Powermatic 64A - should I upgrade?
#21
  Re: RE: Powermatic 64A - should I upgrade? by Hardwood (Thank you guys for a...)
(03-31-2021, 02:13 PM)Hardwood Wrote: Thank you guys for all of the replies. You have given me much to think about. As someone mentioned, I should pry open my wallet, and that is true on several fronts. Moving a table saw in and out of my basement should not be "my" problem. I live in a college town and can probably find some muscular college guys do it for a couple of cases of craft beer. 

I was not thinking about the Sawstop, frankly because I guess I'm cheap. Again, maybe I should pry open my wallet. My fingers are pretty important to me. I don't want to leave all of my money to my kids, I worked hard, I should spend some of it. I'll look into the SawStop. 

I totally agree with the person who said, this is a hobby and it should be fun, not frustrating.

Wise words, all!

Doug
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#22
  Re: Powermatic 64A - should I upgrade? by Hardwood (I have a Powermatic ...)
I upgraded to the SS PCS with 36" fence and T-Square fence.  The fence is dead on and when properly set up it has been very accurate.  I have only done a few bevel cuts, but have had no issues coming back to 90*. I did upgrade the miter gauge to a Incra v125. I had no issues with the SS version, but it just wasn't as easy to use. I only wish I had got the Industrial base.  The PCS base works great, except it has 2 fixed wheels that do not turn.  So if you have to move the saw in a small space you end up shoving the saw to where you want it.  I have mine in a small area of my basement and have issues with the Floor drain slope that add to the mobility issue. If looking at saws without the safety features, I would check out Hary as well. Dan
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#23
  Re: Powermatic 64A - should I upgrade? by Hardwood (I have a Powermatic ...)
Fred and I have the same history. I had a Powermatic 63A Artisan contractor's saw for years. It was a nice contractor's saw, but like you, I started having alignment issues with it. I found a great deal on a slightly used Delta Unisaw and jumped on it. For me, the upgrade was amazing. The cabinet saw was a much more robust machine than my contractor's saw and it held its alignment faithfully. The upgrade was a dream. I later experienced a major kickback with it and decided to make the switch to a SawStop for its safety features. This was another terrific upgrade. Everything about the SawStop is first class and I have really enjoyed owning it. I sold my Unisaw to my best friend to replace his contractor's saw, and he tells me often that the saw is a dream compared to his old contractor's saw. He is very happy with it. I'm not suggesting you buy a SawStop. My purpose in echoing others' replies is to second their support for making the change. You won't be disappointed.
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#24
  Re: Powermatic 64A - should I upgrade? by Hardwood (I have a Powermatic ...)
Don't want to start yet another food fight, but the SawStop technology will not prevent a kickback.

The move from a contractor saw to a cabinet saw is a real and worthwhile upgrade though. When I did this upgrade, it was primarily for the better DC features, but the cabinet saw is a real joy to use outright.
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#25
  Re: RE: Powermatic 64A - should I upgrade? by Cian (Don't want to start ...)
[quote='Cian' pid='7971308' dateline='1617300281']
Don't want to start yet another food fight, but the SawStop technology will not prevent a kickback.
/quote]

Cian, I didn't mean to suggest that the SawStop technology prevents kickback, although the SawStop riving knife (that was not available on any other American machine when I bought my SawStop) certainly helps prevent kickback. I have been using tablesaws for more than 50 years without a single mishap. My kickback was a wake-up call. It told me that no matter how careful I am, I am still vulnerable to an accident. I was lucky, I only got a serious bruise. It could have been much worse and cost me fingers or a hand, or worse. The SawStop technology was designed to prevent those kinds of catastrophic accidents. I opted for that insurance against a future mishap.
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#26
  Re: Powermatic 64A - should I upgrade? by Hardwood (I have a Powermatic ...)
(03-27-2021, 10:37 PM)Hardwood Wrote: I have a Powermatic 64A contractor saw that I bought new about 20 years ago.  It's been a good saw for me, but lately I've become frustrated with it. I'm wondering if I should upgrade to a 3 hp cabinet saw. 

I completed a project in December that required several bevel cuts. No problem, the saw performed well. However, I discovered that after doing bevel cuts and then coming back to 90° cuts, and then going back and forth a couple of times, that the saw blade did not go back into alignment with the miter slot. Instead  it was a couple of degrees off. At that point, the saw would no longer cut straight, the wood would pull away from the fence, and kickback became a real threat. Basically, when this happened, my saw was not safe to use.  

