Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The amazing Powermatic 4224B lathe

I just returned from the 2012 International Woodworking Fair (IWF) in Atlanta GA, and while most folks were enamored with such things as the hot dog cutting demos at the SawStop booth, or the amazing demos of the CNC machines at the Stiles Machinery booth, I couldn't pull myself away from the Powermatic booth and the demos of the Powermatic 4224B.  This lathe weighs in at over 900 pounds and is the biggest, heaviest, and most capable lathe ever offered by Powermatic.   
·        Some of the details include:

  • A sliding headstock with electronic variable speed and digital RPM readout.  This feature means that you’ll be able to select the most appropriate speed for turning and finishing. 
  • A spindle lock and built in spindle indexing on the headstock for drilling hole patterns, routing flutes, and other equally spaced features.  This would be excellent for indexing for wooden gears for wood clocks!
  • A cool, built-in vacuum system that provides quick method of chucking bowl blanks.  This was one of the most fascinating features of the lathe, and allows you to “suck” your bowl blank to the lathe!
  • An up-front 15-amp quad receptacle for easy powering of all powered accessories, such as lights, sanders, routers, strobes, etc.
  • Two 100W goose neck task lamps provide ideal lighting is standard. 
  • A built-in air nozzle with quick connect for clearing dust and chips.
  • A set of dead centers that are mounted behind the lathe bed which can be used to hold a sample spindle behind the spindle you are turning, for visual comparison while duplicated.  Man, this sure would have come in handy when I was turning a bunch of gazebo finials a few years back.
  • The laser etched quill is self ejecting, meaning that to remove any MT accessories, like your live center or drill chuck, you simply back if off, and the accessory pops free.
  •  A two position mount for the optional bed extension, allowing for HUGE bowls, platters and even table tops.
  •  A brass tipped knockout bar that will not damage drive centers.
  • An attached tool caddy allows convenient access and storage of centers, wrenches, etc.
  • This was a little weird: The tailstock has an internal storage compartment with a hinged door for additional accessories.  And why not?  This space is present on all tailstocks, but it’s always just wasted space.
  • The heavy, chrome trimmed handwheels are ergonomic and frankly feel amazing.
  • The magnetic-backed remote on/off switch can be moved anywhere on the machine, and who doesn’t like magnets?
  • A few more stats:
  • The swing over the main bed: 24"      
  • The swing over the tool rest base (banjo): 21"      
  • The distance between centers: 42"
  • Outboard turning capacity: 88" (That’s over seven feet!)        
  • Speed range from 40-3500 RPM      
  • Headstock taper: #2 Morris Taper (MT-2)     
  • Spindle thread: 1 1/4 " x 8 TPI     
  •  Hole Through Spindle: 5/8 "    
  • Tailstock taper: #2 Morris Taper (MT-2)     
  •  Hole Through Tailstock: 3/8 "    
  • Tailstock Ram Travel: 4½ "     
  • Centerline of spindle to the floor: 44 "      
  • Headstock Movement: full length of bed              
  • Indexing Positions: 98           
  • Bed Construction: cast iron              
  • Motor Power: 3 HP     
  • Motor Voltage: 220 V     
  • Prewired Voltage: 220 V   
  • Motor Phase: 3 Ph (Don’t worry, phase converters are available, but that needs to considered as you work this into your budget)    
  • Model Number 4224B    
  • Overall Assembled Dimensions: 83"L x 36"W x 65"H    
  • Height: 31.5 inch            
  • Width: 27 inch
  • Length: 68 inch
  • Net Weight: 948 pound  (The headstock alone weighs just shy of 200lbs!)
OK, now hold on to your hat as you click on this link to see the Powermatic 4224B lathe for sale at Woodcraft. 
Don't worry if they are too proud of it for your budget, because I have a plan B for ya: Here's the Powermatic 3520B Lathe for sale at Woodcraft.

Here are some great videos from Youtube of the 4224B lathe in action:

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