My newly purchased big green machine - 1965 Powermatic 20" Bandsaw

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Forum topic by TheWoodenOyster posted 06-05-2014 03:51 AM 2795 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1317 posts in 1934 days

06-05-2014 03:51 AM

Topic tags/keywords: bandsaw

Hey everyone,

I recently nabbed a commission that necessitates a decent amount of resawing capacity – 8” to 10”. The bandsaw I have been using is a homemade hand-me-down that was free. It has served me well considering the price, but I decided that this project would be a good time to buy that lifetime bandsaw I have been wanting for a while. I got on CL and watched for about a month without much luck until last Friday when I saw “Powermatic 81” listed for sale. I went to take a look and it was exactly what I was hoping for. It was in average condition, but still functioned well and was heavy as hell. When I did a resaw test with a 8” ash board I was sold. Got it for $1000. Not a steal, but saws like this one don’t just pop up where I live very often. I took my chance and bought it. I am a big proponent of buying old time-tested tools that were built in the USA. I also love buying a tool that I know will last longer than me. Got it tuned up and wired today and she is ready to go. I attached some pictures for your viewing pleasure. It is sitting next to a 6’ ladder for some size reference. I just had to share this with some folks who appreciate it (the wife was happy for me, but didn’t really “get it”)


Model: 1965 Powermatic 81
Blade length: 12’6”
HP: 1.5
Voltage: 220 (It can go 110 or220)
Amps: 7
Resaw capacity: 12”
Throat: 20”
Weight: 800 lbs.

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

16 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10396 posts in 3647 days

#1 posted 06-05-2014 04:00 AM

Yeah, those spouses who don’t understand what’s
so awesome about hauling around old hunks of cast
iron are a bummer.

I’m looking for a woman with a big barn, a flatbed
and a forklift.

View Paul's profile


721 posts in 1564 days

#2 posted 06-05-2014 04:01 AM

Wow, what a beast! Congrats on a fine piece. I have little doubt that it will outlast you. Good price, the downside of working in a basement is I can’t pick up large pieces like this!

Thanks for sharing,


View waho6o9's profile


8191 posts in 2576 days

#3 posted 06-05-2014 04:51 AM

Now that’s a bandsaw, congratulations on a great find.

View cabmaker's profile


1731 posts in 2808 days

#4 posted 06-05-2014 12:09 PM

Nice grab! I have used one like it in another shop.

Some would argue that the price was high, but I think you did well

Nothing in the new market at that price point will get close

I’m unable to enlarge with enough clarity,looks like after market guides ?

Enjoy JB

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1833 posts in 1968 days

#5 posted 06-05-2014 12:53 PM

Wow! I have a ten inch black and decker three wheel band saw. I will trade you straight up for it. You should be able to resaw 64th inch pieces with it….

Really awesome score

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View HorizontalMike's profile


7757 posts in 2913 days

#6 posted 06-05-2014 01:15 PM

Wow! Very nice indeed. I love the size of the table… large, stable, and not going anywhere!

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View DrDirt's profile


4424 posts in 3741 days

#7 posted 06-05-2014 03:43 PM

Nice grab…. if SWMBO really doesn’t like it, you can “store” it in my shop

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View Ocelot's profile


1975 posts in 2637 days

#8 posted 06-05-2014 04:16 PM

Did you have to tilt it to get it through the garage door?

View AnonymousRequest's profile


861 posts in 1548 days

#9 posted 06-05-2014 05:48 PM

Oh I get it. You have the warm fuzzy feeling…you know who you are. Nice saw and congrats!

View bowedcurly's profile


519 posts in 1728 days

#10 posted 06-05-2014 06:27 PM

monster saw, lifetime machine, that will make lotsa dust

-- Staining killed the wood<<<<<>>>>>Dyeing gave it life

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3584 days

#11 posted 06-05-2014 07:17 PM

monster saw, lifetime machine, that will make lotsa dust

Wow why did you not make this more clear if it’s dust your after,why don’t you give me the saw and in return I will provide you with dust each and avery month for five years you pay postage plus costs from Scotland. Alistair

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

View Woodmaster1's profile


959 posts in 2586 days

#12 posted 06-05-2014 08:36 PM

I had one in the woodshop where I taught. I had to replace the motor once and put new tires on it. That is not bad for 46 years of student abuse. That saw will last you a lifetime.

View Surfside's profile


3389 posts in 2172 days

#13 posted 06-05-2014 08:58 PM

Now, that’s a band saw. Very nice find. Congrats! It should serve you well.

-- "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 gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2689 days

#14 posted 06-06-2014 12:49 AM

You did great with this purchase. I’ll bet that 1 1/2HP motor is as stout as the newer 2 HP models. It looks to have been well cared for and I don’t think you overpaid at all. Just realized it is almost 50 years old! It looks REALLY good for 50!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View William Shelley's profile

William Shelley

572 posts in 1468 days

#15 posted 06-06-2014 12:57 AM

Is a 1-1/2 HP motor really “enough” for a large saw like that? If it is, that makes me a little more content about my DIY 20” bandsaw project. I’m using a 1HP 3ph motor but I was concerned that I might have to bump up to a 3hp or 5hp for resawing really wide stuff. That thing looks crazy solid though. I bet it was fun to move…

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

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