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Clark

Table saw with a reasonable price

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Since I felt the need to buy a table saw, I browsed through the blogs and finally detected the “NovelLife Mini Hobby Table Saw”.  I did not want to buy a proxxon one since I am rather disappointed by the plastic material proxxon is using in other tools.

As shown in the pictures the saw was shipped well padded. It was easy to install when imaging how it would work. The first test on 10mmx10mm beech wood showed that the cut is smooth with no remaining and is quite accurate. Setting 50 mm produced a 50.1 mm (caliper) piece. Miter gauge seems to work accurately, it can be fixed well. It slides tightly but easily through the slot. I cannot tell anything about the long time stability.

Thus it may be recommended to all which want to get a table saw with a reasonable price and those who want to saw wood (maximum 20 mm thick) with an accuracy of ~0.5 mm. I would be interested if there are any other modelers using this table saw.  

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Heigth of the blade cannot be changed and it cannot be tilted. So far, I only missed one for rectangular cuts. Any angle I acchieved with sanding, since mostly only thin strips had to treated.

Are you working with the bigger proxxon?

Clark

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Posted (edited)

There's more information about it on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/NovelLife-Mini-Table-Saw-Adjustable/dp/B07CHLQYXN/ref=asc_df_B07CHLQYXN/?tag=bingshoppinga-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid={creative}&hvpos={adposition}&hvnetw=o&hvrand={random}&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=e&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl={devicemodel}&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=&hvtargid=pla-4584413735823383&psc=1 Examination of the photos there suggests the Chinese took some "inspiration" from the Byrnes saw, but a Byrnes saw it certainly ain't. It's not a piece of precision machinery.

 

For US$ 100, it may meet the very basic needs of some. It's probably fairly priced for what it is, but, IMHO, I'd keep saving up until I could afford a Byrnes saw, rather than settle for this one. My concerns with it are:

 

1.   It has no provision for blade height adjustment. This eliminates use for cutting slots and dadoing (without the use of sacrificial spacing material.) It makes ripping thin stock very dicey without "hold-downs." "Kick-backs" may be likely. Taking multiple passes to cut types of wood which tend to clog the blade gullets isn't possible.

 

2.    It has no throat plate and so no provision for zero-clearance table inserts to ensure fine, smooth cuts.

 

3.   The blade arbor is an uncommon size, limiting blade availability.  It may not be possible to find properly-sized slitting blades to minimize kerf wastage on expensive material.

 

4.   It has no port provision for dust collection.

 

5.   It has no provision for fine fence adjustment (like the Byrnes' micrometer option.)  The ruling on the table top is reportedly inaccurate. The fence is not "self-squaring" when moved.

 

5.   It has but one miter gauge slot, thus precluding the use of a sliding cut-off table and other fixtures one might wish to employ.

 

6.   The miter gauge slot is to the right of the blade and the fence to the left. The fence ruling is on the table top to the left, but not the right of the blade. You're on your own if you want to use the fence to the right of the blade, if that's possible at all.

 

7.   In order to change blades, the entire table top, held on with four flat-head hex screws, must be removed.

 

Perhaps it's unfair to compare it to a Byrnes saw, although it tries to look like one. You do get what  you pay for. I agree, though, that if one were somewhere in the world where the price of a Byrnes saw was doubled by import duties and shipping costs, this saw becomes a lot more attractive when compared with those much more expensive mini-saws on the market which sacrifice quality of materials and accuracy to cater to the "hobby" market.

 

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Edited by Bob Cleek

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Dear Bob Cleek,

you are right, it is not a Byrnes saw and most of the points you are mentioning are really the weaknesses of the saw. I thought of buying the Byrnes but I was repelled by the price and the additional shipping costs. One comment: I was also a little been puzzled by the uncommon blade type. But there are some providers - at least in Germany - who are selling a lot of blade subtypes which are also suitable for the NovelLife saw:

https://www.saegeblatt-shop.de/produkte_kreissaegeblaetter-5-metallkreissaegeblaetter-din1837&din1838-86-BAY14006306100-24848.html

May be I am dissapointed at the end, I will put some further reports when I start the real use. So far I have only tested it.

Thank you for your comment.

Clark

 

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28 minutes ago, Clark said:

there are some providers - at least in Germany - who are selling a lot of blade subtypes

Clark, thank you for the link.

I recently got a Proxxon FET saw and have been learning how to get the best from it. So far I think the saw is better than I am: everything I have attempted, from rabbets to thin strips, has worked with a little practice.

No tool is sacred (well, perhaps the Byrnes saw  ...) so I will be making a couple of modifications to my Proxxon.  Maybe if you find your saw has a limitation, you will also find a solution and post it here?

Dust extraction would be first on my list if I had your saw. I haven't found a tool yet that works better when it is dirty.

 

Regards,

Bruce

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Bruce, thanks for the hints. For the dust extraction I have positioned the tube of a vaccum cleaner near the blade. Not the best solution but it works.

Please keep us up to date with your proxxon fet.

