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Can i live without a BYRNES TABLE SAW

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Starting from the basics,  were I starting from scratch -

You are acting as a sawyer as well as a mill.

First is attention to harvesting and seasoning.

Seal all cut ends - even branches as soon as possible.  Debarking and cutting into billets speeds seasoning helps get you ahead of fungus and wood boring insects.  Always sticker for air circulation.

Getting a log into billets and billets into planks -  framing and planking thickness planks - is best done using a band saw.  A for real band saw-  14".   Do not cut corners on HP - that is false economy.  I have a 3 HP 220V  Rikon  and would not want a less powerful motor.

ReSawing eats band saw blades.  Steel blades do not last long enough to pay back their cost.  A carbide resaw blade lasts a whole lot longer. Long enough to be economical even at the $200 each cost.   But there is a more cost effective alternative - a Lenox Diemaster 2 bimetal blade.  They are $50 but last at least half as long as a carbide blade if not longer.  With the species that you are cutting,  the resharpening option is likely an illusion - the steel will crack from the work.  No other band saw blade types are even candidates for resharpening.

Limited budget or not,  this tool is fundamental for what you want to do.

 

Next is precise dimensioning.  A Byrnes thickness sander is enough better than the other choices that there really is no choice.

 

Now,  this is the stage for the Byrnes table saw.  There is nothing else close in quality.  The trick is to match the blade to the job.

Unless you are doing a particular sort of work that needs it, the tilting table option is not going to pay back its cost.   The sliding table is a Formula One sports car.   If you budget is limited, it is easy to make your own from lost cost materials.  I forget who posted the picture of his version - but he sized the table to allow keeping the fence in place when using it.  If you are cross cutting long stock - make two versions of the sliding table.   To be practical,  the Byrnes saw may in theory cut close to 1 inch stock and it may do for AYC, Basswood, or Yellow Poplar,  for the species you have, you do not want to cut much thicker than 1/4" stock.  Let the band saw to the heavy work.  For what it is good at, there is none better than the Byrnes saw,  just to not ask it to do jobs it was not designed for.

 

A 10" table saw can sorta maybe get you billets from logs.  It is not the job it is best at.  It does not treat blades like they are Kleenex - that is true.  But the waste to kerf is awful.  The depth of cut is limited - several passes are necessary for 3 or 4 inch deep cuts.  Each pass means more work for the thickness sander.  It wants to eat your fingers.  If any tool is a true luxury for the job of milling stock - it is a full size table saw.

Edited by Jaager

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Eric,

 

Get yourself the different blades, and some zero clearance plates, the adjustable miter gauge comes in rather useful. That would give you a nice initial setup, I bought the micrometer stop, but that may be a luxury if you are mainly cutting your fruit tree's woodstock (pun intended) As Kurt wrote, most other accessories are luxuries, but depend largely on what you cut most, like the use of the tilt table. A sliding table you can make yourself (it doesn't need to be aluminum, wood works quite good too)

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2 hours ago, kurtvd19 said:

I would get the extension bar for the miter gauge.  There is a plain one for $8 or the adjustable one for $30.  I add a longer piece of hardwood to the $8 bar when I am doing angled cuts - attached with double faced tape.  If I have occasion to order something else from Jim I will probably pick up the $30 adjustable one - but I haven't had any issue with just adding another piece with the tape.  But you really need one or the other.  The extended fence is a very good - must have - addition. 

Kurt, can you clarify what you mean? The only $30 option is listed as "extended rip fence" but doesn't say anything about being adjustable whereas the "miter gage adjustable extension" is $12.

 

Cog, can you clarify whether/why I would need the micrometer stop? Doesn't the saw already have markings to allow one to set cutting width?

 

I should probably clarify a few other factors for me.  I've been doing timber management on my land for over a decade, cutting my own lumber and custom-milling planks and beams for both my own use (sheds, barns, furniture) and sale (other peoples' projects including decks, sheds, garden beds, etc.). So the wood I'd like to use for model work is either already bandsaw-milled into planks or billets and stacked, stickered, and cured, or has the ability to become so. I am not a full-time model maker and do not want to go berserk ordering high-end equipment that will get used a few times a year.

 

It seems to me, and please correct me if I'm wrong, that a basic table saw and tabletop bandsaw (which I already have) should be sufficient for an amateur modeler who wants to occasionally reduce some wild-harvested wood to reasonable billets for the Byrnes saw. I don't care about kerf loss because wood is utterly renewable for me and I have a fleet's worth of it already waiting for use. What I want to do is take rough-cut billets and make model-scale planks or beams in various thickness/width combinations from 1/32" to 1/4", with occasional larger pieces. My understanding is that the Byrnes saw allows me to do this; am I correct, or am I misunderstanding what this tool can do?

