A fellow with failing health is selling a Powermatic 66, 3hp, 1phase, with
50" Beisemeyer fence and a CMT 8" dado set for $1800. It is 16 years old
and has less than 100 hours of use. I took a look and it is in excellent
condition. No rust on the table, everything works and is tight. I noticed
that the tilt was hard to turn. He said he'd never tilted the blade in 16
years. Should I buy it?
He had a bunch of other stuff as well, all top of the line Powermatic.
$1800 seems a little on the high side to me. As I recall, in 1990
that's about what they sold for new. I would expect to see a little
bit more of a discount for used, even if just hardly.
And in a hobby application, 100 hours of use is a lot of turning on
and turning off as well as run time. It's like being in a cabinet
shop, running it continuously the full 8 hours, every day, for two and
a half weeks. It's no wonder the tilt is stiff--it's probably packed
Not saying you shouldn't get it--just that the price seems a little
high. Of course you could also argue that it really holds its value...
It sounds like a good saw and probably trouble free after you lubricate the
insides so that the tilt will "tilt".
IMHO he is selling for more than he paid and or more than you would have had
to pay, I could be wrong.
Although the age and use make the machine relatively brand new, the actual
age works against it in what it would bring price wise. If you are OK with
the price I would say that you are not going to get stung. That said, you
can probably find a better deal.
As a comparison, a brand new PM2000 with a Bies style fence is about 3 to 4
hundred dollars more with a warranty and more features.
I wish it were closer, I would pay the price with no questions asked and
then try to figure out what to do with two saws (although if I were forced
to chose, I think I would have to take that particular vintage PM over my
less than 6 year old Unisaw).
That they don't make them like that any longer is an understatement!
sixteen years ago that saw and every component that went into it, was
manufactured in the McMinnville, TN facility. That includes all of
the castings which came from powermatic's dedicated foundry.
Today, the saws are assembled close to Nashville of compnents that
If I had my choice.........
I bought a 66 about 1 1/2 years ago. It is a 5hp, single phase. I like
it a lot, it has a router lift built into the table too. I think I
paid about $2600 incl delivery. So the only concern I would have is
the price. I would think it should be less, but I'm glad to hear they
hold their value. Of course I am aware that an older saw may be better
in terms of where it was made, but I have no complaints with mine. I
got it online at etoolclub.com ( I think that's right).
I bought a 66 about 10 yrs ago and paid about 1800 for it. A wonderful
piece of machinery. And the tilt is hard to turn. Just trying to find
time and incentive to take off the top and clean/grease everything. Buy
it - you'll be the envy of your block. I know I am except maybe for the
guy with two Unisawrs.
Before you take the top off and loose you alignment, try shooting Automotive
Brake Cleaner on the gears and their mating surfaces using the small stemmed
nozzle. This will wash away debris and old lubricant. Follow up with a
dry lubricant or the one of your choice.
Agree...there should be no reason other than sawdust and grime (or
perhaps the locking knob is turning on the locking shaft rather than
loosening the lock as an outside rather farfetched possibility?) for the
tilt to be hard. Air nozzle will do wonders to get stuff out of the
gear teeth, etc. The rotating trunnions may be dry and crudded up, too.
My 66 is pushing 25 now and it's never been hard to tilt unless there
was stuff in the way, but I've never had to take table off to clean it
up...that would definitely be last resort kinda' effort...
I do get the shop vac (small nozzle) in there to get the loose saw dust
out. The manual (General Maintenance, pg 10) suggests a stiff brush
plus a solvent or oven cleaner to remove pitch and gum. It says to
remove the table by removing the three mounting screws and exposing the
works. After cleaning it goes on to say to grease the tilting and
raising worm and worm gear segments and the trunnions. It further
suggests a grease such as Fisk Company "Lubriplate". Is that stuff
diffenent from cup and chassis grease?
Anyway, I will try brake cleaner and the air nozzle before doing it the
hard way. I appreciate your comments.
Lubriplate is name brand name for a line of industrial lubricants
including "cup and chassis grease"
IMHO, this is definitely a time for "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".
A stiff brush to break up the clumps and gain access to the gear teeth
so the brake cleaner can do it's job would be my choice.
When clean, I use spray on chain lube on my saw, it works for me.
Time to come down off the hill and do a little shopping at Grainger.
They will have the industrial grade stuff on display at the counter.
The manual ain't handy so don't know offhand what they specifically
recommended. "Lubriplate" is a brand name, not a specific product so
unless there's more than that, they haven't really told you anything.
What you want is something that isn't gooey and remains sticky like
bearing/chassis greases that are sawdust magnets. One of the spray
white lithium-based is what I use along w/ one of the (also spray)
chain/cable lubes that penetrate and coat but aren't sticky.
The high-pressure air nozzle, followed by a small wire brush where can't
get a big one (I have a brass-bristle toothbrush (battery terminal brush
in reality) that is just the cat's meow. Then some solvent if needed,
followed by the lubricant and it should almost spin like a top going
down and crank easily going back up. Loosening the top and having to do
the realignment again is just needless work unless you just want to
spend a half-day messing around. (Of course, Ed will now chime in and
say you could do it in 10 minutes or less w/ his magic tool set... :) )
I don't know about the brake cleaner. It may have changed in 40 years,
but when I was wrenching part time in the '60s, that stuff would take
paint off pretty easily. We used to use it to desqueak fan belts, but
you always wanted to cover the fenders before you applied it.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.