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Powermatic 66: cut Biesemeyer rails or not??

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Forum topic by moderngraindesigns posted 10-14-2018 02:46 AM 918 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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moderngraindesigns

4 posts in 33 days


10-14-2018 02:46 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question tablesaw

I recently scored a 1989 Powermatic 66 from literally Santa Claus and i love it. However the width of my shop does not. Its 6ft+ wide for a 53’’ rip that Santa used in his cabinet shop. I don’t need this wide of a rip capacity as I’m not making cabinets. I need it to be around 5 ft. wide as i cant really use my jointer on more that 3ft of material the way it is. I’d like to cut this at the 36’’ rip mark so i can make 32’’ cuts.

So my question to all of you is do i dare cut the T Square Biesemeyer rails that hold the extension table? I have no problem cutting this correctly, i have all the tools….. its more about is this blasphemy?? Will the wood working gods look down upon me with a curse? haha

once i figure this i can fix the extension table legs, narrow the rolling cart rails and build a router table and storage underneath.

many thanks in advance!


12 replies so far

View Holbs's profile

Holbs

1981 posts in 2202 days


#1 posted 10-14-2018 03:05 PM

I wouldn’t cut the rails. I would pull them off and store them for future use. Yes, one day you wish you had 52” rails. It’s a cabinet saw, after all. Purchase shorter rails.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

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Mosquito

9494 posts in 2465 days


#2 posted 10-14-2018 03:21 PM

If you can find a set of shorter rails, I would definitely go that route first.

I’m actually in a similar situation, though I don’t need shorter rails, I just don’t need the longer ones, but that was the only option when I was buying my aftermarket fence for my old Walker-Turner saw.

Maybe you can post around and see if there’s anyone local with short rails that might be interested in a trade (either straight swap, or cash+trade). Failing all that, I’d say go ahead and cut it. It’s not something incredibly rare, and you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do to make your tools work for you, but it would be my last resort if it were mine

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - http://www.youtube.com/MosquitoMods - http://www.TheModsquito.com

View xeddog's profile

xeddog

207 posts in 3180 days


#3 posted 10-14-2018 04:07 PM

I have a PM66 that the previous owner cut about a foot off of the LEFT side of the rails when he added a sliding table. The table was long gone when I bought the saw so just the stock fence. It is ok that way 99% of the time, but there have been a couple of times I would have liked to have had that foot back. If you were in northern Kalifornia maybe we could work out a trade.

Wayne

View SignWave's profile

SignWave

451 posts in 3208 days


#4 posted 10-14-2018 04:52 PM

If I understand you correctly, the part(s) you’re wanting to cut is a combination of rectangular tube and cold rolled angle steel with holes drilled in it. If it bothers you to cut them, then perhaps you can source some comparable but shorter replacements. Based on your comments, it sounds like you have the skills to do this.

-- Barry, http://BarrysWorkshop.com/

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moderngraindesigns

4 posts in 33 days


#5 posted 10-14-2018 06:22 PM

thank you all for your comments. since the 2×4 rail goes 6” past the angle iron that holds the extension wings… maybe i’ll slide the rail down and drill new holes and tap so the rail is an even 6ft with the angle iron. the new holes would only be in the rail and not the angle iron. then take 12’’ of both the angle iron and rail. So in the future I can always slide the rail out past the angle iron to its original holes if needed and that would increase the rip another 6”.
thoughts?

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moderngraindesigns

4 posts in 33 days


#6 posted 10-14-2018 06:22 PM



I have a PM66 that the previous owner cut about a foot off of the LEFT side of the rails when he added a sliding table. The table was long gone when I bought the saw so just the stock fence. It is ok that way 99% of the time, but there have been a couple of times I would have liked to have had that foot back. If you were in northern Kalifornia maybe we could work out a trade.

Wayne

- xeddog

I’m coming up there for thanksgiving… where are you located?

View EdDantes's profile

EdDantes

33 posts in 84 days


#7 posted 10-15-2018 12:08 AM

Why not just buy a new piece of angle iron and rectangle and the drill/tap to make a new set of rails? Keep the old set in storage for use/sale. The VSCT guys have a detailed guide on how to do it here

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

10499 posts in 1659 days


#8 posted 10-15-2018 12:22 AM

If I couldn’t find someone close to swap with I’d cut it.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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moderngraindesigns

4 posts in 33 days


#9 posted 10-15-2018 01:22 AM

thats what i was thinking tbh.. and thx for the plans!


Why not just buy a new piece of angle iron and rectangle and the drill/tap to make a new set of rails? Keep the old set in storage for use/sale. The VSCT guys have a detailed guide on how to do it here

- EdDantes


View jbay's profile

jbay

2744 posts in 1072 days


#10 posted 10-15-2018 02:09 AM



If I couldn’t find someone close to swap with I’d cut it.

- TheFridge


Agree, It’s just a piece of metal. Cut it and move on.
(as long as you don’t think you need the length in the future.)

-- “Hanging onto resentment, is letting someone you despise live rent-free in your head.” (Ann Landers)......

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

5136 posts in 3416 days


#11 posted 10-15-2018 08:47 PM

You can find the angle and the rectangular steel tube here. https://www.onlinemetals.com/

View BroncoBrian's profile

BroncoBrian

831 posts in 2131 days


#12 posted 10-15-2018 08:51 PM

#custom

Cut it. Why bother doing anything else, you will have the max width you can fit.

-- I think they could take sesame seeds off the market and I wouldn't even care. I can't imagine five years from now saying, "Man, remember sesame seeds? What happened? All the buns are blank."

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