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Proxxon Micro MBS 240/E Band Saw Review

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Sorry, I wasn't very clear.

 

Andi, the comments about the brass blade guides and other similar models from other manufacturers was about the axminster saw in your link.  Search for other band saws of this same size and see what comes up.  Look for the small differences between the brands, such as the type of blade guides.  There are several brands which are all made in the same factory.

 

Mike, my comments on the brass blade guide was not about the microlux saw.  Mine has full bearing guides like you described.  I agree with all of your observations on this saw.  But I do have that one extra issue on mine.

 

-John

 

 

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Thanks both, on revisiting this thread I realise my remark might have sounded snippy? Not how it was meant - I am very grateful for your opinions, just a shame that there isn't anyone with experience of the Axminster 200 as it does look pretty good too.

 

Thanks again ....Andi.

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Andi, no worries :) part of the problem is that most of the US brands are not available in Europe (if you do bot want to pay for internetional shipping and customs).

for example, this saw is really nice (saw it in person, saw some reviews, but no firsthand experience): http://www.leevalley.com/us/wood/page.aspx?p=75264&cat=1,41036,75262

but I was not able to find it on this side of the pond. Maybe your googling skills are better?

 

But the main question that is left unanswered - what size are you looking for? 8 inch? 10 inch? Larger? And what are your main priorities when looking for the bandsaw, how are you going to use it? I really want to help, but it is hard without a proper starting info ;)

 

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Mike ... the saw you have included the link for is to my eye pretty much the Axminster, except with roller bearing guides.

 

As to my usage (perhaps should have started with this) ... it is at best going to be modest. It will be used in my hobby room (small bedroom/mancave), which is already quite full of assorted stuff so while size isn't critical it's a definite consideration. It's also pretty much going to be used exclusively for modelling purposes - ship modelling an obvious example but it would be great if it could accommodate light DIY projects. I don't think I'll ever be ripping logs with it but perhaps slicing small blocks of hardwood to gain strips and planking - this I would consider an ambitious exercise but one I'd like to work towards. 

Financially - yes, although relatively cheap to some, this represents quite an investment for me which is why I really don't want to purchase the wrong thing or to make a rookie mistake.

 

I can see how those roller guides are desirable but for my modest aspirations are they a critical necessity?

 

Again, Mike, I do appreciate the efforts you are putting in on my behalf.

 

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Well, all bandsaws of that class look the same - Proxxon just made a smoother shape :) the difference is is quality (materials, bearings, alignment), which impacts the noise, vibrations and accuracy.

the bearing guide is very important in my opinion, it greatly impacts the cut accuracy (so the blade will not drift to the sides). I never used a saw with the old style of guides though...

 

But the axminster saw has the ball bearing guides, it is clearly stated in the description and photos (both upper and higher guide, while proxxon only has an upper guide). So seems to be good to go?

http://www.axminster.co.uk/axminster-hobby-series-hbs250n-bandsaw-508204

 

Edit: sorry, right, the cheaper saw (HBS200N) does not have a bearing guides and the fence is optional, while the next model (HBS250N) has them. You might need to dig through various reviews to see how it works without the bearing guides...

 

Edited by Mike Y

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Thanks, Mike - I stewed over it some and eventually plumped for the Axminster 200n. I know it isn't as cheap as some but it appears from the write-ups that the quality is there? A big reason, however, is the fact that there is a large depot just a few miles down the road from me (who knew ... and quite reassuring)!

The video link will be very beneficial once it arrives and also I watched out of curiosity a follow on piece by Mathias Wandel - comparing the different guides, it put my mind to rest on the lack of roller guides on this model.

I tried to find out if there's a specific blade for working with styrene (which I'm bound to attempt at some point) but it appears the tech' dept didn't want to commit themselves - anyone any idea about that?? 

 

Anyhoo ... I'll be sure to let you know how I get on,

 

Thanks again for all your efforts and advice. ........................... Andi

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I will jump in here Andi.  The roller guides are a definite plus I looked at the saw that Mike liked to, it looks like a decent saw, I am looking for a small bandsaw myself for the new shop, my 20 inch one will have to be located in the garage. Blades are the important thing. if you can locate a good blade sharpening and blade welding outfit in the local area it might be useful to give them a visit. they can then weld up blade for you to specific widths teeth #s and widths.

Regarding cutting styrene I am going to assume you are thinking of thicker material 1/8 inch or thicker, I have found that it is best to set a sheet of mdf or hardboard to give a zero clearance for cutting the styrene it also gives the advantage of a contiguous solid surface with no edges to scratch the styrene. The sheet can be put away for the normal use. Make the sheet the same size as the table, push it in till the front edges line up turn off the machine then use a bit of double sided tape to hold it in place along the front edge.

 

One other thing to remember when cutting styrene is that it will gum up just like a hand saw if you cut fast. so a variable speed blade drive would be useful if you intend to cut more than the occasional bit of styrene.

On a similar tack I have used a rubber drive wheel on on a gear-head motor engaged on the edge of my disk sander to run it super slow to sand styrene.

 

Hope this helps and not add to any confusion.