Clark  

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Clark,

 

I agree with you on first time buys. I have shallow pockets and have purchased items at harbor freight most builders scoff at but have served a purpose. In time when my personal wealth improves I will upgrade if I feel the need.

 

I believed your purchase over a Proxxon saved $ 200.00, since I cant afford Chateau Briand and a fine wine that's 175 dinners at McDonalds with a coke.:) your saw I am sure will fill your needs at this time, happy modeling.

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I could come down on both sides of this thread. All prior comments can't be denied. Having said that in the past I have leaned to the side of buy the best you can afford and adapt using your skills and knowledge to overcome tool shortfalls. For example in my woodworking shop I do not have a top of the line table saw. It is a Delta 10 inch, contractor's saw with a full cast  iron table that I later added on side and outfeed extension tables with a Unisaw fence. It has been a workhorse for nearly 45 years. It never disappoints and replacing it is not a near term thought. The only thing I was uncompromising about was the blades. They make the work a joy. They just have to be kept sharp and treated with respect. A number of shop made jigs have made this saw even more versatile.

 

I sometimes chuckle to think that when I bought the Byrnes saw I paid as much for it as I did my shop saw. I have never looked back with regret. In modeling we work with thousands of an inch in some cases. That is hard to achieve with some model saws on a repeatable basis. Mitre slots are sloppy, blade arbors are not adjustable to achieve feed parallelism or their run out is poor. I could go on. So to me there was no question as what to buy and how much to spend. And if I need a bit of self delusion I always ask myself..."Spread over a life time how much is this purchase really costing me?".

 

Joe

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5 hours ago, John Allen said:

Clark,

 

I agree with you on first time buys. I have shallow pockets and have purchased items at harbor freight most builders scoff at but have served a purpose. In time when my personal wealth improves I will upgrade if I feel the need.

 

I believed your purchase over a Proxxon saved $ 200.00, since I cant afford Chateau Briand and a fine wine that's 175 dinners at McDonalds with a coke.:) your saw I am sure will fill your needs at this time, happy modeling.

That's very true, Clark. When it comes to tools, and particularly tools for a hobby, economics always force compromises. Rarely, however, do such compromises impair the quality of modeling. What the pocketbook cannot attain, the skill of the craftsman can always exceed... and often does.

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13 hours ago, Bob Cleek said:

That's very true, Clark. When it comes to tools, and particularly tools for a hobby, economics always force compromises. Rarely, however, do such compromises impair the quality of modeling. What the pocketbook cannot attain, the skill of the craftsman can always exceed... and often does.

Bob Cleek, you are expressing what I feel. Adjusting height and correcing postion can often better be done by eye than by caliper. As a control I sometimes asked my my wife to have a sharp look on the ship. But her willingness is declining.

Thanks all for joining the discussion

Clark

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Posted (edited)
On ‎4‎/‎29‎/‎2019 at 7:49 PM, thibaultron said:

How did the old Dremel saws stack up?

If they are as "all things Dremel," they're probably not even in the same zip code. The Dremel concept is great and their product line is extensive. I relied upon a Dremel tool for decades as my only powered modeling tool, as well as for a lot of other things. The problem with the Dremel products, IMHO, is that, while fine for light duty work that doesn't require a lot of accuracy, they lack power once I try to push them much past balsa and bass wood. The problem with most of the "mini" saws on the market is that they don't have the muscle for the tougher hardwoods, and, of course, aren't capable of the accuracy needed for consistent production of hardwood modeling stock. The bottom line with all accurate machine tools is "mass." Accuracy and power depend upon weight (stability) and a powerful motor. That's why the good stuff costs more. Manufacturing to close tolerances for accuracy is expensive. Weight, which limits vibration and flexibility, is also expensive. Plastic parts and 12 VDC motors are cheaper, but you get what you pay for.

 

Longevity is another important factor to consider. If properly cared for, a high quality machine tool, actually any tool, for that matter, should perform well and provide pride and satisfaction of ownership for a lifetime.  Moreover, high quality tools maintain their value much better, particularly so with machine tools. There are lots of good machine tools that are thirty, forty, or more years old that are worth more today than what they sold for originally. A good example is are the Unimat DB and SL modeling lathes. They haven't been made since the early Seventies, but are still selling used on eBay for three and four times what they cost new. In our arena, I'm sure the Byrnes tools are the same. I wish Jim Byrnes a long and healthy life, but when the Byrnes saw is no longer made, you can bet they will become more expensive  and sought after.

 

While it depends upon how much modeling you do and for how long, keep in mind also that a high quality mini table saw will eventually pay for itself if you mill your own stock with it. Cutting your own stock from larger billets, particularly if the wood is sourced for free from tree services, garden prunings, old furniture from the dumps, and such.

 

Anybody who's in the market for a mini table saw and is hesitating on "pulling the trigger," should consider that the difference in price from a "hobby grade" Dremel, Micro-mark, or Proxxon, is at most a couple of hundred bucks. (Granted, that doesn't consider the cost of overseas shipping and import duty for those outside the U.S.) Even if one were to save as little as a buck a day, they could have the Byrnes saw instead of the others in six months or less. Throw your pocket change in a jar every night before you go to bed and you'll have the scratch for the Byrnes before you know it! 

