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Manufactured/Badged by:
Powermatic Machine Co.
McMinnville, TN; La Vergne, TN

Machine Specifications
Machine Class: Wood Working Machinery
Machine Type: Table Saw
Machine Size: 12"/14"
Submitted By: George R. Hoelzeman
Machine Specifications
Description/Model: 72
Date of Manufacturer: 1983
Serial Number: 8372123
Last Updated 11/3/2006 12:47:03 AM

Comments:
For several years I've been wanting to upgrade the Powermatic 66 to a larger saw since I regularly cut stock 3" and thicker. After weighing several options, I settled on this saw which I purchased from Odie White Machinery through his e-bay store. No bottom-feeder price for sure, but the saw is in excellent condition and all I needed to do was wire it in and tune it up and get a blade. Very smooth and powerful saw. Odie tells me it came from a school shop. From what I can tell, it did not see a great deal of use.

Specifics: 7.5hp 3ph Baldor motor running a 14" Forrest Woodworker II 30T blade. Cuts through 4" cherry like butter. Gould dustproof magnetic starter. The saw included the rather rare 30" cast iron extension wing, providing a total cast iron table surface of 38" x 72". The saw came with the very necessary support leg for the end of this massive table. It also came with a 52" Biesemeyer fence, but not the 48" arm version needed for this saw. Whoever set up the fence originally did a remarkable job - its absolutely accurate from one end to the other.

I had the left extension wing ground square, drilled and tapped for the Robland sliding fence which I originally purchased for the PM66. It works nicely on the 72, but barely handles a 48" crosscut (the main reason I have it). The mitre gauge and tenoning jig (PM version) that I had on the 66 work on the 72. The blade is set further back on the table than on the 66 (by several inches) which is taking some getting used to.

The Adventure: I drove to Odie's place in Duncanville, TX to pick the machine up. He loaded and helped strap it down. He has a lot of very successful experience in this area, and I departed with confidence, but the usual anxiety about hauling a big machine. I was a bit nervous about transporting it with the extension wings attached, but Odie moved it that way, and made sure it was secure.

Unfortunately, we had not counted on the amount of "give" in the straps and pallet, and about 10 miles down I-20 south of Dallas I looked in the rear view mirror and watched (to my horror) as the 2x4s under the straps came undone and bounced off. I pulled over as quickly as possible to discover that the saw itself was mere inches from tipping off the pallet and onto the highway.

Some quick thinking and careful planning, and an hour and a half of work ended with the extension wings in the truck bed (never try to detach and load a 30"x38" cast iron wing on the side of a busy freeway by yourself). I put the pallet on top of the saw, ran one strap thru the dust port and door, another across the top and added a chain in a convoluted arrangement that kept it from moving front and back. This arrangement made the trip to Arkansas without a problem.

Comparatively speaking, unloading was relatively simple - even working alone.

In summary, this is an excellent machine and a joy to use. Zero clearance inserts are a little tricky to make due to the protrusion of the 14" blade. But one can work around that.

Special thanks to Bob Vaughen who provided a great deal of insightful and helpful advice in the purchasing process.

Photo 1:

Comments: The saw set up with Robland slider, large extension wing, and Biesemeyer rip fence.
Source: George Hoelzeman
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Photo 2:

Comments: This is how high the 14" blade protudes from the top when fully retracted. Marks are 1/16".
Source: George Hoelzeman
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