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Forum topic by Rickinnocal posted 04-21-2015 01:00 PM 1384 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 1767 days

04-21-2015 01:00 PM

I just bought a Powermatic 66 cabinet saw from our local middle school that I was told was late 70’s / early 80’s – it is dark green with a white stripe all round the cabinet. Does that color match that age?

The saw came with a 36” (I think – I haven’t got the saw out of the schools storage container yet) table extension, a Biesemeyer fence with 50” rails, and an overhead dust collector. It has a 3hp 3-phase motor which was replaced about 5 years ago. It was in daily use in the wood shop until they closed it a few weeks ago. I paid $250 for it, which I’m pretty sure is a good price.

My question is about the power. As I mentioned, it’s got a 3-phase 3hp motor. For under $100 I can get a static converter, but that means I’ll be running an effective 2hp. To get the full 3hp I need a rotary converter, but that’s going to cost more than the saw, as would a new motor


11 replies so far

View rick1955's profile


264 posts in 2065 days

#1 posted 04-21-2015 01:55 PM
You could get a vfd but 2 hp would be fine for 95% of your cutting. See enco for best prices on static converters

-- Working smarter with less tools is a true crafts person...

View bc4393's profile


88 posts in 1777 days

#2 posted 04-21-2015 01:57 PM

First of all, that’s a smoking deal on that saw, especially with the options. Mine is a single phase horse and a half, I think, 2 max, and its more power that I’ll ever need. It hogs through everything. It’s a Ferrari compared to my previous Delta contractor Saw. Congrats on your new toy!

View knotscott's profile


8365 posts in 4010 days

#3 posted 04-21-2015 02:49 PM

2HP should be plenty most of the time. A good sharp 3/32” thin kerf blade will help if it struggles at all, as will good setup of the saw/fence.

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

View SirIrb's profile


1239 posts in 1865 days

#4 posted 04-21-2015 03:02 PM

great deal. now get a singel ph motor and dont worry about the converter. I may be mistaken but I believe converters cut the hp down. Some electrical guy may set me straight.

The PM green does fall in that year to the best of my knowledge.

-- Don't blame me, I voted for no one.

View BurlyBob's profile


7062 posts in 2900 days

#5 posted 04-21-2015 03:25 PM

Yeah, that’s a great deal. Your gonna love that machine and all the extras.

View rick1955's profile


264 posts in 2065 days

#6 posted 04-21-2015 04:03 PM

Only a static gives 1/3 less power.
A VFD gives full power at $200 and a static is $137. A single phase motor will cost more.

-- Working smarter with less tools is a true crafts person...

View DrDirt's profile


4600 posts in 4377 days

#7 posted 04-21-2015 06:40 PM

Converters are cheap, but I don’t like dealing with the hassle. I would get a used motor.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View Richard's profile


1932 posts in 3325 days

#8 posted 04-21-2015 06:46 PM

That is a Very Good Deal , only problem is that they had to close down the woodworking classes for the Kids in order for you to get it. Most likely they will turn the shop into a Computer Lab.

View MrUnix's profile


7689 posts in 2833 days

#9 posted 04-21-2015 06:48 PM

Lots of good advice already given over at the OWWM site… and I agree, a three phase motor is basically bullet proof (no centrifugal switch, capacitors, etc…) and a VFD will give you lots of advantages that you will not get (and can’t get) from a single phase motor. Size based on amperage, not HP. A FM50-202-C can handle up to a 7.5 amp motor and can be had for less than $200.


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

View Oughtsix's profile


44 posts in 1809 days

#10 posted 04-21-2015 06:56 PM

I would definitely go for a VFD as mentioned above. Static converters aren’t worth the messing with. I would rather have a 3ph motor with a VFD than a 1ph motor for most machines including a table saw.

If you had to go with a static phase converter (which I would not!) 2hp will be plenty for a Powermatic 66… but get a VFD!

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5979 posts in 3128 days

#11 posted 04-21-2015 07:05 PM

I don’t think it matters how you choose to handle the 3 phase part, you got a great deal!

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

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