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Thread: New Powermatic 3hp PM2000 or 1997 5hp 66?

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
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    West Central Alberta, East of the Rockies - West of the Rest
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    597
    Alex, If I read your post correctly it seems you prefer the used PM 66 over a new PM 2000 and your only concern is with the riving knife. It is not difficult to make a bunch of ZCI's and glue in a 1/8" piece of plywood as replacement for the factory splitter, then install the new insert and raise the blade to the desired height cutting into the newly glued in plywood splitter, when you make 2 or 3 of them for different blade heights you'll be covered. Swapping inserts is a matter of seconds, you could even make one that allows for non through cuts. It would be somewhat trickier to make inserts for beveled cuts but not impossible. Other than that get or build a blade guard with dust collection hookup.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    It looks like it is 10 votes for the 66 and 1 vote for the 2000. Power, nostalgia, USA-made, Baldor, are a few things probably fueling the vote.

    I really appreciate the feedback and advice everyone. If I go with the 66, making some zero clearance inserts + splitter is definitely the plan, and I will certainly be using the splitter that comes with the saw out of the gate. After a few days of use I'll make a decision on the Shark Guard. On my current Powermatic I've found all the included accessories to be excellent, but those might be different with something 20 years old.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    3,104
    I'd give more weight to the extra h.p than to the riving knife, especially if you'll be cutting some thick stock from time to time.

    My first saw was a 5 h.p 3ph Powermatic 68; I'd never heard of a riving (or splitting) knife at the time so didn't miss it, but I really appreciated the power.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
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    759
    I wouldn't say no to a 5hp saw but I've never had any problems with a 3hp motor cutting anything. Is 5hp something needed for a 12in saw or 12/4 stock? Am I missing something?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Drew View Post
    I'd give more weight to the extra h.p than to the riving knife, especially if you'll be cutting some thick stock from time to time.

    My first saw was a 5 h.p 3ph Powermatic 68; I'd never heard of a riving (or splitting) knife at the time so didn't miss it, but I really appreciated the power.

  5. #20
    I've never used a tablesaw with too much power. I think 5hp is the minimum. Less power works, but if you're aggressive with gnarly material and a less than sharp blade, a saw bogging down is asking for trouble. HP isn't the magic cure either, it's just nice to have some in reserve.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    SF Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    108
    I've had two pm66s in my time, both 5hp 3ph, one built in the 80s and one in the 70s. I thought the build quality on both was quite average. For example, terrible stick welding holding the base to the steel flange upon which the table mounts. One of the welds was 3" long and only the first inch actually hit the base and the flange, both!
    I also have something against handwheels which are held on by a set screw onto a flat. No keyway. Even the Uni has a proper keyway and key.

    Those things said, there's nothing wrong with the performance of a PM66. I don't think the extra 2hp really means much in the real world though, I never felt that the 5hp PM66 had more power than my old Griz 1023 with Chicom 3hp motor. Strange but true....... (Yes, I did fit new cogged belts on the 66, and yes, the pm66 was powered by a proper 10hp RPC, not a marginal static phase con)

    How's the welding on the PM2000? Do the handwheels have keyways?

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    LA & SC neither one is Cali
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    8,369
    Quote Originally Posted by ken carroll View Post

    How's the welding on the PM2000? Do the handwheels have keyways?
    Can't comment on the welding, haven't explored the inside that much, but it is still in one piece...

    No keys, just screws.
    5,306 miles from where the greatest things with 4 wheels are born
    5,328 miles from where the greatest things with 2 wheels are born
    5,301 miles from where the greatest things with 2 wheels and a band are born
    Seems to be more than a coincidence to me...

  8. #23
    66....dumb easy decision

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Piedmont Triad, NC
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    598
    Quote Originally Posted by Bradley Gray View Post
    I have a somewhat older 66 that is a pleasure to use. Very fast set ups.

    Mine is 3hp/3ph and has enough power but if I had been given a choice 5hp would be better.

    If the motor ever burns out you can have the 3HP rewound to a 5HP.

    After I burned mine up the second time the electric motor guy asked if I wanted to up the HP. 5HP was the max for the housing.

    Tony

    Actually I think mine was 3HP single phase and he made it 5HP three phase.
    "Only those who have the patience to do simple things perfectly will acquire the skill to do difficult things easily. Friedrich von Schiller (1759-1805)

    Woodworking since 1972

  10. #25
    My 66 has a us made Leeson 3hp in it and I find it plenty of power so far. Same motor that is on my Oneida v3000. 5 may be better but would take a little larger circuit too.

  11. #26
    If cutting on a 12 or 14" blade, I'd recommend a 5 HP motor. I've ripped 8/4 beech and ash on a 2 hp Delta and it can be done, but it becomes possible to bog the saw with a 40 tooth blade. When I rip something that thick I shift to a 24 tooth and things get much better. 3 HP is kind of the sweet spot for home woodworking. If the saw was on all day and you were just ripping in a production environment, you would probably want a 5 HP motor. Clear the chips, power through, no bogging.

    "More power" - Tim 'the toolman' Taylor

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Carlson View Post
    I wouldn't say no to a 5hp saw but I've never had any problems with a 3hp motor cutting anything. Is 5hp something needed for a 12in saw or 12/4 stock? Am I missing something?
    May all your turnings be smooth,

    Brodie Brickey

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    Vermont
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    I have thoroughly enjoyed watching this thread and will continue to think about an all-American 66 in my shop, but....

    The wife got involved. She is putting the kibosh of getting a "less safe" saw and instead wants me to pick up the safest saw within reason. She also okay'd a MUCH larger budget for this purchase, so she ain't all that bad

    So, I'm probably going to pull the trigger on something with Felder USA this week. Yes, I know this is a complete and total departure from where things started originally. Thanks for all the responses and I'm sure someone else will have the PM2000 vs 66 dilemma again.

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
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    West Central Alberta, East of the Rockies - West of the Rest
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    597
    Congratulations, now that is a big step in the right direction for safety - 2 thumbs up. What model have you laid your eyes on?

  14. #29
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    Dec 2016
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Lankers View Post
    Congratulations, now that is a big step in the right direction for safety - 2 thumbs up. What model have you laid your eyes on?
    I found a used Hammer K3 with just about every possible accessory/option on it. We're working out the details on delivery, but if all goes well I'll make the 11 hour round trip to pick it up next week.

  15. #30
    You'll Never Look Back.

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