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'84 Powermatic 66 - rust through - seeking advice

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Forum topic by MaxBishop posted 08-21-2016 05:27 AM 2375 views 0 times favorited 42 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MaxBishop

24 posts in 123 days


08-21-2016 05:27 AM

Topic tags/keywords: tablesaw pm 66 question

Gentlemen,

I’m a long time lurker, new member, closet woodworker wanna be with a few projects during my years not worth boasting about that were achieved with a miter saw, circular saw and any number of unconventional and oftentimes ineffective methods. I’ve recently decided it was high time to acquire the right tools for a few future projects as getting the job done with the wrong tools has gotten beyond frustrating. After reading several posts on here I decided to take on my fathers old Craftsman 113 rebuild while keeping an eye out for what I believe will be my end all, be all table saw; a Powermatic 66. I haven’t seen one within driving distance for less than $1200-1300 and those were a stretch at 350+ miles away. I don’t know why but it seems I can regularly find what appear to be deals on the east coast. No help for me in the Midwest. And then…pay dirt…or maybe not. I ran across an ‘84 PM 66 in an estate sale with an asking price of $395!!! It’s a 3hp, 1ph that starts and runs ridiculously smooth but has serious rust issues. At least it appears so to me. It also needs a new fence and rails. I have never seen a set-up like this one has. My apology for no fence pic. It does not actually lock down. It appears to be home made and terribly sloppy. I would be most grateful if you experienced folks could offer your thoughts and help me make my decision. Some pics are attached of the rust. Notice it is completely through just above the dust chute. I apologize for the quality, they are video grabs. Is a rusted through cabinet worth trying to salvage? I have looked and haven’t been unable to find a source for a new cabinet (stand). Your feedback will be most helpful as I’m waffling back and forth. I should probably mention I want the saw to be immaculate and true to the original when said and done. Thanks in advance for your time.

-- Max Bishop | KC MO


42 replies so far

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

4216 posts in 1661 days


#1 posted 08-21-2016 05:51 AM

From the limited pictures, it looks like a pretty well abused machine. but it’s way hard to tell just by looking at the base. If you have any metalworking experience, it’s certainly fixable – I’ve seen some guys do amazing work with far worse. In addition to the rust and missing fence, how complete is it? It’s the missing stuff that will bite you. In addition to the sale price, add a couple hundred for a fence, maybe another fifty or more for a decent miter gauge. Don’t forget labor costs (if any) and supplies (sheet metal, welding rod/wire, grinder discs, bondo, etc…). Want a mobile base? Add another $70 or more if you want/need an extension table. Dust door? Motor cover? Blade guard/splitter? Throw in some new bearings, belts, paint, blade(s) and maybe some new wiring and it starts to add up quick if you are missing a lot of stuff.

Cheers,
Brad

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

View Pogo930's profile

Pogo930

3 posts in 105 days


#2 posted 08-22-2016 12:53 AM

I’d take the pics/video to a body shop and see what they would charge. A few years back an outfit was custom painting new 66s. You could have it painted bright red. Or wire brush the rust, spray it with Extend rust neutralizer and spray it with cans.
As far as a miter gauge most people seem to upgrade anyway.
1/4 ply for a dust door if you don’t have one, then watch ebay.
The fence will cost you, Grizzly has a SHopfox fence for $289.95 I bought one for my used Unisaw years ago and it is a nice fence. Equivalent to the one on my Sawstop PCS.

View RogR's profile

RogR

53 posts in 327 days


#3 posted 08-22-2016 01:36 AM

Just me, and your pics aren’t much to go on, but I would pass. As said, it has obviously not been well taken care of so why would the faults end at the base? By the time you go through it enough to feel good about it and buy a new fence, you will be in it for several hundred more than asking.

If this saw was anything other than a PM66 you probably wouldn’t look twice.

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

5765 posts in 948 days


#4 posted 08-22-2016 01:51 AM

If the guts don’t look like that it would be in my shop.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

3663 posts in 1727 days


#5 posted 08-22-2016 02:14 AM

That a shame. A T66 is arguably the finest table saw ever made and for some POS to disrespect it like that is a crime. I hope you can restore it.

