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Jim Byrnes Model Machines


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Just wanted to make a comment on the service I've received from Jim Byrnes:

 

A few months ago I purchased Jim's table saw - I see why this is the most sought-after saw for modelers.  Being new to the use of table saws in general, I've been proceeding slowly.  I've been using the standard blade, and wanted to start using a slitting blade, but wasn't sure how to cut a zero-tolerance insert for the blade.  I also had a few questions on the process for cutting very thin planks (1/32).

 

I sent Jim an email via the Model Machines website, and received a personal email from Jim within a couple of hours.  Jim answered all of my questions and was very supportive.  Contrast this to some other sites where it took days for any answer, if one was received at all.

 

Jim's quality machines and workmanship are matched by his commitment to customer service, and he's a pleasure to deal with.

 

Thank you Jim!!

 

Frank

 

 

 

 

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Apart from the excellent build quality of his machines, the single other quality that sets them apart is his service.  As another example, I purchased one of Jim's earliest ropewalks.  While the build quality was great I rapidly became very frustrated with the quality of the rope it was producing.  We corresponded for some time and Jim was quite patient.  It became evident that trying to sort the problem by email was not going to work out, so Jim asked me to return the machine (at his cost) for him to have a look at.  Now remember I live down under so this was not cheap :)  In his words " I can't have a customer on the other side of the world unhappy with the product".

 

It turned out one of the pulley belts had stretched (was too slack) and was causing inconsistent lay up of the rope.  Jim returned the machine to me (again at his cost) and all is working fine now.  Not too many companies would go to that extent!  I have every machine Jim has built and none have let me down yet - that is simple testimony of the quality of his products.

 

Jim you can pay me later - two crates of beer should do it :);) - sorry folks being flippent - just a very happy customer!

 

cheers

 

Pat

Edited by BANYAN
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Hi Frank

 

Agree with your applause of Jim and his equipment....nothing short of fantastic. I have all his equipment but for the ropewalk....that's next for me.

 

When purchasing the table saw some time ago I ordered  blank table top inserts without the hole for a blade.  To achieve a zero tolerence which is so important when working with small items, I simply held the blank insert secure while raising the blade of choice slowly through the insert to cut the zero tolerance blade opening. The inserts I bought were aluminum and hard on the blade. I bought extra blades so I can sacriface a blade here and there. 

 

Alternatively, you can trace the outline of the supplied saw insert onto a stiff piece of wood and accomplish the same outcome.

 

Bye for now,

Hopeful aka David

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I have two of Jim's machines (would like the others - but cant afford it yet).. beautiful quality for sure. Customer service is excellent.

 

BUT I am very green when it comes to things like table saws... (I am comfortable with the rope walk and its no where near as scary to operate!!)

 

I would very much appreciate an absolute beginners guide to using the table saw... like Frank - I have never used one before and would love live in an area where I could get some lesons/tutors - but that wont happen as I live too far from civilisation.

I have a couple of eBooks on table saws in general - so I will definitely study those - and some youtube vids. But I would love to impose on all the talented and experienced builders here to get a beginners guide to table saws... how to use them.. what to use them for.. safety.. other things to be careful of.. how to cut the zero tolerance etc etc.

I am still very aprehensive - I have a bench full of new power tools - so far I have become comfortable (I didnt say proficient.. just comfortable) with only about half of them!

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Hi Meredith:

 

For cutting the zero tolerance insert:

 

Here's the process I sent to Jim:

1. lower the saw blade, 2.mount the blank insert, 3. turn on the saw, 4. raise the saw blade until it cuts through the insert?

 

His answer:

You're right on the insert.  When the blade breaks through put a little candle wax on the blade to help it along.  

 

It worked fine, and after the blade cut through to the extent I wanted, I removed the insert and cleaned it up a little.

 

I'm playing around with making miniature "push blocks" for cutting very thin planks (1/32" or even less).  When I get one that I'm comfortable with I'll post a photo.  I'm hoping some of the more experienced modelers will also give us some helpful advice.

 

Frank

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I placed an order of the draw plate from Jim Byrnes.

Shipping time from Florida to Washington State  by snail-mail......... only two days!

