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Thread: Big Tool Upgrade

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2021
    Portland, OR

    Big Tool Upgrade

    Well I paid the tax man and have my hard earned money to spend. I do have a few questions/clarifications I am looking for to make sure I'm going the right direction.

    #1 upgrade is the tablesaw. My trusty dewalt jobsite saw is awesome, but doesn't do everything I need for the direction I am heading. I'm pretty set on going with a Powermatic PM2000b for a wide variety of reasons. Yes, I did consider the sawstop. After careful consideration I would really prefer the Powermatic.

    #2 Hand tools. I've been learning hand planing with a set of newer stanleys but they have some serious flaws. Would like to pick up a set from veritas. Am thinking bevel up jointer, low angle smooth, and a scraping plane. I really like my stanley low angle jack and figure those will fit in around it. Also considering a sharpening system. Any recommendations?

    #3. New planer. I've got the dewalt 735 but am ready for a big step up. I'm considering the powermatic 209HH. I like working with a lot of figured wood and the 20" capacity is the largest I think I can afford and justify. Any experience with this? Other brands to consider?

    #4. I need a light use bandsaw. For the pricepoint, the Laguna 14BX seems like the best bet. Good reviews and enough cut capacity to handle most anything I would feed it.

    Any feedback/recommendation is greatly appreciated!
    Last edited by Bryan Hall; 03-28-2021 at 1:24 AM.

  2. #2
    Bandsaw I suggest, but one with larger wheels than that.
    You can get a 20" one which will basically have the same footprint as a 14".
    A machine this size, you can use a fence, that's not a point fence!
    and will be a much quieter and ever so much nicer machine to use, as something suitable like a 3/4" blade for resawing
    will have enough beam tension not to even need side rollers, and regarding noise the 3/4" blade will be stout enough not to 'give in' and wander off the wheels
    into the thrust guide and make all sorts of noise, look at many videos editing out or overdubbing the middle of the cut,

    Look on the used three phase market for one at least 200kg, weight being the best indicator of how heavy duty it is, and don't heed manufacturers wild claims about what machine
    can honestly handle, 200kg for a 20" machine is the lightest I'd be looking for.
    Get to know what a dual voltage motor looks will have symbols like 220/240v, a triangle symbol, D for Delta, or two diagrams for Star/Y (high voltage) and the other low voltage option.
    Once you see that you now it's dual voltage, and can be run from a household plug, via an inverter/VFD for about a hundred quid.
    Don't do a youtube on wiring these up by some snowflake video, there's things to know like capacitors storing power after unplugging, seen one video of a person going at the output leads while it likely still had power!!! lethal voltage.

    If you have some Bailey style planes, and you're looking into buying a scraper plane, and low angle smoothing, do yourself a favour and learn to set the cap iron and you will thank yourself.
    David Weaver (David W on youtube) has done a lot of articles on the subject, have a look at this one on a google search titled "Setting a cap iron"
    Notice the leading edge on the cap iron is 50 something degrees, the mouth is open, i.e frog flush with the casting,
    The camber is very small and even, allowing the cap iron to get at a max distance of 1/32" away from the edge, any further and it won't have any effect.

    It makes sense to have another plane set up for tricker stuff again, or even for that better sheen,
    this time with an un-noticable camber until paired with the cap iron, so the cap will be able to get twice as close to the edge, say set to 1/64" from the edge,
    closer or further away for the timber at hand, the camber is sooo slight that it can be set either way.

    Look around for more videos on the subject and you will not find any good ones apart from looking at a few of David's

    It's embarrassing that its coming up 10 years since there was a fuss made about this, some say to have said how they knew this information all along
    but yet still scrape flat surfaces
    Some folk here knew, like Warren Mickley, but most of the gurus are too proud and stubborn to actually be proved how well it works compared to anything else.
    One or two others, you won't find the mainstream teachers making videos on this important subject.
    Try copying anything else and it won't work, forget what you've learned if you've studied about tight mouths.

    That 50 degrees makes a big difference, as to how close to the edge the cap iron can be for it to work.
    I and many others like it honed at 50 or a hair over.

    Never have tearout again with a pair of bog standard Bailey style planes.
    Makes a big difference if you're planing tropical interlocked and figured timbers.

