Amfibius

How would you improve your Byrnes tools?

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OK this is NOT a thread to complain about Byrnes tools. If you want to do that, start your own thread! I am a happy and proud owner of all of Jim's tools (with the exception of the Rope Walk), and I have used some of them for more than a year now. 

My intention is for us as a community to point out areas that we think can be improved, or new tools or accessories we would like to see them stock. Here are a few off the top of my head. 

 

Byrnes table saw

- FENCE. Would be good if the fence was easier to remove. From memory, it requires undoing about 6 screws. For that, I have to find the correct sized Allen key and make sure I don't lose the screws after I remove them. 

- RIVING KNIFE. Most full sized saws have this as standard. Would it be possible to offer this as an accessory? 

- THIN RIPPING JIG. Would be good to offer this as an accessory. See this thread: http://modelshipworld.com/index.php/topic/10585-thin-ripping-jig-for-the-byrnes-table-saw/

 

Byrnes draw plate 

- LARGER HOLES. Please offer another drawplate for sale, this time with larger holes. It would be extremely useful for pulling dowels down to size. I am not suggesting you replace the current drawplate (which is darn near perfect), but offer another drawplate with larger holes. 

 

Byrnes Disc Sander

- At the moment it is not possible to change sanding grits without destroying the stick-on sandpaper. It would help if the machined disc was interchangeable (and you offer additional metal discs as accessories) so that we can have a selection of grits handy. 

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Hi Keith,

 

I hope you get some good answers here.

 

This isn't exactly on topic but I'm really close to buying their table saw and was thinking I don't need the Auxiliary Tilting Table (what do you think)?  

 

I would use it primarily for cutting planks from stock sheets.  

 

Is this product as good as many say it is, I'm looking for perfect planks (consistent width)? 

 

I also have my eye on their Thickness sander as many of the sheets I purchased have inconsistent thickness (gotta love wood)  :)

 

Thanks,

 

Boyd

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Boyd:

The saw is perfect for cutting strips from sheets. 

 

As to the tilting table it depends on how many bevel cuts you need to cut on the edge od a sheet or strip.  Something that Jim told me after I mentioned that it was a bit awkward to use the tilting table was to add a wedge under the saw base to tilt the saw so that the tilting table is parallel to the table top.  I tried it and that works great.

 

The tilt feature was great and got me through a commission and paid for itself in the time saved when I had to make a whole bunch of working 1/72 scale  barge covers for a legal job. 

 

Kurt

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Thomas, I have the auxillary tilting table but I have only used it ONCE ... to make a test cut. Part of the reason is because it is really annoying to remove the fence and then try not to misplace the screws. I have other ways to cut a bevel which involve much less fuss, but if there is one particular kind of cut that you need, then the tilting table is the best way to do it. 

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A small improvement that I found useful for the saw, was simply a piece of plywood with a handle on each end of it for making it a little less awkward to move from one place to the other. The rubber feet on the saw itself won't let it slide, and the plywood can be easily clamped to almost any work-surface.

post-12186-0-02673600-1435419160_thumb.jpg

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George,

 

Excellent idea, I've done this with a few of my Proxon tools.  I move them from the garage work shop to my indoor work shop on a regular basis.

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Some time ago I posted here my own additions and mods I immediately made to the saw after I bought it, and I find them useful, helpful or even necessary every time I use the saw.
 

My intention is for us as a community to point out areas that we think can be improved, or new tools or accessories we would like to see them stock. Here are a few off the top of my head. 
 
Byrnes table saw
- FENCE. Would be good if the fence was easier to remove. From memory, it requires undoing about 6 screws. For that, I have to find the correct sized Allen key and make sure I don't lose the screws after I remove them. 
- RIVING KNIFE. Most full sized saws have this as standard. Would it be possible to offer this as an accessory? 
- THIN RIPPING JIG. Would be good to offer this as an accessory. See this thread: http://modelshipworld.com/index.php/topic/10585-thin-ripping-jig-for-the-byrnes-table-saw/

 

It takes two screws to remove the fence, which is quick enough for me. What in the pictures may seem to be four other screws are just location pins.

A riving knife would be a great thing, but a good one that can quickly be exchanged according to the saw disk used surely would be an expensive solution. I overcame this issue by making my own zero-clearance plates which include a splitter (shown in the thread I linked to above), which works great. Making those plates/splitters involves some precision work but pays off.

For ripping I just use two push sticks, one with a notch cut out on one side of its tip so I can hold the work piece down and at the same time against the fence, and the other just plain square to shove the workpiece forward.

