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  • 1 month later...

I have a Proxxon FKS/E previous model of the 37070 FET saw. Works well but doesn't have long rip fence as Byrnes which can create weird cuts if you don't pay attention.

The nice thing with the saw of mine it has a speed regulator going from 4400 to 680 rpm, and it's "Made in Germany".

But I do have my eyes set for a Byrnes table saw and disc sander.

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My ancient Minicraft table saw burned out recently after decades of use and they seem to no longer be made, so my wife searched for me and found an Abest on Amazon for £60.  I only use a table saw for planks, timber heads etc. So she got it for me.  It arrived, after ordering one evening, the very next lunchtime, well packaged!  I immediately put it to use and have been using it constantly since. It is billed as German designed (not that that impresses me!) although it is, of course, made in China.  I did check the Byrnes price, laughed and let her order the Abest.  It appears to be no different from a Proxxon, all of whose tools I have found to be grossly overpriced.

The only possible disadvantage to this particular tool is the lack of a tilt table, but I never needed one all the long time I owned the Mini/Maxicraft saw, so I'm sure the lack won't prove a problem with this one. It is belt driven with a geared down ratio so its 480 watts is more than ample for cutting my stuff.  I have no need for thick wood in my modelmaking and if I did my full sized table saw would cope, or, I could ask my son to use his slightly more accessible one for me.

I do think there's a certain snobbishness on show when it comes to saws and perhaps tools generally.  The Byrnes is obviously best, but so it should be at that price! The Proxxon is really no different from my Abest. Just a different, rather billious, colour and up to three times the price.

I have no idea about Harbour Freight and Micro Mark as we don't get them in Britain.  If I need shapes, I use my £12 fleamarket band saw. When I file stuff, I use the second hand, but previously unusedGenuine Stubbs and Vallorbe Swiss files I buy at fleamarkets, Sunday markets, boot fairs, whatever you want to call them. I buy the best new larger files as I really do give them some stick, although all I can get these days are Nicholson, which do wear out, unlike the old Stubbs of which I still have a few examples.  I am and have been for many years a professional modelmaker, but have not found it necessary to go nuts on buying machine tools.  The best lathe, for instance, I ever owned, FOR MODELMAKING, is the cheapest by a long way, a Taig/Peatol. American made. English supplied.

 

Martin

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Looks like a Chines copy of the PROXXON - with the same design shortcomings, such as the fence that does not go through and is not fixed to the rear. The motor though seems to be a lot stronger, as the one of the PROXXON is only rated at 150W, if I am not mistaken.

 

Does it take standard blades, i.e. with a 13 mm or an 8 mm hole instead of the proprietary 10 mm hole of the PROXXON ?

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Wefalck, I have no idea of the arbor hole diameter in the blade as I have had no reason to take it apart.  It describes itself as German designed, but that never impresses me as I've worked and lived in Germany and was never impressed by purely German design, much of which was appalling.  I assumed that was why there were so many foreign contractors there including me and 175 others in just one company! 

It is what it is. It does not suffer from a fence that isn't locked at the back.  It stays put perfectly well, better, for instance, than the Micro craft which I used for decades with, when sometimes necessary, a G clamp on the fence, but rarely.  I've read that the mitre fence is no good. Well, erm, it works, so what's no good?  I was cutting old, hard 1/8" mahogany tother day and the motor didn't slow at all. 

I am delighted with it.  So far I have cut 3/8th Pirhana pine down to 1/4" square and all I got was a lovely piney smell and very smooth timber heads.

 

Martin

DSCI0079.jpg

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So you don't know the hole diameter in the saws ?

 

At least on my PROXXON the fence is a weakness. I gather, like any other manufacturing company, PROXXON has/had to strike a balance between the cost of production and the price at which their products can sell in the market. For many years they were the only manufacturers of hobby machine-tools that were somewhere between toys and 'real' machines at an affordable price. I have had some of their machines now for well over thirty years.

 

Not sure what industry you are/have been working in, but as a German I am almost inclined to take a bit offence at these wholesale comments on German design. I gather some industries do quite well and have turned out products that are still in use 100 years after their manufacturing (I am thinking e.g. of my watchmakers lathe).

