Powermatic 64A Artisan Saw Help Needed

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Forum topic by Joel J posted 04-07-2015 04:20 AM 697 views 1 time favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Joel J

37 posts in 1361 days

04-07-2015 04:20 AM

Today, I was changing the blade angle to 45 degrees on my saw and noticed the wheel was turning very hard. I turned it until it was at about a 20 degree angle and started to look around at why it was turning so hard. I noticed that the blade was running into the right edge of the opening in the insert. Took the insert out and continued to crank it towards 45 degrees. When i got it all the way there, I noticed the blade was way too far to the right so I cranked it back to zero. I then noticed the motor mount was not parallel to the floor and was sitting at about a 15 degree angle to what it was supposed to be. I could not get the motor back to its’ intended position. Does anyone have a similar experience and could provide some insight to what has happened before I tear into it? I know little to nothing about what goes on under the table saw top. Thanks.

-- Joel, Denver, CO

6 replies so far

View MrUnix's profile


4032 posts in 1621 days

#1 posted 04-07-2015 05:19 AM

I know little to nothing about what goes on under the table saw top.

I have a feeling you are going to learn fairly soon :)


PS: Tearing into your saw and getting to know it up close and personal is actually a good thing. It will let you know how it works, give insight into what maintenance is needed to keep it in top operating condition and allow you to quickly diagnose and address any problems you might have in the future (as well as what not do to to cause any problems).

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

View John 's profile


219 posts in 2824 days

#2 posted 04-07-2015 05:51 AM

I have that very saw and I have had problems a couple of times with the tilt mechanism but I stopped cranking the wheel and cleaned it real good with my air compressor and sprayed a little oil on the gearing. The gearing get really gummed up from time to time. It’s always helped and I wonder if you might have damaged it by forcing the crank too hard. The real pisser is the only (comfortable) way to work on it is to turn it upside down on the work bench which means you would need to disassemble any accessories connected to the saw.

-- John

View knotscott's profile


7146 posts in 2797 days

#3 posted 04-07-2015 11:06 AM

I haven’t experienced that problem with any of my contractor saws, but did want to let you that the PM64a is structurally similar to the Jet, Grizzly, Bridgewood, GI, Shop Fox, and Woodtek contractor saws of that era (and others). The Delta contractor saws had a similar design too, so you might find some info that pertains to one of them that could also apply to your saw. Good luck!

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Bluepine38's profile


3336 posts in 2507 days

#4 posted 04-07-2015 03:14 PM

When cleaning table saws, after I clean the gears on the tilt and elevation adjustments, I spray them with
a good dry graphite lubricant, it is a good lube and after it dries dust does not stick to it.

-- As ever, Gus-the 77 yr young apprentice carpenter

View Joel J's profile

Joel J

37 posts in 1361 days

#5 posted 04-08-2015 02:04 AM

Thanks for all the insight….the idea of flipping it upside down to work on it is brilliant! I never would of thought of that.

-- Joel, Denver, CO

View Joel J's profile

Joel J

37 posts in 1361 days

#6 posted 04-09-2015 08:52 PM

I found this on another site written by Howard Acheson. After tearing down my saw, cleaning all the grease/sawdust gunk out, and re-lubricating with graphite dust, I still had a fairly nasty vibration in the saw. Worked on it for several hours trying many things and finally gave up, came inside to my computer and found this. Went out today and in 10 minutes, I had all the vibration gone and it works like new! Thought I’d share!

The problem is that the trunnion bars are not in the same plane. This occurs if you try to tilt the blade too hard against the tilt stop adjustment screw.
Proper adjustment affects bevel cuts and is indicated when there burning when making bevel cuts.

First go throught the alignment process following the steps below “TABLE SAW BLADE ALIGNMENT”.

To check whether the trunnions need to be adjusted, tilt your blade fully to the 45 degree position until you get to the 45 degree stop. Then crank the blade back to the 90 degree upright position. Now again check the parallelism of the blade to the miter slot. If the blade is still parallel to the miter slot, declare victory. If not, follow the process below from Delta to adjust them. The process is the same for all Contractor Saws or Hybrids that have the trunnion assembly hanging from the table.

1. Remove the saw blade being sure it was at it fullest height.

2. Place a flat plate (or similar flat object) on top of the two tie-bars. (The size of the plate should be at least 6” by 8”, and the flatter the better. A pane of glass works well.) Depress one corner of the plate and if it rocks, the tie-bars are not parallel. This must be corrected as it will affect the alignment of the blade.

3. Loosen the tie-bar locknuts located at the rear of the saw.

4. Grasp the motor bracket and move it left and/or right. Check the rocking of the flat plate and when it can no longer rock, the tie-bars are parallel…re-tighten the locknuts.

5. Remove the flat plate and re-install the sawblade.

6. Again perform the parallelism alignment process.

7. Before tightening the rear trunnion bolts, push forward on the rear trunnion bracket to allow the undercarriage to snugly fit between the two trunnions.

Here is the low tech, low cost way to align a tablesaw that I learned maybe forty years ago and use to teach to my students.

Make 3/4×3/4×12” hardwood stick. Drill a hole somewhat centered in one end and insert a brass #8×1” round head fine thread machine screw about half way. UNPLUG THE SAW. Raise the blade completely up. Clamp this board in your miter gauge (if you determine that there is some slop in your slot to miter gauge, use a playing card to take up the slop) so the screw head just about touches the blade at the front. Now rotate the blade by hand and determine which tooth is the closest. Adjust the screw in or out until it just touches this tooth. Mark this tooth. Rotate the blade so the tooth is now at the back of the table and move the miter gauge/stick assembly to the back and see if it touches the marked tooth to the same extent. If it doesn’t, adjust the trunnion (if a contractor saw) or the tabletop (if a cabinet saw) until it does.

For a contractor saw, first use a small c-clamp on the rear trunnion and cradle to keep the assembly from moving. Then loosen the two rear trunnion bolts and one front trunnion bolt. Slightly loosen the other front trunnion bolt and use a stick to tap the trunnion until the blade and screw lightly touch. The blade does not move directly around the center so you will need to repeatedly go back to the front of the blade, readjust the screw, and then again measure the back. Be sure to check after tightening the trunnion as the trunnion frequently moves when being tightened.

For cabinet saws, loosen the bolts that hold the tabletop and tap one corner until things come into alignment.

The same adjustment gauge can be used to set the fence parallel to the miter slot. Slide the miter gauge to the front of the table and move the fence over to the screw head and insert a playing card between the screw head and the fence just so you can move the card as it touches both the fence and the screw head. Now move the miter gauge to the back of the table and see if you have the same feel when you insert the card. I like my fence absolutely parallel—if you want to have a slight opening to the fence, you can easily estimate the opening by adding a thickness of paper to the card.

I always show my students with a dial gauge that their adjustments are within .001 – .002.

You can also use the same gauge to measure blade runout by using a $5.00 feeler gauge.

Finally, after you are satisfied with the above adjustments, check the position of the splitter to make sure it is exactly in line with the blade.

Bottom line, there is no need to spend more than the $0.05 for the brass screw.

-- Joel, Denver, CO

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