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Powermatic Bandsaw Questions...

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  • Powermatic Bandsaw Questions...

    Howdy all! I've hit a wall in my attempt at getting my Powermatic 87 back up and running. Purchased it many years ago from a local branch of a university. They were phasing out their fab shop. I haven't had a place to use it for a few years so it sat in storage. Recently moved it to my shop and I'm finding that someone did a lot of bubba work to it in the past. Bushings missing, bolts loose, and many other small problems. Most have been remedied. I'm still having problems with the High/Low selector linkage. There is a yolk on the shaft leading to the transmission. The set screw was not tightened down. So it is loose. I didn't realize how loose until I went to wobble it and it slide a couple inches. Using a mirror to peer down the the tapped set screw hole I can line up the yolk according to the marks left from when the set screw was previously secured. Good. That's where my luck stops...

    The High/Low range lever is not to be engaged unless it's while the motor is spooling up on startup. Following these instructions I can fairly easily get the transmission into the Low speed range. But trying to get it into the High speed range? No luck.

    Secondly, the input shaft that the selector linkage is attached to looks like it should line up with a hole in the support beam of the column. Correct diameter and correct height... but the shaft sits about an inch forward of the hole's position. The transmission does not mount via slotted holes so it can't even be shifted to a closer position. The shaft is also not long enough to sit in the hole even if the transmission could be moved. There is really no clear evidence that the shaft ever resided there in the first place. Its just all too convenient that the hole is the same size and in such close proximity. ( In some of the pictures I am pointing to the yolk, mentioned above, with a white hacksaw blade. It was the closest pointer I had! lol)

    I'm wondering if maybe this is a Frankenstein saw. I have the manuals for the 1966 production run as well as the 1975 run. The linkage on this does not seem to match either. This is a 69 I believe. There is evidence of torch cuts to widen an access hole inside the column- though I suppose this could have been done at the factory.

    Does anyone happen to have any insight on any of this? Trying to find actual Powermatic groups has not yielded any results. I'm not sure if the current staff at Powermatic would be of much knowledge when it comes to older machines such as this either.

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    Last edited by Scuffy; 01-27-2020, 11:10 AM.

  • #2
    MY Powermatic 142 has a high low gearbox too and I wouldn't be surprised if its not the same one. FYI moving it into high gear is tricky on mine, I often have to open the top door and spin the wheels back and forth a bit.


    • #3
      akajun- THAT makes me feel a lot better! Thank you for that. I'd not considered manually spinning the wheels, I'd just assumed it had to be done under power. DUH!! I'll head off to give it a try!