    That is the best combination I see for someone wanting to really get into hand work, a nice bandsaw capable of making veneers or panels for boxes and whatnot...
    and 'cough' nice benches.

    All the best

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Waterford, PA
    You don't mention a jointer in your mix of tools. If you're thinking of upgrading from the 735, I imagine you're thinking of a stationary, floor standing model. I don't know what space constraints you may/may not have in your shop, but I always seem to be needing more. Have you looked at any of the combo machines? I have a Hammer A3-31 Jointer/Planer combo that I love. Though it was expensive, it was less than two comparably sized separate machines. I now "sorta, kinda" wish I had considered one of the Slider TS/Jointer/Planer machines prior to purchasing the A3-31. I'm very happy with the Cabinet Table Saw I have, but often wonder if I should have upgraded the saw at the time I purchased the J/P. I can't put a slider in my shop unless I had gone with a combo machine. I guess I'm just trying to say to try and look well in to the future while making your decisions.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Bryan Hall View Post
    I'm pretty set on going with a Powermatic PM2000b...Yes, I did consider the sawstop. After careful consideration I would really prefer the Powermatic.
    Powermatic PM2000b - I was NOT impressed with the quality given the price premium. On the one I purchased a few inches to the left/back side of the blade was a substantial bulge in the surface of the table. The grind on the fence rail where the PTFE fence buttons ride was ground so course (like 80 grit) the buttons were grinding down leaving little trails of PTFE bits in its wake. The table finish was nothing like the polished PowerMatic's of old. The Grizzly G0696X table is a lot more polished, not a mirror surface but you can easily see reflections in it vs the PM2000b was dull. The fence rails, only 3 bolts attaching to the front and only 2 bolts attaching to the rear. There are holes in the angle iron iron, the manual said you could drill your own holes in the extension wings if you want. (face palm) I found the motor cover on the left in the way. The built in mobile base is an absolute joke. 200 turns to raise the thing and the wheels failed after minimal use. Chunks of the tires started falling off and pretty soon I had to lift one corner then one side to move the thing.

    SawStop ICS (I have a 5hp on order) - Digging into this saw including speaking with SawStop I found the ICS has thicker castings vs the PCS and is beefed up in a number of areas. Having owned the 12 inch BEAST Grizzly G0696X with 2 inch tall tables both the PM2000b and ICS feel like a step down in beastly, so when I looked over the ICS on display at my local woodworker store I paid particular attention to the table and wings. Yes both the 2000b and ICS tables are only 1.5 inches tall. But the ICS has bolts both front and rear for the extension wings. So 5 bolts for the front rail angle iron and 4 bolts for the rear. This locks the table and wings together nicely. I put some of my weight down on the wings to see if I could flex them, it was solid, the fence angle iron added rigidity. Other things I liked about the ICS was the fit and finish, it was everywhere. Not so much on the PM2000b. The only ding I could find on the ICS was the metal motor cover door wasn't a secure latch it kind of rattled a bit if you tapped it but maybe they didn't have the latch adjusted right on the floor display. I also liked that on the ICS you can disable the cartridge from firing vs the PCS. Since both saws were setup side by side, not knocking the PCS but it's no ICS for sure. The SawStop hydraulic mobile base is brilliant! A few foot pumps and you are mobile, tap the release and bam planted on the floor.

    Final table saw decision...initially I tried to purchase another BEAST 12" Grizzly G0696X. The previous one I owned, the only machine I ever purchased that was 99.9% flawless from the factory that thing was unreal. But due to Covid they are on backorder for 11 months arrgh. Turns out it was a blessing in disguise. It forced me to look at the ICS. A fine saw as it turns out but it was the safety feature that sealed the deal. Both my grandfather and great grandfather lost thumbs to a table saw later in life. I'm getting close to 60 and I'm not as attentive and sharp as I once was so though I hate to admit it, maybe the safety feature of the SawStop is a good idea.