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Eric:

Sorry.  The extended rip fence is $30 and well worth it.  The Miter Gauge adjustable extension is $12 and well worth it.  I got the prices messed up.  The $8 miter bar I mentioned isn't such a good buy when the adjustable extension is only $12.  The micrometer stop isn't needed in my opinion.  The saw does not have markings for width of cuts.  Use a metal scale to measure from the blade to the rip fence. 

If you are going to be cutting planking make an adjustable tool to set the width like the one I made - photos attached.  Absolutely no difference in plank width because the tool isn't moved between planks - the rip fence moves but the tool to the left of the blade sets the width.

Kurt

Strip Cutting Jig draawing.jpg

PLEXI GAUGE.jpg

IMG_4215.JPG

IMG_4219.JPG

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I use the big saws and a thickness sander to get to one final dimension.  The Byrnes saw to get the other.

For example, deck planks -  band saw / sander  a plank to the width.  The Byrnes saw to slice off the thickness = individual deck planks.  For hull planking - band saw to thickness  and Byrnes saw to a width that just allows spilling.    Similar methods for beams, deck furniture.  

It will do more of the job.  

16 minutes ago, Cathead said:

What I want to do is take rough-cut billets and make model-scale planks or beams in various thickness/width combinations from 1/32" to 1/4", with occasional larger pieces.

It can do this.  It is just not the most efficient way.   Framing = thickness sander - precision is more important than accuracy for frame timbers.   I scroll cut my timbers from 2" wide stock.  I use a 9" bench top band saw - 1/8" blade with a Carter Stabilizer in place of a scroll saw.   I do not use the small band saw for anything else.  My 10" table saw is essentially just a table.

 

Getting where you want to go is an individual thing.   It is nigh on to impossible to avoid buying tools that will wind up gathering dust, because they do not fit your methods.  No shortcuts for this learning curve, I fear.  A Byrnes table saw is a high quality tool.  If it turns out to be a dud for you, it will re-sell easily - provided you have taken care of it.

 

Shame that you are far away - especially if you have surplus Apple.  Too bad about losing to Tenn.   But at any rate, go Cats!

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4 minutes ago, Jaager said:

A Byrnes table saw is a high quality tool.  If it turns out to be a dud for you, it will re-sell easily - provided you have taken care of it.

This is definitely a positive consideration for me. I handle cars the same way; buy a high-quality new one, take care of it, and run it forever. My 13 year old truck has had $100 of non-routine maintenance done on it, a great value in the long run. Thanks for your feedback on this question, it's been helpful.

 

Kurt, thanks also for your feedback. I really like the idea of making my own wood; shipping wood across the country when I'm surrounded by harvestable trees just drives me bonkers! That tool of yours looks good and it does make sense to not have to precisely reset the fence every time.

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5 hours ago, kurtvd19 said:

Eric:

You will never regret buying one.  I would get the extension bar for the miter gauge.  There is a plain one for $8 or the adjustable one for $30.  I add a longer piece of hardwood to the $8 bar when I am doing angled cuts - attached with double faced tape.  If I have occasion to order something else from Jim I will probably pick up the $30 adjustable one - but I haven't had any issue with just adding another piece with the tape.  But you really need one or the other.  The extended fence is a very good - must have - addition.  I think the std fence is just too thin - but I also use a big Bissemer (sp?) style fence on my 10" saw.  A couple of zero clearance inserts so you can have one matched to each blade you use.  The other accessories are luxuries.

 

I purchased the tilting table and have used it one time in several years - it paid for itself on that job but it hasn't been used since. 

 

Kurt

 

I agree with Kurt wholeheartedly, but I'd add a bit more to the list. 

 

1) If the eight buck  cost is a consideration, you can make your own zero clearance inserts from wood or thin plastic for less. Jim's $8 ones will fit perfectly, however. Your own mileage may vary. Jim's won't.

 

2) Buy the "spare nuts and bolts" kit. I think it's $8 or so, but it's cheap. There are a lot of rather small fasteners and you will probably drop one at some point or other and need replacements. They are standard fasteners, but don't expect to run down to Home Depot and find a blister pack full of them. The same goes for an extra belt. You may not need these immediately, but the expense is minimal and the savings in the cost of shipping separately if you have to buy one later will pay for them alone. 

