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Powermatic 143 bandsaw

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  • Powermatic 143 bandsaw

    I recently bought a used Powermatic 143 bandsaw so I'd have a 14" bandsaw able to go slowly enough for cutting steel. It's had a fairly tough life and I'm probably the 5th or 6th owner judging from the multiple paint jobs. The PO did a nice job adding Carter blade guides and it came with many blades and so I'm happy with the purchase.

    I would like to fix a few of the problems. One is that the blade tension indicator is wonked up - I think someone thought that it was supposed to be a support and welded things up. I ordered a new one and will try to clean things up but would like someone to take a couple of good pictures of that area. Mine is a newer model that has the 2 collars. I think the bracket that holds the pointer should be below the lower collar (bearing?) and floating. Here's a shot of that assembly on mine:

    (Odd, had to upload as a link didn't work)

    The second problem is a little harder to fix. The table is well adjusted for a 90 deg cut and that's 95% of the use right there. But when I rotated the table a little I noticed a lot of fore/aft movement. Looked and one trunnion was bend, likely in a fall. Rebent it and it's better, but in fixing that I found that the trunnion frame on the saw had been broken and rewelded but not straight. I *could* fix that but am hoping to find someone parting out a 143 who doesn't also need the trunnion frame, or even a commercial outfit parting out a 143. New trunnions are not available but can be easily made. Pointers?
    Attached Files

  • #2
    In good shape those are great little saws. I am curious about how long the Carter Guides will hold up cutting steel. I just put a set on my 14 inch Jet bandsaw that is a wood and plastic saw. It was a huge improvement over what came from the factory. I built a weight driven table that sat on top of the factory table. It was great for hands free precision cuts. If you want a sketch let me know. No pictures because the saw has gone to auction.



    • #3
      Click image for larger version

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ID:	1909626 Here’s mine. I do recall when I got the saw that a thrust bearing on the adjustment shaft was in the wrong place. The tension knob was a lot easier to turn after a fixed this. Let me know if you need anything else.



      • #4
        I'll watch the Carter blade guides, but the PO was only cutting metal and they seem ok. I was thinking something to brush the falling swarf away might be nice.

        Thanks for those images - it clears up the drawings for me. As soon as the new bracket comes in I'll get to fixing things.

        On edit: Dug out the plate and cut the welds:

        Click image for larger version

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        Pretty sure whoever did this didn't understand the whole blade tensioning thing. The thrust bearing was beat as well, some weld on one side holding the 2 halves together and large half beat up like the plate. Ordered a new one - it's a "Nice 603-1/4". I think all this will work a bit better when I'm done. I have it back together for the nonce, at least now the tensioning isn't trying to bend up the upper bracket.
        Last edited by rkepler; 11-10-2020, 02:22 PM.


        • #5
          Replaced the thrust bearing, really made a difference. It might even be possible to overtighten a 1/2" blade with the rebuilt system. I recall someone saying that no normal person could overtighten the 1/2" blade in one of the umbuquitious 4x6 horizontal bandsaws, just couldn't apply enough forch through the knob.

          Waiting on the plate with the pointer that mounts below this and I'll try to calibrate things somehow. Passed on the few bandsaw blade tension gages I've seen go by on eBay.