Advice on Resaw with 20" Powermatic bandsaw

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Forum topic by , posted 12-28-2012 02:22 AM 2124 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2387 posts in 3574 days

12-28-2012 02:22 AM

Once again folks I find myself in a small tight spot. We own a 20” PM bandsaw, it is 2 hp 3 phase with no blade, but otherwise in very good condition. I have been looking for a need or reason to get this bandsaw into service.

My situation we are in, we took on a mesquite job. It has turned out very nice so far. It is a good sized job and all cabinets, visible mesquite finished panels and molding are completed. We are getting started on building doors right now. I purchased 800 bf or very rough mesquite for 4000.00. That was very steep in comparison to what we normally pay for other species such as walnut, hickory, etc… Since the wood came very rough and with bark, our waste factor was very large and I am even wondering if we even got anywhere close to 800 bf since I never tallied. My source is very honest and a good friend.

I think I need around 200 more bf and I could just pony up 1000.00. I’d rather not, but if I had to pony up that sort of cash knowing the wood is just for stiles and rails of around 24” long, I would prefer to just try and cut my own “dry logs” that are 6” to 12” logs. There is a lot of mesquite that has been on the ground for a long time out in our area.

As an added reason to get our bandsaw going, I have a few cabinets located in lesser visible areas where the customer wants me to skin with 1/4” mesquite that will need to be re-sawn.

My hurtles to doing this would be:

- Buy a re saw blade
- Buy a 3 hp motor single phase (anything special I need to know about putting a motor in this bandsaw) Our local Tractor Supply has 3 hp motors in the 150.00 range, and I know Harbor Freight might be an option, maybe not the best option though.
- Set up a fence and jig that can carry 2’ long to 8’ long boards through the bandsaw.

Any advice is much appreciated.

-- .

4 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3675 days

#1 posted 12-28-2012 06:28 AM

Can you get a 5hp 3 phase motor easily?

I built a rotary converter from a panel I bought on
ebay for less than $150 and it is a pleasure every
time I fire it up to run one of my 3 phase machines
(neither of which would be at all easy to procure
single phase motors for). If you anticipate growing
your cabinetmaking business, you’re going to
want to acquire specialized machines which just
don’t come in single phase setups.

Be prepared to sharpen blades. You can grind the
gullets of steel 3tpi blades with a Dremel tool and
the result is pretty close to what you’d get sending
them out. Guys boast about how many board
feet of resawing they get from x brand steel
blades but my opinion is they all get dull pretty
quick and start to cut slower, burn and eventually
drift. If you are set up to grind the gullets in house
you can define a level of performance and maintain it.

You’re clever enough to make a sliding carriage and my
suggestion is to make it from steel.

View Surfside's profile


3389 posts in 2201 days

#2 posted 12-28-2012 04:58 PM

I got 3 HP motor on my 20” band saw . 3/4” is wide enough for resawing, I have 3/4” Haltbar blade. Enough strength .

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View ,'s profile


2387 posts in 3574 days

#3 posted 12-28-2012 09:01 PM

Loren good thinking. I do plan to look into a phase converter down the road, there are a lot of tools we can benefit from in the future that are 3 phase so that is definitely the long term plan. Lots of online auction type machinery to be had at good prices that are 3 phase, plus in a couple years we will add a cnc and probably an edge bander, both 3 phase more likely.

Surf side, I do think I might grab the 3 HP from tractor supply because it is local.

-- .

View MedicKen's profile


1615 posts in 3490 days

#4 posted 12-29-2012 09:43 AM

You might consider getting a VFD and use the exisiting motor. It will be cheaper than a new single phase replacement. The VFD will cost about $140 for a 2hp model and will give full torque. The TECO FM50 is a very popular choice and can be had at or

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