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shihawk

Can i live without a BYRNES TABLE SAW

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My usual indecision has prompted me to ask this question . I want a Brynes table saw ,but do i really need it and will i use it enough to justify buying it .I have read all about it and the reviews all agree it is a superb saw and a credit to jim,s enginnering skill ,but at present and for the forseeable future i,m quite happy buying my wood pre cut and am worried that if i buy one it will simply sit on the bench as an seldom used work of art . i have a cheap fret saw which i use to cut many one off pieces and with a little patience it is suprising what can be done with a good scalpel, and file . Is a table saw not mainly for repeditive cuts rather than one offs and shaping planks etc ? Scatch building is probably my ultimate goal but again unless for making my own planks will i use for much else or is it the case that if i had one i would use it for everything and wonder how i lived without it ?.By the time i buy all the bits and pieces it would work into the price of good ship kit or enough pre-cut timber for a couple of scratch builds ,but please tell me i need it ,cause i really want one !!!!

 

Boyd

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A table saw falls into the nice to have column unless you are planning on doing a lot of straight cuts.  If you want to get one but don't want or need a top of the line Byrnes you can usually find Dremel table saws on eBay for under $100, sometimes a lot less.  They are pretty good out of the box but can be vastly improved by tuning and a few mods.  The cheap table saws from Harbor Freight and others are ok but not up to doing really fine work.

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I can feel with you Boyd.

Three weeks ago I asked myself the same question and my answer was "yes I can live without a Byrnes saw, but I don't want to". :D

The parcel tracking system says that it should arrive today - the door bell could ring at any moment now. :)

 

Of course there are other saws that can serve the same purpose, but in the end it comes down to what makes you feel good. My take on this issue is not so much if I probably would not use that saw so often that it would "pay off" but rather if my budget still will allow me to buy things that actually are more important but not so "sexy" like this nifty tool.

 

Cheers,

Markus

 

P.S.

Now, 57 minutes later: door bell rang, it's here! :)

Edited by nobotch

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Hi Boyd.

We can all live without luxury things.. But it's the best out there..

So much so I am considering in investing in a Thickness sander from Jim.

I use a much larger saw to rip my timber into manageable bits then into the Byrnes saw to finished size.

Most of the time I need only very light sanding as the finish is soooo good.

 

Regards Antony.

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Okay Boyd, since you asked, you need one! And no, you can't live without one. There now, feel better? ;)

 

Yes there are others that would possibly do the job, but the difference is, the Byrnes saw is an absolute joy to use. It will bring a smile to your face every time you use it. And after all, don't we do this hobby for enjoyment? It will certainly come into its own when you start scratch building, but even kit bashing will give it a serious workout. If you're looking for it to "pay for itself", it will do that if you mill your own lumber to size - eg buy sheet stock from Hobbymill and rip it down to size. BUT, you don't buy one of these works of engineering art to pay for itself. You buy one because you can! And for the sheer enjoyment of using it.

 

So, have you placed your order yet?

 

Oh, and don't forget to order the Byrnes Disc Sander at the same time. That brings almost as big a smile to my face, and probably gets used even more frequently than the saw.

 

Let us all know when you've pulled the trigger on this/these. :) :) :)

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I think like everything else there are trade-offs.  I bought Jim's table saw, disc sander and thickness sander earlier this year.  Are they essential?  Probably not if you like building models straight from the kit.  I'm moving more towards scratching/bashing, and each of these tools have been of immense help to me thus far.  I especially love the disc sander, which is one of those items where I wonder how I could ever do modeling without it.  

 

Once you decide if you have have the need for a tool like these, then there's always the price/quality factor.  You pay a premium for these tools (in my opinion, not too high relative to comparable machines from Proxxon and Micromark), but I have to say that they are built like tanks and should be the last tools like these I will ever need to buy.  Plus, Jim provides incredible customer service.  Case in point, I sent him an email asking a few questions a few months back, and he called me over a holiday weekend, without prompting, to walk me through things.  It's really hard to find that level of customer service these days.

 

I don't know if these tools will make me a better modeler, but now I can't blame my tools (or lack thereof) :)

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The perfect recipe for a workshop for scratch or semi-scratch builders:

 

1 part Byrnes table saw

1 part Byrnes thickness sander

1 part Byrnes disk sander

 

After simmering, add in 1 part Sherline Mill and 1 part Proxxon planer

Finish with Sherline lathe and mini drill press

 

The above recipe will require a large portion of lettuce (green) but the finished product should last a lifetime

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It,s not that i,m a miserable sod but i don,t want to be one of those modelers who spends more money collecting fancy tools and never using them,. I  believe the mayority of opinions are that i must buy a Brynes saw and possibly the sander as well , and boy wouldn,t the thickness sander look well beside them .  I wonder would he do a deal on all three,must inquire .Now look what you lot have talked me into , somebody change my mind before it,s to late 

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The Byrnes saw is by far the best and I would urge anybody in the market to save up for one.  Don't settle for the others as you will always be wanting the Byrnes saw and you will be forever wishing you had not wasted the money on the other saw. 