 

Michael

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Mike Y, I am interested in this saw. But since you live in Sweden you probably know that Biltema also have a band saw for the same amount of money. The Biltema saw is bigger but I doubt little bit on the quality of this. Have you any experiences of this? Also it is possible to use the proxxon band saw to saw lists for planking (doing the same job as the small table saw and scroll saw)? 

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Hello, I'd like to offer my opinions for what they may be worth.  I'm currently a lurker about modelbuilding - I haven't built since I was a kid.  But I do have broad experience in woodworking, from acoustic guitars to camping trailers and home renovation.  My experience with bandsaws is with the castiron veterans - 14" and 12" bandsaws from the 1940s and 1950s.  So to me, some machines for scale modelers seem to be 'lightweight Lilliputian', but I'm not out to "diss" them - they should be made appropriate to the tasks and workshop spaces of modelers.  With these caveats stated, here are my comments that I hope will be useful.

 

With respect to the saw's design: 

1. The most significant problem that I see by viewing the pictures, is that the drive belt is inside the  body.  This can lead to unhappiness.  Dust and chips can accumulate, and lubricate and wear away the drive and driven pulleys, thus leading to slippage of the belt and power loss.  That 'toothbrush' on the lower wheel is only there to prevent buildup of dust on the tires of the wheel.  My recommendation is to >always use the vacuum for dust extraction and clean the dust away at the end of every day<.

 

2. Re Blade tensioning: On industrial saws, there are gauges that attach to the blade to measure the stretching of the blade length (that is proportional to tension), but for smaller (12"-14") saws one method is to

 

a.) back off the guide blocks,  place the blade on the wheels and take up the slack

b.) while turning the wheel by finger power (no electricity!) adjust tracking so the blade runs at the top of the crown of the wheels 

c.) close the cover/doors, start the motor, and increase the tension until the blade just stops 'fluttering', and then increase tension just a bit more. 

 

>>Do not energize the saw the with the covers/doors open and the blade fully exposed!<<  

 

d.) after the tension is adjusted, then adjust the guide blocks (in the perfect world with a skilled operator, guide blocks/rollers are unnecessary.) 

 

 

 

 

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OK - still following this thread as updates appear ... I have a question though - and an update.

 

Update first - if you remember (or read back) I had to make a choice on a bandsaw and eventually after much deliberation and a lot of probably annoying questions plumped for the Axminster - what a disaster. Despite all my best efforts, I could just not get it to run cleanly. Constantly throwing its blade, wandering all over the shop ... I must admit got quite down about it after trying so hard to make an informed decision.

In the end, and after many weeks ... and eventually taking two long hours of very patient trying to set this thing up (for a two-minute job may I add) ... and in a fit of pique - I phoned the suppliers to see what it was I was obviously doing wrong? ..................... He immediately said "nothing", this is not supposed to do this - obviously a fault!!! ..... bring it back and we'll replace it. Gracious of them but to be honest I'd lost all confidence in the machine and told him so whilst discussing the situation. It was then that whilst wandering around the showroom and chatting we arrived at the Proxxon stand, and rather absent mindedly I patted the  240/E and said "truth be told I'd probably have gone for this if the price was similar (to the Axminster) .................. "Hold on he said," and disappeared. Reappearing a few minutes later he said he had a brand new return out the back that was being taken to a show the next day and was going to be offered at a complimentary rate "Would I like it"???

Straight swop plus a tenner .......... I literally took his arm off. As a return thank you I bought the TG125E bench sander whilst I was there. Both items have performed perfectly each and every time I have used them ................... I am a Proxxon convert and now very much a fan.

 

Now the question .............................. does one slack off the tension after using the bandsaw (Proxxon) - or leave it in tension (I have read both recommendations).

 

Thanks all ..........................................

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Posted (edited)


I'm happy that the dealer was sensitive to your needs.

 

Definitely slack off the blade when done!   I'm not familiar with that particular saw, but larger ones have an adjustment knob to set the tracking.  Also, the wheels of a band saw must be co-planar, else there will be problems. This is checked by removing the blade, and backing off the tracking adjustment, and using a straightedge that spans both wheels when it is placed on the rims.  Also, lumpy tires may cause the blade to jump.  Finally, if the blade consistently cuts at an angle, the teeth may be dull on one side (but check the guide blocks first).

 

Edited by Bob Blarney

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Posted (edited)
On 13/03/2018 at 10:40 AM, Passer said:

Mike Y, I am interested in this saw. But since you live in Sweden you probably know that Biltema also have a band saw for the same amount of money. The Biltema saw is bigger but I doubt little bit on the quality of this. Have you any experiences of this? Also it is possible to use the proxxon band saw to saw lists for planking (doing the same job as the small table saw and scroll saw)? 

Hej Jörgen,

 

Actually never heard about Biltema's one. Checked their website, it looks like one of those OEM saws that are sold under a dozen different brands. Unsure about the quality and haven't saw it in person. And for the price of 3200 kr there are plenty of better options, for sure! Especially considering shipping from Germany.

 

No problem with cutting planking, though I would not trust it to cut super straight lines. It would be similar to cutting planks with a scroll saw, just faster.

 

Andi, thanks for the info! Hope that Proxxon will work just fine for you.

Edited by Mike Y

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