Powermatic model 70 table saw

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Forum topic by Mayflycarpentry posted 02-26-2016 03:39 PM 1863 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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9 posts in 990 days

02-26-2016 03:39 PM

this is my first time posting on the forum.

I have an opportunity to buy a powermatic model 70 table saw for $250. I have not fired it up yet, and the guy needs to find the fence. He says the fence is in a separate storage unit and will have to track it down. I have two questions.

1. Is this a good deal on this saw? I have seen many other powermatic saws for much more than $1000, but in better condition. This saw is in decent shape…has some mild rust, but nothing that I think wouldn’t be able to be taken care of with a little work. The top is rough and a little rusty and would need to be cleaned up…does anyone know a good method for this? What are your guys expert opinions of the value of this saw? It looks like it has an after market motor in it. It’s a single phase, 240v 3hp motor on it right now.

2. The saw has the round mounting rails for the fence. If the guy cannot find the fence that goes with it, do they even make these fences anymore? Everything I have found mounts on square stock or t-style. If I cannot find a fence to mount on the round rails, how hard would it be for me to build/weld my own new fence, or how much money would it be to replace with a new system?

Thanks for your time reading this post. Looking forward to hearing expert opinions on if $250 is a good buy on this saw.

5 replies so far

View ShaneA's profile (online now)


7043 posts in 2768 days

#1 posted 02-26-2016 04:52 PM

That is going to be an older model saw. Should have a 1” arbor and 12” blade. Pictures would help. However, $250 sounds on the low side. Having said that, a new T-square type fence and rails is going to set you back north of $300 and maybe as high as $400. Plus I am sure there will be other costs, maybe not as significant, like belts, bearings etc…

Welcome to LJs.

View JBrow's profile


1366 posts in 1090 days

#2 posted 02-26-2016 05:10 PM


I cannot say whether $250 is a fair price, not having seen the saw. However, Lumberjock getlostinwood paid $100 for his in 2011. But it was equipped with a 3 phase motor and he is apparently in Texas. The locale where you are could affect the price. Also the photo of getlostinwood PM 70 saw shows a rectangular fence & mounting rail (probably a PM fence system) and it is similar to the fence on my PM 66 saw from 1998. His post is at:":

My 10” PM 66 has held up extremely well. It has been and continues to be a great table saw. Other than waxing the cast iron, lubricating the tilt and riser gears, and squirting grease into the bearings near the arbor, no adjustment or other maintenance has been done.

Things I would look for are the manufacturer and date of manufacture of the motor (Leeson or Baldor good). Whether the arbor rises and tilts easily. If not, why not. A wire brush and lubricant could fix stiff controls, but visually inspect if these controls are stiff. Of course the saw should start and run with a bland chucked in. The arbor nut should include a blade retaining washer and the nut should spin on and off the arbor easily. The guard should be in good condition, install easily, and function properly. The throat plates for the saw blade and dado blade should be included. If he does not have the manual, check on line to see if you can find one.

If he cannot locate the fence, then I would think $250 may be high. An aftermarket fence will cost a fair amount of money (in the $300 range). Also, drilling and tapping some holes in cast iron may be required for the new mounting rails; a pain but doable. I would not try building my own fence because it must be dead accurate and operate smoothly. Manufacturers have figured out how to do all that.

Before buying the saw or even negotiating the price, it might be a good idea to contact Powermatic and determine whether replacement parts are available, and if so, from whom. You may get the saw only to find out later that it needs a part. I would think that unavailable parts would diminish the value of the saw.

I believe there are rust removal chemicals that can help clean up the top. I have never used them so I do not know anything about them; their performance or potential hazards. I have used 0000 steel wool and elbow grease to remove small rust areas that occasionally appear on iron. Then a coat of furniture (silicone free) paste wax provides protection. Wax must be re-applied every now and again.

If the PM 70 looks good to you, point out all the problems with the saw to the seller, including its age and the difficulty of getting parts, whine a little, and hope you can get a better price. Then once you have the saw, consider outfitting it with a new a 240 v magnetic switch as a safety measure.

View bigblockyeti's profile


5247 posts in 1890 days

#3 posted 02-26-2016 05:28 PM

That sounds like a very good deal, pictures would help to confirm that. The motor alone is likely worth over $100 by itself. There are plenty of ways to approach rust removal, scraping off what you can initially is a good start. After that a little naval jelly followed by a scotch brite pad with oil and you’ll be in business in no time.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

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7001 posts in 2368 days

#4 posted 02-26-2016 05:50 PM

The PM70 was only made for a couple of years IIRC… sometime in the late 50’s to early 60’s, and were then discontinued and replaced by the PM72. The fence you describe with round rails is not original to the saw… they came with rectangular bar stock rails and had a matching fence head for them. The rails on there are most likely from a later model Powermatic fence that was a clone of the Delta Jet-Lock. It’s a 12” saw, so blades will be a bit more difficult to source, and the machine did have some design issues (which is why it was only produced for a short period of time). You can read about them over at the OWWM site (just search for “PM70”). Here is one thread regarding the PM65 vs the PM70 that might be interesting. I particularly like this comment by Bob:

I used one for five or six years. It works great as long it is clean, oiled, and you never cut wood with it.
- Bob Vaughan


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Mayflycarpentry's profile


9 posts in 990 days

#5 posted 02-27-2016 05:29 AM

Thanks for the advice. I will keep this all in mind as I try and decide what to do.

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