Need Advice!! TIME SENSITIVE may be buying a mistake

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Forum topic by FUBARed11 posted 01-28-2015 02:55 PM 2618 views 1 time favorited 31 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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16 posts in 1775 days

01-28-2015 02:55 PM

Topic tags/keywords: tablesaw blade table saw powermatic cabinetsaw hybridsaw cabinet saw hybrid saw best first time new used first beginner custom furniture custom furniture garage home shop compare comparison hot chicks babe magnet awesome rigid 4512 grizzly jet steelcity craftsman

Hi everyone. This is my first post here and I’m in kind of a time sensitive jam.

I still consider myself a beginner with a lot to learn. I’ve had sporadic experience over the years but I’m really diving further into furniture making & hopefully selling and I’m shopping for my first table saw.

Like a lot of you I’m a perfectionist, so naturally I wanted a nice big cabinet saw. But new or used, they’re just out of reach for the time being. So I took to the internet to see what bargains I could find.

After few weeks I found a Powermatic 64a advertised as “powermatic 10” cabinet saw 110 v 32” fence barley used.” It’s for sale by a custom woodworker/business which gives me hope. The phone call was very noisy as it was in the shop with lots of commotion, and I think the seller said it’s steel, referring to the top instead of cast iron. It’s within budget, and I’ve read excellent things about older saws, but mixed reviews on the newer ones.

So my question is Is this a good saw or is it an average overseas special? I am going to see it at 5pm TOMORROW Wednesday the 28th and have to have my mind made up by then if I’m going to pull the trigger.

I’m doing all the research on it I possibly can tonight & tomorrow before I go see it, but I’d really like to hear from people in the know given all of TODAY’S options. Not 2005 or 20011 like I’ve found so far, but as of Feb 2015.

To the best of my ability I will try to describe what I believe to be, the perfect saw for ME

Budget of 500-600 bucks.
New or Used
As close to a cabinet saw as possible.
In order of importance:
1. Accuracy, suitable for making furniture worthy of actually charging someone for.
2. Dependability, I HATE tools that constantly need to be readjusted or fiddled with every week. Or have a reputation for it. (Example: A saw I really liked till I did some research, the rigid 4512)
3. A nice tool, Something Solid and well built. Suitable for a home/low production shop. 110/220v. able to stand up to hardwoods around 1.5 – 1-3/4” thick
4. NOT going to be moved around a lot. portability is not important.
5. Nothing from companies that won’t help you should you have an issue.
6. The things I haven’t thought about.

If the Powermatic is a no go for whatever reason, can anyone recommend a saw that fits me?

Thanks so much,

31 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5834 posts in 3052 days

#1 posted 01-28-2015 04:26 PM

My reply is “maybe”. First, the good news: a lot of folks have that saw and are very happy with it, being Powermatic gives it a leg up in my opinion. Is it worth $300? If it’s as you describe (barely used) and has all the parts (the fence, and you probably want to blade guard assembly, and the miter gauge) I would put it somewhere in the $250 range. But that’s me, and it may be worth $300 to you. I’m hoping Knottscott catches this thread and adds his take; but I’m thinking the saw could serve you well. I believe that model mat be left tilt, which is highly desired by many and a little uncommon on contractor’s saws. Whatever happens, I wish you the best.

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

View Tennessee's profile


2901 posts in 3074 days

#2 posted 01-28-2015 04:30 PM

I’d take another look at the Rigid 4512. Since they introduced the model II trunion most of the angle problems seem to have gone away.
I own one, and save for a single C clip that fell off the raise/lower worm, (I replaced it, rather than take it back), it has been pretty flawless.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View jsuede's profile


69 posts in 1783 days

#3 posted 01-28-2015 04:42 PM

A quick google search puts the 64a, if it is in fact a 64a at $1500 new, I’m suspicious of a $300 asking price with the byline barely used. FWIW it’s not a cabinet saw, but a contractor saw, much better than whats currently offered these days as a contractor saw though (cast iron top, quality fence). The fence system alone is @ $320 on amazon. I don’t think Powermatic could be described as average overseas special, but that’s a matter of opinion. I’ve always used Craftsman 113s, and been plenty happy, I consider it a better option than what’s being offered sub $500 in the big boxes, but I don’t have experience working with other saws. If it has a cast iron top and trunnion mount I consider it more than adequate for an enthusiast like myself. I may be wrong but I would consider a 1 1/2 HP motor to be a little undersized for routinely ripping into 1 3/4” hardwoods.

View knotscott's profile


8346 posts in 3935 days

#4 posted 01-28-2015 05:05 PM

The PM64 was a pretty decent contractor saw compared to others of that era, but the basic format is really that of a typical decent Taiwanese contractor saw….nothing extraordinary to warrant a $1500 price tag. AFAIK, it came from the same factory as several others…Jet, General International, Grizzly, Bridgewood, Woodtek, and others. What tends to differentiate them are the things that get bolted to the castings. The fence, wings, motor, switch, guards, belt, and pulleys are all things that could be upgrades on the PM…..however, it’s worth noting that the PM64 had a couple of distinct iterations – one was the PM64a with the cast iron wings and the Accufence. The other version was the PM64s that featured stamped steel wings and the Microglide fence. None of these contractor saws offers a true riving knife, if that’s something you’re interested in. The PM64a could certainly be worth $300 if in decent shape, and possibly more. If it’s the PM64s with steel wings and the Microglide fence, I’d offer a bit less, but $300 isn’t outrageous. It’s worth a look IMO, but it’s worth mentioning that this was never really intended for heavy commercial use, be sure it hasn’t been run hard and put away wet on a routine basis.