Edit 2: I use a "short fence" going to less than the middle of the blade, and of course the splitter.

This is a quick and easy solution which allowed me to cut dozens of literally meter-long 1mm and 2mm thin strips that turned out to vary considerably less than half a tenth of a millimetre in thickness from end to end.

It is important that the square push stick is broad enough to go at least to the blade. It also should be really square as should be the back of the workpiece too. Like this you will be able to shove your stuff straight through the blade without having to reach with a stick between the blade and the fence. For long pieces an outfeed table is essential (mine is also in the thread I linked to in the first line of this post).

 

Edit 1: link fixed

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Thanks nobotch, but I might point out that the link in the first line of your post links back to this thread. Could you fix this please? :) 

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Keith,

 

Good idea for the thread.

 

Like Nobotch, I've made a few of my own mods to the saw. A half length fence would be a good addition, but the thin ripping guide is also a good alternative - both easy to make, but an aftermarket option would be nice. As noted by Nobotch above, the fence only requires two screws to be removed to take the whole thing off - four additional screws to remove/insert the high fence. I do agree that a riving knife or splitter would be a nice addition - still contemplating making my own for these to match the more commonly used blade sizes.

 

I would like to see a video, or pictorial instruction booklet for using the tilting angle table. I'm not smart enough to work this out properly - yet. I'm sure it's really easy, but I'm equally sure I'm not the only one............

 

I totally agree re changing paper on the disc sander. I overcame this by using some Proxxon stuff. They offer a silicone sheet that goes onto the metal face plate, and then their own sanding sheets stick to the silicon sheet. They work well and are easy to remove/replace. Proxxon also provides a separate silicon backing sheet to temporarily store used sheets when changing grits. The silicone sheet is only sold in the size for their larger sander (250mm), but you can cut two pieces from one sheet for the Byrnes machine. Sanding sheets are offered in th smaller size (125mm) which is a very close match to the Byrnes machine. I've been using this system for a little while now and it works well - a few seconds to change paper now instead of at least 30 minutes. Again, would be nice to have some "made to measure" for the Byrnes machine.

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Nobotch,

I could not find a picture of the zero tolerance plate with the splitter.  I would be interested to see how you did that.

 

In addition to some of the accessories mentioned, my list would include an attachment for the thickness sander, like the micrometer for the table saw. This would be helpful but not really critical. Also, variable speed control for the sander.  I often want to work slowly with delicate parts and moving the piece from center to edge to control speed does not work for me. You cannot even attach a speed control due to its design. This is why I ended up with a different manufacturers sander.  I would have bought the Byrnes sander, hands down, if it had this feature. 

 

There are homemade remedies for other jigs for the table saw, i.e., thin cut jigs, modified fence additions, etc.,  so if I were to vote for something new it would be a tool similar to the Dremel shaper/router table which I have begun to use more frequently, but with more precision and a more solid build. 

 

Most recently I used the router table to cut the stepped edges for the boarding ladder steps on my build of the Syren.  I have also used it to route grooves (channels) on thin stock. A recent conversation discussed how to modify the table saw to cut dados.  A shaper/router tool would help resolve some of that need.

 

Richard

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Nobotch,

I could not find a picture of the zero tolerance plate with the splitter.  I would be interested to see how you did that.

 

It's the first picture in the first post in the thread I linked to. ;)

 

No need to click back to that thread again just for the picture, here it is again:

 

post-15481-0-30863900-1412297585.jpg

The first one I made of solid mahogany for the plate and thin birch plywood for the splitter.

For the next ones (see attached picture) I used 3mm (1/8") birch plywood for the plate which helps to keep the edge near the holes intact.

 

Start by cutting the plate to size, bore and countersink the screw holes before thinning down these borders and before rounding over the corners.

 

As the recess in the table is too thin to receive a stable enough wooden zero clearance plate I used thicker wood (the 3mm ply) and thinned it down where it sits on the aluminium ledge in the table, using the Byrnes saw itself to do so: raise the blade by as much as you need to reduce the plate thickness - there are quite a few cuts to do, start with the innermost ones. Clean up the surfaces with a chisel, knife or scraper.

 

Once the plate fits the recess (it should be perfectly level and drop in nicely without applying any force at all, if it's a bit a loose fit that's fine too) you have to thin down the small zone where the flange would otherwise touch the insert when the blade is all up. Then screw the insert plate in place, align the rip fence over the right edge of the plate so that you will not cut into the fence while now rising the blade with the saw turned on.