Cudos to both Byrnes Machine and USPS.

 

Draw-plate as simple as it can be comes with instruction of maintenance.

 

Here's the thing, I bought a draw-plate from another company and in a brief comparison,

Byrnes came out way on the top.

A simple draw for same dimension revealed a coarse and fine finish.

 

I couldn't imaging that a such a simple thing would reveal so much of difference.

 

Looking forward to next purchase from this company! :dancetl6: When the piggy bank is available again!

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Guest midnight

I have Jim's saw and love it . I think we are very lucky here on this site with our sponsor's , They all have quality products and their after sales service (in my opinion ) is second to none .

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Jim may get tired of my saying this but he deserves the credit. I have a bit of a unique story regarding his service. I currently own the Sander and the Table saw. and like everyone else I can say I haven't owned a finer power tool.

 

One Christmas recently a family member tried to give me a very thoughtful present. A feather board for my Table saw. Unfortunately they bought the feather boards for the Micromark saw and Jim does not offer feather boards. When I explained the situation to him he told me to ship all the pieces to him. He took the Micromark pieces and adapted them to his saw. I now have the only custom made feather boards for a Jim saw made by Jim! :D

Edited by Floyd Kershner
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I have had Jim's tools for years and everything has performed exceptionally.

 

 

 

 

A little while ago I had an on/off switch burn out on my disk sander. I sent an

email, received a prompt response and within a couple a days I had a package

 

at my door. Not only did I get a new switch but they sent along a second switch

 

just in case. No cost, no haggle just great service.

:) 

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Rusty - How many times have you used your Sander? you must use it more than I have to wear out the switch! I should also mention that my Sander is very close to the tool I use the most.

 

So let me also share my 2nd Jim story. Well actually it is my first which makes it all the more impressive to me. This occured before I had purchased any tools from Jim. I had purchased and X Y Table from Micromark and I had a table top Drill press. The drill press had been acquired so long ago I don't remember how and why. Well no matter how I tried I could not get the X Y table to mount on the press reliably. So I contacted Micromark and they refferred me to the manufacter of the XY Table. They told me that they had an adaptor plate that for $45 would solve my problem. I told them the make and model of my drill press and they assured me it would work.

 

Well I ordered the adaptor plate and guess what? It didn't even come close to fitting. It was a very bad solution. I was pretty upset. I called the manufacter and they essentially shrugged and said send it back and they would charge me a restocking fee. We argued for a while and the result was I did send it back at my own cost for shipping and very late I got partial refund. So now I am out about $50 and still have a useless XY Table.

 

Well I explained my problem to Jim. He offered to make me an adaptor plate custom if I would send him a design. Remember at this point I wasn't even a customer of Jim. I had a friend at work who liked to mess with CAD. He helped me design a plate and I sent the design to Jim and I ordered my sander. For $50 Jim custom made my plate out of solid aluminum and included it in the box with my sander. What I recieved was infinately better than the previous plate and worked perfectly. And there was no additional shipping cost.

 

So I am the proud owner of 2 custom items from Jim's workshop and I will be a customer for life!

Edited by Floyd Kershner
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I have Jim's thickness sander and draw plate. I order a miter gage for the table saw, well when Jim got my order he notice the address was different and call me to make sure there wasn't a mistake. What I am trying to say is that everything that has been said in this tread is excellent praise about a man and his company that is to take care of customers an those that are not. Jim will go beyond what others would even think about to help someone. There is nowhere else that a person can go to get this kind of service. He is a man of his word and stands behind everything he does. There isn't enough words to describe him. This is just my honest option, I have nothing to do with the company, I like others is just a happy customer.

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You guys are starting to embarrass me.  But if you want to give credit where credit is really due you should be talking about my wife Donna who is actually the owner of the company. 

