some time ago i read an article on a metal lathe manufacturer and they
talked a little about seasoning the large metal parts of the large lathes
there is probably a more suitable term than seasoning but the idea
is that they would leave the material outside for months and more
in the elements and exposed
then later they would check it for trueness and check for any internal
based on the analysis the part would either get used or recycled
i wonder if this is done with woodworking equipment
Seasoning is the normal term. In days of yore it was common
for big castings - the thinking being, that the surface of a
casting cools faster than the insides, creating a stressed skin,
and then when the casting is machined (and the skin cut) the
stress releases in undesirable ways.
Now-a-days I think castings are usually destressed by thermal
cycling them thru ovens and chillers a few times. So the only
cast iron that gets seasoned now is frying pans.
Years ago, ca. 1980 I purchased a Powermatic 66 TS with pickup at the
factory in McMinnville, TN, being as lived not far away in Oak Ridge
area. As part of the treat got a tour through the facility and one of
the areas they showed me was the seasoning piles -- mounds of raw
castings for jointers, saws, planers, etc., etc., 20 and 30 ft high
where they were just piled out in the yard for 6 months or so before
being brought in for final milling and assembly. I was totally
unprepared for the sight...
Looked like nothing so much as a scrap yard with piles of rusty cast iron...
There's a typo above; the 6 months was intended as 16 altho I forget
whether they had a specific time or not...the piles were a given age of
castings and I think were produced in large number at a given time and
then were used up over a period of time altho the visit was so long ago
now as to have forgotten most of the specifics...
Jet, Powermatic, Performax, Wilton, and I don't know who all else are
now all owned by a conglomerate call JPW Industries. AFAIK nothing is
manufactured in the US; some of it is assembled in La Vergne, TN (near
Smyrna, SE of Nashville a little ways) from Taiwanese parts. I don't
know if they've outsourced some of the castings to other foundries or
not, either. I just looked on the satellite thru google maps and the
old facility in McMinnville has been razed entirely it appears; down to
nothing but some piles of rubble and a few walls standing.
Sad, but "global economics rules"...
That's definetly how it would be done, the foundary would run them off,
then move on.
And 16 months sounds better than 6. But knowing how everyone wants to
make a buck quickly 6 could have been the number
At that time PM was still independent and ran the way they had,
essentially, from the git-go where the product was the thing. The
import market hadn't yet become a threat to their market; that came
somewhat later when things got really tough.
right but to think they are to become final product is not all the expected
for most people
yes 6 sounds short the article i read was for high tolerance machine lathes
and the time frame was years
and as you said they too just dumped them out into the field
they also mentioned that the seasoning process was very limiting for the
business when sales shot up because new product had to be planned
for far in advance
was just looking at powermatic
their prices don't seem to reflect their taiwanese heritage
It was, at that time, certainly a surprise to me having no knowledge of
casting and foundry operations at the time...later I became well
acquainted with a fellow who was engineering manager for initially
Lynchburg (VA) foundry then several others over the southeast and
learned a fair amount about their operations...
That would depend on how much backlog they cast for; PM had at the time
I was there probably several years' of production lined up. Of course,
there weren't/aren't very many really large, terribly complicated (hence
very expensive) castings in the woodworking machine of the size they
were making...not like some of the commercial four- or six-shaft
moulders or the like...
They're still the "Cadillac" of the industry; generally they will
outweigh and have features and finish that the others don't, but partly
there is the name just as Deere green paint gathers a premium in part
from its reputation.
Possibly so, actually...they're still the new kid on the block that I
never really think of; not on my radar so didn't even cross my mind...
I have seen them on a showroom floor in Wichita and they do look good
and I agree they're a top-drawer unit...
Now I don't know so much about the Pro series, I have the Industrial
series. The Pro series just seemed dinky in size compared to the
industrial and even my old Jet cabinet saw.
Check out the iron sitting on the front and back of the cabinet. There
is plenty in between too. ;~)
The PM 2000 base saw is 530 lb; the Sawstop Pro is 540 according to each
manufacturer's data (had to download manual to find it for PM) so
they're quite equivalent in base machine heft.
I don't know what a current Unisaur would go at; probably somewhere
between or more nearly the Pro would be my guess but I didn't go look.
The only place in Wichita that carries any "real" w-working equipment is
not a PM dealer so haven't really seen the 2000 hands-on to compare fit
'n finish to the old Model 66 which was, of course, top notch. I don't
recall what it weighs. Well, an online manual says 640+/- w standard
wings for shipping so I'd guess in the 500 lb range for the base unit;
perhaps a little under. Not _that_ far off methinks...
Well, while doing it looked up the current Unisaw -- no base unit weight
found but 3HP 36" rails and standard wings is 624; again not that
dissimilar but probably a little under the other two.
I thought I had put in the Sawstop data as well...from their site
contract professional industrial
Weights - saw only: 225 317/335 (1.75/3hp) 530 lbs
It's only possible to compare the base saws themselves; accessories such
as the wings, extension tables, etc., etc., are too variable to be
meaningful. The nearly 700 figure (685 actually) comes with the 52"
Well regardless which of these saws are you going to use with out a
fence system? The lightest weight industrial SS is 635 lbs. in a
The industrial does not have the left wing extension attached. It makes
for an odd shaped shipping package. You have to add the left wing,
right fence table extension, and the 3 table support and fence rails and
It's the base saw weight that reflects the mass of the trunnions and all
which is the key item. The whole point is that there's little
difference in that mass between any of the commercial saws, PM, Unisaw,
Sawstop; they're all within 10% of the mean.
The others all also have to have wings, fence, etc., etc., etc., to end
up with a net weight well above that of the base saw; how much is
totally dependent upon the various options one can choose.
The 685 of your Sawstop with 52" fence and Biesemeyer is only 7% above
the listed weight (640) of my PM66 with just the two 50" extension
rails, standard wings and standard fence; adding the full-length solid
table and an equivalent fence would bring the 66 up to virtually
identical, perhaps even more. Hence, they're essentially identical in
heft; there's simply _not_ that much more "beef" in the Sawstop although
again I agree it's a fine machine.
No doubt considering the PM66. ;~) I thought we were comparing the
PM2000, at least that was what I was looking at, if considering a new
The PM66 would have been my first choice in 1999. But the Jet was
sooooooo much less expensive.
The 2000 is absolutely a cool saw. I hane no idea how it compares to
the 66 but if I were betting I would say the 66 would be the better saw.
The 2000 seems to be more suited towards the hobbyist/pro. It has
built in features that the hobbyist would appreciate, especially the
built in mobility system. But I think it has always been built over
seas like SS. Oddly IMHO the 2000 looks more old school than the 66.
Two years ago, because I was looking for a safer saw than my 1999 model
I was looking at SS, naturally, and the Laguna TSS with scoring knife
and sliding table. That that saw is freaking heavy, 1054 lbs. While
the Laguna does not have as many safety features it did have some great
extras and I could have swallowed the price but there was nothing wrong
with my Jet cabinet saw and my only reason for trading up was to get as
much built in safety as possible. SS won out.
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