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Would like Opinions on Powermatic 45 Wood lathes

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Forum topic by Chris_Tx posted 06-05-2019 08:16 PM 386 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Chris_Tx

30 posts in 152 days


06-05-2019 08:16 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question lathe turning

Hello all,
I am still on the hunt for a wood lathe, would like opinions on the Powermatic 45 wood lathes, with a reeves drive variable speed. Everything I can find online seems to be very positive concerning these machines, but I would really like all of your opinions. My greatest concern is noise, are these much louder than other lathes? The one on this you-tube, sounds fairly quiet, is that just the poor sound quality? I really don’t want to have to wear hearing protection while turning, are they that loud? Also, what would you consider to be a fair price for one of these machines, assuming that it was in decent shape, and not missing any parts?
Thanks for reading,
Christian


13 replies so far

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ibewjon

683 posts in 3214 days


#1 posted 06-05-2019 10:11 PM

The 90 I have is great. A 1973. The serial number tells the age. It has an 1 1/2×8 arbor, I think the 45 has a 1” arbor, which makes it easier to get accessories for. Have had no problems, and it is very quiet. The dust collector suction at the lathe is alot louder. But the DC is only about 70 decibels, so even it is not bad. I paid $400 about 3 years ago, and I think I got a steal because the owner wanted it out of his basement, which was a 12’ deep one. Took it apart and hauled it out in pieces. Most I have seen go for $800 +. Some models have the motor in the lathe bed and 1 belt. Mine has the motor in the cabinet with an intermediate shaft and 2 belts. I think that is a better design.

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Nubsnstubs

1581 posts in 2151 days


#2 posted 06-05-2019 10:45 PM

Chris, if it has a sheet metal cabinet, it will have some constant noise. It’s totally tolerable, but if you think you can turn without hearing protection, you are in for some hearing loss in your future…..... ....... Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson) www.woodturnerstools.com

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Chris_Tx

30 posts in 152 days


#3 posted 06-06-2019 12:14 AM

Thank you ibewjon, most of the ones I have seen, have been about $800 to. How can you tell the age by the serial number?
Thank you Jerry, when you say that I am in for hearing loss without protection, do you mean specifically with this lathe, or with wood turning in general?

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ibewjon

683 posts in 3214 days


#4 posted 06-06-2019 12:59 AM

With the lathe running and no dust collector running, but not turning wood, the lathe itself runs at about 68 decibels, the level of conversation. Turning wood will add to the level, but I consider this one of my quietest tools. My Laguna 14” bandsaw, running but not cutting is about 71 decibels. I have never had anyone measure the noise while I was cutting or turning. For the date, my serial number is as follows:. 390112 where the 3 is 1973, the 90 is the model, and 112 is the 112th machine made in 1973. Replace the 90 with 45. This is not the only system used, but it works for this era. I believe the year became multiple digits later.

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Chris_Tx

30 posts in 152 days


#5 posted 06-06-2019 01:11 AM

Thank you so much ibewjon, I really appreciate all the information.

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ibewjon

683 posts in 3214 days


#6 posted 06-06-2019 01:40 AM

Glad to help.

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MrUnix

7407 posts in 2619 days


#7 posted 06-06-2019 03:04 AM

My PM45 is very quiet and I can’t remember ever needing or wanting hearing protection. Price is all over the map depending on many factors such as location and condition. I bought mine fully restored, with an upgraded 1hp single phase motor, original 3/4hp three phase motor, a ton of turning tools and a few centers for $500. I still think I overpaid for it, but not by much.

Cheers,
Brad

PS: Age can be found using the serial number and going to the VM Wiki page for Powermatic serial numbers.

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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Chris_Tx

30 posts in 152 days


#8 posted 06-06-2019 04:14 AM

Thank you MrUnix, I was really hoping that you would stop by and give me your take.
I can’t understand how you think you overpaid on yours, if I had gotten all of that, for only $500, nobody would ever hear the end of what a great deal I had got. As it is, I stand very little chance of ever scoring such a bargain, guys like you snatch them all up while I am deliberating on whether or not to pursue it : )

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Woodmaster1

1182 posts in 3008 days


#9 posted 06-06-2019 04:42 AM

I had 4 of them in my woodshop where I taught and they held up very well to student abuse. They were 47 years old and going strong when I retired 4 years ago.

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OSU55

2360 posts in 2410 days


#10 posted 06-06-2019 12:08 PM

Not aware of a wood lathe in good condition being loud enough to require hearing protection (real lathe, not some V8 utube accident). Cutting tools dont add much. My drill for sanding is louder than the DC. You should plan on DC and depending that might get sound hi enough.

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Nubsnstubs

1581 posts in 2151 days


#11 posted 06-06-2019 01:48 PM

I have a Powermatic 3520A bought used 5 years ago. It’s real quite compared to the Delta Milwaukee 1460 I was using. But, if OSHA can come into your shop and tell you that the fluorescent lights you have in the ceiling can cause hearing loss, how can you guys using a lathe with the noise source less than 18” from your ears say that it isn’t an issue?? I don’t have anything to back up the lighting comment, but I know it was stated to me back in the late ‘80’s by someone from OSHA who just happened to come to my shop. He was there to warn me to make sure I wear a hardhat when on a ladder.

Considering some of the comments on hearing, I’m going out on a limb and say that some of us are destined to become hearing impaired while others will die at 90 years of age with perfect hearing. I remember the exact time that I felt I was going to have some hearing issues. May 23, 1966 at 1045 am, in Europe firing at a target with a 1911 45 pistol while lying on the ground. My ears have never been the same. ............ Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson) www.woodturnerstools.com

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ibewjon

683 posts in 3214 days


#12 posted 06-06-2019 02:32 PM

Another reason to change to LED lighting.

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TheDane

5654 posts in 4084 days


#13 posted 06-06-2019 10:33 PM

I remember the exact time that I felt I was going to have some hearing issues. May 23, 1966 at 1045 am, in Europe firing at a target with a 1911 45 pistol while lying on the ground. My ears have never been the same.

Same for me, only it was the 50 caliber in the turret of an M577 in September, 1969.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

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