 

Now, with the saw unplugged move the fence to the right, remove the four screws and lift the plate slightly with the blade still in the slot you just have cut, and move the fence to the left until it touches the right edge of the insert plate. Secure the fence in this position and replace the wooden insert with the one that came with the saw, then cut open the slot the rear side of the wooden insert.

 

Next, cut out the splitter to the shape it needs to be. Maybe you'd like to first make a cardboard or paper model/template of it to define its shape, it really helps. Don't make the splitter too high because these rather thin splitters would become too flexible over its height.

 

Sand, plane or scrape it to the exact thickness of the kerf your blade makes, screw the insert in place and tack glue the splitter into its correct position it the extended slot. 1mm from the completely raised blade is just fine, don't go too close. When the glue is dry place the insert upside-down into the recess in the table and build up an anchorage around the part of the splitter that will be inside the saw. Be aware of the position of the blade support.

 

When the glue  has dried place the insert/splitter in its normal position using the 4 screws, and sand the splitter further down a little bit from each side using a small, square sanding block (240 grit is ok) and a square wooden block to hold against it from the opposite side. In the end the splitter should be about 0.1 - 0.15mm thinner than the saw kerf.

 

I hope I didn't forget anything essential. The whole thing sounds more complicated than it is, but it takes a bit time, patience and 3D imagination to do it.

post-15481-0-68758600-1435510813_thumb.jpg

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Thanks for posting th extra info on your splitters Markus - that's next on my "to-do" list. Any reason you couldn't use a "stock" aluminium zero clearance plate to start with?

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[...] Any reason you couldn't use a "stock" aluminium zero clearance plate to start with?

 

Not really.

Actually I had asked myself the same question the other way round: any reason I could not or should not use wooden inserts instead of aluminium ones? As I am much more familiar with woodworking than metal working the decision was an easy one.

 

Maybe a metal splitter/anchorage assembly screwed to the insert would be slightly sturdier, but the little bit of additional sturdiness is not necessary.

 

Regarding the wooden inserts: they are as stiff and sturdy as the aluminium ones if you make them of 3mm or thicker birch plywood. This is easy earned money at saving 8$  per insert, especially if you make a batch. I first made one to see how it goes, and then in less than an hour a batch of 10.

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KeithW, you can get various draw plates of different hole sizes from jewelry supplies stores. Excellent quality, like the Byrnes draw plate. Also, they sell draw plates of different shape holes, for instance square, triangular, rectangular...

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Thanks Markus,

 

That makes sense. I was thinking of trying to use an all aluminium version, with the splitter soldered in place. I might still give that a go, just to see how it works. If it doesn't, you've already proved that a wooden version does work.

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(Tongue firmly in cheek)  A friend of mine wanted to be able to cut 2 inch stock so installed a five horse motor in his saw.  Shortly thereafter most of the northeast and parts of Canada went dark.  This may be only anecdotal.

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The thing I'd most like to see for the Byrnes saw is a sliding table. I have one on my Preac saw that has a built-in adjustable depth stop and I would be lost without it. I know you can use the miter gauge and work around the depth stop issues on the Byrnes saw but the sliding table is just SO convenient. I have a miter gauge for my Preac - somewhere - it's in a drawer, I think. Haven't looked for it in a long time. The Preac still works fine but I know it may die some day and it does have its quirks, so I've considered buying a Byrnes saw, but the lack of a sliding table has stopped me so far. I tried contacting Mr. Byrnes both through email and a PM here to see if he'd make one for me, but got no reply, so I guess he isn't interested. And, yes, I could make one of my own out of wood, but I'd be willing to pay for a professionally made metal version that was equal in quality to the saw and replicated what I have with the Preac.   

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Jheart:

The sliding table for the Preac sounds interesting.  Can you show a photo? 

 

The adjustable depth stop feature has me stumped - it sounds like it would make adjusting the depth of cut on the Preac as convenient as adjusting the depth of cut on the Byrnes saw.  I have both saws and use them both but the hassle of adjusting the depth of cut on the Preac means I use it less than I would if the depth was easier to adjust.  I would sure like to see a photo or two of the depth adjustment feature.

 

Kurt

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I'm at work at the moment so I can't take a pic (will be glad to later if you want). I probably wasn't clear with the term "depth stop." What I mean is a length stop. There's a metal bar that slides along the front edge/top of the sliding table. There's a tab on the right end of the bar. Shove your stock up to the tab and it sets the length of the piece you want to cut so you can make identical pieces over and over. A couple of thumb screws allow you to move it or remove it.

