My "Almost" Dream Table Saw

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Review by Lenny posted 06-14-2009 03:05 AM 9348 views 1 time favorited 37 comments Add to Favorites Watch
My "Almost" Dream Table Saw My "Almost" Dream Table Saw My "Almost" Dream Table Saw Click the pictures to enlarge them

I have been woodworking without a table saw (TS) for nearly 30 years; using a radial arm saw as the workhorse of my tools. I never had the room for a table saw when I worked out of my 8’X11’ basement shop. In 2007 I became the happy owner of a dedicated shop, attached to my garage. It is only 8’x18’ but it has an 8’ ceiling and is almost double the space I had. I plan to retire from my job of 32+ years next July and planned to use the money I will receive for my unused vacation time to by a top notch TS. Reading reviews here on LJ as well as Google searches and reviews in magazines; I resolved that the PM2000 was the saw I wanted. As this was to be my first and last TS, I decided to spend the money and get all the bells and whistles available. In other words, purchase my “dream table saw”. During my research I learned of a site: “Powermatic”: that sells custom made PM2000s. You pick any color you want including an accent color if you like, motor size, fence size, etc. They even put a plate on the front that reads: “Custom built for (fill in name).” I wanted the 5 hp motor, had selected colors (dk gray with navy blue trim) and 50” Accu-fence. The whole thing was going to cost about $3,600 delivered.

Then Woodcraft came along with a 20% off Powermatic and Jet tools sale about a month ago. For the same saw I wanted, but not customized, the final cost including delivery was $2,700. It was a deal I couldn’t pass up. (At least that’s what the wife said!) So, on Tuesday May 26th my dream TS arrived. It was to be lift-gate delivery and I planned to ask the driver to drop the lift-gate just inside my garage and we (a brother and two neighbors) could work it off the lift-gate onto the garage floor. Turns out the driver left the truck on the street, used a pallet jack to lift the saw and he, the pallet jack and saw came down on the lift-gate together. He walked the saw up my driveway to the garage (two of us pushed while he pulled), spun it around and dropped it right in my garage.

There were lots of boxes. One for the rails, one for the Accu-fence, the extension wings, the extension table, etc. All the boxes were sitting on top of the box that encased the saw and were held there with shrink-wrap. The saw itself was encased in a cardboard box with no bottom and 2X4s at each corner. I wanted to get pictures of everything step by step but my helpers were too anxious to see things so we started opening boxes and learning what was what. After all boxes were off the saw and its box was removed, I wanted to employ their help in getting the saw off the pallet and onto the garage floor. We tried to slide the saw to an edge only to learn that it was bolted to the pallet with a heavy piece of metal and a lag screw. There were two of these.

That’s why there was no bottom to the box. With the brackets removed we slid the saw to an edge and then to the floor. We lifted the edge that was still on the pallet to a steep angle, pulled out the pallet and then rested the saw fully on the floor. I have nothing to compare it to but this is one beefy saw. Delivery weight for everything was listed as 750 lbs. The owners’ manuals, one for the saw and one for the fence system, were clear and easy to follow. I thought I was missing one bag of hardware for the fence and rails but on a hunch I tipped and shook the hollow tube that sits on the front rail and out popped the bag of hardware. Over the course of several days, working about an hour a night, I got the whole saw assembled, adjusted and aligned.

As advertised, the blade is easily installed via a lock button, the blade guard and riving knife click in and out of place quickly and easily.

This again, is the 50”Accu-Fence model so it has an extension table. The table has optional legs and I opted not to install them as I will need to move (position) the saw each time I use it. Lag screws hold the table to the fence rails along its length. This saw has built-in castors that work right out of the box. My shop has that rubber tile flooring that fits together like a puzzle. I will have to take that up in the area of the TS in order for it to roll. As other LJers have mentioned and as pictured in one of the top three photos, the saw comes with a 4’ cord (10 gauge). This was not going to fit my needs so I purchased a 12’ length and replaced it. I also installed a twist lock plug rated for 30 amps. So now I could finally plug her in and fire her up, right? Wrong. Back in 2007 when my shop was built, I asked my electrician what gauge wire I would need for a 3 hp, 220v TS. He told me 12 gauge would be sufficient so that’s what I ran. I ended up with a 5 hp motor but in either case 10 gauge is the proper wire. So I had to disassemble one side of a partition wall, pull out the 12 gauge wire back to the breaker box, run 10 gauge wire and install the outlet. On Tuesday June 2nd, a week after receiving the saw, I finally got to turn it on. What a sweet sound and as advertised and reported by others, hardly any vibration. OK as others before me, I had to post a picture demonstrating the
nickel test. Believe it or not, the saw was running as this picture was taken.

With the nickel standing on edge on the table I hit the start button and the nickel never budged. You might also notice in this picture that my Freud Fusion blade had arrived. So, while not the specific color I wanted and without my name on it, I’d say I am delighted with my “almost” dream table saw, and about 14 months earlier than I expected to have it.

