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Forum topic by ben10 posted 851 days ago 2325 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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ben10

41 posts in 992 days


851 days ago

I have been considering upgrading my 15yr old Craftsman contractor TS for some time now. Have always wanted a cabinet saw and came across this Powermatic 66 on ebay recently (see link below). My questions is, how difficult is it to switch the motor over to a 3 or 5hp single phase and what would be the approximate cost of doing so? Have any of you on LJ made this modification before? Any other suggestions would be helpful too! This particular saw is only an hour away from me, so I might have to drive over to check it out in person.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=200735761482&ssPageName=ADME:B:WNARL:US:1123

-- Ben


15 replies so far

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

15439 posts in 1469 days


#1 posted 851 days ago

Considering how many Powermatic 66’s are on the used market and various auctions I would think that you would want to be a little more patient and find a 3HP that is already set up for 230, 1PH. I’ve seen plenty of them for sale. I don’t know what it would cost but you can find a 66 where you don’t need to go to that expense, IMHO.

helluvawreck

https://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

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ben10

41 posts in 992 days


#2 posted 851 days ago

hwreck, thanks for the reply. I think you are right…I just got excited because this saw is so close to home. I live in the boondocks and seldom see a cabinet saw for sale around here. Craigslist? Forget about it! Ebay? Lots of saws, but usually on the east or west coast and shipping would be a killer! I do visit a few local online auctions, but have not been impressed with the condition of the saws. My CMan is very serviceable yet, so I think I’ll wait for now. Thanks for the advice!

-- Ben

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2163 posts in 1453 days


#3 posted 851 days ago

Given your description of the geography, I’d suggest you give this a second look.

The motor is a bolt on. I don’t know if it is a Powermatic-specific pattern, but a call to PM would get that answer.

As for changing it over, again that phone call could give you specific help.

This saw looks like it has some age to it, perhaps in a commercial shop judging from the teeny fence rail. You would need to add a fence.

Whoa, here’s some data to add to the mix: Amazon has a replacement motor! Free shipping!

This looks to me like it’s worth looking at. The parts are all available and the bones are great. You might have to replace arbor bearings, but LJ can help you with that as well as the electrical question.

You would end up with a sweet running, left tilt lifetime saw.

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

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ben10

41 posts in 992 days


#4 posted 851 days ago

Thanks Lee! I’m sure it came out of a commercial shop, being its 460v. I didn’t think it looked to be in too bad of shape though. My biggest concern would be the motor, which wouldn’t matter being it would be replaced. The link to the replacement motor was great! It answered my question about how much it will cost to replace the motor. Not sure if I want to get $1400 into it before the other upgrades it needs. I might have to wait until I can go with a new one.
Thanks for your help!

-- Ben

View SnowyRiver's profile

SnowyRiver

51451 posts in 2083 days


#5 posted 851 days ago

Hi Ben,

Not sure where in Minnesota you are, but I bought my 66 used a few years ago on Ebay. The guy was in Worthington MN. I tend to agree with others, to wait a bit and see if a 3 hp one shows up. I would keep checking Craigs List too…I have seen a number of them on there from Minnesota in the recent months. I have done quite a bit of business on Craig’s Llist without any problems.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View Steve Peterson's profile

Steve Peterson

241 posts in 1685 days


#6 posted 851 days ago

Hi Ben,

That saw looks like it has a bit of wear on it. I think the first 2 digits of the serial number indicate that it was built in 1997. It must have had a sliding fence or something else because the front rail is missing. It is a rectangular tube about 2” by 3” that the fence clamps down to. Make sure that is actually comes with the tube. The description says it has one, but they do not show it.

ClearVue cyclones http://www.clearvuecyclones.com/supporting-products/29-leeson-5-hp-motor-single-phase.html sells a 5hp motor for $375. It may or may not work for this saw.

I kind of agree with the others that this saw may be more trouble than it is worth. It looks like it has had a hard life in a commercial environment and it is going to need extra effort to make it work for you.

-- Steve

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ben10

41 posts in 992 days


#7 posted 850 days ago

Thanks for all the advice! I’ve decided to pass on this saw and keep looking. I’ve always bought new before, but recently got a band saw & floor sander used and had good luck with those. So now I’m getting into the buying used game. Enjoy “fixing up” the stuff too. I’ll keep looking for a good used one.

