Refurbish Powermatic Table Saw #5: Finishing Up: Repairing the Fence and A New Push Stick

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Blog entry by bch posted 11-03-2011 03:36 AM 10738 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Reassemble, Align Blade (PALS), Clean-Up Insert and Guard Part 5 of Refurbish Powermatic Table Saw series Part 6: Table Saw Blade and Fence Alignment with Shop-Built Jig »

The fence, having been stored outside in a shed for two years, had dried out and the two side boards had shrunk enough that both boards had fallen off while transporting it home. The bumper rail was also separating from the ends and would not stay down with just a press-fit as intended. I chose to glue the ends of the bumper down with CA glue, only at the ends where it was separating:

After the glue dried I enlisted my assistant to dismantle the lever for cleaning, rust removal, and waxing.

It was time to attach the side boards back onto the center metal tube. The instructions were to attach them moderately tight, shim the boards 1/32” above the table, hit them with a mallet to give them solid contact to the shims, and finally tighten down the rest of the way. But I don’t own any shims. I started thinking about things I might have in the house that could serve as substitutes. I figured I’d spend the next hour running around cutting and measuring things. The first thing that came to mind was a credit card. I measured with my calipers and guess what? Close enough for me. My search for a shim took 30 seconds.

The instructions were to bang the boards down onto the shims.

Sweet Success! Isn’t she a beauty?

A saw this pretty demands a new hot-rod push stick:

I really enjoyed courting my new saw. I got familiar with her pieces and parts, and decided to make a long-term commitment to her. I plan on keeping her around for a long while. The time I’ve spent adjusting her to tight tolerances should really pay off when I work closely with her. If she becomes dull, or kicks-back, I’ll be familiar enough with her to make quick adjustments. And even though she has been relegated to the basement, she hasn’t complained yet, and I spend time quality time with her as often as I’m able.

The Future:
While anyone can see she’s got beautiful lines, if she gets too loud I may add a motor enclosure to quiet her down. I know, I know—this will increase her girth and make her rear larger, square, and cover up those curves—but soon enough I’ll have heard enough of her screaming and will appreciate the quiet.

Thanks for reading!

ADDED: Blog #6


-- --bch

6 comments so far

View Bradford's profile


1434 posts in 4457 days

#1 posted 11-03-2011 02:12 PM

Great blog! I really appreciate the thorough steps you explained. I also “re-did” my Powermatic 66. But my trip with it was shorter. I repainted mine to as close to the original color as I could, but in “Gun metal” Very scratch resistant.
I left the rails alone with the scratches, to live on as battle scars of it’s past.

-- so much wood, so little time. Bradford. Wood-a-holics unanimous president

View RibsBrisket4me's profile


1554 posts in 3140 days

#2 posted 11-03-2011 02:47 PM

This has been a great project to follow. You did a super job and the end result is fantastic! Such a nice saw!

View TheBossQ's profile


100 posts in 3327 days

#3 posted 11-03-2011 05:11 PM

Nice work! I bought a used PM 63. Mine had very little rust (a product of living in Arizona), but the arbor bearings were starting to screech. Those were a bit of a bear to replace, but $8 for good quality Nachi bearings was better than $125 the tool shops were quoting. In addition, I got to know the saw really well through tear down and reassembly of the trunnions.

I wish I had the Bies style fence yours has. The 63 has the Vega fence and I am not a fan.

My trunnions need to be shimmed though. The blade doesn’t stay parallel to the miter slot @ 45*. That’s the next thing to tackle.

I really enjoyed reading through this blog.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4307 days

#4 posted 11-03-2011 05:11 PM

Great blog.

View bch's profile


300 posts in 3323 days

#5 posted 11-03-2011 06:57 PM

Bradford, bullethead, TheBossQ, Beginningwoodworker – Thanks so much! I really appreciate the comments.
TheBossQ – I need to build a miter slot guide for my dial indicator so that I can better measure it at 45*. Clamping it to the miter guide was not ideal. It’s coming…

-- --bch

View bch's profile


300 posts in 3323 days

#6 posted 11-08-2011 05:10 AM

I’ve added another blog post #6 after discovering the blade was not aligned.

-- --bch

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