    Powermatic 209HH - IMPORTANT they don't come with the Byrd Shelix cutter head now. They are using an Asian knock off. That's why Powermatic's website no longer touts the Byrd Shelix and just says helical. I contacted Byrd to confirm. Some sites like Woodcraft have corrected their advertising, others like Rockler still say they come with a Byrd but not true. This is so typical of the Asian market to keep the price jacked up while they quietly cheap out on a component. Nevertheless I have a 15HH on order and previously owned a 15HH with the Byrd cutter head. I ran AAAAA figured maple through the 15HH and it worked beautifully. Was also quiet in the low 80 decibel range vs the loud as hell straight knife planers. Also more of an airy whooshing cut that's easy on the ears. I tried to buy a used 209HH locally last week since the 15HH I ordered is on backorder but the owner flaked out, craigslist, enough said. So I think your choice of the 209HH is excellent. Only wish they still came with the Byrd cutter head.

    Bandsaw - I decided to downsize. In woodworking shop 1.0 I opted for a big 19" bandsaw which was nice but the thing was so large I was constantly trying to find space for it. Seemed like it was always in the way so I decided to go smaller. I looked in the 14-16 inch range and chose the Powermatic 15" (in truth 14.5 inch) PM1500 3HP. It has a lot of features from the bigger saws, you really have to go through this saws features in detail. Love the T fence compared to other bandsaws. Did you notice the fence lock on that Laguna, it's sad. For sure a LOT more money than other saws in this size but I decided to cry once and get the features I wanted.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2021
    Portland, OR
    Oof. That's really disappointing to hear about powermatic.

    I wonder if they had to give up on getting the heads from byrd?

    I ordered one for the 735 in August and never received it. I called in three months in a row and they gave me the same line of "we have a batch coming out this week. Yours will be in this batch or the next." After hearing that exact same line several months in a row I just decided to upgrade the planer.

    One challenge is there's no showroom near me that has any saw other than sawstop. It almost feels like a forced purchase.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    New Brunswick, Canada
    I realize that helical heads are popular and for good reasons but I have a Tersa knife head in my SCM FS30 jointer planer and like it a lot. Knife changes are fast and easy. Blades seem to last and are relatively inexpensive. I really like having a 12” jointer. It is not noticeably louder than the 20” helical head planer at our local club.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Bryan Hall View Post
    Oof. That's really disappointing to hear about powermatic.

    I wonder if they had to give up on getting the heads from byrd?

    I ordered one for the 735 in August and never received it. I called in three months in a row and they gave me the same line of "we have a batch coming out this week. Yours will be in this batch or the next." After hearing that exact same line several months in a row I just decided to upgrade the planer.

    One challenge is there's no showroom near me that has any saw other than sawstop. It almost feels like a forced purchase.

    Tariff wars maybe. They have to manufacture the Byrd in the USA then ship to Taiwan then back to the USA could be the Byrd's got cost prohibitive. I'm hoping (fingers crossed) that the helical head that comes in the 15HH I ordered is like the Byrd, both helical and shearing. The Byrd inserts are angled not straight on to the wood and the leading edge is radiused. So instead of a chip its more of a slice like drawing a knife.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Bryan Hall View Post
    One challenge is there's no showroom near me that has any saw other than sawstop. It almost feels like a forced purchase.
    SawStop's headquarters is about 30 miles from my house. We have three woodworking stores here Woodcraft, Rockler, and Woodcrafters. All sell the SawStop's and have pretty much every model SawStop on display. But nothing else. They used to display the Jet's and Delta's but no more. For Powermatic it's typically only drill presses and bandsaws on display. I don't recall a Powermatic table saw on display ever. Maybe back when the first PM1000/2000's came out.

  9. #9
    It depends a lot on what you want to build. I recently bought a Jet JWBS14-SFX bandsaw for about $1000. It was on sale. Resaw capacity is 13 inches. I haven't used it a lot, haven't even put a 3/4 blade on it (using a 1/2) but it seems like a nice saw. I need to make at least 8 dining room chairs and that will be a bigger workout for this saw than it has had from me so far. I do not think I need more than 14 inch throat capacity. I've been woodworking for about 50 years, so I know what my needs are fairly well - but that doesn't say much about what you need.

