Used table saw? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 05-28-2019, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
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Used table saw?

My son is getting more and more serious about his woodworking hobby, he is 27 as of tomorrow, and is looking to upgrade his table saw. He has a Bosch portable 4100 model that is on a mobile stand. He is interested in more stability and precision and has found a used Powermatic 5hp that is set to run as 3 phase now, which he does not have, but it apparently can be converted to single phase.


I have a Powermatic PM2000 and really like it, but I am curious about any issues with converting from 3 phase to single AND I think this heavy duty cabinet saw he is looking at will really dominate his fairly small work space. His shop is basically a single car garage. Also, due to limited space, this saw will need to be able to be moved around on the floor some, so he will need some sort of a cart/rolling platform.


Does anyone have any advice/suggestions on which to way to proceed here? TIA.
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post #2 of 16 Old 05-28-2019, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by IowaDave View Post
My son is getting more and more serious about his woodworking hobby, he is 27 as of tomorrow, and is looking to upgrade his table saw. He has a Bosch portable 4100 model that is on a mobile stand. He is interested in more stability and precision and has found a used Powermatic 5hp that is set to run as 3 phase now, which he does not have, but it apparently can be converted to single phase.


I have a Powermatic PM2000 and really like it, but I am curious about any issues with converting from 3 phase to single AND I think this heavy duty cabinet saw he is looking at will really dominate his fairly small work space. His shop is basically a single car garage. Also, due to limited space, this saw will need to be able to be moved around on the floor some, so he will need some sort of a cart/rolling platform.


Does anyone have any advice/suggestions on which to way to proceed here? TIA.
The easiest way to supply three phase is with a VFD (Variable Frequency Drive) It's a separate device which can convert single phase to three phase. Someone else may have some tips on how to wire the unit in. I use a rotary phase converter. It can be hooked up to multiple machines where the VFD is a one machine thing only. What I don't like about the rotary converter is it's a motor itself and you end up having to turn the thing on and off every time you would be using three phase. A person could leave it running all day but who likes to have something running for no reason.
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post #3 of 16 Old 05-29-2019, 01:06 AM
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The last that I heard, either of the phase converters are in the $750 range. (5HP is a 40 amp deal)

Three phase motors are almost a dime a dozen for sale because it is usually professional shops that are selling used equipment. And don't expect to sell the three phase motor anytime soon.

As for bringing three phase to the house. . . . I got a quote from Southern California Edison to bring three phase to my home, about 225 feet. It was $25,000.

I haven't looked lately but a single phase motor is in the range of $600.

Assuming that you buy a single phase motor, the wiring in the saw is simple. I never realized how simple it is until I added a power chord to my band saw. It was sold as a single/three phase model based upon the motor.

When you open the switch up, make note of where the white (neutral) is connected. This is critical for a magnetic switch as most of these switches run on 120 volts. For three phase you will find Black (L1), Red (L2) and Blue (L3). For single phase, just don't use the Blue or L3. Connect the green same as where it is connected now, frame ground. Repeat for the motor but the White probably will not be used on the motor.

As for the motor, you can use a 3HP or 5HP. Just make sure that the motor frame type is the same.

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post #4 of 16 Old 05-29-2019, 05:06 AM
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Like Steve mentioned, you can convert a 3 phase machine to single phase power fairly easily with a VFD, but a VFD that can handle a 5hp motor isnt going to be cheap, expect to pay anywhere from $300 to $500.

Before you go the powermatic route, id take a step back and ask if your son really needs a 5hp machine. Thats a lot of power for a table saw, and while that may be good in a professional cabinet show where theyre constantly ripping down 12/4 oak boards, but its massive overkill if its only used to cut down 3/4" plywood. Putting aside the cost of the VFD, theres also the problem of power supply and space for a small shop. A 5hp motor requires nearly 4000 watts of power, which would require somewhere in the neighborhood of a 20 amp 230v line. I do also agree, a full sized cabinet saw would take an inordinate amount of space in a one-car garage shop.

Personally, my recommendation would be to pass on the Powermatic, and instead look at getting something closer to a contractor or a hybrid saw. Something like a Delta 36-725 would be my pick, bought new they run about $650 last i checked, and for a hobbiest i think theyre the saw to beat. The built-in mobile base makes moving them easy, the fence is fantastic, and the 1.5hp motor is what i consider the sweet spot for a home shop. Plenty of power to deal with the stuff your average joe is going to cut, but not so overpowered you have to put in a new subpanel to run
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post #5 of 16 Old 05-29-2019, 06:05 AM
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post #6 of 16 Old 05-29-2019, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by epicfail48 View Post
Like Steve mentioned, you can convert a 3 phase machine to single phase power fairly easily with a VFD, but a VFD that can handle a 5hp motor isnt going to be cheap, expect to pay anywhere from $300 to $500.

Before you go the powermatic route, id take a step back and ask if your son really needs a 5hp machine. Thats a lot of power for a table saw, and while that may be good in a professional cabinet show where theyre constantly ripping down 12/4 oak boards, but its massive overkill if its only used to cut down 3/4" plywood. Putting aside the cost of the VFD, theres also the problem of power supply and space for a small shop. A 5hp motor requires nearly 4000 watts of power, which would require somewhere in the neighborhood of a 20 amp 230v line. I do also agree, a full sized cabinet saw would take an inordinate amount of space in a one-car garage shop.

