair parts were to be sent to me and a local Powermatic vendor/repair station was to be dispatched to my home to perform the repair.
Perfect! Two days later the parts showed up as promised, but the local vendor was less than reliable. They simply never made contact with me, so I called Powermatic and they said they'd get in touch with the vendor. This happened 3 times before Powermatic gave up on them, aplogized profusely (each time), and called on a different vendor, who immediately called me, and scheduled the repair for that same day.
While onsite the repairman told me he had a machine shop at home and a lightbulb went off in my head. Ah ha! Could this man bore a hole in my spindle extension for use with my vac chuck? I asked and he said sure. Excellent!
Before he left he looked at the tailstock and said "You don't have a drill chuck for that thing, do you?"
"You could bore that hole yourself if you had some drill bits for metal."
"Son of a gun, you're right, I never thought of that! and its already centered perfectly on the lathe. Thanks!"
10 minutes, a few very slow revolutions on the lathe, and a bit of oil for lubricant and I had a 1/4" hole bored straight through my spindle adapter. I gave the guy a $20 tip figuring thats what his suggestion saved me at a machine shop.
All in all, the repair was done expertly, Powermatic was extremely responsive, and I got a new way of thinking about what my lathe can do. Just never occured to me to drill metal out on a woodworking lathe.
I still think Powermatic could save itself repair money with a 2 piece machined steel collar that didn't require spindle removal for replacement and wouldn't be a weak cast iron link to begin with, but everything is repaired just fine now and I'm still a very happy Powermatic customer.