I did some research and discovered that this is not an usual problem because of the design of contractor saws.  One well known author of table saw books (I can't remember which one at the moment) recommends not any doing bevel cuts on contractor saws because tilting the blade back and forth can pull things out of alignment underneath.  That's what happened to me. It took me several hours of banging my knuckles underneath to get everything back to normal. As a result I will never cut bevels on my table saw again. So that's a big issue for me.

So my first question is, are cabinet saws, by design, consistently able make bevel cuts without coming out of alignment? 

I also have the other concerns typical with a Powermatic 64. These include poor dust control, lack of a riving knife and only 1.5 hp. I assume that a cabinet saw upgrade would fix these issues.

Also, my saw is no longer manufactured so that is a bit frustrating. I would like to buy a new blade guard, but they are not available. I replaced the original blade guard years ago with an aftermarket guard with a swing arm and dust collection. However, I'm no longer thrilled with that, as it's a pain to take on and off if I want to cut dados. 

My second question is, should I upgrade, and if so, is a modern 3hp cabinet saw, going to fix my frustrations?

I'm a hobbyist, so I don't need a ton of capability, But I want something that consistently performs well, and is safe.

I'm currently thinking about the 3hp Jet Xacta with the 30" rip capability. I have 50" rip capability now, but frankly never use it. I might also consider Grizzly, I'm happy with one of their bandsaws. I've heard that Delta is not the quality it once was, and Sawstop is probably more than I want to pay (although the safety issue might appeal to the wife).

I'm fortunate to have a great basement shop with 9' ceilings. However, selling my current 375 lb saw and moving it out of the basement, and then moving a new 500 lb saw down into the basement will be a challenge. I will need to sell the powermatic to help defray cost, but moving this stuff up and down the stairs will be challenge. 

I've been a member of this forum for many years but got away form woodworking due to a busy career. I retired recently, and now I have time to get back into my woodworking. It's good to be back on Woodnet.

Thanks in advance for any input to my table saw dilemma.

I have owned a PM2000 for 10 years, I also run a public woodshop that had a Sawstop PCS for about 9 years and we just upgraded to a Sawstop Industrial saw. I can say that The PCS is a decent saw but it is not the quality or built as heavily as the PM2000. The machining is better in my PM2000 than the PCS was and I believe the engineering, (not considering the sawstop feature) is better on the PM2000. The PCS we had was used by a lot of beginner woodworkers and saw some hard use. In the hands of a single woodworker it should last as long as the electronics hold up. The PM2000 I own will probably out live me and hopefully be used many years by one of my grandchildren or a younger woodworker someday. The Sawstop uses a single sized splitter and riving knife vs the PM2000 that uses splitters/riving knives that are sized closer to the blade thickness. This I believe gives an edge to the Powermatic in reducing kick backs, which is far more frequent in woodworking than putting a finger or hand into a blade. The sawstop feature is an excellent feature but it in no way is flesh sensing as advertised. It senses electrical conductivity. Touch a staple or nail in wood, wet glue line, misadjusted miter gauge or reach in with a pencil to remove a small cutoff next to the blade and let the metal band holding the eraser touch the blade and you are paying for a cartridge and a blade. The system is active even after you shut off the saw and the blade is winding down without power. I believe the Industrial saw has a huge advantage here in that it brakes and stops the blade much quicker after shut off than the PCS does. I'm not sure if the Unisaw uses full kerf and thin kerf riving knives like Powermatic does, but I do believe that riving knives sized to blades are important and rarely thought of. 
I haven't seen one in person but if I didn't cut thick stock often, I'd look for the newer PM1000 cabinet saw with a 1 3/4 hp that Powermatic has. If it's machined as well as the PM2000 and uses the same splitter/riving knife system, I would seriously consider it. Safety comes from the user not the tool, Trust me idiots will always find a way to get themselves hurt, Sawstop or not. 