 

 For those of you that don't know we started Model Machines about 10 years ago on a part time basis.  Just the two of us,  no other employees to worry about. At that time we were both working another full time job at a design and manufacturing firm in Orlando that I was part owner of.  I was head of the machine shop with 3 other partners and Donna was hired as the controller.  The company was in bad shape finantially when we hired Donna and in a year or so she brought the company back from the edge and made it a profitable business again.  Donna has a 4 year business degree from the University of Indiana and there isn't a lot she doesn't know about the business world.  What she doesn't know she makes it her business to find out.  When we started Model Machines she did all the research to get the company up and running and also thought up the name of the company.  She does all the taxes,  pays all the bills,  does all the paper work and keeps everything running smoothly.   I design all the machines and make all the parts,  do the assembly and ship them out. 

 

When you call us with a problem or an order more than likely you talked to her and 99% of the time she can take care of your needs whether it's replacement parts,  lost screws, diagnosing an electrical problem, delivery times or just how things work.  She is on the ball and has you covered.  She is the one who emails you when your stuff ships,  calls you when your address has changed and generally makes sure you get what you need when you need it.  If it was my job to do all that no doubt we would be out of business a long time ago.    She is the boss.  

 

And to this day it remains,  just the two of us.

 

regards

Jim Byrnes

Model Machines
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I to am the fortunate owner of three of Jim's marvellous machines, and it is reassuring to know that the Admiral of the Byrnes family is the one with their hand on the tiller, and not the one from below decks........... ;)

 

Regards 

Martin.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Another very satisfied Model Machines customer checking in.

 

Like many people, I work hard for my money and try to not spend it frivolously. When I first started building and was looking for tools I kept hearing about Jim Byrnes and Model Machines but when I looked at the prices I thought they were out of my price range so I bought cheaper. Big mistake. Over time I got to see and use some of Jim’s machines and realized that price differential was nothing compared to what you got for the extra money.

 

I had purchased a drawplate someplace else and right away I found that as the diameters got smaller the accuracy got worse and worse until it got to the point where some of the smallest holes actually had a larger diameter than some of the “bigger” holes. Even still I figured I could make it work. At some point someone let me try Jim’s drawplate. WOW, what a difference. Yes, it’s just a piece of metal but it is a very precisely engineered piece of metal. I decided that it was worth it to upgrade. As noted elsewhere on MSW, Jim’s drawplate even comes with directions and care instructions. It is a simple concept beautifully executed. I did not discard my old drawplate, it sits on my bench and I use it as a paperweight and in that function it works perfectly. It is a constant reminder that even relatively simple things can be done extremely poorly or conversely as in the case of a Byrnes’s machine, extremely well.

 

My next Byrnes purchase was the disk sander. As with the drawplate I got to use it before I purchased it. Being slightly older now and a bit wiser about smaller tools I thought twice about buying something cheaper and did not hesitate to buy the Byrnes sander. It has seen some heavy use since it arrived last week and I could not be happier. The accuracy you can get using one of Jim’s sanders can’t be duplicated on other, somewhat cheaper machines.

 

Customer service as noted by others is on a par with their machines, the best in the business.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well, here's a double tot of Nelson's blood to the Byrnes Model Machines, Donna and Jim. Last week I ordered my first machine which was  the table saw and just a few minutes ago I couldn't stand it any longer and ordered the disc sander. I'll be well prepared as I get deeper into the Triton Cross Section now I think. :)

 

I've become a believer and now building up the anchor pool for the next Model Machine. :dancetl6:

Edited by Paddy
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Must say I love my Jim Byrnes machines. I have the ropewalk and the Table saw (and the draw plate).

I am not the only one in the household that is drawn to the table saw....

 

No matter where I position it  - the cat will guard it with his life. Initially he even used to sit on the table bit - till we had some serious words and safety interactions.

So its not the "corner" that Spotty prefers.. its definitely the table saw.

 

Not the best of photos for his "normal" position..

 

jimbyrnescat1.jpg

 

jimbyrnescat2.jpg

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Yes I have really only used it the once so far. Too many toys - and so little time!!!!!!!!! But I made the base for my little 18th century long boat to sit on..worked out pretty well for a first attempt.

 

on the opposite side I have the disc sander.. drill press and mitre/drop saw and a few other gadgets.

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Must say I love my Jim Byrnes machines. I have the ropewalk and the Table saw (and the draw plate).

I am not the only one in the household that is drawn to the table saw....

