Proxxon Saw Fills The Vacuum

Joined
Aug 21, 2011
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Michigan
Well, I've finally made a decision! Whew!
Based on everyone's comments, this is what I've decided to do.

First, I was a self employed carpenter / cabinet maker for about 50 years. I specialized in high end restorations, built in place cabinets and custom trim work, and custom elaborate stairways. At one point I had 16 employees and trainees. So, because much of our work was done in the shop and some was done in the field, I have collected lots of hand tools and equipment, plus a shop full of stationary machinery. I have sold off much, but kept one (or 2 ) of each for my own personal use since I retired (kinda) when I turned 75. Old carpenters never retire - they just slowly fade into the woodwork you know.

So, With my full size table saws and band saws, I can take large pieces of wood down into manageable hunks, even if it requires use of my chainsaw sawmill. I can then surface 2 opposing sides on the planer, square up an edge on a table saw or bandsaw, then surface those two sides. By slicing off slabs from 1/4" on up, I can cut a slab and surface the two cut faces keeping the pieces flat and parallel. These slabs can be made nearly any thickness I want on the planer. This thickness then becomes the width of strip stock by ripping the slab into strips on a mini saw ( which I will buy ) with the edges finished. If ripped slightly oversize, they can then be finished to final size accurately, simultaneously providing a smooth finish, probably as thin as 1/16" ? maybe, on a thicknessing sander, which I am building now. Sounds complicated, but, no more involved than most any other woodworking project. It's just in miniature. Plus, I'll be able to furnish myself with woods that are very hard or impossible to get in mini / micro sizes.

I believe in Hobbit99's comments on safety. I've seen too many really serious injuries not to take it seriously. I think that initial resizing on full size commercial/industrial equipment, then final sizing and finishing on Mini equipment sized appropriately for the job is the way to go. I sure wouldn't even want to try making tiny mouldings with full size tools.
I still have all my digits and want to stay that way. I had 3 injuries in 50 some years. Shot a spike from a nail gun into the ball of my thumb. (my son neatly freaked out when I told him to pull it out with a pair of vice grips), Nicked my forefinger with a skillsaw (26 stitches, left the joint between the first and second part fused together), drilled a hole through the middle of my palm. Always the left hand - the tool is in my right. That hand, with other cuts and such had about 50 or so stitches over the years.

So, I ordered the MicroMark rip tablesaw and will be working on completing the thickness sander. In the meantime, I wait for wood for the canoe build to come fron Dave and Sergey.

Thanks for everyone's input. It helped me make some decisions, formulate a procedure and save some money too. What's not to like?

EJ
 
Joined
Dec 31, 2015
Messages
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Peterborough Ontario Canada
I agree wholeheartedly. I hate the FET, the guard can't be used properly with the fence, kickback problems, the micro adjust never worked, made of plastic which, considering the cost, is unacceptable.. The smaller Proxxon is useful for thin small planks but I made the move to a 9" bandsaw (Skil) about 5 years ago. At less than half the price a nice new blade gives comparable cuts, I can mill down to 1.5mm planks leaving a half ml for sanding, and as far as safety and ease of use go it's way ahead all with the added versatility for cutting shapes too. Also I can use it for carpentry jobs. It really is not madness to use a full size tool for modeling work. I need a thicknesser, it won't be a modelers tool!!
Bob
I most always go with the flow but no way can I agree with the statement you made about it not being madness to use a full size tool for model work. It sure as hell is. I have a couple of buddies who would disagree completely with you and show you their scarred fingers where they were reattached. I had a super close call last summer with the 10 inch monster blade barely missing the digits on my left hand. Thank God there’s a God.
I’m not here to bash you. Just trying to keep maybe a few people from ending up in the emergency room. Or worse. The regular work shop saw is made for what is collectively called wood working, not cutting tiny pieces of wood to scale. My workshop is full of tools of the trade. They all have a specific purpose. They are all kept sharp and in many ways deadly if not used properly.
I’m not here to conduct a wood shop safety class, just firing my two Canadian cents in.
 
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Jul 27, 2018
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Finland
If ripped slightly oversize, they can then be finished to final size accurately, simultaneously providing a smooth finish, probably as thin as 1/16" ? maybe, on a thicknessing sander, which I am building now.
Could you tell more and show some pictures about the thickness sander you are building? I have thought to build one too.
 
