I may have scored! Powermatic 66.

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Forum topic by Zonker posted 02-25-2021 09:58 PM 757 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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147 posts in 903 days

02-25-2021 09:58 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question tablesaw powermatic 66

So I had the winning bid in an on line auction. Yesterday I went and picked up this PM 66. 3HP, 3ph 30” table. It comes from a cabinet shop but appears well cared for. The table has no dings or obvious damage, Tilt and Raise are tight but smooth, hand spinning the motor feels quite smooth. I got a front rail for a Beisemeyer fence along with it. Total paid was $158 and change. It’s not even out of the van yet (I have help on the way). I have a cradle to finish before I can mess with this, but I am really excited at my upgrade potential. My plan is to put a 3HP 1ph motor on it, replace the belts and bearings, then search out a used fence and back rail if I can. I’m thinking I’ll get it a nice Incra miter gauge too. So what advice do you PM 66 restorers have for this project? I am pretty set on the motor replacement, if I was sure of the motor, I might go with a VFD, but I haven’t seen it run, so I might as well go all the way. It will get a thorough cleaning and inspection, but I probably won’t paint it. I will also look into fabricating a new door and motor cover.

-- Larry A. - I've made a small fortune with my woodworking. The trouble is, I started with a large fortune.

19 replies so far

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

2888 posts in 1215 days

#1 posted 02-25-2021 11:35 PM

there are a lot of posts on the PM66 all across the woodworking forums.
you shouldn’t have any problem finding help with any of your concerns or issues.
awesome find !!!

-- there is no educational alternative to having a front row seat in the School of Hard Knocks. --

View RCCinNC's profile


497 posts in 1379 days

#2 posted 02-25-2021 11:50 PM

PM66 is pretty much the holy grail of older saws. You definitely scored! Have fun with it…one of those projects that will have both satisfaction in the process and for many years to come.

-- Live to putter...putter to live!

View Foghorn's profile


1145 posts in 438 days

#3 posted 02-26-2021 12:08 AM

You could be eligible for an LJ’s “you suck award”. Nice find! Painting it would allow you to raise your nose quite a bit higher at the next PM66 Restorers Convention.

-- Darrel

View tvrgeek's profile


1749 posts in 2701 days

#4 posted 02-26-2021 01:10 AM

In all respects, a super saw.
But, like all older saws, no riving knife. Good candidate for a Very Cool Tools fence.
I hope a motor does not set you back too much.

View hcbph_1's profile


96 posts in 366 days

#5 posted 02-26-2021 01:46 AM

Great saw at a great price. If you don’t find the info you want, check out OWWM as there have been a number of thread there also on PM66 refurbishes.

View Woodmaster1's profile


1701 posts in 3639 days

#6 posted 02-26-2021 02:04 AM

Awesome saw if you get it refurbished. I had 2 in my woodshop where I taught the saws are 55yrs old and going strong. The school added a Sawstop last year but we kept one for use of a dado blade.

View Zonker's profile


147 posts in 903 days

#7 posted 02-26-2021 03:13 AM

I found some other minor items that need attention. A stop bolt is bent and A sawdust shield is chewed up. That is just from unloading it. More later.

-- Larry A. - I've made a small fortune with my woodworking. The trouble is, I started with a large fortune.

View Andybb's profile


3243 posts in 1655 days

#8 posted 02-26-2021 03:48 AM

Nice find.

It’s official. You suck!

