PowerMatic Model 66 Maintenance

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Forum topic by Matt (Upper Cut) posted 12-30-2008 07:44 AM 6757 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Matt (Upper Cut)

264 posts in 4051 days

12-30-2008 07:44 AM

Topic tags/keywords: tablesaw

I put this in the Safety forum, because proper power tool maintenance is a safety issue.

For quite a long time, the blade elevation wheel on my PM 66 has been very hard to turn. I’ve been waiting to address this until I could get some expert help.

Today I had a guy out from a mobile tool repair place (recommended by Eastside Saw in Bellevue Washington) to help me with the issue. He was expensive, so I did as much prework as possible:
  1. Remove fence
  2. Remove fence rail
  3. Remove rear rail
  4. Remove extension table
  5. Remove top (ugh!)
  6. Clean the puppy out

He thought it was originally just a tight nut somewhere, but I could tell about 1/2 hour into it he was stumped. With his hourly rate, I decided to understand the design and manufacture of the saw, and how to put the thing back together. He helped me with that, and left.

So now, here I am in my garage with my PM 66 stripped to almost nothing. Motor laying on the floor, elevation wheel and wormscrew on the workbench. I was a little freaked out. Mr. Tool Repair dude had to catch the boat home, but told me I could call him if I got stuck. I didn’t want to call, because he was out to a family dinner with 94 year-old grammy.

So I start to remove parts, clean them, and continue the dissassembly. Before he left, we had a theory that the main saw pivot arm (big huge piece of round steel that the saw pivots on when being raised or lowered) was not moving freely.

I then spent about 45 minutes with a sledge hammer and piece of steel pouding it free. I was very nervous to beat that thing out of there, and it didn’t want out, and my body is sore, but I finally got it free.

After a thorough cleaning and polishing of the saw pivot arm and the holes it fits through, I can proudly say that my both handwheels on my saw now glide.

Everything in the saw cabinet is back together, tomorrow the top, extension, rails, and fence go on. And now that this big ordeal is over I’ll fit it with a new blade and a zero clearance insert.

So… if you have a saw that needs some TLC: get out the book, understand the design and manufacture, have a friend help you cause it’s physical work, and get your saw in new working order again.

If any of you are having this problem and want more detailed help, let me know. I’ll try to post some pictures or scans.


-- Matt Gradwohl, Upper Cut Woodworks,

7 replies so far

View Dusty56's profile


11830 posts in 3925 days

#1 posted 12-30-2008 08:07 AM

WD-40 ?

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Matt (Upper Cut)'s profile

Matt (Upper Cut)

264 posts in 4051 days

#2 posted 12-30-2008 06:34 PM

Dusty: whoops didn’t mention the lubrication. Yes, we lubed the heck out of the thing, and he had some special lube better that WD-40, and so did I.

-- Matt Gradwohl, Upper Cut Woodworks,

View 8iowa's profile


1591 posts in 3999 days

#3 posted 12-31-2008 06:52 PM

While you are at it (but perhaps not exactly in the mood), this would be a great time to put a dial indicator on your table and get the miter slots parallel to the blade. This will do wonders for your cuts.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View Matt (Upper Cut)'s profile

Matt (Upper Cut)

264 posts in 4051 days

#4 posted 12-31-2008 07:16 PM

The miter slots are parallel to the blade, I did all the “table saw tune-up” steps since I had the thing apart. Even refreshed my memory on all those steps via FWW videos.

I didn’t put a dial indicator on though, I’ve never thought of that, and I use my Wisey Digital Angle Gauge anyway.

-- Matt Gradwohl, Upper Cut Woodworks,

View seaox's profile


3 posts in 3650 days

#5 posted 01-24-2009 12:19 AM

Matt-I have a PM66 also. What type of special lube were you using? Somewhere I read that oils should be avoided because they hold the dust?? Use powdered talc instead??? Does that sound right? I wonder if bicycle chain lube which is designed to not attract dirt (and resists corrosion) is advisable. I think it is wax based. I never used & lost my blade guard & splitter. Do you use the stock powermatic 66 blade guard & splitter? or would you recommend a specific aftermarket manufacturer? Thank you. Seaox

-- seaox

View bikesanddogs's profile


3 posts in 2000 days

#6 posted 07-29-2013 08:18 PM

Matt – I just acquired a 1990 PM 66, very low miles, sat unused for quite a while. The tilt mechanism freed up with some silicon spray and now “glides”. The height adjustment is very stiff, even after silicon, so I think I have your same problem. Do you by chance have a recommended sequence for taking the innards apart? I already have the top and motor off. Advice on how and in which sequence to tackle the two elevation assemblies would be very helpful.

Thanks for sharing your wisdom and experience and for posting this so I have a clue as to how to rectify this. The PO used a waxy lubricant that has caked up – could be part of the problem?

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3823 days

#7 posted 07-29-2013 09:32 PM

You guys might have what we have here in the UK a liquid called plus gas it is not for quick fixing but left overnight it will free almost anything without pounding with a sledgehammer LOL anyway find out. It is basically a deep penetrating very fine oil/gas formulated when applied, which gets into very tight spots and frees them up.

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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