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1 hour ago, wefalck said:

Not sure what industry you are/have been working in, but as a German I am almost inclined to take a bit offence at these wholesale comments on German design. I gather some industries do quite well and have turned out products that are still in use 100 years after their manufacturing (I am thinking e.g. of my watchmakers lathe).

 

Wefalck, you are absolutely right.
One of the true good things that came out from Germany after two tragic wars has been the manufacturing and the high standard of quality.
My first watch, given to me on my 7 birthday from my fathers-fathers, was a German made. It was so accurate that even later on the digital was far behind.

And if the German design and engineering is poor, why is that people all around the world would like to have a BMW, Audi or Mercedes just to mention that industry. 

Here's a funny twist, but somehow the Ford manufacturing in Europe had a higher quality standard set than in USA.
Loved my Ford Escort MK3 and my Ford Escort Cosworth, miss them today.

There's nothing wrong with some Chinese products, but quality has never been considered as the first point of interest.

Just my two cents.

Now back to table saws.

 


 

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The Chinese are quite capable of manufacturing high-quality products - but, as always, quality has its price. Countries seem to go through a certain cycle, when they enter a market. Way back in the later 19th century German manufacturer tried to compete through the price with British products, which resulted in poor quality (plus the technological catch-up as well) and poor reputation; later quality and, hence, price had to be ramped up to stay competitive; the 'Made in Germany' originally meant to be a warning imposed by British importers, became a sign of quality. Post WWII the Japanese went through a similar cycle; they first targeted the low-quality mass-market - I still remember that in the 1960s we frownd upon cheapo plasticy toys and other goods with the 'Made in Japan' cast into them; now they are among the leading manufacturers in the World. There are signs that the Chinese will go the same way.

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9 hours ago, M.R.Field said:

I have just found this advert which is the same machine, albeit in dollars.

https://joystar.en.made-in-china.com/product/gsrxGvZdMbcN/China-Mini-table-saw-for-woodworking-MTS-3115-.html

 

Hope that helps,

Martin

But read the "fine print." It's got a 220 VAC motor for European mains, not American mains. The stepdown transformer will cost more than the saw!

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In comparison to the Byrne's saw, I can't point you to a decent, inexpensive new one.  Beware of sneaking up, at wasteful expense, on lesser machines only to wind up buying the one you wanted in the first place.  It's hard to toss a machine, even after its been replaced - You'll wind up with a saw collection taking up space in your shop.  Byrnes is a good guy.  I wanted a steel top for mine and he made it.  

 

One saw that hasn't been mentioned is the PREAC.  It's decidedly small, but is a very precise, smooth-running little machine.  They are no longer made but show up used on eBay etc.  An after-market, larger motor kit was available for it.  Avoid ones with this modification.  The after-market drive-belt as a lump in it and turns the PREAC into a lumpy running little machine.  For blade-height adjustment,  PREAC offered a screw-jack like gadget but I found it difficult to use.  Vol. 1 of Romero's "Warrior" practicum shows a blade-height adjuster I submitted.  It works very well.   

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4 minutes ago, M.R.Field said:

Didn't see that. Why price in dollars and have a European voltage motor?

Weird. Well, I have to say it. "I'm alright, Jack, pull up the ladder" <G>

 

Martin

Martin, 

When it comes to whole good sales, most transactions are done with USD.

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4 hours ago, wefalck said:

Not sure what industry you are/have been working in, but as a German I am almost inclined to take a bit offence at these wholesale comments on German design. I gather some industries do quite well and have turned out products that are still in use 100 years after their manufacturing (I am thinking e.g. of my watchmakers lathe).

Like all countries the Germans are excellent designers and builders in some areas and not so much in others.  In addition there can be wide variations in quality between manufactures in the same field.  I worked in Germany in the construction and water/wastewater field for 10 years.  There were times that German methods and materials were not up to standards I was used to in the US and their water and wastewater systems were a decade or so behind in design and execution.  That said there are some builders in the US that produce shoddy results and water/wastewater systems that are not up to current standards.  The moral of this story is that you have to approach each product/project with a certain wariness no matter where it comes from.

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I use a Micro-Mark table saw (non tilting). It is made in Japan and with a Proxxon fine blade it has served me well. If I am careful setting the fence and feed slowly it can make a cut with an accuracy of .004" when measured with a caliper. This surprises me somewhat for the price paid. Maybe I got lucky,but I certainly have no complaints

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10 hours ago, wefalck said:

So you don't know the hole diameter in the saws ?