Giving your general geographic area or posting the CL link, might help someone here spot a great saw for you….

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View KDO's profile


154 posts in 3329 days

#5 posted 01-28-2015 05:16 PM

I think knotscott’s advice is good.
The PM’s are a decent product.
I’ve known people with PM products and they were happy with them.
It’s not just another cheap product.
I would really look it over and make sure it truly is “barely used”.
Make usre everything looks tight and no rust on the inner parts.
Make them run it for you and make sure it purrs like a kitten and doesn’t make unusual noise.
Being in a professional woodworking shop would make me ask, “Why are they getting rid of it?” And “Why wasn’t is used?”
If it looks good, I would probably pull the trigger on it.
Good Luck.

-- Christian, Husband, Grandpa, Salesman, amateur Woodworker.

View Woodknack's profile


12945 posts in 2939 days

#6 posted 01-28-2015 06:44 PM

Hard to judge without a pic but in my area it would have been gone the first day. They were overpriced when new but had a good reputation.

-- Rick M,

View TheGreatJon's profile


348 posts in 1793 days

#7 posted 01-28-2015 07:56 PM

I was recently in a very similar position with a similar budget, except that I was not in a hurry. If you are in a hurry to get going, I would definitely take a look at the PM 64. If not, an older Unisaw or PM66 is obtainable within your budget. They would fit all of your needs, with the possible exception of customer support, but it is easy to find parts and advice because they have been so widely used.

I checked craigslist almost daily and I have several auction sites that I keep an eye on. While they often go for a premium I’ve seen these older heavy duty saws, in good condition, pop up on CL for as low as $500. On auctions I have seen them go for as low as $200-300.

Just this last weekend I finally took the plunge. I traded a chainsaw with a milling attachment plus $100 cash for a PM72 that is in fantastic condition. That was a total cost to me of $700 if you count what I originally paid for the chainsaw and attachment. If you can be patient, good deals are out there.

-- This is not the signature line you are looking for.

View FUBARed11's profile


16 posts in 1775 days

#8 posted 01-29-2015 05:04 AM


With a gaping chasm from the front to the back of the blade. it’s an 8th out of alignment with the miter slots. Adjusting it next week and callin Powermatic for more history.

Seller was the original owner, it sat in his shop and was never used until times got slow when the bubble burst, he closed it down and it went into his garage at home, it is an older model, 06-08 ro so he says, he now does any work he can & his wife was raising hell to get rid of it because its taking up too much room. He’ll call when he finds the miter sled and dust chute because he’s cleaning out the garage-wife’s orders.

View FUBARed11's profile


16 posts in 1775 days

#9 posted 01-29-2015 05:09 AM

Here’s my other new acquisition. Got it from a church rummage sale for 20 bucks. Of course the church was an hour away though..

Headstock spins easily with zero wobble- want to get rid of that screw, Tail stock is caked thick with old grease and grime and barely moves. Huge tool rest, love that. Though about putting the metal bits on some machined angle iron to replace the wood Ways.

What do you think?

View Woodknack's profile


12945 posts in 2939 days

#10 posted 01-29-2015 07:54 AM

Score! on the Powermatic. With that huge cast iron top it’s probably worth $300 in scrap. We are in the same boat on alignment. I knocked my Delta out and next warm day I have to tear into it and realign.

That is one ridiculous tool rest. Any markings or badges on the lathe? By the looks I would guess early 20th century, pre-WWII for sure.

-- Rick M,

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5834 posts in 3052 days

#11 posted 01-29-2015 12:09 PM

What did you wind up paying for the saw? Looking good BTW, be sure to get some good advice before adjusting the blade into alignment. Not from me, I was unable to get my Delta CS aligned (after hours of work) and i wound up installing PALS to get the job done.

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

View knotscott's profile


8346 posts in 3935 days

#12 posted 01-29-2015 12:17 PM

That’s a nice saw for $300 IMO. You could probably resell it for $400+ if you wanted to. Ya done good! The alignment process can be a bit tedious, but should be doable…it’s important so stick with it. That blade looked pretty mucked up too…at the very least, time for a cleaning, if not a new one!

That lathe for $20 was a nice deal too.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View FUBARed11's profile


16 posts in 1775 days

#13 posted 01-29-2015 11:34 PM

thanks guys, appreciate the encouragement for sure.

I didn’t haggle with the guy and gave him the full 300.

And yeah it’s pretty dirty! Been sitting in his shop for years then his garage for years. No doubt I’ll have her shinin like a diamond and looking like a brand new saw once I really dive in. It’s just friggin cold as hell here. (North jersey)

I found the manual online, and it’s got a section on adjustments:

as for the blade, yeah I don’t plan on depending on it. Its straight as an arrow and the seller told me it was a barely used 100$ blade that just needs to be sharpened so I’m going to take it to a place in town to get looked at. This shop is supposedly famous for the best blades money can buy, or at least that’s what the old timers around me all say. It’s like gospel. called “FOREST” (next to the greatest hotdog place in the world so I GUESS i’ll just HAVE to go down…)

I’ll keep the thread updated when I have news to report.

again, Thanks for all the help and kind words!

View Dan658's profile


93 posts in 1829 days

#14 posted 01-29-2015 11:50 PM

I’d say that you got a good deal. Just the fact that it has cast iron wings and a good fence would have had me interested. With a little elbow grease, you got one hell of a saw for $300. Everyone in my neck of the woods wants top dollar for their junk and good deals seem few and far between. At least when I’m looking…...

View HerbC's profile


1801 posts in 3418 days

#15 posted 01-29-2015 11:54 PM

Yeah, I’d say Forest might know a little bit about saw blades…

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

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