Jump to content

byrnes vs preac thickness sander


Recommended Posts

I mill my own wood and have been using a Preac thickness sander for 10-12 years.  I have been happy with it, but keep looking at the Byrnes.  Main difference is that the Preac has a 1/8 hp motor and can only remove a little from a 2.5-3" wide boxwood billet on a single pass without binding (does a little better with woods that aren't quite as hard).  Not a big deal when I am only sanding one or two pieces of wood, but it turns sanding more than that into an afternoon project in itself.  The Byrnes has a 1/3 hp motor.  Will the bigger motor make an appreciable difference when sanding compared to the Preac?

 

thanks!

 

Dave

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Denis and Brian -  Many thanks for your responses. No question about the quality of the Byrnes tools.  I have the tablesaw, disc sander, and ropewalk, and are extremely happy with them.  The Preac tools are also great.  I'd been thinking that I would upgrade when the Preac sander ran into problems as they are no longer made, but my table saw and sander are looking like they will last forever. 

 

What I'm trying to sort out is whether the bigger motor on the Byrnes thickness sander is worth the expense given that I already have a functional Preac.  When you use your Byrnes sander, can you remove a moderate amount of wood in a single easy pass?  I cut my billets on a 10" table saw, which isn't particularly precise, and I go a little bit on the thick side in case it leaves deep saw marks.  This can make the final thickness sanding require a lot of passes (I'm guessing at these numbers but probably around ~.005-.01" per pass going quickly or .01-.02" going really slowly for 3" wide boxwood). Can the Byrnes take off more in a single pass without binding?  I've been advised that trying to retrofit the Preac with a bigger motor would not be a good solution. I'd really like to be able to take off .02-.03" in a single pass until I'm close to final dimension, then able to go slowly and more precisely until final size. 

 

I also know there is the microlux planer as an option, but I've been happy thickness sanding, and the planer is a lot more expensive than the Byrnes thickness sander.

 

thanks!

 

Dave

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I use my Byrnes thickness sander all the time, and have had no trouble reducing a stack of wood billets by over 1/16" in a matter of minutes.

 

Besides the strength of the motor, a big advantage to the Byrnes unit is being able to use two different grits on the machine.  I use the rough grit for most of the wood removal, then use the smooth grit for finishing the billet.

 

I wouldn't consider having any other thickness sander.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Frank - many thanks - this is really helpful - 1/16 in a few minutes is what I am looking for.  Preac takes around 10-20'. The two grits sounds like a nice feature, although I have been doing OK without it. 

 

Dupree - agreed that Jim Byrnes makes awesome tools, but so did Charlie Files at Preac.  Big thing I am sorting out is whether it is worth the $ to upgrade a tool that works mostly adequately. 

 

My wife is talking about getting back into her doll houses, which will up the amount of milling I need to do, and sounds like I can justify the new machine.  I like milling the wood, but time spent passing pieces of wood through the sander is time not spent actually building the model.

 

Just saw that the Byrnes website is closed to new orders until January 1.  Will probably go ahead and order when they reopen, and will post the difference between the two machines in case I'm not the only one still using an old Preac machine.

 

Happy holidays!

 

Dave

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...