 

 

Edited by Bob Cleek

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I have this same saw. I just ran into an issue where it lost power on cutting.  Prior to last week it could cut right through most materials around a 1/4" thick but then suddenly it lacked any power and would bind. At first I thought it was the power supply so I tried another non-variable one but it did the same thing.  Tore into it and finally discovered the set screws for the drive motor sprocket had loosened so it was spinning on the shaft under load.  Tightened them up and the ones on the blade shaft for good measure and all is well in the world again.

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2 hours ago, rtwpsom2 said:

I have this same saw. I just ran into an issue where it lost power on cutting.  Prior to last week it could cut right through most materials around a 1/4" thick but then suddenly it lacked any power and would bind. At first I thought it was the power supply so I tried another non-variable one but it did the same thing.  Tore into it and finally discovered the set screws for the drive motor sprocket had loosened so it was spinning on the shaft under load.  Tightened them up and the ones on the blade shaft for good measure and all is well in the world again.

Give some thought to putting to Loc-Tight on those screws.   I've had screws come loose again after re-seating and tightening.

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Just to add my experience, I bought the little proxxon table saw KS230. The only thing I ask is straight cuts in thin wood material and I think this is the only service it can provide. I have our old decommissioned vacuum permanently attached to it. For any other task a much better, bigger and ultimately very different saw would be needed.

 

This saw should provide the same service and really it is pretty cheap. Hopefully it will prove reliable, accurate and user friendly. Please Clark keep us posted

 

One more thing to consider is safety. The little Proxxon is very underpowered which is good, as I found that table saws can be very dangerous. I have had a few kick backs and other incidents and the real safety feature I think is the lack of power. I now treat it with great respect, wear always eye protection etc. Maybe a better saw would be safer just by being better built.

 

Really everything must be very well aligned and rigid otherwise things fly off at supersonic speeds.

 

I also run into this, Proxxon rebranded very cheap saw. Maybe worth a look

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/ABEST-Electrical-Bench-Benchtop-Hobby/dp/B07CGBX394/ref=pd_sbs_60_1/257-0385828-8066955?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B07CGBX394&pd_rd_r=0493ab71-8056-11e9-91a9-331929dfa632&pd_rd_w=SObJT&pd_rd_wg=zN97t&pf_rd_p=18edf98b-139a-41ee-bb40-d725dd59d1d3&pf_rd_r=QRZX244G0YCADQTP8ECP&psc=1&refRID=QRZX244G0YCADQTP8ECP

 

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1 hour ago, vaddoc said:

Just to add my experience, I bought the little proxxon table saw KS230. The only thing I ask is straight cuts in thin wood material and I think this is the only service it can provide. I have our old decommissioned vacuum permanently attached to it. For any other task a much better, bigger and ultimately very different saw would be needed.

 

This saw should provide the same service and really it is pretty cheap. Hopefully it will prove reliable, accurate and user friendly. Please Clark keep us posted

 

One more thing to consider is safety. The little Proxxon is very underpowered which is good, as I found that table saws can be very dangerous. I have had a few kick backs and other incidents and the real safety feature I think is the lack of power. I now treat it with great respect, wear always eye protection etc. Maybe a better saw would be safer just by being better built.

 

Really everything must be very well aligned and rigid otherwise things fly off at supersonic speeds.

 

I also run into this, Proxxon rebranded very cheap saw. Maybe worth a look

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/ABEST-Electrical-Bench-Benchtop-Hobby/dp/B07CGBX394/ref=pd_sbs_60_1/257-0385828-8066955?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B07CGBX394&pd_rd_r=0493ab71-8056-11e9-91a9-331929dfa632&pd_rd_w=SObJT&pd_rd_wg=zN97t&pf_rd_p=18edf98b-139a-41ee-bb40-d725dd59d1d3&pf_rd_r=QRZX244G0YCADQTP8ECP&psc=1&refRID=QRZX244G0YCADQTP8ECP

 

Thanks for the many replies and comments.

Just to add my experience with the saw since I bought it several weeks ago:

I did a lot of cuts with various types of wood. I mainly used it for making wood filler between frames and for constructing supports in a slipway. Thus no work with the need to be very precise.  There were no problems to do straight cuts with a precision of about 0.5 mm in wood pieces up to 20 mm thickness. The only problem I had was doing angular cuts with small wood pieces. I glued the pieces on longer sticks and fixed the miter gauge accordingly.  It worked.

I would strongly agree that a saw is dangerous. The protection system of the NovelLife is not the best one. Moreover, it sometimes interferes with handling because you cannot hold the wood sufficiently when the protection system is mounted.

The speed of the saw can be varied by adjusting the power supply which is comfortable when handling different types of wood. But it probably makes no ´difference when cutting your finger with 12V or with 24V.  I did not try it.

I would not use the saw for cutting strips for deck planking or hull planking.

Clark

 

 

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