DIY Mobile base for Powermatic lathe

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Julian posted 12-25-2015 11:50 PM 9250 reads 7 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I recently purchased a Powermatic 3520B lathe from Craigslist. The lathe weighs 630 lbs and I wanted a mobile base but did not want to pay the $350 or more for one that is sold for this lathe. The commercially available base also sticks out about 10” on the outside of the legs. With a little head scratching I came up with this idea. I already had 3 of the wheels from on older machine. I ordered the 4th wheel from Rockler with my 20% coupon and purchase the remainder of the material. 1 1/2” square tube from a steel supplier and threaded rod and nuts from HomeDepot. The entire project cost me less than $45. These wheels raise the lathe about a 1/2” and only sticks out about 4” when the lathe is down.

-- Julian

12 comments so far

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3597 posts in 4687 days

#1 posted 12-26-2015 01:42 AM


I love to see such brilliant solutions!


-- “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin -- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View BurlyBob's profile


8291 posts in 3240 days

#2 posted 12-26-2015 03:34 AM

That is a really slick solution to your issue. Good thinking on that one.

View tyvekboy's profile


2093 posts in 3988 days

#3 posted 12-26-2015 03:55 AM

That is a great lathe mobile base solution. Simple and effective!

630 pounds is a lot to lift with those workbench casters. You might have to do like I do with my workbench and help them out with an assist with a hydraulic jack till you can get the wheels down and locked. Do only one side at a time so the lathe doesn’t tip over.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View Dutchy's profile


3957 posts in 3143 days

#4 posted 12-26-2015 08:16 AM

Very handy! What’s the reason to didn’t put them on the inside?


View WoodNSawdust's profile


1417 posts in 2151 days

#5 posted 12-26-2015 12:43 PM

Good idea. If these are the workbench castors that Rockler sells I thought that the total weight was limited to 400 pounds, so do you have any problems with them

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 2981 days

#6 posted 12-26-2015 01:18 PM

Thinking outside the box. Nice job !

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Julian's profile


1618 posts in 3665 days

#7 posted 12-27-2015 03:13 AM

Dutchy; the wheels are on the outside because it would be difficult to activate the lever on the inside.
WoodNSawdust: these are not the workbench wheels.

-- Julian

View VAnative's profile


38 posts in 1919 days

#8 posted 12-28-2015 08:37 AM

Nicely done, looks much better than the mobile base too.

-- Don't be upset by the results you didn't get with the work you didn't do.

View Choke's profile


161 posts in 1855 days

#9 posted 01-06-2016 01:19 AM

Nice Solution Glad my lathe gets to stay PUT.

-- Winning the Hearts and Minds one measurement at a time

View Peterwv's profile


1 post in 1510 days

#10 posted 12-07-2016 02:40 PM

Please provide information about the wheels that you used so I can order them.

View John Stegall's profile

John Stegall

546 posts in 4491 days

#11 posted 01-31-2019 04:30 PM

Thanks for posting this. I didn’t own one of these until this summer and my first choice of using trailer jacks didn’t work to my satisfaction. I fitted wood to the inside of the tubing (overkill I’m sure) but it stiffened my Harbor Freight aluminum clamps so I did it here too. I like the way it works and it takes up less room than the jacks.

-- jstegall

View Washam's profile


21 posts in 593 days

#12 posted 02-11-2020 11:07 AM

Have just gotten a new (to me) 3520 and ran across your brilliant and affordable idea. Has this lift continued to be serviceable and do you have any additional construction info you could pass along? John

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics