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Byrnes Model Machines

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Hi, as you all likely know, I have proudly purchased Jim Byrnes table saw.  I was considering his thickness planer. But without having a bandsaw or resaw I'm wondering what use I would have for it. I'm curious what other people use it for.  Another curious question is what about his sander? I'm asking because I know he has amazing quality products and would like to stick to his machines if I could justify them.  Any input would be helpful.

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Dereck,

I have a thickness sander and also disc sander (with a belt) .  Of those two, I can probably count one hand how many times I've used the disc sander.   I have used the thickness sander, and wish it was a Byrnes but when I bought it, Byrnes wasn't making one.

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Hi:  I cut my own planks and I find the thickness sander essential in two steps, first to mill the width of the stock before do the final cutting. I mill all the blanks to the matching width for the batch of planks before I slit them. Then, I use the sander again to mill any cutting marks and smooth the planks after I slice a batch.  I can't really do a satisfactory job for myself now unless I use this tool!

 

Regards, Dave

 

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The thickness sander isn't a replacement for a resawing on the bandsaw. The thickness sander is basically a thickness planer for taking relatively small amounts off a piece and making the surface perfectly smooth and uniformly flat, which is generally necessary anytime you resaw anyway. As with his other machines, the Byrnes thickness sander is extremely accurate and well-powered. There's none better that I have ever seen. His clever arrangement for attaching the abrasive is much better than the abrasive sleeves some other models use. Order the optional full length abrasive retention bar so you can also use a full sheet of the same grit to do wider pieces. The stock machine comes with two bars half the length that will hold two different grits on the drum at the same time. That's handy for thinner stuff, but sometimes you may want to do wider stuff. That said, it's not really the tool for turning 3/4" stock into 1/4" stock.

 

I find the disk sander very handy for shaping pieces to fine tolerances. IMHO, sanding is a poor way of shaping wood. Cutting or sawing are much more accurate and leave a better finish on the workpiece, but what's so nice about the Byrnes disk sander is that its table and miter gauge are perfectly accurate and infinitely adjustable, as well as adjustable to fixed angles with his peg setting system. If you want to square an edge, or put any particular angle on it, the disk sander is perfect for that. It's also great for shaping any flat, of course. Like the thickness sander, though, it's not the proper tool for removing large amounts of wood, even though it will do it easily.

 

Like the table saw, both the thickness and the disk sander have really good dust extraction ports. A shop vac is all you need to enjoy dust-free sanding.

Edited by Bob Cleek

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I put in an order for the Byrnes disc sander.  They are closed for the holidays so definitely won't see anything until the new year. However, I see there is no unboxing or review videos on Youtube so I may do one.  My 13 year old knows how to do this so may rely on him for direction.

Edited by Worldway

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I use the disc sander all the time.  Probably my most used tool.  Super easy and quick way to get straight edges.

 

I was on the fence about the thickness sander but when you need it, it’s incredibly helpful.  I’ve used it a lot more recently.

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I agree with everything said above about the value of the thickness sander and the disk sander. The first is essential for getting a consistent thickness for things like planking. The second I use all the time for cutting very precise angles on the end of the piece. For example, in my planking seen here, I need to fit short planking between gunports, where the angle at each end must match exactly the angles of the gunport sides. I draw a line parallel to the port on the plank, set my angle finder to that, and then use the angle finder to set the angle of the miter gauge on the disk sander. If it is slightly off, I adjust the miter gauge a bit, then sand again. I can creep up to a perfect angle, much more reliably than with a freehand file or a chisel cut.

 

Mark

 

 

IMG_8968.jpg

zOBJ_Bellona_20190928_3.jpg

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I have the Thickness sander and when I use it, I count my blessings that I have it.   I have a less expensive/quality disc sander with belt side and find that adequate as my final sanding is always done by hand and Im less prone to take too much off.   I use the thickness sander most often for scratch building new parts or replacement kit parts, thinking back Im not sure how much I could have done without it or how much time is saved by not waiting around for replacement parts.   

 

The disc sander Im sure is wonderful, but for me my money is better saved for the table saw than the disc sander which of the three tools offered I think might be a last priority.  

 

However...  I will say that my opinion is not nearly as valuable as that of some of the more seasoned builders.   Perhaps one day, when my workmanship demands more precision, I will find that I require the whole Byrnes trifecta.  

 

"A good tool is still a bad tool in the hands of an idiot." - My Grandpa.  

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Have the thickness sander and have used it a lot. Paid only 100 dollars but it was a very  light used unit. Have a Proxxon  table saw which will be replaced some day.

Can't go wrong with Byrnes Machines.

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I've had a Byrnes thickness sander for some years. It is an invaluable help. More recently I was gifted the disk sander by a very good friend. Up to that time I had thought the latter an unnecessary luxury. Was I ever wrong! It has proved most useful indeed.

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Unfortunately I've had some financial setbacks so had to cancel my order for the disc sander today.  As I politely said to them, they have not heard the last from me.  My wish is that Jim develops a band saw / re saw.  Maybe someday.

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