Joined
Jul 21, 2019
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~Nova Scotia~ Canada
I picked up the FET last October and after several goes with it I posted this review.

This is not a lot of saw for the money! I am very disappointed to find the following: a large amount of play between the miter guage T bar and the T slot. Called proxxon and are told this is normal. Next issue which it turns out is a long standing one, the screw used to lock the fence in position is just that a "screw" so if you over tighten it at all you will be marking the plate it screws against to lock the fence. After a while the little indents will prevent the fence from locking without going slightly out of line. Both of these issues could be easily fixed in the manufacturing stage with a slightly different approach, so ignore the engineered in Germany for perfectly straight cuts. Next dust removal was poor at best, also due to the design. One of the screws which goes into plastic to attach the adapter for the shop vac stripped the plastic easily before even having a chance to snug the screw up. Raising the cover to clean out the sawdust or change the saw blade, there is no handle of any sort to lift the cover up by. How simple would it be to have a handle for leverage in order to gain access easily and without lifting with parts that shouldn't be used for that. Also you have to completely remove a screw first in order to gain access. Oops now where did that screw go... Yes for a saw costing this much the saw has blatant design issues and there has been no attempt to fix these annoying issues some of which proxxon calls normal. I gave it two stars for the motor which is the best part of the saw. It can cut hardwood strips without bogging down and if you want to take the time and expense you can probably fix some of the glaring issues yourself.
Not a lot of saw for the money...

Can't really say my thoughts have changed since using it more. Most important is that you do not over tighten the fence.
 
Joined
Oct 19, 2018
Messages
127
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Location
The Old North State (NC..)
I picked up the FET last October and after several goes with it I posted this review.

This is not a lot of saw for the money! I am very disappointed to find the following: a large amount of play between the miter guage T bar and the T slot. Called proxxon and are told this is normal. Next issue which it turns out is a long standing one, the screw used to lock the fence in position is just that a "screw" so if you over tighten it at all you will be marking the plate it screws against to lock the fence. After a while the little indents will prevent the fence from locking without going slightly out of line. Both of these issues could be easily fixed in the manufacturing stage with a slightly different approach, so ignore the engineered in Germany for perfectly straight cuts. Next dust removal was poor at best, also due to the design. One of the screws which goes into plastic to attach the adapter for the shop vac stripped the plastic easily before even having a chance to snug the screw up. Raising the cover to clean out the sawdust or change the saw blade, there is no handle of any sort to lift the cover up by. How simple would it be to have a handle for leverage in order to gain access easily and without lifting with parts that shouldn't be used for that. Also you have to completely remove a screw first in order to gain access. Oops now where did that screw go... Yes for a saw costing this much the saw has blatant design issues and there has been no attempt to fix these annoying issues some of which proxxon calls normal. I gave it two stars for the motor which is the best part of the saw. It can cut hardwood strips without bogging down and if you want to take the time and expense you can probably fix some of the glaring issues yourself.
Not a lot of saw for the money...

Can't really say my thoughts have changed since using it more. Most important is that you do not over tighten the fence.
Thank you for your response.! I appreciate knowing what users think. As I mentioned in my original post, I was intending to purchase the Byrnes saw. It has an excellent reputation. Unfortunately, I cannot continue to wait. I needed a saw.!

So...... anyway, I will take note of the issues mentioned here. Like most things, there are good parts and bad parts. Hopefully I will be able to steer clear of too many really bad issues. Proxxon in general has been an effective company. In the world of small hobby tools they are one of the leaders. Not to say that there aren’t better ones around. There are. (Byrnes for example..) But for now, this will have to do.!!

Thanks again for your response.!
Howard
 
Joined
Aug 21, 2011
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Could you tell more and show some pictures about the thickness sander you are building? I have thought to build one too.
I'll do that. I have collected the materials I THINK I'll need and have started on the basic frame construction. I'm using ideas from pictures of 4 different home made sanders and added a few of my own. I'll post the thing when I'm done with it.