View Nubsnstubs's profile

Nubsnstubs

826 posts in 1192 days


#6 posted 08-22-2016 02:28 AM


That a shame. A T66 is arguably the finest table saw ever made and for some POS to disrespect it like that is a crime. I hope you can restore it.

- BurlyBob


Kinda harsh there, aren’t you bob? The saw being sold is in an estate sale. It could be the guy had a stroke while using it, or any number of health issues that prevented him from letting the saw wind up in that condition. And it’s a direct possibility today that no one in the family was interested in cleaning up the mess. To call the previous owner a POS is a bit NASTY coming from a possible nasty guy. You just don’t have enough information to conclude the owner was what you called him. ........ Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

View JBrow's profile

JBrow

818 posts in 382 days


#7 posted 08-22-2016 02:52 AM

MaxBishop,

Since the saw runs smoothly it is probably worth the effort, although if historically accurate restoration is your goal, I am sure the project will run into some money.

One option is to contact Powermatic. Perhaps they can furnish a new cabinet and any other parts that may be required. While they may not have a PM66 cabinet, perhaps a cabinet for one of their other saws would work. My PM66 from the late nineties has a pretty nice fence, but the mitre gauge is nothing to write home about, though I am not sure you need one. No provision was made for a riving knife on my saw, but it came with a splitter and blade guard as one assembly. A couple of years ago I contacted Powermatic concerning a riving knife, but they offered none for the PM66 at that time. Your best source for closely matching paint is from Powermatic.

Echoing Pogo930’s idea, scrape and sand away the rust and patch the holes as best you can and then paint over the repairs. It would not look very pretty, but since the corners look in pretty good shape and most of the cabinet looks ok (from what I can see), I would think the cabinet will continue to support the weight of the saw and remain a stable platform. If you want the repaired cabinet to look almost like new, perhaps a good auto body shop could make the repairs for you.

Since it appears that only the lower area of the cabinet is damage, the lower area of cabinet could be cut off. The remaining portion of the cabinet could then be fastened to a platform of your own construction. If the cabinet is taken to a welding or metal shop, they could probably make fairly straight cuts and perhaps even weld on some eye loops on the lower portion of the cabinet, making it easier to attach to a wooden base.

Another option that could be considered is to build your own cabinet with construction lumber and plywood. This low cost option could consist of a frame with four posts and rails connecting the legs to carry the weight. Some lower stretchers would add some stability. The frame could then be skinned with plywood for stability and dust collection. However some careful design work would be required. Cut outs for the bevel crank, the elevation mechanism, and for the blade guard on the outfeed side of the cabinet are needed. Leaving plenty of access to the motor would be required for maintenance, to grease bearings and replace the belt. Basically duplicating the existing cabinet using wood and using the existing cabinet to guide the design might work out.

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

3663 posts in 1727 days


#8 posted 08-22-2016 03:10 AM

Jerry I’ve seen a lot abuse and neglect in my life, both human and material. It doesn’t take a genius to properly care for either in the smallest degree. I call them as I see them. I’m not very politically correct and have no regrets about that. I was raised by a strong man who taught me the meaning of respect in all things. Sadly that is something seriously lacking in today’s world. Everyone has an excuse and won’t man up to their shortcomings.

View MaxBishop's profile

MaxBishop

24 posts in 123 days


#9 posted 08-22-2016 03:48 AM

Thanks all for your replies. The first thing I want to do is acknowledge that I shouldn’t have started off addressing just the “gentlemen” of this site. I realize there are female members and I wont make that oversight again. My apologies if I offended any of the women here.

I wish I had better pics. I added a couple more. In my haste I failed to get good shots. It is sitting in an old mortar and stone basement that obviously was very wet on occasion. It appeared that it was rarely cleaned out and the sawdust and water mix would just sit against the cabinet.

MrUnix: great points. The metal work is what I’m worried about. My concern is the integrity of the cabinet and sanding and filling with bondo is only cosmetic. That and it needs everything you mentioned except the motor cover. :-( The guy agreed to $300 after I pointed out everything I need to do. But, as you point out, it adds up.

Pogo930: If I go for it that may be an option. I would prefer to do the work myself but my concern is the structural integrity of the cabinet after doing so.

RogR: You are correct. If it wasn’t a PM66 or, possibly a Unisaw I wouldn’t be struggling over it. I do believe the rest of the saw to be solid aside from whatever long term issues being in a wet environment would cause.