    I am on my fourth table saw, it is a SawStop PCS 1.75hp. I am very satisfied with it, it will be my last table saw. The protection feature helped me avoid a more serious injury last year. First incident on a table saw for me. But if it wasn't a good saw, the protection feature alone would not make it worth it's price. Dust collection is pretty good due to a blade shroud channeling most of the dust to the dust port. Pretty easy to adjust. I am not impressed with the throat plate but a Colliflower doesn't add a lot to the cost. Rip fence (mine is 36 inch) is really nice. Moves smoothly and doesn't need checked with a steel ruler once zerod for the blade.

    But for your situation my number one suggestion is to look at track saws. If you will work with big pieces of wood, sheet or solid, you will find it much easier to make cuts with a track saw than with any table saw. Cuts can be just as accurate as those made with a table saw. A track saw makes a less capable table saw much easier to live with. You simply cut bigger pieces of wood with the track saw and smaller with the table saw. I jointed the edges of the 6 cherry boards in my new 10 foot dining room table with my track saw. I got good glue joints. Very useful and often underrated tool. I would definitely get a track saw before upgrading your table saw. You can get one and a useful amount of track for as little as $200 (WEN). I have a DeWalt. It or the Makita are a good mid-price option. Festools are probably nicer but are significantly more expensive.

    Another smaller tool that has really helped my woodworking is my domino. I have a hollow chisel mortiser that needs to go on craigslist. I have not used it since getting the domino. It makes it so much easier to make a mortise and tenon joints that I change the design of furniture to add them. I have a XL with mostly CMT and Amana cutters and I mostly make my own tenon stock. It is nice and compact and eliminates the need to cut tenons. It is much easier to cut two mortises and make slip in tenons. Glued correctly it will be just as strong (if equal in size. If you use little premade tenons from Festool that are not large enough for your project you will get less strength).

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    It has been suggested (elsewhere) that planer size should be a multiple of jointer size. A 12 - 13" planer works well with a 6" jointer, 16" with and 8" jointer - and so on. Made sense to me.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Cambridge Vermont
    I was set on buying a used 209HH from another member here but it fell through. When I found out the new Powermatics came with the same helical head as the Grizzly I opted for the 1033X. I've never liked the way most 4 post planers have the mag switch mounted. Having the power wires just hanging there seems like an issue. But I have my planer on wheels so wires like that tend to get caught on stuff as it's moved. The Grizzy has a control panel with the wires running inside the mount. Not sure if Grizzly has them in stock but they are a fair bit less expensive than the PM.

    As for a table saw. I wonder how many Powermatic sells now? I'm sure SS has put a big dent in the number sold. If you can like with a splitter vs a riving knife I think I would either go with a new SS or look for a good used mustard color PM66.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    NW Indiana
    What kind of dust collection do you have? With bigger tools you may need an upgrade.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Zeller View Post
    When I found out the new Powermatics came with the same helical head as the Grizzly I opted for the 1033X.
    Alex do you have any details on this? If those are the Grizzly helical heads where the inserts are straight into the wood vs the Bryd's angled I may cancel my Powermatic 15HH order. No way can I see paying the Powermatic premium HH price for something that's not the equivalent of a Byrd.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2021
    Portland, OR
    I realize I didn't give all my tooling, just what I'm upgrading.

    I have a huge inventory of carpentry tools since that's my trade.

    Woodworking related I also have:
    8" helical jointer from grizzly. I don't love it, and will upgrade in the future.
    Mafell track saw and a crosscut saw
    Dustright 1250 with the 1 micron filter. People always tell me I need to upgrade this. So far, it has done everything I've asked of it, but I recognize bigger machines could have a bigger need.
    Jet AFS 1000B air filter.
    12" fixed and 7-1/4" sliding miter saws.
    4'x6' rolling assembly table.
    7'x2' workbench.

    Shop size is 23x23 from wall to wall. Double garage doors on one side.

    I definitely have a need for a router table w/lift and wouldn't mind recommendations on that. I thought I would get it connected to the tablesaw, but now I'm second guessing it.

    Last, now that I've been hearing so many powermatic struggles, I'm considering Laguna across the board.
    Fusion F3 table saw
    18BX bandsaw
    MX20 planer

  15. #15
    I also did not want my router table hung off my table saw. I went with the cast iron SawStop setup.


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