When I buy an extremely niche product, I don’t typically make a video about it. But this one did such a good job of solving a problem for me and someone recently requested that I talk about it, so I figured I would make a quick video.
My new Colorado shop is smaller than I’m used to, and that means more of my tools need to be mobile. One of the heaviest and most difficult to move tools is my Powermatic 3520B Lathe. I’ve hurt my back several times pushing that thing around. I did a few quick web searches and quickly found a solution: the Lift Lock N’ Roll Lathe Mobility System. Unfortunately, it seems they only make this add-on for a few Powermatic models and the Jet 1642.
The system is easy to install and doesn’t require you to life the lathe at all. As long as the feet are extended, the system slides right under the legs and bolts in place. While the sales video of the product gave me the impression that I could easily engage the wheels with my feet, the reality is it’s quite difficult. I eventually got it to work on the lighter tail stock side of the lathe. Under the head stock, forget about it. Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to engage the system by hand.
So you might be wondering how in the world is it actually EASIER to do with your hands? Well, the problem lies with the position of the handle. It’s so close to the legs of the lathe that you have to wedge your foot in a tight space where the handle is happier resting against the side of your foot rather than the sole of your shoe. So even though it doesn’t take much pressure to move the handle, you have almost no leverage in this position. Perhaps if I were wearing something other than running shoes, the result would be different. But if you kneel down and pull the handle out with your hand, it’s a pretty simple matter to then push the handle down to engage the wheels.
Bottom line is it makes my lathe mobile, and that’s what I bought it for.
Please note that I have no connection with the makers or vendors of this product.