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

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Forum topic by TheWoodenOyster posted 77 days ago 700 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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TheWoodenOyster

703 posts in 560 days


77 days ago

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”)

Specs:

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

Loren

7389 posts in 2273 days


#1 posted 77 days ago

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.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View Paul's profile

Paul

502 posts in 190 days


#2 posted 77 days ago

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,

Paul

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

4824 posts in 1202 days


#3 posted 77 days ago

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

View cabmaker's profile

cabmaker

1305 posts in 1434 days


#4 posted 77 days ago

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

1103 posts in 595 days


#5 posted 77 days ago

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

HorizontalMike

6923 posts in 1539 days


#6 posted 77 days ago

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

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

View DrDirt's profile

DrDirt

2404 posts in 2367 days


#7 posted 77 days ago

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

-- "If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astonish ourselves." Edison

View Ocelot's profile

Ocelot

516 posts in 1263 days


#8 posted 77 days ago

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

View freddy1962's profile

freddy1962

700 posts in 174 days


#9 posted 77 days ago

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

-- JEFF Illinois (Banks of the Mississippi)

View bowedcurly's profile

bowedcurly

479 posts in 354 days


#10 posted 77 days ago

monster saw, lifetime machine, that will make lotsa dust

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

View SCOTSMAN's profile

SCOTSMAN

5347 posts in 2210 days


#11 posted 77 days ago

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

Woodmaster1

459 posts in 1212 days


#12 posted 77 days ago

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

Surfside

3079 posts in 799 days


#13 posted 77 days ago

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 (online now)

gfadvm

10720 posts in 1315 days


#14 posted 76 days ago

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

103 posts in 95 days


#15 posted 76 days ago

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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