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Spindle Lock for PM 3520B

The spindle lock on the Powermatic 3520B is a push button that you must push and hold to keep the spindle locked.  This presents a problem if you need both hands to do whatever you’re doing, like removing a faceplate with a large blank attached.  

Many solutions to this problem have been put forth on the various woodturning forums. Some are elaborate; some are quite simple. Here’s one that I decided to try.  It is simple and works like a charm.  

A bracket held by two cap screws surrounds the button.  The method is to remove the bottom screw, permanently, and then place washers under the top screw to make the bracket stand off from the surface.  When the button is pushed in, the bracket is then rotated to the side enough to cover the button and hold it in.  To release the button, simply rotate the bracket back to the vertical.  


The combined thickness of the three washers I used is about 3/16” (5 mm).  The stock capscrew was a bit short so I replaced it with an ordinary 10-24 slotted head machine screw 1” long.  

When I need the spindle lock, I need it badly.  But, I seldom use it.  I’ve found that when I need two hands to grip a piece, I can push in the button then hold a bit of tension on the spindle. The button will stay in while I use both hands to tug on the piece.