TheFridge: I’m close to just jumping in but my gut keeps stopping me. I’ve headed over twice only to turn around and dig some more on the net and ultimately post here. I admire your ability to just go for it! I keep telling myself I’ll never see a PM66 for this price again but its all the additional costs that has me nervous.

Thank you all for your input. I guess the question is what is considered a good deal on an ‘84 PM66? Even at $300, with approx. $300 for a fence, I’m guessing around $200 for the cabinet work and the other items I want/need I’m looking at somewhere in the neighborhood of +$1000. Add to that the only way I can get it out of this basement is in pieces as the stairs of this old house are very narrow. The initial buzz of finding it is kind of wearing off.


-- Max Bishop | KC MO

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

4216 posts in 1661 days


#10 posted 08-22-2016 04:24 AM

The initial buzz of finding it is kind of wearing off. I m leaning towards sticking to reconditioning my Craftsman and waiting.
- MaxBishop

If you already have a working saw and don’t have a pressing need – I would pass and wait for one that is more complete and in better condition. Don’t know where you are, but I see used PM66’s show up every now and then for well under your estimated restore cost above – in way better condition and with lots of extra goodies included. Unisaws for even less. Patience pays. To me, that PM66 is worth $100 at most, given it’s condition and lack of ‘stuff’ :)

Cheers,
Brad

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

View HokieKen's profile

HokieKen

1746 posts in 600 days


#11 posted 08-22-2016 02:44 PM

The top appears to be in fairly good shape. If the trunions and arbor are as well, I wouldn’t sweat the cabinet at all. It’s mostly cosmetic and structurally could be reinforced with plywood or some welded angle. I don’t think it’s a great deal considering the crappy fence. But I do think it’s a fair deal provided the additional costs and elbow grease required aren’t an issue.

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

View MaxBishop's profile

MaxBishop

24 posts in 123 days


#12 posted 08-22-2016 10:23 PM

Thanks guys. I called Powermatic today. No luck. The cabinet is obsolete. They told me to try Redmond but they didn’t answer. I’m still trying to justify the purchase but I feel like I’m just stalling until I hear from the guy that it’s gone. Must admit, you guys that would go for it give me pause for thought. I’m 49/51, go/no go.

-- Max Bishop | KC MO

View RogR's profile

RogR

53 posts in 327 days


#13 posted 08-23-2016 02:36 AM



I guess the question is what is considered a good deal on an 84 PM66? Even at $300, with approx. $300 for a fence, I m guessing around $200 for the cabinet work and the other items I want/need I m looking at somewhere in the neighborhood of +$1000.

This. You’ll be in it for a grand AND many hours of metal work before you ever make sawdust with the thing. Now, if you are a project kind of guy, who gets warm fuzzies from burnishing base metal into bright gold, then by all means go for it. But in my neck of the woods PM66s that are tip-top with extras pop up regularly in the $900-1200 bracket. Which makes all that work … free.

View unbob's profile

unbob

718 posts in 1365 days


#14 posted 08-23-2016 03:19 AM

In my area they now going for over a $1000 in fair condition, ones that are near mint 12 to 15 hundred. That one shown here could get $600!
I would buy it for $300 and use it as is…......

View MaxBishop's profile

MaxBishop

24 posts in 123 days


#15 posted 08-26-2016 03:30 AM


I guess the question is what is considered a good deal on an 84 PM66? Even at $300, with approx. $300 for a fence, I m guessing around $200 for the cabinet work and the other items I want/need I m looking at somewhere in the neighborhood of +$1000.

This. You ll be in it for a grand AND many hours of metal work before you ever make sawdust with the thing. Now, if you are a project kind of guy, who gets warm fuzzies from burnishing base metal into bright gold, then by all means go for it. But in my neck of the woods PM66s that are tip-top with extras pop up regularly in the $900-1200 bracket. Which makes all that work … free.

- RogR

Thanks RogR. Thats what I was hoping to find. This one just came out of nowhere. I’m a handy kind of guy but the base (cabinet) of this one has me on the fence. I am not set up for metal work. I’ve had good results with bodywork but replacing metal is something I’ve not attempted.

-- Max Bishop | KC MO

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