-- Ben

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2163 posts in 1453 days


#8 posted 850 days ago

I am 100% supportive of your decision, Ben, but I want to stress to other readers that tools of this caliber don’t necessarily suffer from a lot of use.

A table saw has very few moving parts and PM parts are still available.

I purchased my 66 at an auction, and it was in several boxes. It had been used roughly in a shop with employees.

If I had to sell off tools for any reason, it’s the last one that would go. Over 20 years I have upgraded the motor and the switch, and replaced bearings. It is dead solid true at all angles and you can sit a quarter on its edge when it’s running and it just stays there.

I rebuilt my PM jointer as well, same results. It would be the second to the last to go!

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

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ben10

41 posts in 992 days


#9 posted 850 days ago

Thanks for your support, Lee! I was thinking that “the bones were probably good” and that the only major problem would be the motor, so that is why I was interested in it at $700. I do like the idea of bringing something back from the brink of death to reuse it, too! But I think I will wait on one. Thanks to everyone for their advice!

-- Ben

View mcase's profile

mcase

438 posts in 1732 days


#10 posted 849 days ago

I used to own a 66. Don’t fall for the 66 myth because it has a life of its own not related to the realities of later model PM 66s. The later yellow/gold ones are over rated. I actually had one – A brand new one! I’m not just some guy who has heard about them and I’m here to tell you they just are not that great. On mine the table was way out – over 1/32” corner to corner. The worm gear was totally misaligned, barely catching the edge of the the tilting rack. The iron block carrying the worm gear was drilled wrong and there was no fix. It also had lots and lots of run out. Even with a complete replacement bearing from PM it NEVER gave clean cuts. Further the cowling was the thinnest cheapest plastic junk you ever saw. The best thing about the 66 was the Baldor motor and the fence. That brings us to the beat up 66 they are trying to dump on you. You have to replace the motor? Why buy it? Also, your not getting a fence with this deal. I see no fence rail in the photo, wanna bet that means it doesn’t come with one? And even if it does – how long is the fence rail? Now, take a closer look at that photo – the crank handle is missing on the elevation wheel! Look further, it does not even have a cowling! Cheap piece of crap that the cowling was it did help contain some of the dust. All your getting here is the ghost of a machine that IMO is over rated in the first place. $700.00!!! for this? That’s the pm 66 myth at work for you – they are just looking for some poor Joe who will shell out $700.00 for this beat up over-rated junk because he has heard the endlessly repeated myth “66s are great!” This is a BAD deal! Move on. If your hearts still set on a 66 there are plenty of better deals out there.

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2163 posts in 1453 days


#11 posted 849 days ago

mcase, I appreciate this post. My glowing words were for the green one, and I had forgotten that there was a significant quality dip when the paint got changed. Great information, and I apologize for not having been specific enough in my post.

Yes, indeed, walk away from this one!

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View mcase's profile

mcase

438 posts in 1732 days


#12 posted 848 days ago

Hey Lee,

Please don’t apologize. The PM reputation was deserved in its day and I fell for it too – obviously I bought one.

View mcase's profile

mcase

438 posts in 1732 days


#13 posted 848 days ago

oops! it does have cowling laying next to it. You can see its quality now for yourself.

View SnowyRiver's profile

SnowyRiver

51451 posts in 2083 days


#14 posted 848 days ago

Ben,

I havent had any experience with the latest PMs. I do know though you dont have to go back to the old green ones to get a good one. Those made in the 80’s are very nice. (you can see mine in my workshop pictures) The one I have was made in 1988 and it works like a dream. Its also American made, and weighs about 600 lbs. I have had it for some years and I have never have had a problem with it. Like others might have said, watch the serial number. The first two digits is the year it was made. I also have PM long bed jointer, and band saw and those were purchased new about 4 years ago and no problems there either.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2697 posts in 1889 days


#15 posted 848 days ago

That motor is specific to the Powermatic saw. We got a new motor from Powermatic 3 or 4 years a go for a guy with the same issue. Then the motor was about $550. The pulley also had to be changed and the magnetic stater could need to be changed too. I don’t believe you will find a generic replacement as far as I know.

-- She thought I hung the moon--now she just thinks I did it wrong

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