My New Baby Powermatic #81

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by Huckleberry posted 01-17-2009 11:22 PM 7725 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Huckleberry's profile


218 posts in 3875 days

01-17-2009 11:22 PM

Topic tags/keywords: bandsaw refurbishing question

Well fellow jocks and those that appreciate the old titan tools of the past have I got one for you. I was at an auction and found this beauty and won it for 400$. Now I know there is some restoration involved and if I had 3-phase power it is ready to go. Since I don’t have 3-phase and it seems that a converter is kind of pricey, but certainly has benefits, I was thinking of refitting with a new motor for single phase 220. I would love some input from all of you especially those who restore old tools to better than new.

-- I cut it twice and the damn thing is still too short!@#$%

15 replies so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4240 days

#1 posted 01-17-2009 11:44 PM

No advice, just a “Holy Mackerel!”

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3607 days

#2 posted 01-18-2009 12:27 AM

Don’t do that in my opinion get a phase convertor preferably rotary or even static if you get offered more 3 phase tools you will not regret it.But I hope you don’t ask me for help taking it to the top of five flights of stairs with no liftLOL get it going it’s a beauty.Alistair

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

View Zuki's profile


1404 posts in 4099 days

#3 posted 01-18-2009 12:57 AM

Um . . . wow. That is one hunk of machinery Huck.

-- BLOG -

View Huckleberry's profile


218 posts in 3875 days

#4 posted 01-18-2009 01:03 AM

Yeah it is huge!! But I didn’t think a I would come across a 20” band saw that cheap again. However on a bad note I just found out that the reason I ran into this is because that school is no longer having a woods class or home economics class. I feel sorry for the next generations that will not have those opportunities for those classes.

-- I cut it twice and the damn thing is still too short!@#$%

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3695 days

#5 posted 01-18-2009 01:51 AM

Congrats on a nice gloat.

View Chris 's profile


1879 posts in 4013 days

#6 posted 01-18-2009 02:04 AM

I would say go with a phase converter. The prices on them have come down a lot in the past several years.

What a great find!!! :)

-- "Everything that is great and inspiring is created by the individual who labors in freedom" -- Albert Einstein

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3670 days

#7 posted 01-18-2009 02:05 AM

holy cr@p…. NICE!

generally speaking, I would think that keeping this with a 3 phase motor would be the better option. there is a reason why this was originally made with a 3 phase motor. I’d try to contact Powermatic though, and get their opinion as well.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View DaveH's profile


400 posts in 3800 days

#8 posted 01-18-2009 10:21 PM

I guess it’s too big to fit it in a single shot?

-- DaveH - Boise, Idaho - “How hard can it be? It's only wood!”

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1288 posts in 3759 days

#9 posted 01-18-2009 10:34 PM

I recommend you get a Kay Industries converter. They are great and will last forever. By going with a 3-phase converter you will be able to get other 3 phase machines much cheaper and easier than 1 phase ones. Kay rates their converters as to how much motor they will start, and not the maximum total HP the converter is capable of running. You can run multiple machines on one converter. I would think a 7 1/2 to 10 HP converter would work.
Some people buy the larger 25 HP versions in order to run a wide belt sander. Kay also has a model that balances out the 3rd leg so as to make the voltages almost equal. This is important for some types of electronics on some machines.

Be aware that other converter companies usually rate their machines as to the maximum total HP can be used. It is very misleading. You must get one that will start up your motors. Also, the general rule is that the heavier the converter weighs the better. Mine weighs about 260 lbs. The 7.5 HP model is a MA-1B and the 10 HP model is a MA-2

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2539 posts in 3979 days

#10 posted 01-18-2009 11:40 PM

Dude, that is awesome! $400 bucks? For that monster? What a deal!!! It looks like you don’t even have to do much work to it…I bet you could plug it in and it would run perfect. Man what a deal… I wouldn’t monkey with the motor…just use the hundreds of dollars that you didn’t pay for the band saw and buy a nice rotary phase converter!


View Grumpy's profile


23997 posts in 3873 days

#11 posted 01-19-2009 01:12 AM

Huck, it looks that big you should have had a wide angle lens.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View motthunter's profile


2141 posts in 3821 days

#12 posted 01-19-2009 01:29 AM

SCORE! you win

-- making sawdust....

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 3984 days

#13 posted 01-19-2009 01:52 AM

I have a 20 inch old Delta/Rockwell/Milwaukie that runs on a 110 motor. I don’t know what the horse power is but it sure works. I guess I could look if you need to know. Great deal by the way.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Huckleberry's profile


218 posts in 3875 days

#14 posted 01-19-2009 05:37 AM

sorry for the pictures it is in the bed of my truck and it was freezing cold and snowing. I was ecstatic at what I got and wanted to share it with you all.

-- I cut it twice and the damn thing is still too short!@#$%

View justahobby's profile


19 posts in 2600 days

#15 posted 08-22-2011 12:57 AM


I realize this is an old thread, but how did this work out? I came a cross one for $500 next town over from me, and it might be worth it but it’s wired for 3p/480V. Some questions not answered by the manual (

1) 12’5” to 12’7” blades…do you make your own?
2) what HP and A is your motor rated at 220V?
3) Did you keep it 3 phase or put in a new motor? (what converter / step-up transformer?)
4) How does the saw perform with re-sawing / 1” blade? I’ve read that spring tension mechanisms are touchy/ inadequate for creating the necessary blade tension.
5) Best cut / are you happy?


Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics