Thoughts on a used Powermatic 63A Table Saw?

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Forum topic by HokieKen posted 07-29-2015 11:36 AM 658 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1525 posts in 559 days

07-29-2015 11:36 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question tablesaw powermatic

I’ve been stalking CL for a few months looking for a solid table saw. In my shop (garage) everything big goes on wheels because I just don’t have room for a stationary cabinet saw. I’ve been limping along with my aluminum Craftsman portable saw for a couple years but now that most of my house remodeling is done my projects are tending more toward fine woodworking and less towards construction. So, yes I know a cabinet saw is better and yes, I would love to have one. But, my space and budget dictate that I need a contractor saw. This won’t be a “forever” saw but I do intend to use it for several years until I have a space that can accommodate a stationary cabinet saw.

So, I ran across a PM 63A (Artisan) saw yesterday that, from the photos, looks well cared for. The ad says the seller is a retired cabinet maker and that it’s in excellent condition. I’m going to look at it this evening. I’m a little concerned that he’s only asking $175. Hopefully he just doesn’t really need the money and wants it out of his way but that seems awfully low based on some googling.

I read all the forum posts and reviews I could find and it seems the saw was very highly regarded in it’s day and is still well thought of 23 years later (this one was made in ‘92). I haven’t found anything to lead me to believe this isn’t a solid saw that will meet my needs. It does have webbed cast iron extension wings but apparently there are solid ones for modern Delta saws that are a direct fit. If I only pay 175$ for the saw, I could easily justify buying the wings if I feel I need them. The only real negative I found is that PM no longer supports the saw so parts aren’t available. It seems though, that Grizzly and Delta both have similar saws that have interchangeable parts.

So, my questions are these: Does anyone own (or used to own) this saw and if so, what are your thoughts? Is the 1 1/2 hp motor “beefy” enough for working with primarily 4/4 harwoods like oak and walnut and occasionally with harder (hard maple) up to 8/4? Is there anything in particular I need to check on it? I know how to check the usual stuff – arbor runout, table flatness, condition of trunions and elevation/tilt gears. I’m going to take a piece of 8/4 hard maple with me to test the motor operation. I’m not so concerned with the blade/fence alignment, as I can take care of that myself, but I will check the fence operation and make sure it feels solid. Is this price in line with what you would expect to pay for this saw?

And my final question is this… What the hell possesed them to make this saw that putrid yellow color!? :)

Any suggestions or comments are much appreciated.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

5 replies so far

View 01ntrain's profile (online now)


135 posts in 491 days

#1 posted 07-29-2015 06:35 PM

For $175 how can you lose? Especially since you seem to know what it takes to check one of them out. I can only hope and wish for a deal like that…..In my area, CL is full of meth-heads selling pure junk for $$$$ I found one of them selling a heavily-used Estwing hammer yesterday for $30. Oy Vey!

Seriously, I just talked to a guy, last week, that was selling the same saw for $350 here. I was pretty close to pulling the trigger, but he seemed kinda shady(almost as if the saw was stolen) and I realized from one of the pics that the motor and mount weren’t original to the saw. That made me a bit suspicious. It’s gone now, so I’m guessing someone took the plunge.

For a hobbyist woodworker, that’s more than enough saw you will ever need. I don’t understand why it’s not in your possession already…..

View HokieKen's profile


1525 posts in 559 days

#2 posted 07-29-2015 07:33 PM

01ntrain, thanks for the input. That’s kind of my thinking too and why I’m a bit skeptical of the $175 asking price. Seems like the average selling price for auctions and online is closer to the 350$ mark. And I’d still be considering it even at that price.

Why isn’t it in my possession yet? Because when I called the guy yesterday, he said that this evening would be the soonest he’d be available to show it to me.

And yeah, there’s a lot of those meth-heads on CL around here too. That’s why this will only be the second saw I’ve found that I’m actually going to go look at in about 3 months! I did however pick up a PC 7539 router for $70 that didn’t look like it had ever been used a while back. So there’s still a gem among the manure here and there :)

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View MrUnix's profile


4031 posts in 1620 days

#3 posted 07-29-2015 07:48 PM

You can find high end cabinet saws for $175 as well as bottom of the line benchtops (and sometimes, you get lucky and find them for free). Average price is meaningless in the used market, and every seller is different. However, the good deals go fast – OWWM rule #5 applies to a lot of sales and has bitten many, many people.


-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

View HokieKen's profile


1525 posts in 559 days

#4 posted 07-29-2015 09:46 PM

I’m very familiar with rule 5. That’s why I asked when the soonest I could see it was. I’m probably gonna buy it even if I’m not sure I want to keep it unless there’s something significant wrong with it. I figure worst case I sell it and break even and that’s better than kicking myself when somebody else grabs it up tomorrow! I appreciate the input and enjoyed the OWWM rules:)

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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1525 posts in 559 days

#5 posted 07-30-2015 04:59 PM

Well, I picked it up for $150 and feel like I stole it. It is a gorgeous saw and has been well cared for. The belt could use replacing and one of the legs on the stand is a little bent. Other than that it just needs a good cleaning.

Thanks to all who weighed in with advice!

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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