Powermatic P60 Gets an Upgrade - Router Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-06-2019, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
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Default Powermatic P60 Gets an Upgrade

So I had mentioned previously that I thought it was a good time to upgrade the Powermatic 8" P60 Jointer and I had ordered the Shelix Head Helical cutter head which came in Tuesday. And it was probably the best packed package I've ever received. The cardboard wrapping around the box must have been 20-30 ply and it probably took a sheet metal brake to bend. Then the box is wood with holes drilled in wood blocks to protect the shaft, then wrapped in bubble wrap and tightly strapped with wide nylon straps. I think you could have dropped it from 2 stories and nothing would happen.

On to the assembly, as I wasn't all that comfortable with doing this myself I took the unit down to a point. I removed the fence assembly, lowered the infeed table, disconnected the drive belt (was out of alignment), removed the safety shield, and pretty much stopped. I knew there were two bolts holding the cutter head to the body but unsure if anything else needed doing 1st so my gut said to wait for the help that was coming. Besides there was precious little to get a wrench on as the bolt head seemed slightly recessed. SO Grey shows up on time and I hired him to do the install with me to assist if needed (not needed) and observe. What he did was remove those two bolts and then loosen the blocks holding the bearings. Both of these were way tighter then expected and we also discovered that the blocks were slightly oversized making the bearings a bit looser than expected.

That wasn't apparent at first as the bearing on the pulley end was hard to remove due to it having be "glued" to the block. Seems the blocks were a 1-2/1000th larger where the bearings would go than spec hence the looseness and glue. The outside diameter slightly larger almost having a wedge affect. Good thing Greg was there as I would have no idea what to do. Greg's business is machine repair so he's at home in this environment. Anyway with the head installed, the belt aligned, the belt tensioned, the outfeed table adjusted to 2-3/1000 above top dead center, and the fence back on we make sure everything is clear, cutters in proper position, and power on the jointer.

Definitely sounds different, quieter. First cut it became apparent that there's more drag across the cutters, takes more effort to push the wood across. And that makes sense as you have far more cutters shearing the wood. It just seemed more than I expected. Not bad but more....And another thing that's quickly evident, the shavings are definitely different. Instead of long curly cuttings you get these small squares, far easier for dust collectors.

Yes, I quickly cut some not so soft Maple and it was some kind of smooth. This was an interesting project and an upgrade that will make changing cutter far easier and faster than blades. One last thing to do on the jointer is find some material that will buffer the guard when it closes. It sounds like metal on metal. I tried some foam tape but the wood tears that up when it rubs past it. It's a minor issue but an annoying one.
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Last edited by sreilly; 09-06-2019 at 07:10 PM.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-06-2019, 07:27 PM
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Good idea to get a little help. Did you have to use any special tools, like a bearing puller?
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-07-2019, 07:02 AM Thread Starter
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One of the bearings came off with the block as it had been glued in at the factory, again with the tolerances no being so great. It took 2 large screwdrivers to remove the block which brought the bearing with it. The second bearing came off reasonably easier. They were both original as they had that same "gold" or what I call mustard paint on them. But I did have my two gear pullers onsite if needed. It's good still having my old HVAC tools around of course I called them pulley pullers.....some of the fan cages/blades I had to remove from motor shafts were 4-6" in diameter and on for many years.

Having the experienced help made the project come to a completion in a few short hours and saved me the issue of having to deal with prolonging the project by having no idea what to do when we ran into the less than normal circumstances. Greg explained that as "other" competitors were staring to crank out cheaper equipment in the late '80s manufactures such as Powermatic had to find ways to reduce costs. My model was still made in the USA but only for a short while longer. Even then they were sourcing out parts overseas to help reduce costs and likely the reason for the bearing blocks being slightly oversized. Makes sense to me.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-07-2019, 03:25 PM
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The outcome sure is pretty and you say it makes a very smooth cut. Did you get some extra cutters? BTW, I have the 6 inch Powermatic and I call the color baby poop yellow. But I think it's probably called gold. It is a wonderful machine, no matter where it's built.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-07-2019, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DesertRatTom View Post
The outcome sure is pretty and you say it makes a very smooth cut. Did you get some extra cutters? BTW, I have the 6 inch Powermatic and I call the color baby poop yellow. But I think it's probably called gold. It is a wonderful machine, no matter where it's built.
It did come with a set of 5 extra cutters which is handy. We'll see if it lives up to it's reputation or not. It does take more effort to feed the wood.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-07-2019, 07:26 PM
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There is a little more drag, it helps to take a shallower cut. There should be a tension spring that you can adjust to reduce how hard the guard springs back. I have run several hundred board feet through my jointer, I still have not seen any reduction in the quality of the cut. It is going to be a long time before you have to rotate the cutters. I think you will really enjoy using the jointer now.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-07-2019, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
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Bob I think one factor was running soft maple first, which of course isn't all that soft. About the sprint tension, I'll probably set that a bit lower. Just making sure it closes as needed besides it's more of a noise thing but annoying sometimes. Looking forward to no more knife adjustments and sharpening. And I think it may be a bit quieter. Not sure as I wear ear protection anyway but seems it is.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-07-2019, 07:49 PM
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Maybe the guard is siting too low. If it is you could make a couple of washers out of plastic milk jug and put a washer on top of them. The milk jug plastic is pretty slippery.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-08-2019, 01:46 PM
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I keep my jointer and other saw tables and fences waxed with Johnson's Paste Wax when work doesn't slide easily. It helps avoid rusting too. The jointer needs re-waxing about once a month when I'm out in the shop making things. You might want to try this.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-08-2019, 02:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Charley. The jointer is well waxed as I used the same wax. I just didn't realized the difference in cutters would make it that much different. Not too bad but different. I keep all my cast surfaces waxed well though. It also prevents any rust spots.
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