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Forum topic by Rickinnocal posted 04-21-2015 01:00 PM 756 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 555 days

04-21-2015 01:00 PM

I just bought a Powermatic 66 cabinet saw from our local middle school that I was told was late 70’s / early 80’s – it is dark green with a white stripe all round the cabinet. Does that color match that age?

The saw came with a 36” (I think – I haven’t got the saw out of the schools storage container yet) table extension, a Biesemeyer fence with 50” rails, and an overhead dust collector. It has a 3hp 3-phase motor which was replaced about 5 years ago. It was in daily use in the wood shop until they closed it a few weeks ago. I paid $250 for it, which I’m pretty sure is a good price.

My question is about the power. As I mentioned, it’s got a 3-phase 3hp motor. For under $100 I can get a static converter, but that means I’ll be running an effective 2hp. To get the full 3hp I need a rotary converter, but that’s going to cost more than the saw, as would a new motor


11 replies so far

View rick1955's profile


254 posts in 854 days

#1 posted 04-21-2015 01:55 PM
You could get a vfd but 2 hp would be fine for 95% of your cutting. See enco for best prices on static converters

-- Working smarter with less tools is a true crafts person...

View bc4393's profile


20 posts in 565 days

#2 posted 04-21-2015 01:57 PM

First of all, that’s a smoking deal on that saw, especially with the options. Mine is a single phase horse and a half, I think, 2 max, and its more power that I’ll ever need. It hogs through everything. It’s a Ferrari compared to my previous Delta contractor Saw. Congrats on your new toy!

View knotscott's profile


7147 posts in 2798 days

#3 posted 04-21-2015 02:49 PM

2HP should be plenty most of the time. A good sharp 3/32” thin kerf blade will help if it struggles at all, as will good setup of the saw/fence.

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

View SirIrb's profile


1239 posts in 653 days

#4 posted 04-21-2015 03:02 PM

great deal. now get a singel ph motor and dont worry about the converter. I may be mistaken but I believe converters cut the hp down. Some electrical guy may set me straight.

The PM green does fall in that year to the best of my knowledge.

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

View BurlyBob's profile


3485 posts in 1688 days

#5 posted 04-21-2015 03:25 PM

Yeah, that’s a great deal. Your gonna love that machine and all the extras.

View rick1955's profile


254 posts in 854 days

#6 posted 04-21-2015 04:03 PM

Only a static gives 1/3 less power.
A VFD gives full power at $200 and a static is $137. A single phase motor will cost more.

-- Working smarter with less tools is a true crafts person...

View DrDirt's profile


4143 posts in 3165 days

#7 posted 04-21-2015 06:40 PM

Converters are cheap, but I don’t like dealing with the hassle. I would get a used motor.

-- 'Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners' ~George Carlin

View Richard's profile


1871 posts in 2113 days

#8 posted 04-21-2015 06:46 PM

That is a Very Good Deal , only problem is that they had to close down the woodworking classes for the Kids in order for you to get it. Most likely they will turn the shop into a Computer Lab.

View MrUnix's profile


4039 posts in 1622 days

#9 posted 04-21-2015 06:48 PM

Lots of good advice already given over at the OWWM site… and I agree, a three phase motor is basically bullet proof (no centrifugal switch, capacitors, etc…) and a VFD will give you lots of advantages that you will not get (and can’t get) from a single phase motor. Size based on amperage, not HP. A FM50-202-C can handle up to a 7.5 amp motor and can be had for less than $200.


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

View Oughtsix's profile


42 posts in 597 days

#10 posted 04-21-2015 06:56 PM

I would definitely go for a VFD as mentioned above. Static converters aren’t worth the messing with. I would rather have a 3ph motor with a VFD than a 1ph motor for most machines including a table saw.

If you had to go with a static phase converter (which I would not!) 2hp will be plenty for a Powermatic 66… but get a VFD!

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3848 posts in 1916 days

#11 posted 04-21-2015 07:05 PM

I don’t think it matters how you choose to handle the 3 phase part, you got a great deal!

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

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