Personally, my recommendation would be to pass on the Powermatic, and instead look at getting something closer to a contractor or a hybrid saw. Something like a Delta 36-725 would be my pick, bought new they run about $650 last i checked, and for a hobbiest i think theyre the saw to beat. The built-in mobile base makes moving them easy, the fence is fantastic, and the 1.5hp motor is what i consider the sweet spot for a home shop. Plenty of power to deal with the stuff your average joe is going to cut, but not so overpowered you have to put in a new subpanel to run

In my 35+ years as a hobbyist I have never needed anything more powerful than the motor that came on my Crafgsman.
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post #7 of 16 Old 05-29-2019, 09:46 AM
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Allow me to remind everyone that more power in a table saw is not always a good thing. If your table saw has sufficient power to cut everything you want with ease, then more power won't help it cut better. It will increase the power available to injure you in a kickback, however.
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post #8 of 16 Old 05-29-2019, 10:17 AM
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generally 3 options in these cases -

vfd https://www.flowcontrolnetwork.com/how-you-size-vfd/
replace with a single phase motor, you could downsize to a 3hp with same frame number
wait for the next single phase saw...


I agree that this is a saw for a cabinet shop, ok if you have room, electrical, $$
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post #9 of 16 Old 05-29-2019, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies thus far. I like the looks of that Delta that EpicFail recommended. I think I have dissuaded my son on the big Powermatic. That would be a nice deal if you were running a cabinet shop, but overkill for his situation. Thanks guys!
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post #10 of 16 Old 05-29-2019, 07:56 PM
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Thanks for the replies thus far. I like the looks of that Delta that EpicFail recommended. I think I have dissuaded my son on the big Powermatic. That would be a nice deal if you were running a cabinet shop, but overkill for his situation. Thanks guys!
https://www.lowes.com/pd/DELTA-10-in...Saw/1000875384

The saw i was talking about. The price has come down a LOT since i bought mine, i remember paying closer to $650, and honestly i think it was worth every penny i spent on it

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post #11 of 16 Old 05-30-2019, 01:46 PM
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i'd be looking for a single phase machine, unless you like throwing money out there
i've had the same craftsman saw since 1982 that has served me well
bought my son the same last year, used off of craigslist for $200 with lots of accessories
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post #12 of 16 Old 05-30-2019, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Tool Agnostic View Post
Allow me to remind everyone that more power in a table saw is not always a good thing. If your table saw has sufficient power to cut everything you want with ease, then more power won't help it cut better. It will increase the power available to injure you in a kickback, however.
When he was still around, I asked my father, who was a lifelong woodworker (both as a hobbyist and for several years as a custom furniture maker), whether I should get a 3hp or 5hp saw for my first saw. He said he preferred a smaller motor (1.5 hp on his) because "If I get into trouble, I can stall it and hit the switch. With a bigger motor, you might not be able to stop it."

He also contended that it wasn't needed for the very rare occurrence of cutting big, big lumber. "It just takes a little longer," he said. "What's another minute or two?" As he also pointed out, bigger induction motors use more power when they're running, regardless of whether they're cutting toothpicks or 4x4s (or nothing at all).

His other argument for a cheaper, contractor-style saw was "There's really not that much TO a table saw. You don't NEED to spend that much...your money could be better spent on other things."

YMMV.
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Last edited by 1618; 05-30-2019 at 07:40 PM.
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post #13 of 16 Old 05-31-2019, 05:41 PM
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That unit it for a 3 phase input it wouldn't work on a single to three phase conversion



Another thing to be aware of if the saw is going to be used quite a bit make sure the motor insulation is F class if using a VFD, lower values won't last too long

There is no app for experience
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post #14 of 16 Old 06-01-2019, 04:57 AM
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That unit it for a 3 phase input it wouldn't work on a single to three phase conversion



Another thing to be aware of if the saw is going to be used quite a bit make sure the motor insulation is F class if using a VFD, lower values won't last too long
Thanks for the correction and the second point.
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post #15 of 16 Old 06-02-2019, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by epicfail48 View Post
https://www.lowes.com/pd/DELTA-10-in...Saw/1000875384



The saw i was talking about. The price has come down a LOT since i bought mine, i remember paying closer to $650, and honestly i think it was worth every penny i spent on it
I also have one of these and love it. The dust collection stinks but it is a great saw, especially it you upgrade the blade.

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post #16 of 16 Old 06-19-2019, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by epicfail48 View Post
...

Personally, my recommendation would be to pass on the Powermatic, and instead look at getting something closer to a contractor or a hybrid saw. Something like a Delta 36-725 would be my pick, bought new they run about $650 last i checked, and for a hobbiest i think theyre the saw to beat. The built-in mobile base makes moving them easy, the fence is fantastic, and the 1.5hp motor is what i consider the sweet spot for a home shop. Plenty of power to deal with the stuff your average joe is going to cut, but not so overpowered you have to put in a new subpanel to run
FWIW...my son picked up his new Delta 36-725 last night. Thanks for the tip, although I have not yet been over to see his new toy, he appears very happy with this new saw.


Thanks for all of the advice guys!!
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