Per the site given it appears to be 8mm for the hole diameter.

 

4 hours ago, JohnB40 said:

I use a Micro-Mark table saw (non tilting). It is made in Japan and with a Proxxon fine blade it has served me well. If I am careful setting the fence and feed slowly it can make a cut with an accuracy of .004" when measured with a caliper. This surprises me somewhat for the price paid. Maybe I got lucky,but I certainly have no complaints

Many of us do as we either didn't know of the Byrne's saw or it wasn't around when we bought our MM table saw.  Not a great saw, but not a bad one either.  

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  • 3 weeks later...
4 hours ago, glbarlow said:

Let’s not by these. No different than buying ZHL models, it’s IP theft. Jim Byrnes shouldn’t lose money to Chinese knockoffs 

I share your sentiments, but, technically, they aren't exact copies and I doubt anybody's got a patent on something as basic as a table saw. ZHL, on the other hand, copies intellectual property verbatim. Still, the old maxim applies, "If the price seems too good to be true, it probably isn't." Those Asian knockoffs cost less because they are of lower quality and you get what you pay for. 

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But no different than plans, they buy a superb model like Byrnes, then first reverse engineer it, then make it with cheaper parts and without R&D cost. Their primary fighter jet is a knockoff of a Russian one, they know no bounds. 

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If you are patient, hobby saws do come up for sale here on MSW and Ebay. I recently bought a saw from a MSW member. It has a fine adjustment fence that attaches on the front and back of the table. And it is variable speed with four carbide tipped blades. It may not be the Cadillac of the saws but I think it will do every thing I need.

 

 

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9 hours ago, RussR said:

If you are patient, hobby saws do come up for sale here on MSW and Ebay. I recently bought a saw from a MSW member. It has a fine adjustment fence that attaches on the front and back of the table. And it is variable speed with four carbide tipped blades. It may not be the Cadillac of the saws but I think it will do every thing I need.

 

 

I have the fks/e proxxon saw, nice saw but not even close to a Byrnes. Has some desires regarding the fence. I do like the change of speed. A friend of mine has a Byrnes but I think there's some years in difference in between them to.

Some day that Byrnes saw will be sitting in the workshop.

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What makes Jim Byrns’ Tools unique is their high quality, but he did not “invent” the model makers table saw.  Years ago before CAD when engineering firms built scale models, scale plastic structural steel and piping was cut with a similar saw; I think a Jarmac.  Later, Plans for building a model makers table saw were published in the Nautical Research Journal.  Shortly after that the Preac Table saw was offered.  I still have mine.  I tried to sell it when I bought my Byrnes saw but no takers.

 

In this case, I really don’t think that the Chinese are stealing anything.  They’re merely making a small saw.  It’s up to the buyer to decide if it meets their needs.

 

Roger

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Late in the game here, but If I ever need a new mini table saw there is no doubt I will go with a Byrnes saw based on so many recommendations here at MSW and my great experience with his thickness sander.   In the meantime, I have 20 years or so with my Microlux saw and have no complaints at all.  The only add on I purchased was the sliding fence micro adjustment unit that really zeros in on the cut width that I want.   There is room to clamp on my own temporary table tops with specific guides when doing tricky work such as slotting slabs to make gratings as Bernard Frolich does them in the Art of Ship Modeling.  In all the years I have had the unit I have never had an issue with the unit.  

Allan 

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When I first started this hobby, I started with basic tools. Not a single power tool. I wasn't sure that I would stay with this or not.

My first power tool was a Dremel rotary tool, then a work stand with a flexible shaft. Then an x-y table. 

Then I up graded my miter box & hobby saw to a used Proxxon KS 115 Bench Circular Saw for $50.00 plus shipping. It wasn't  a $500.00 saw but a real upgrade from what I had. (I would sell it for what I paid)

Then recently I had the opportunity to buy a PROXXON FKS/E for a reasonable price. The Proxxon KS 115 served me well. 

If a used Byrnes saw comes up for sale for a reasonable price I'll up grade and make someone a good price on the FKS/E. If not I'll be happy with what I have. (by this time I hope my craftsmanship has improved).

 

I wish everyone well.

RussR

 

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