Paul
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#27
  Re: RE: Powermatic 64A - should I upgrade? by PaulM85 ([quote='Hardwood' pi...)
(04-01-2021, 11:59 PM)PaulM85 Wrote: I have owned a PM2000 for 10 years, I also run a public woodshop that had a Sawstop PCS for about 9 years and we just upgraded to a Sawstop Industrial saw. I can say that The PCS is a decent saw but it is not the quality or built as heavily as the PM2000. The machining is better in my PM2000 than the PCS was and I believe the engineering, (not considering the sawstop feature) is better on the PM2000. The PCS we had was used by a lot of beginner woodworkers and saw some hard use. In the hands of a single woodworker it should last as long as the electronics hold up. The PM2000 I own will probably out live me and hopefully be used many years by one of my grandchildren or a younger woodworker someday. The Sawstop uses a single sized splitter and riving knife vs the PM2000 that uses splitters/riving knives that are sized closer to the blade thickness. This I believe gives an edge to the Powermatic in reducing kick backs, which is far more frequent in woodworking than putting a finger or hand into a blade. The sawstop feature is an excellent feature but it in no way is flesh sensing as advertised. It senses electrical conductivity. Touch a staple or nail in wood, wet glue line, misadjusted miter gauge or reach in with a pencil to remove a small cutoff next to the blade and let the metal band holding the eraser touch the blade and you are paying for a cartridge and a blade. The system is active even after you shut off the saw and the blade is winding down without power. I believe the Industrial saw has a huge advantage here in that it brakes and stops the blade much quicker after shut off than the PCS does. I'm not sure if the Unisaw uses full kerf and thin kerf riving knives like Powermatic does, but I do believe that riving knives sized to blades are important and rarely thought of. 
I haven't seen one in person but if I didn't cut thick stock often, I'd look for the newer PM1000 cabinet saw with a 1 3/4 hp that Powermatic has. If it's machined as well as the PM2000 and uses the same splitter/riving knife system, I would seriously consider it. Safety comes from the user not the tool, Trust me idiots will always find a way to get themselves hurt, Sawstop or not. 

Paul

Sorry, but not true in this case. This technology protects even the "idiots", at least against catastrophic injury due to touching the blade. I've had my Sawstop PCS since they first introduced the model in 2008 (?) and yes I'm a hobbyist, but have no complaints. I've  touched off one cartridge from not paying attention with a miter gauge. Small price to pay for the protection IMO.

Just an FYI - over 30,000 tablesaw accidents happen each year in the U.S., including 4,000+ amputations. Costs of these accidents run into the $billions. And these are 2013 stats.

Doug
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#28
  Re: RE: Powermatic 64A - should I upgrade? by Tapper ([quote='PaulM85' pid...)
(04-02-2021, 10:14 AM)Tapper Wrote: Sorry, but not true in this case. This technology protects even the "idiots", at least against catastrophic injury due to touching the blade. I've had my Sawstop PCS since they first introduced the model in 2008 (?) and yes I'm a hobbyist, but have no complaints. I've  touched off one cartridge from not paying attention with a miter gauge. Small price to pay for the protection IMO.

Just an FYI - over 30,000 tablesaw accidents happen each year in the U.S., including 4,000+ amputations. Costs of these accidents run into the $billions. And these are 2013 stats.

Doug

You can say anything you want, but your statement "Think long term - the PCS will do everything you need as well as prevent ever having to worry about a serious injury." is foolish. If you think just because you operate a Sawstop, you don't have to worry about a serious injury you're wrong. I know a older woodworker who suffered several broken ribs from kickback on a Sawstop. i consider that a pretty serious injury for a 75 year old man and he did too. He was in a lot of pain for quite a while with that. He told me that in after thought he was hurrying to finish a project and he paid for it dearly. Sawstop technology didn't prevent that. 
Good shop practices, applying them all of the time and keeping your hands out of the throatplate area will prevent as many accidents as technology. I have great respect for the Sawstop technology, but there's a reason many throat plates are colored red. If you are putting your hands, fingers or any part of your body inside the area a throatplate covers, you need to rethink the cut and develop a safer way to make it. Using a small parts jig or cross cut sled with a hold down will make the cut safer for you. The greatest technology available to you is between your ears and if you use it safety is a given. You think about how your going to build something, why not spent as much or more time thinking about how to cut things out safely. Once you start doing it, thinking about these things becomes second nature. Just like reading lumber for knot and defect placement, so you exclude them from your pieces or put them on a side that doesn't show. Teach and preach thinking safety to yourself and others and you'll do more than a sawstop ever will. If you really want equipment to be concerned about, the jointer is it. There's fewer injuries attributed to them because there ate fewer in shops than table saws. I know a guy who worked in a commercial mill that lost 3 fingers to a jointer. With table saw injuries they are usually able to reattach fingers and repair a lot of damage. Loose parts to a jointer there's nothing big enough left to attach.  