 

However, I wouldn't part with my Preac saw either.  Both the Byrnes and Preac sit on my saw station all the time and I use them bot - a lot. 

 

The Preac saw can be made to work better than the day it was new by sharpening the blades with an alternating bevel to the face of the teeth.  There is no set to the teeth of the slitting blades used on the Preac and simply putting a bevel onto the face of the teeth will greatly improve the ability of the saw to cut wood.  Also, depending on the blade, removing every other tooth on the blade and then sharpening the faces of the teeth, alternating the bevel on each tooth will make a blade that cuts wood like you increased the HP of the saw by a factor of 3.  Lloyd Warner of Warner Woods West showed this technique at a NRG Modeler's Seminar and I know several guys who swore at their Preac saws just love them with the altered blades.  Of course, nothing will help the 1/4" limit of the thickness the Preac can cut, but with the altered blade one can cut through 1/4" boxwood like it turned into basswood.

 

So, can you live w/o a Byrnes saw?  Yes, but you will wind up wishing you had one.  And, heaven on Earth is having both a Byrnes saw and a Preac saw on your bench.

Kurt

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If you are into saving money, then buy the Jim Byrnes saw. It will pay for itself over time. Buy the thickness sander. It will pay for itself over time. If you buy it and don't feel you are using it enough, it will be easy to sell with out much loss.

 

It also comes under the heading of "build it and they will come"

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Unfortunately, Preac is out of business. Perhaps they're still available on the secondary market. I do still have and use a Preac. I'll have to try that blade sharpening trick Kurt, although I can honestly say I never thought the saw was under powered. I do note a Preac video available on eBay. Has anybody seen it and does it cover what Kurt is describing? It's pretty pricey.

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Miniature-Table-Saw-Featuring-the-PREAC-Precision-Miniature-Table-Saw-the-DVD-/251222098513?pt=US_DVD_HD_DVD_Blu_ray&hash=item3a7e010251

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I am a scratch builder and bought a table saw that I thought I needed.  Now it sits in the garage of a friend because I never found a need for it after the first five cuts.  I’m still building models and I don’t miss the saw.  I could have used the money to buy other supplies and tools.

 

Bob

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Bob that is exactly my worry ,using it once or twice and then having it sit gathering dust for a couple of years ,.If i was milling my own wood i wood have no doubt but my building is slow enough without more hassle 

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Shihawk,

 

Maybe it's best for you to take the "wait and see" approach?  You're on the fence, you don't know if you need or will even use a small table saw.  When the time is right, you will know it.

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I'm one those guys who rarely buy anything for myself. My wife buys me two pairs of Levis and my sister-in-law buys me underwear for Christmas and I buy hotrod t-shirts whenever I see one that I like. Don't get me wrong, my wife buys a few clothes to dress me up in when we go out, but they're not necessary in my book. When I first saw the Byrnes saw I decided that I didn't really need it and I was right. One day I was looking for a hanger and went to my wife's closet when I didn't  find one in mine. By the way hers is a lot, and I mean a lot bigger than mine. Since the kids have all gone, she actually has her clothes in three of the four former bedrooms. The forth is only half filled with mine. Then it struck me - She didn't "need" that may dresses. The next day I ordered both the thickness sander and the table saw. I still don't "need" either but boy is it more fun with them. And now that other half of the closet is filled with equipment because I decided that I also didn't "need" a Sherline lathe and mill.

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I do agree with the majority, especially Grants psychological evaluation and practical analysis as well as Greg's recipe.  All I can say is that it brings a smile to my face and it has improved my accuracy.  :D  :D  :D   :cheers:  What's not to like.

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The next day I ordered both the thickness sander and the table saw. I still don't "need" either but boy is it more fun with them. And now that other half of the closet is filled with equipment because I decided that I also didn't "need" a Sherline lathe and mill.

Larry this comment really made me laugh, because it pretty much mirrors my own world vis a vis the closets, and I basically have all the tools I will ever need, except of course when I find a new tool that I don't really need.