I don't think there is any copyright infringement here. ;);)

EJ
 

Kkonrath

Kurt Konrath
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In my experience, no matter which mini table saw you have, in order to cut planking strips you need to set the rip fence as accurately as possible to the blade. Any deviation will bind the blade and make cutting strips a frustration. The better the saw the more accurate the settings and the less drift once locked in. I have a MicroLux saw (MicroMark) and with very careful settings I have cut lots of planking strips from 1/4 inch stock. The best way to set the fence to the blade is with brass machine setup gauges...they are brass bars about 3" long of various widths. Set the guage next to the blade and run the fence up to it and lock in place.
Do you have a source to order the setup gauges?
 
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Do you have a source to order the setup gauges?
Actually Amazon has several sets to choose from...search "machine setup guages" or "brass setup bars." I got my set from MicroMark 70224 called a "ripping guage set" for $11.99. Rockier.com has setup guage bar sets but they are more expensive. Setup guages or bar sets are commonly available through most tool and woodworking sites. I recommend the set from MicroMark.
 
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Bob
I most always go with the flow but no way can I agree with the statement you made about it not being madness to use a full size tool for model work. It sure as hell is. I have a couple of buddies who would disagree completely with you and show you their scarred fingers where they were reattached. I had a super close call last summer with the 10 inch monster blade barely missing the digits on my left hand. Thank God there’s a God.
I’m not here to bash you. Just trying to keep maybe a few people from ending up in the emergency room. Or worse. The regular work shop saw is made for what is collectively called wood working, not cutting tiny pieces of wood to scale. My workshop is full of tools of the trade. They all have a specific purpose. They are all kept sharp and in many ways deadly if not used properly.
I’m not here to conduct a wood shop safety class, just firing my two Canadian cents in.
Horses for courses. I DID end up in A&E at the local hospital after a kickback on my Proxxon FET. I will happily stick with my 9" bandsaw. If you are being specific about a circular saw? Then I agree, large saw's not for small work. But also, I have relatively little, whatever the scale. need for a circular saw.
 
Joined
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The Old North State (NC..)
Horses for courses. I DID end up in A&E at the local hospital after a kickback on my Proxxon FET. I will happily stick with my 9" bandsaw. If you are being specific about a circular saw? Then I agree, large saw's not for small work. But also, I have relatively little, whatever the scale. need for a circular saw.
We can agree on some things, disagree on others. That's why there is chocolate AND vanilla. Different strokes for different folks.!I!
:p
Let me just say that these small hobby-size tools can be useful, but they are not perfect. If you build mostly from kits, then a small hobby-size table saw is probably not needed...and, in fact, might be a detriment to you, especially if you tried to use it for larger stuff or for alternate purposes. However, OTOH, If you purchase some wood, like 1" x 4" x 24" and you need to cut it down into strips for hull planking, where the appropriate size might be less than 4 mm in both directions..... Well, then, that's a horse of a different color.!!

You might be able to cut a 24" slice, 3mm thick off of that piece of dimensional lumber with a good band-saw, a solid rip-fence, and a very sharp blade. But how do you cut that tiny thin slice down into strips that measure 2 mm x 3 mm x 24" long.?? Think about it..... 3 mm is less than an 1/8" (actually it's .118). Now imagine cutting that strip, feeding it into a blade and slicing 2 mm pieces off of it. Nope. Not going to happen, not on a bandsaw. BUT, using the right techniques and cut sequencing, you CAN do it with a mini table-saw.....like a Byrnes saw or a FET. You CAN cut these tiny match-stick pieces....using the proper procedures/techniques. AND, you don't end up with half of your wood on the floor in a pile of sawdust.!!

Do you NEED to.?? Do you WANT to.?? Your decision..... Chocolate..? Vanilla..?
 
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IF NEED BE I CAN DO THAT AND EVEN SWMALLER, BUT IF I NEED THOSE I WILL ORDER THEM (LUMBERYARD), I HAVE NO NEED NOR DO I WANT A SMALL HOBBY CIRCULAR SAW FOR $400.00 WOULD RATHER SPEND MY MONEY ON A GOOD KIT, MY 9 INCH BAND SAW AND MY LUTHERS BEST FRIEND IS WHAT I USE CONSTANTLY, AND MONEY TO BUY MORE KITS OR MONOGRAPHS ETC TO EACH HIS OWN JUST MY 10 CENTS WORTH. GOD BLESS STAY SAFE DON
 
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