LumberJocks

Powermatic 66 Table Saw buying questions

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by jmweston posted 02-28-2015 12:27 AM 1314 views 0 times favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View jmweston's profile

jmweston

5 posts in 1820 days


02-28-2015 12:27 AM

Topic tags/keywords: powermatic tablesaw buy question

Hi all,

I’m looking into purchasing a table saw to start a home shop. I was looking over Craigslist and found a PM 66 table saw and went to check it out today.

According to the owner, it’s about 25 years old with a 5hp motor and was the least used of 3 that were in a cabinet shop. It definitely has some scuffs, scratches and signs of wear. The top needs some attention but there is no pitting in it.

My question is this. What should I be looking for when I check something like this out and what questions should I ask the seller?

Thanks,

Jake


24 replies so far

View greenacres2's profile

greenacres2

251 posts in 1635 days


#1 posted 02-28-2015 01:09 AM

A member here, knottscott, has a great blog called the ABC’s of table saws http://lumberjocks.com/knotscott/blog/32154. I’d start there.

After reading Scott’s article, i’d look at my power needs and availability. At 5 hp, that saw will be either an 18 amp (plus or minus) at 220/240 volt single phase or it will be a 3 phase motor. Few home shops have 3 phase power (though phase converters can make that happen). Shoot, not all that many have 240 single phase, and if you do—do you have a panel that will support dust collection at the same time. If the power is in place…re-read Scott’s blog.

I want a PM 66, and one of these days, the right saw at the right price at the right time will come!! Good luck!!

earl

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

5765 posts in 953 days


#2 posted 02-28-2015 01:24 AM

Adjust the angle and height to make sure it feels smooth. listen and feel for noise and vibration on start up and while running. New belts and/or bearing are a plus.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View ,'s profile

,

2387 posts in 3014 days


#3 posted 02-28-2015 01:41 AM

I think for the most part the PM66 is a low risk purchase at the right price. I have purchased several PM66 saws myself, many site unseen and many without ever turning on. Only one had a problem and that was with a bad arbor. I would check for blade wobble on wind down. Listen for abnormal noises such as bad bearings. For the most part that is going to be a good saw. It could have been abused though in a cabinet shop. The worm gears loosen right up after a good cleaning and then lubed with white lithium grease.

-- .

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

4244 posts in 1666 days


#4 posted 02-28-2015 02:02 AM

what questions should I ask the seller?

Ask him when and where to meet to give him the cash and pick up the saw.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

View Avimaelwoodworking's profile

Avimaelwoodworking

22 posts in 653 days


#5 posted 02-28-2015 02:35 AM

Don’t buy if it’s old.get something that works you can find on any place.if you buy maybe it will work for a couple of days then broke down.

View Deano56's profile

Deano56

91 posts in 660 days


#6 posted 02-28-2015 02:51 AM

old has nothing to do with it if its a good saw and PM is, good advice above. Whats the asking price?

-- Deano

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

4244 posts in 1666 days


#7 posted 02-28-2015 03:14 AM

Don’t buy if it’s old.get something that works you can find on any place.if you buy maybe it will work for a couple of days then broke down.

Bullcrap.

Cheers,
Brad

Dang.. just looked at the sig line from that post.. must remember.. don’t feed the trolls (or scammers)...

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

View jmweston's profile

jmweston

5 posts in 1820 days


#8 posted 02-28-2015 03:22 AM

Thank you all for the feedback. I’ll definitely check out the blog. Age was a big concern of mine, but I guess it shouldn’t be. I kind of like the idea of having something with a little history to it, or that needs a little TLC.

Deano – The seller is asking $1200 for the 5hp one. Also, there are several others within 100 miles of me that range from $800 to $1800 for a new one that has never been used.

-Jake

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

115206 posts in 3044 days


#9 posted 02-28-2015 03:24 AM

The new PMs are not as solid machines as the old ones.I have the same vintage PM66 and same HP it is and has been a great saw.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3950 posts in 1960 days


#10 posted 02-28-2015 05:23 PM

It’s hard to g wrong with a PM66, but someone mentioned it earlier…it might be 3 phase and if it is it’s not the best choice for a home shop. Putting phase conversion on a motor that big would be costly, regardless of how you did it. Even if it’s single phase you’ll need a 30 amp service for it, so think things through before you pop the money.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

4244 posts in 1666 days


#11 posted 02-28-2015 05:33 PM

It s hard to g wrong with a PM66, but someone mentioned it earlier…if it s 3 phase it s not the best choice for a home shop. Putting phase conversion on a motor that big would be costly, regardless of how you did it.

- Fred Hargis

Naw.. it would be roughly $200 extra for a VFD for that machine which isn’t too terribly expensive.. but you must have 230V single phase available to do it. Of course, you would need the 230V for a single phase motor of that size anyway, so that’s kind of a given. However, the 3-phase/VFD setup offers several advantages (soft start, electronic breaking, etc..), and 3-phase motors are much simpler since you don’t have to worry about start circuits, centrifugal switches, start/run capacitors, etc… Bearings are about the only you need to worry about and only once every 10-20 years or so :)

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3950 posts in 1960 days


#12 posted 02-28-2015 05:54 PM

I’ve not seen a new VFD that can power a 5 HP motor that cheaply, the ones I’ve seen were in the $600 and up range (right up there with RPC’s). I have one on my lathe that’s an industrial unit that can do 5 HP, but industrial ones are even higher. Nevertheless, if he can get one that cheap it would be a good deal making the 3 phase part moot.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

4244 posts in 1666 days


#13 posted 02-28-2015 06:18 PM

I’ve not seen a new VFD that can power a 5 HP motor that cheaply, the ones I’ve seen were in the $600 and up range

A TECO FM50-203-C would work just fine.. there are a lot of folks running 5HP 3 phase motors with that and other similar VFD’s. Just go over to owwm and ask :) Ignore the HP rating (which is just a guestimate really) and look at the FLA.. plus, a table saw motor never sees FLA, and doesn’t usually even get close, if ever.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

View unbob's profile

unbob

719 posts in 1370 days


#14 posted 02-28-2015 08:01 PM

I have been using 3phase equipment for years. These VFD converters makes 3phase equipment easy to own and use. The 3hp VFD on 5hp saws have worked well for many. I am going to try one on a 5hp shaper, it would be nice to feather the speed a little between set speed steps…..soft start and quick slow down.

One most difficult machines to power is a metal lathe, high start loads-heavy chucks and work pieces. Most woodworking machines have low start loads.

View bonesbr549's profile

bonesbr549

1176 posts in 2534 days


#15 posted 03-01-2015 02:24 PM

Won’t underpowering your tools by 2hp hurt your motor?

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

showing 1 through 15 of 24 replies

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

HomeRefurbers.com