My thanks to my brother, C.M. and my neighbors Joel and Ken for their help on delivery day.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View Lenny's profile


1674 posts in 4447 days

37 comments so far

View kerflesss's profile


182 posts in 4287 days

#1 posted 06-14-2009 03:17 AM

Congrats Lenny!! I’m sure the sweet wrrrrrrr-r-r-r will make your retirement even sweeter :)

View Durnik150's profile


647 posts in 4241 days

#2 posted 06-14-2009 03:24 AM

Cangratulations!! It is a beauty! May you and she make beautiful woodwork for many years to come. I hope your wife doesn’t get jealous!

-- Behind the Bark is a lot of Heartwood----Charles, Centennial, CO

View davidroberts's profile


1027 posts in 4406 days

#3 posted 06-14-2009 03:37 AM

Goodbye tension, hello pension! I love a happy ending. That is one beautiful TS. Enjoy.

-- Better woodworking through old hand tools.

View a1Jim's profile


118145 posts in 4497 days

#4 posted 06-14-2009 04:16 AM

Cool saw .It’s going to be way better than a radial arm saw. congrats


View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 4805 days

#5 posted 06-14-2009 04:45 AM

I’m really happy for you Lenny this looks like a great saw!!!!!!!

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View Napaman's profile


5533 posts in 4997 days

#6 posted 06-14-2009 05:04 AM

wow…that is a GREAT STORY!!! I am nearly to tears man…ok…not really..but seriously…that is great…I think the cheaper and sooner beats the personalized colors and name badge…you can probably find a metal worker and painter to do the same job for $900…

I am really happy for you…32 years…that is nice…I am a loooooooooong way from retirement…but i get a pretty nice ‘mini-retirement’ yearly as a teacher…and i am only on day two—-still buzzing that the school yer is over…so I cant imagine what you must be feeling—and will feel next july…

So—-you will have time to show me around Boston next summer!!!??? just kidding…

GREAT REVIEW…you will have to add another after you get more time using it…but it sounds like its off to a great start…congrats!!!

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 4742 days

#7 posted 06-14-2009 05:44 AM

Lenny, that is one fine saw that you have in your shop. I am a big Powermatic fan and have always been impressed by the quality and craftsmanship that go into the PM line of tools. And they have really solid customer service as well. This certainly will give you years of service and is a dream saw.

Congratulations on such a fine purchase.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View ND2ELK's profile


13494 posts in 4694 days

#8 posted 06-14-2009 05:56 AM

Hi Lenny

Congratulations on your new saw purchase. You are going to love your new saw! I am happy for you. Thanks for posting.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4593 days

#9 posted 06-14-2009 06:14 AM

Congrats Lenny on your new saw.

View BTKS's profile


1989 posts in 4384 days

#10 posted 06-14-2009 06:25 AM

Congrats, it’s a beauty. I’m sure it will cut even better than it looks.

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View Don K.'s profile

Don K.

1075 posts in 4246 days

#11 posted 06-14-2009 06:43 AM

My fellow Red Sox fanatic fan !!!!....BIG CONGRATS MAN !!! That is one beautiful saw…. I can not wait to see what great creations comes out of it !!

-- Don S.E. OK

View John 's profile


261 posts in 4322 days

#12 posted 06-14-2009 06:50 AM

Great Saw Lenny, I swear by Powermatic. I’ve used them for years in the shops I’ve worked in and they are solid. I’d say the 1,000,00 savings was well worth it. Now you can afford some wood.

-- John

View verndog's profile


16 posts in 4304 days

#13 posted 06-14-2009 07:04 AM

Congratulations Lenny on the new saw. It is beautiful. It will be great to get up in the morning and just work on your projects. Congratulations on your retirement!

-- Vern, Southern CA

View Bovine's profile


114 posts in 4248 days

#14 posted 06-14-2009 08:12 AM

Lenny, that’s a great saw! I’m so jealous, I’m still on a basic Home Depot special. You’re a patient man to be able to wait a week before turning it on. I’m happy for you and your new saw. I hope your wife gets to see you at lease some of the time. :)

-- Kansas City, KS "Nothing is as permanent as a temporary solution"

View Lenny's profile


1674 posts in 4447 days

#15 posted 06-14-2009 09:38 AM

Thanks everyone for the support and the kind and amusing comments. Durnik and Bovine, coincidentally, my daughter told me yesterday that my wife told her I take more pictures of my tools than I did of her and she’s 22! Barry, thanks for the heads up regarding the belt. Napaman, nice to hear from you. If you really want me as a tour guide for Boston, you’d better catch me BEFORE next July. I will not miss that 1 1/2 hours daily commute and it will hard to get me to make that 50+ miles trek for some time. Scott, I know you went with the SawStop and I seriously considered it as well. I can’t say I don’t have second thoughts but for now at least, it will be: enjoy the PM and no looking back! Tom, your review was one that was instrumental in my decision. I have been hoping to see a follow up that covers your use of the saw. As I recall, you hadn’t used it yet. Don, a sweep of the Yankees and two more wins in a row since…the Sox are on a roll right now!

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

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