 

Depth of cut is controlled by blade height, of course. I agree that setting blade height on the Preac is one of it's less-well-thought-out features. They did sell an accessory blade-height adjuster, which is a sort of bracket that fits under the blade arbor and by turning a thumb screw (by hand), you can raise and lower the blade quite precisely. It's a bit finicky but without it, it's very difficult to set blade height.

 

Cheers -

John

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Thanks for the clarification.  Just couldn't envision a depth adjustment but I know exactly what the length adjustment is.

 

I got the optional height adjustment for my Preac when it was first introduced at a NRG conference.  Charlie sold every one he brought to the conference as it was a real pain to adjust before the optional device - and only a bit better with it - but anything helped. 

 

Kurt

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Grant,

What soldering supplies do you think would give a strong enough bond. Also, would you edge solder it to the top of the plate, or cut a slot and put it up from the bottom?

 

 

Richard.

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Richard,

 

Good questions - to which I have no answers!  I might have mentioned that I am not an engineer ;) , and I have very little experience in soldering.  My plan was to experiment and see what worked. My current thinking is that it doesn't need to be terribly strong as it shouldn't be taking a lot of direct force.  I envisage that most of the soldering would be from underneath so as not to impede the passage of the timber.  I would be most grateful for any advice from more experienced/qualified folks here.

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Jack,

Sounds like a great idea, I have even looked at his book on Amazon.  Might be an interesting read. I had some thoughts on how to approach it and it would be helpful to run it by someone experienced.

 

Grant,

I was thinking something like:

Use a blank insert then when cutting the blade opening reverse it to get a wider opening.

Cut out the blade from stock that is thin enough to fit through the blade opening and bend the bottom to form an "L". Then silver solder in place.

Copper would be easy to work and comes in enough different thicknesses to create multiple zero tolerance inserts to fit the various blades used.

I might give this a shot when I get some time.

 

Richard

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Richard, I have his book; it is a good read - lots of helpful information. I got it thru Barnes & Noble

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Thanks guys,

 

I also have Ken's book and I've had private correspondence with him before as well - he is a very helpful gentleman as well as an extraordinarily talented modeller.

 

I was thinking of using aluminium for the splinter, but I guess copper or brass would work equally well and as you say is readily available in a number of thicknesses.

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Umm .... Grant - as far as I'm aware you CAN'T solder aluminium. MIG or TIG welding is the way to go. Otherwise I'd suggest using brass instead for both the clearance plate and knife, which as you know can be silver soldered.

 

Saw - 1. The above-mentioned Riving Knife.

 

           2. A lock on the drive shaft to make changing blades easier. I use a pair of Vise Grips to hold the shaft when I'm undoing the blade nut.

 

I used the supplied Clearance plate to make a "Zero Tolerance" plate for the 0.020" blades by simply removing the plate, turning it around, scewing it back down, and then raising the blade (with an old one installed) to cut a new slot alongside the existing one. It works great on very small/thin pieces as they don't disappear down the slot :) .

 

I also CA glued a strip of 2mm thick timber to the fence at virtually zero height from the bed. This makes cutting very thin stock possible, as the existing fence clears the bed by about 0.6mm and anything thinner went under it.

 

Sander - 1. A Forward / Reverse switch so you can sand from either side of the disc. This would make sanding the same angles in both directions much easier, among other operations.

 

                2. A tilting table that goes a full 90 degrees instead of the current 45. Same reason as above.

 

It only takes me a couple of minutes to change the paper. I remove the table and the lower cover, then use a razor scraper to get the paper off the disc. Final cleanup of the remaining glue/paper is done with Turpentine.

 

The only mod I'd like to see for this operation is a pair of thumbscrews holding the bottom cover instead of the Allen Head screws - it would save about 30 seconds when replacing the paper.

 

Drawplate - 1. Some of the holes have increments of more than one size step. When you get to one that is two (or THREE) sizes smaller it makes it rather difficult to start the next "pull", especially in the smaller size holes. Perhaps as mentioned above a second size of drawplate with the larger holes would be of benefit, with all the holes in BOTH plates decreasing in size by ONE number.

 

                    2. The laser-etched numbers are on the wrong side of the plate. Some times it's easy to forget which hole you are using, or comes next, without turning the plate upside-down for a look.

 

:cheers:  Danny

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Thank you for getting the thread back on topic, Danny. My intention was for this thread to be feedback for Jim and Donna to improve their tools, or to create new offerings. Not for how individual users could modify their own tools. I probably wasn't very clear about this in my first post. 

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Hi Keith,

 

Not for how individual users could modify their own tools.

 

 

No worries. It's interesting to see how others have made their own improvements or given tips on how to get the most out of them anyway :) .

 

:cheers:  Danny

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