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Thoughts on a used Powermatic 63A Table Saw?

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Forum topic by HokieKen posted 07-29-2015 11:36 AM 1605 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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HokieKen

10750 posts in 1619 days


07-29-2015 11:36 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question tablesaw powermatic

I’ve been stalking CL for a few months looking for a solid table saw. In my shop (garage) everything big goes on wheels because I just don’t have room for a stationary cabinet saw. I’ve been limping along with my aluminum Craftsman portable saw for a couple years but now that most of my house remodeling is done my projects are tending more toward fine woodworking and less towards construction. So, yes I know a cabinet saw is better and yes, I would love to have one. But, my space and budget dictate that I need a contractor saw. This won’t be a “forever” saw but I do intend to use it for several years until I have a space that can accommodate a stationary cabinet saw.

So, I ran across a PM 63A (Artisan) saw yesterday that, from the photos, looks well cared for. The ad says the seller is a retired cabinet maker and that it’s in excellent condition. I’m going to look at it this evening. I’m a little concerned that he’s only asking $175. Hopefully he just doesn’t really need the money and wants it out of his way but that seems awfully low based on some googling.

I read all the forum posts and reviews I could find and it seems the saw was very highly regarded in it’s day and is still well thought of 23 years later (this one was made in ‘92). I haven’t found anything to lead me to believe this isn’t a solid saw that will meet my needs. It does have webbed cast iron extension wings but apparently there are solid ones for modern Delta saws that are a direct fit. If I only pay 175$ for the saw, I could easily justify buying the wings if I feel I need them. The only real negative I found is that PM no longer supports the saw so parts aren’t available. It seems though, that Grizzly and Delta both have similar saws that have interchangeable parts.

So, my questions are these: Does anyone own (or used to own) this saw and if so, what are your thoughts? Is the 1 1/2 hp motor “beefy” enough for working with primarily 4/4 harwoods like oak and walnut and occasionally with harder (hard maple) up to 8/4? Is there anything in particular I need to check on it? I know how to check the usual stuff – arbor runout, table flatness, condition of trunions and elevation/tilt gears. I’m going to take a piece of 8/4 hard maple with me to test the motor operation. I’m not so concerned with the blade/fence alignment, as I can take care of that myself, but I will check the fence operation and make sure it feels solid. Is this price in line with what you would expect to pay for this saw?

And my final question is this… What the hell possesed them to make this saw that putrid yellow color!? :)

Any suggestions or comments are much appreciated.

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!


7 replies so far

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01ntrain

259 posts in 1551 days


#1 posted 07-29-2015 06:35 PM

For $175 how can you lose? Especially since you seem to know what it takes to check one of them out. I can only hope and wish for a deal like that…..In my area, CL is full of meth-heads selling pure junk for $$$$ I found one of them selling a heavily-used Estwing hammer yesterday for $30. Oy Vey!

Seriously, I just talked to a guy, last week, that was selling the same saw for $350 here. I was pretty close to pulling the trigger, but he seemed kinda shady(almost as if the saw was stolen) and I realized from one of the pics that the motor and mount weren’t original to the saw. That made me a bit suspicious. It’s gone now, so I’m guessing someone took the plunge.

For a hobbyist woodworker, that’s more than enough saw you will ever need. I don’t understand why it’s not in your possession already…..

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HokieKen

10750 posts in 1619 days


#2 posted 07-29-2015 07:33 PM

01ntrain, thanks for the input. That’s kind of my thinking too and why I’m a bit skeptical of the $175 asking price. Seems like the average selling price for auctions and online is closer to the 350$ mark. And I’d still be considering it even at that price.

Why isn’t it in my possession yet? Because when I called the guy yesterday, he said that this evening would be the soonest he’d be available to show it to me.

And yeah, there’s a lot of those meth-heads on CL around here too. That’s why this will only be the second saw I’ve found that I’m actually going to go look at in about 3 months! I did however pick up a PC 7539 router for $70 that didn’t look like it had ever been used a while back. So there’s still a gem among the manure here and there :)

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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MrUnix

7468 posts in 2680 days


#3 posted 07-29-2015 07:48 PM

You can find high end cabinet saws for $175 as well as bottom of the line benchtops (and sometimes, you get lucky and find them for free). Average price is meaningless in the used market, and every seller is different. However, the good deals go fast – OWWM rule #5 applies to a lot of sales and has bitten many, many people.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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HokieKen

10750 posts in 1619 days


#4 posted 07-29-2015 09:46 PM

I’m very familiar with rule 5. That’s why I asked when the soonest I could see it was. I’m probably gonna buy it even if I’m not sure I want to keep it unless there’s something significant wrong with it. I figure worst case I sell it and break even and that’s better than kicking myself when somebody else grabs it up tomorrow! I appreciate the input and enjoyed the OWWM rules:)

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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HokieKen

10750 posts in 1619 days


#5 posted 07-30-2015 04:59 PM

Well, I picked it up for $150 and feel like I stole it. It is a gorgeous saw and has been well cared for. The belt could use replacing and one of the legs on the stand is a little bent. Other than that it just needs a good cleaning.

Thanks to all who weighed in with advice!

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View gnawledgeispowr's profile

gnawledgeispowr

1 post in 52 days


#6 posted 07-29-2019 06:41 PM

Hey There Yall,

First post. I recently picked up one of these PM63 beauties and it is amazing. I traded my Ridgid Jobsite saw straight up!! Crazy steal. The blade wouldn’t lower all the way and the owner got a quote of $300 to fix it. Took me 30 mins to get it apart and adjust the worm gear and it was perfect. I then obviously cleaned it meticulously for 3 days before painting it and putting it back together, and now I have a PERFECT condition saw. Did I mention it came with a SAWSTOP FENCE!!!!! Straight up trade… Couldn’t believe it… The guy is a glassblower and makes about 10 saw cuts a month so he was definitely looking for less saw too, so I don’t feel completely bad.

But to my question, you mention in the OP that there a Solid Cast Iron Wings available for this. I can not find that info anywhere but would love to look into that as I really dislike the webbed wings. Which wings would that be and where did you read about that?

Thanks in advance for anyone’s reply!!

-- Cut Wood, Put It Together, Sit On It

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HokieKen

10750 posts in 1619 days


#7 posted 07-29-2019 07:18 PM

Hi gnawledge. I have been using this saw for the past 4 years now and can do nothing but sing it’s praises :-) Honestly, the webbed wings have served me just fine and I haven’t looked seriously at replacing them with solid wings since I bought the saw. PM no longer sells the wings for this saw but, if you find replacement wings for another saw, it should be a simple thing to modify them if they aren’t a direct fit. You’ll just have to make sure they are the right dimensions. If you have to drill new mounting holes, it’s no big deal to drill cast iron.

I would encourage you to just use the saw as-is before investing any time or money into replacement wings though. Like I said, my webbed wings have served me very well :-)

Welcome to the site and congratulations on the saw!

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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