Paul
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#29
  Re: RE: Powermatic 64A - should I upgrade? by PaulM85 ([quote='Tapper' pid=...)
(04-02-2021, 11:05 PM)PaulM85 Wrote: You can say anything you want, but your statement "Think long term - the PCS will do everything you need as well as prevent ever having to worry about a serious injury." is foolish. If you think just because you operate a Sawstop, you don't have to worry about a serious injury you're wrong. I know a older woodworker who suffered several broken ribs from kickback on a Sawstop. i consider that a pretty serious injury for a 75 year old man and he did too. He was in a lot of pain for quite a while with that. He told me that in after thought he was hurrying to finish a project and he paid for it dearly. Sawstop technology didn't prevent that. 
Good shop practices, applying them all of the time and keeping your hands out of the throatplate area will prevent as many accidents as technology. I have great respect for the Sawstop technology, but there's a reason many throat plates are colored red. If you are putting your hands, fingers or any part of your body inside the area a throatplate covers, you need to rethink the cut and develop a safer way to make it. Using a small parts jig or cross cut sled with a hold down will make the cut safer for you. The greatest technology available to you is between your ears and if you use it safety is a given. You think about how your going to build something, why not spent as much or more time thinking about how to cut things out safely. Once you start doing it, thinking about these things becomes second nature. Just like reading lumber for knot and defect placement, so you exclude them from your pieces or put them on a side that doesn't show. Teach and preach thinking safety to yourself and others and you'll do more than a sawstop ever will. If you really want equipment to be concerned about, the jointer is it. There's fewer injuries attributed to them because there ate fewer in shops than table saws. I know a guy who worked in a commercial mill that lost 3 fingers to a jointer. With table saw injuries they are usually able to reattach fingers and repair a lot of damage. Loose parts to a jointer there's nothing big enough left to attach.  

Paul

Sorry Paul, but I've heard all this drivel about shop safety relative to tablesaws here and elsewhere for years now. Nobody here that I've heard is recommending that any woodworker NOT practice shop safety. The statement stands. Of course I meant catastrophic injury as regards accidentally touching the spinning blade with your fingers, hands, arm, etc. etc. That's how most catastrophic injuries occur using tablesaws - the statistics bear it out every year (nothing foolish about this). These statistics are gathered directly from records of visits by the injured to hospital emergency rooms and other medical care facilities.

I've heard all the excuses you can possibly dream up as to why someone should not buy a Sawstop tablesaw. NONE of them hold water IMO. This discussion is not about jointers, planers, drill presses, power hand tools, shapers - name your dangerous tool of choice. It is about tablesaws. While serious injury can result from many tools in the shop, records show the tablesaw to be the primary culprit. And of course you can be seriously injured by a kickback from ANY tablesaw. Again, not the point.

BTW, I don't really care whether the Sawstop naysayers buy one or not. Take your chances, maybe you'll be lucky; I certainly hope so. But I'll guarantee you one thing for certain - ask anyone who's had a catastrophic injury on a tablesaw (as in amputations or mutilation) whether they wish they would've spent a little extra cash for a Sawstop - I think the answer is evident. 

Doug
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#30
  Re: Powermatic 64A - should I upgrade? by Hardwood (I have a Powermatic ...)
Well guys, thanks for all of the discussion, it's been very helpful.

One of the things I needed to do was get my wife on board with the purchase of a cabinet saw. I showed her the SawStop hot dog video and I think that did the trick. She really likes the safety aspect and is scared to death of my current table saw.  My wife spends time in my shop, primarily on the scroll saw and drill press, and I told her that maybe she might become comfortable using the SS. 

So I'm leaning towards the 3hp SS Professional with the 36" T-Glide fence.  I'm on the fence about a mobile base. Once I get it in my basement shop I will never have the need to move it. And since I'm not even sure I want a mobile base, if I got one I would go with the PCS model (the ICS mobile base would be overkill for me). However, the PCS mobile base is incompatible with the floating dust collection guard which I may want to add at a later date. So that may be the deal breaker on a mobile base. It looks like my best option may be to skip a mobile base so I'm not limited down the road in my dust collection options. 

Now the problem is, if I order one this week I've got to wait several weeks to get it. I'm like a kid at Christmas, I don't want to wait.


Jay
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