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View bobfromsanluis's profile


46 posts in 1724 days

#9 posted 02-26-2021 04:57 AM

I’ve wanted a Powermatic 66 for years, finally upgraded the wiring to my shop a few months ago, then about 6 weeks ago, a local listing on CL had an older saw listed for $800, and I went for it. The previous owner had swapped out the 3 phase for a Leeson 3HP single phase, I think he added the Biesemeyer fence. Probably should go in and clean out the gearing so I get a smoother rise when raising the blade, the tilt is smooth as silk. Ordered and installed a SharkGuard, hooked it all up to my D/C system, bought a motor cover for it from a plastic manufacturer near the Bay area (California), and found out that one maker of rattle can spray paint had a very close color match. The previous owner had made a masonite door for the front, complete with latch and handle, taped it all off and painted it. The stock saw base had the table top at 34” high, everything in my shop is at 36”, so I built a base for it out of maple, and painted it as well. Oh yeah, the shop is a real mess right now, still tuning up the D/C system, and a lot of junk to go through and hopefully get rid of.

View Zonker's profile


147 posts in 903 days

#10 posted 02-26-2021 11:22 AM

Bobfromsanluis: That was a nice find. I should have that much and maybe more into mine once it’s up and running. (A lot more if you include hours.) But I’m really excited to get it going.

-- Larry A. - I've made a small fortune with my woodworking. The trouble is, I started with a large fortune.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6920 posts in 3545 days

#11 posted 02-26-2021 12:08 PM

No advice, but I certainly want to congratulate you…a really great buy!

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Jared_S's profile


458 posts in 1011 days

#12 posted 02-26-2021 12:36 PM

In addition to the motor you would also need to replace or upgrade the motor starter to work with single phase

Imho skip the motor replacement and just add a vfd, you will come out $$$ ahead.

View ibewjon's profile (online now)


2348 posts in 3845 days

#13 posted 02-26-2021 03:10 PM

If the starter is big enough for the single phase amps, you will only need to change the heater elements ( overloads ) for the single phase amperage. Great find.

View CaptainKlutz's profile


4330 posts in 2546 days

#14 posted 02-26-2021 09:51 PM

Welcome to club.
Great price.

IMHO – the 3PH motor replacement .vs. using VFD can be complicated decision.
Can find many threads extolling 3PH motor simplicity, lower conversion cost, lower maintenance requirements, and ‘simplicity’ (cough-dust free mounting box-cough) of removing the magnetic starter and using VFD. Buying a 1PH replacement motor sounds simpler if you are not electrically inclined; but many folks find it is complicated, especially if you have 56 frame size motor.

Complication is shaft size for older 3HP 3PH motors .vs. 1PH replacement motors. You can easily find a 56C frame 3HP 3PH motor, but you can not find a 56C 3HP 1PH TEFC motor rated for general industrial use. Largest 56C 1PH TEFC general purpose motor available is 2HP. There is not enough room in frame for 3HP 1PH stator windings, unless the motor is designed for lessor duty application like a pump or compressor (which runs hot in TS).
Powermatic used 145TC frame for 3HP 1PH motors since 60’s. They fit the standard motor mount. These have larger (7/8”) shaft size. So if you have existing 56C frame (5/8” shaft), and try to replace with 145TC frame, you need a new pulley, or modified your existing one. The 3 groove pulley used by PM is non-standard, and only used replacements are scarce, and/or expensive. Newer style 2 groove pulleys available from PM have different spacing, and require 2 new pulleys (motor/arbor) and different belts. It’s only money right?

You also have to change the overload heaters in the magnetic starter, as your 3PH motor uses less current per phase than 1PH motor. This is more money chasing down the right size heaters for the magnetic starter, and requires you to dig into the electrical stuff that scares many folks from considering a VFD. :-(0)

Bottom line: Make sure you consider all aspects of 3PH to 1PH change over, including frame size (pulleys), and magnetic starter heaters; before you decide how to change your machine to single phase power. It is rarely a ‘simple’ motor change.

Best Luck!

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

View ibewjon's profile (online now)


2348 posts in 3845 days

#15 posted 02-26-2021 11:28 PM

AND heater elements for some older starters are no longer available, while others require changing heater and overload, such as Allen Bradley changing from N heaters to W heaters that have the overload included. As Captain stated, it is not always as easy as it looks at first glance. At least you hav little in the saw, so added costs will still be cheaper than a new saw.

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