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Thread: New Powermatic PM2000 Review w/pics

  1. #1
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    New Powermatic PM2000 Review w/pics

    Well as I posted previously I had a Grizzly 1023RL on order since February. The order got delayed twice which got me to thinking about other options. The more I read here on the Creek about other top line saws the more I realized the difference in quality and features that I didn't want to be without. I had my search narrowed down to 2 saws, the PM2000 and the Jet Deluxe Xacta. With about a $500 difference between the two it was a tough choice. $500 buys a lot of lumber.
    I decided on the PM2000 thanks to a lot of input from guys here, especially Van Huskey who owns this saw and provided a lot of insight.

    Well just 4 days after the order was placed a 50ft trailer pulls up to the house. He had a liftgate and a pallet truck. Residential lift gate service is included for no charge on Powermatic saws. Problem being he couldn't back the trailer up to my garage where I wanted it and the bluestone driveway only allowed us to get the pallet jack about halfway up before bogging down. Anyway here she sits




    Here are the rest of the boxes included on the skid



    My shop is in the basement so I needed to break this saw down to the bare bones in order to handle it. This saw can be described in one word, massive.
    I removed the cast iron top which weighed well over 100lbs, and also the motor, which was an easy 80lbs with its cast iron mounting flange.
    Here's what I was left with:





    Even with all that weight removed the cabinet and base, along with the casters and trunnion assembly still weighed over 200lbs. Getting this monster down a narrow flight of stairs was no easy job.

    Here's a pic of the beast in my shop



    One of the first things I wanted to see was how difficult the caster system was to use. I heard stories about how you can only lift the saw 1/16" or so, so I tried it out. Fully extended I got a shade over 3/8". Plenty for any floor.



    Cont.

  2. #2
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    WOW, it came a lot quicker than you were expecting no?

  3. #3
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    Congrats on your new saw, enjoy.

  4. #4
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    Once I got the saw wiped down it was time to clean up the extension wings and add a coat of wax.



    I was really impressed with the level of finish of the ground surfaces, they were outstanding. Much nicer than both the SawStop PCS and Delta UNI I saw at the distributor near me.
    Next step was to remount the table and do the aligning.
    I'm glad I broke the saw down to move it as it gave me a chance to see in detail exactly how the saw is assembled.
    This takes the mystery out if any repairs/replacements are needed in the future.

    Time to put my dial indicator to work. I measured the arbor plate for runout. No needle deflection at all. None. Very impressive.



    I mounted the new blade and went about setting the blade parallel with the left hand miter slot.



    Now I knew this would be time consuming because I had removed the table but it took more time than even I thought. Using a dial indicator and a rubber mallet (never thought I'd use those two words in the same sentence). It was like a caveman trying to split the atom. 1/2 hour of trial and error later I finally achieved the result I was after, .001.
    I know there a some here that scoff at this notion of trying to make things that perfect, especially if you're just working with wood, but if you have the tools and the time why not try? In either case it was a great learning experience.

    After the setup it was time to wax the main table and install the extension wings.



    Guess I got lucky with the wings as they were very flat. All the hardware lined up perfectly and I had the wings mounted and flush in less than 1/2hr.



    The table top with wings is a massive 30 1/2" deep by 42" wide. That's some serious iron. A couple of other details about the top compared to the Jet saw, the main table is nicely beveled front and rear, as are both extension wings, as you can see in the pic. Also both wings are radiused on both outside corners (there is a left and a right wing). Nice detail.



    I fired it up and vibration was non existent. Purred like a kitten. There aren't enough superlatives to describe how silky smooth this saw was.
    The only shortcoming I found so far was the difficulty in adjusting both the 90deg and 45deg stops. Both were very hard to do with tight access. Glad this only has to be done once.

    Well that's as far as I can go at this point. The fence rails are back ordered till the last week in June. I'll post some more pics then and give some final thoughts.
    Any and all questions are welcome. I'll do my best to help if I can.
    Last edited by Joe Leigh; 06-05-2010 at 11:34 AM.

  5. #5
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    I see now, they just shipped the saw without the rails. At first I was having Deja Vue since the first blade on my saw was a Freud P410 as well!

    I am glad you are seeing the same things I saw in the PM particularly the surface grind, I often want to mention this but just expect it to be dismissed but I swear it is better than any of the current SS and Delta saws. I am sure you can't wait to make sawdust!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Huskey View Post
    WOW, it came a lot quicker than you were expecting no?
    Yeah! Ordered Tuesday delivered Friday!
    I was pumped. I spent most of last night going downstairs just to look at it.
    Thanks again.

  7. #7
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    Nice saw Joe! I was drooling over a Craftsman 3/4 cabinet saw. It's OK and will last for many a year before it needs replaced or I get an urge to spend money again. I was a bit disappointed in the finish and the way the fence and table extension fit. Just goes to show you get what you pay for. I also was one that thought that close enough was OKfor a wood working operation, till I tried to glue up a few boards and they where outta square by 3/16 of an inch over 32 in span. That was a lesson I wont forget. LOL

  8. #8
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    Congrats Joe. I helped a friend setup his PM2000, it was dead on too.
    Very nice machine.
    Please help support the Creek.

    When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

    - Steven Wright

  9. #9
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    I've used the SS and Uni's a bunch, and I thought both those saws had a very nice fit and finish. Saying this thing is far above those really speaks to the quality of the PM tools! I hope you make great use of the new saw! You certainly got about the best one out there.
    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

  10. #10
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    Love the mustard.

    Joe,

    Very nice table saw. Good job on the setup too. What type of fence?

    Powermatic is my first choice in stationary tools. Love the mustard.

    My first two Powermatics were a 719 Hollow Chisel Mortiser and a 882 Jointer. They are both so good they kind of sold me on Powematic tools. Seeing threads like this sort of confirms it for me.

    PHM

  11. #11
    the 2 words i despise the most in woodworking are "close enough"

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul McGaha View Post
    Joe,

    Very nice table saw. Good job on the setup too. What type of fence?
    Thanks Paul. The fence is the standard Powermatic Accufence w/30" rails.

  13. #13
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    I think that will be my next saw. I am still deciding between that and the new Unisaw.

  14. #14
    I have that same saw (got it about 6 months ago). It replaced a contractor-type Powermatic Artisan saw, and the difference was astounding. Silky smooth, accurate and powerful. I was pleasantly surprised, as I figured that I had "settled" because of my budget (and a great sale price). I love the leg-operated kill switch and the dust collection is very good. I use it to cut both very hard (ebony, maple) and gummy (spruce, pine) woods, and perhaps I am imagining it but my blades seem to stay sharp longer. I have a pair of Forrest Woodworker II's that I alternate.

  15. #15
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    Well I got the rail set installed and I took my time setting it up properly.



    The standard extension table has a very slick laminate top and is constructed in a torsion box style. It adds some nice work area to the saw. I also added a LeeCraft zero clearance insert and a low profile riving knife..



    Can't say enough about how Powermatic designed their riving knife/saw guard combo, they make it so easy to remove and install that there really is no reason not to use them all the time.
    After finally doing some rips and crosscuts all I can say is Wow!. Silky smooth, no vibration and surprisingly quiet, though that has a lot to do with the blade I'm using. I've read countless time on this board how a well made cabinet saw makes all the difference in the world and how it becomes the focal point of your shop. Being a hobbyist I can say the confidence and safety factor has increased geometrically. It's an amazing tool and I'm proud to own it.

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