Backtracking on the VFD and Installing a 3hp Motor – Powermatic 66

Backtracking on the VFD and Installing a 3hp Motor – Powermatic 66


5hp 3ph powermatic 66 motor next to a 3hp 1ph powermatic 66 tablesaw motor

The original 5hp 3ph on the left, the new 3hp 1ph on the right. Won’t be shiny for long!

I blogged several weeks ago about considering a VFD as an option for a new-to-me Powermatic 66 that was equipped with a 5hp 3ph motor. I appreciate the advice that you all offered and I went as far as receiving the shipment of the VFD to power the machine. But something wasn’t sitting right about the situation. It didn’t feel right to “bandaid” something that will truly be a lifetime machine. So, I sent the VFD back (actually it’s sitting in the passenger seat of my car, yikes!) and pulled the trigger on a new 3hp 1ph motor from mmToolParts. The motor itself was just $150 more than the VFD I had purchased, a small price difference for a lifetime of use in my opinion, and about $50 less expensive than the motor direct from Powermatic in Tennesee.

I’d like to say a kind word about the folks at mmToolParts. They were really knowledgable and patient on the phone and shipped the motor the same day. They are a family business and have really expanded their eCommerce presence in a great way. They even had a video about the motor swap on their YouTube channel. Anway, thanks to Mike over there, he was great.

Messy shop during motor install

The new motor was installed during the week of Christmas. My father was in town and moved the project along while I was in and out of the shop with the kids. Thanks dad!

The swap was really simple. The 1ph motor had two potential configurations to get the motor spinning the correct way, of course we wired it up the wrong way the first time. It was just a matter of swapping a couple of leads and we were in business. The motor mounts to the trunion with a faceplate and just two bolts. We did spring for a new magnetic switch that was recommended from Powermatic. but after pulling the old switch apart we realized we could have reused the old one.

Now it’s done. I shouldn’t have to think about this motor for a long time. I won’t have to listen to the fan on a VFD or worry about over-complicated electronics on a machine that simply turns on and off. Now it’s time to finish installing the fence!

– David Lyell

If you’re looking for expert advice on how to setup your table saw and get the most out of your machine, Doug Dale’s video is the way to go, check it out in our store: Power Tool Essentials: The Table Saw.

 



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