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Powermatic 90 purchase

MoWWorker's picture


I am considering purchasing a used PM90.  I believe the inboard side of the spindle is 1 1/2" - 8 tpi and the outboard side is 1 1/8"-8 tpi.  How difficult is it to find adaptors for these spindle sizes for chucks, etc?  I've seen some for the inboard 1 1/2" size, but not the outboard 1 1/8" size.  Could I be incorrect in these measurements?

Also, is there anything special I should check before purchasing?

I have never used a PM90 and would be interested to hear from some users as to how they like theirs.  They seem good and solid.

Thanks for the help.


Troys's picture

(post #112785, reply #1 of 4)

I don't know about the thread sizes but I have used one of these lathes at the local C.C and they are nice machines.

Good luck


dgreen's picture

(post #112785, reply #2 of 4)

The manual only mentions 11/2-8 for available faceplates. Seems it would be odd to have two diameters. Heres a copy of the manual in case you don't have it.




You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.

Jack London

Edited 7/27/2008 9:07 pm by dgreen




Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.
~ Denis Diderot

mod_90_2.pdf1.19 MB
mod_90.pdf1.19 MB
KeithNewton's picture

(post #112785, reply #3 of 4)

You are correct about the size, and thread, at least for the older ones. They are nice machines if you only work inboard, but I like to work outboard with clockwise rotation.

The way the older machines are made, there is a lot of distance where that reduced size spindle sticks out past the left bearing. That is because the pulley is outside of the bearing, then that cast housing. By the time you mount a piece on the faceplate, you are 6.5" past that bearing, and there is only about 8.5" spread between both bearings. I found those factors made it too limber for the size outboard turnings that I was wanting it to do.

If you are willing to only work inboard, I think you will like it though. They are plenty heavy on that side.

I still have one out in the shop that I would like to get rid of, and I still have the # 45 which I had before getting the 90 also. I had souped the 45 up with a 3 hp motor, and lots of steel, so it is fine for my second lathe.

I have built a much heavier one for my needs, so I really don't need that 90 and should have gotten rid of it years ago.

I don't own any jawed chucks, so I can't speak to that. I have always just screwed the work to a faceplate, and never felt the need to spend the extra money for something I didn't need.

z123456789's picture

(post #112785, reply #4 of 4)

Where I teach woodturning we use PM90s (among others), and they are pretty good lathes.  The ones we have have move around quite a bit and the bases are a bit dinged up so they require wedges to take out the wobble but I have done what I believe is good work on them.  My only complaint would be that 4 speeds is a bit limiting.  The slow speed is fine for spindles but it gets a bit excting when you are slaping on a out of round 11" diameter bowl blank.

The lathe will not prevent you from doing excellent turning though.