 

No matter where I position it  - the cat will guard it with his life. Initially he even used to sit on the table bit - till we had some serious words and safety interactions.

So its not the "corner" that Spotty prefers.. its definitely the table saw.

 

Not the best of photos for his "normal" position..

 

jimbyrnescat1.jpg

 

jimbyrnescat2.jpg

Oh my,

Is this a setup? :)

This is way to clean for a workshop setup, along with the kitty that sleeps so confidentially knowing she won't be disturbed.

Love it though, wish I had something similar, with all Byrnes machines.

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Cat has no problem with any noise from the machines.. he is very confident I wont hurt him :) I do actually move him - if I am going to start one of those machines.. I don't fuss so much if its only the rotary tools.

 

The Byrnes disc sander was on my wish list too.. but the freight is the killer and I could actually bring the proxxon back with me on the plane at no cost. I figured the more precision type tools/jobs would be the Byrnes tools (saving for a thicknesser for my future planned scratch build) - and maybe those that don't have to be quite so good can be something I can get here in Aust. I am happy enough with the proxxons - but then  I have nothing to compare to. Its my skill level that needs improving - not the tools :)

I really wish I was in a place I could go and take lessons with these sort of tools... get some real hands on, in person assistance. But that is just a dream.

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I also have the thickness sander by Jim, and I love it. I also have an old thickness sander by Roybe which has the convator ( spell check doesn't want to hear it on that word LOL ) belt, now that is nice the machine does all the work. But the dam thing is big and heavy and makes a heck of a lot of dust, but for milling wood it works perfect. I got a Harbor Freight disk and belt sander. Still wish I had gotten the Table Saw by Jim. But there is always another day and yes I do love my toys.

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I too have mousers in the workshop. Grand company although at times they feel they need to be right in the middle of what I’m doing, except with the power equipment. Another problem is I can’t get them to keep their ear protection on when I’m running the noisier machines. ;)

 

P.S. I should have mentioned my first Model Machines’ item was the draw plate.   

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My gorgeous Byrnes Table Saw arrived this afternoon and after locating where it will reside in the shop and reading through the instructions I noted that Jim suggests applying a coat of good car wax to the table top. After searching for a can of Carnauba Car Wax I thought I had, with no luck, I pulled a can of Briwax 2000 natural which contains Beeswax and Carnauba out of the locker and applied that. Think it should be OK but maybe I should have waited until Monday when I plan on e-mailing Donna with a question about the zero-clearance inserts. I’m getting a twist in my knickers thinking about running a slitter blade through each insert and wondering if I will ruin the blade?

 

Anyway, looking forward to tomorrow for my familiarization and shake-down cruise. I know the first project I want to try and will need to have the .040 kerf slitter blade installed.

 

What a beautiful piece of equipment! Thank you Donna and Jim.  :dancetl6:   

Edited by Paddy
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I am somewhat nervous about using the table saw..but I know its only comfort zones. I want to make sure I have all the safety angles covered. Doing a lot of research on that - and any info and suggestions that anyone here can offer is greatly welcome. I NEED all my body parts!

 

 

I used the carnauba wax (even like the smell) on the table tops of all my machines. Even the aluminium ones :) I figured it would also add to a smooth slide of the timbers on the jigsaw, shaper etc.

The metal on the slide angle guide has gone rusty in my climate - even with the wax.  First time I saw the rust  I cleaned it off with very fine steeI wool and waxed immediately - but it hasn't worked.

 I am thinking of getting another one and keeping it inside in the aircon until I need to use it. Unfortunately my climate can be a bit cruel and  would never expect any manufacturer of any sort of gear to have to design with it in mind. I even got the electronic rust thingie for my new car when I purchased it - quite expensive but worth it. I can hardly park the car inside in the bedroom or lounge room in the aircon :)

 

I have some lovely billets and timbers - I'm really keen to start chopping.... but scared! I will definitely try it soon - and then I will wonder why I made such a fuss and acted like a scaredy cat! Then I bet everything I can lay my hands of will get cut...If I run out of timber.. I am sure I can pull a few things off the house or furniture :) :)

Edited by Meredith
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