 

Michael

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Here's a perfect example of tool overkill. Recommended for only the most serious tool-aholic! The piece created is the top of the brake pump, based on the illustration of David Antscherl in The Fully Framed Model (vol. 2). The piece is hexagonal with a tapered cylindrical head, a central bore and a discharge tube. Here's how I made it:

 

1. The hexagonal shape was laid out using the 7:10:7 technique.

2. The hexagonal shape was created using the Byrnes disk sander with the table top tilted at a 45 degree angle

3. The piece was transferred to the Sherline lathe where a center bit was used to start the bore.

4. A drill bit was used to enlarge the bore to it's final diameter.

5. Thin strips of 180 grit and 320 grit sandpaper were used to taper the head to a cylindrical shape.

6. The piece was transferred to the drill press where a center bit was used to mark the opening of the discharge tube.

8. The discharge tube was drilled using the appropriate bit.

9. The piece was transferred to the Byrnes table saw where the final sloping outboard face was created using the fence set at the correct angle.

10. An over-sized cylinder was created on the Sherline lathe for the discharge tube.

11. A center bit and drill bit were used to create the inner diameter for the discharge tube.

12. The outer diameter was then shaped using a cutting bit on the lathe.

13. The discharge tube was parted at it's correct length and glued into the pump tube.

 

While this is a very small piece there are many angles involved, not to mention a bore which needs to be perfectly centered and a very thin walled discharge tube. Could I have made this piece using only chisels and a Dremel drill? Yes. In fact I did so, but discarded the effort because the machined version was better. Would I buy all the equipment just to make this piece? Certainly not. But I have had these tools for many years and they have paid for themselves many times over. Total time to make this piece using the above method was twenty minutes. The less successful hand produced version took over an hour. Those of you who love their power tools (Is Norm Abrams from This Old House present?) will totally get it. The rest of you will think I've gone off the deep end. I respect all views!

 

post-505-0-87434000-1412127527_thumb.jpg

 

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Hmm... There seem seems to be a bit of Norm or Tim "The Toolman" Taylor in all of us in this hobby.  Many of us are toolaholics, others, not so afflicted.

 

Yes.. I'm afflicted but in my defense, I use them.  Maybe not very well... but... I'm learning. That's my excuse and I'm sticking with it.

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And now that other half of the closet is filled with equipment because I decided that I also didn't "need" a Sherline lathe and mill.

Larry - ROFLMAO!!! :) :) :)

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    I think alot of it depends on where you are as a modeler and the quality of work you want to achieve.  For many years my main tools were a Dremel and Exacto.  I did fine.  Seven years ago I was agonizing over the same issues that you are.  I am REAL big on getting stuff and then having them sit and collect dust.  That is alot of $$$ for a dust collector.  I finally decided to gt one, bought one at the 2007 NRG Conference here in San Diego and never looked back.

 

    I have done things with it I had never done before...it has made me a better modeler, but in the same way a set of magnifiers can make you better.  It has extended my range.  I use it all the time.  Could you do it with something other than a Byrnes?  Sure, maybe.  If I had an older Preac I may feel the same way about it, but I don't.  If I had it to do over again and had the opportunity to buy a saw that is 90% as good at half the price would I buy it instead?  No.

 

    It is all about what you are comfortable with and what you want to do.

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Thanks folks for coments so far ,but still not convinced either way , perhaps the wait and see option is the best but then think on all the time wasted if i buy it now ??? could go with the cheaper version and see how much i us it but that might only be money wasted on an inferior saw ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Edited by shihawk

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shilhawk,

There has been a lot of good advice given here. My outlook on tools is we all strive to become good artesins. Our tools are an extention of our hands and our soul. Each of us take a personal journey everytime we put a tool to wood. The journey's a little different for each of us. Some of us have spent a lifetime trekking on familiar ground while other's have come to a fork in the road and boldly jumped in wanting something new to challenge and fill their hearts.

 

I learned early in life how to hone and use a good chisel. When I finally had to employ a few craftsmen in my cabinet shop, I chose people who talked with their hands, that brought tools to life by their very love of the craft. Good tools allowed them to extend their heart and soul into the things they created. They do make you better.

 

Everyone here, loves their craft. We're all on a similar journey, just different paths. Whether your name is Chuck, Dan, Mark, Doris, Nigel, Gary, or shilhawk, the desire's the same; to give our best to that which we love and to be a little better every time.

 

You will never regret buying a good tool. It will become a trusted friend on whatever journey you may chose :)

 

 

Sincere Regards,

 

Bill

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Tools, tools, tools, their only purpose is to help us reach our goals.  Someone mentioned ‘artisans’ and I got me thinking about painting pictures and the tools required.  Most artists paint with brushes and they will tell you which brush they think is best.  But Leroy Niemen in his sports pictures only uses a pallet knife instead of a brush.  And Jackson Pollock drizzled paint from a can from the top of a ladder.  They used the tools they needed to reach their desired goal.  If I never want to paint my boat I don’t need an air brush.  If I want to make details out of etched brass I do need acids.  So personally I try not to buy the tools I don’t need just because another modeler says he uses one all the time. 

 

Bob

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