 

3) I'd spring for the micrometer adjustment on the fence. It's a few bucks, but if you have a piece of equipment that is accurate to .001", you really ought to have the option to set the fence to those tolerances. A spacer can be used for set up, but the micrometer is better. Kurt's "stop block" is beautiful. I've been making do with cobbled up equivalents, but I'm going to make one for myself as soon as I have the time. This is essential if you want to efficiently rip a bunch of strips for planking, etc.

 

4.) I'd really, really take a hard look at the new aluminum sled Jim is selling now. I agonized over it and finally got one and I'm really glad I did. It's true that it's easy to make your own from wood or plastic sheet material, but I doubt it is going to be worth anybody's time and effort to make one themselves that is equivalent to the accuracy of Jim's sled. The Byrnes sled is "bulletproof," like the rest of his machines. Most importantly, it's CNC-milled aluminum and every bit as accurate as the rest of the saw. Repetitive cross-cuts are simple enough on your own sled or shop made jigs, but if you have occasion to want to cut notches to make gratings or make miter cuts that are perfectly accurate, which is pretty much essential for any small scale woodworking, particularly for making model case frames, the "store bought" Byrnes cross-cut miter sled is worth its weight in gold. You don't really need it if all you are doing is ripping strip wood, but if you are using the saw to cut wood parts for assembly, I think you will be glad you got it. I have found it increased the usefulness of the saw exponentially.

 

5) Talk to Jim on the phone and tell him what you are planning to do with your saw. Ask him which blades you should get. TAKE HIS ADVICE! He won't steer you wrong. Be aware that kerf thickness isn't the only consideration. The depth of cuts you will be making and the finish you desire on the cuts are dependent upon the type of blade used. His stock carbide blade is great for general purpose use. If you want to turn out finished strip wood in thin dimensions, you'll probably want to get an additional specialty blade for that work. 

 

If you had read the 300+ posts in this thread, I believe you would never, ever, have found one complaining that they bought a Byrnes saw and found they never had a use for it or was ever dissatisfied with the machine or the service. I can't think of any other products that have that level of customer satisfaction rating. All the Byrnes Model Machine products are "finestkind." They are the gold standard for what they are. There are none to equal them. For what they are, I am sure you will consider their purchase price to be one of the best bargains around. 

Edited by Bob Cleek

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Cathead, Bob said it all. I don't think I'll need to add to his eloquent explanation.

 

Bob, are you in advertising?

 

I agree with you entirely, Bob, very sound advice, in the end it also boils down to what you use it for, and how often you will use it. But some accessories do make you use it more easily/often

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I agree with all of the above. The micrometer adjustment is what this saw was built for. The sled makes the job really easy and very safe too. Just double up on your blades as they are not that expensive and you’ll go through a few except for the carbide blades. These seem to stay sharp for a very long time. 

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Just to add a little reference to this, in Canada the saw and accessories are duty free.  Also, Byrnes offered ground or expedited shipping.  The ground shipping only takes around 5 days.  Definitely not worth the extra $80 they quoted for expedited shipping. It was shipped yesterday and should arrive Monday.  The worst part is the Admiral insists it goes under the tree until Christmas.  Oh well, can't argue with her, seriously I really can't argue with her.

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What's 16 days on a modellers life. You can still saw your wood the old way ;) Once you have used the Byrnes ... you suddenly can't anymore, it is very odd

 

10 hours ago, Worldway said:

Oh well, can't argue with her, seriously I really can't argue with her.

You mean you can't argue ...

with her

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I had a request for details of my Byrnes Saw shaft lock (to assist with blade changing). I have posted the details here to make them generally available.

Photo of shaft lock (in parked position):-

DSC09671.thumb.JPG.17592dae3998c68efb578cc85df0a928.JPG

DSC09669.thumb.JPG.ff4b79a0bd8e375b3c3f02000f21ca33.JPG

Shaft lock components:-

DSC09673.thumb.JPG.5b16d03d61c6e8762ea34cae162ce89f.JPG

Sizing Information:-

DSC09677.thumb.JPG.d729845546d7196ef32672eff7b35dc6.JPG

The large diameter of pivot arm (2nd item below) is 12mm. 

DSC09684.thumb.JPG.d008fe186ec91b1f1013842f97c09407.JPGThe viewing window for the saw shaft is 20mm diameter - cut in the belt cover with a step drill. The belt cover was removed to cut this hole.

DSC09682.thumb.JPG.c53bbf6a1f78239a39272dbad4b1c1f7.JPGThe hole for the pivot arm was 6mm diameter.

DSC09683.thumb.JPG.7d059edecb430bb2a8a9b5b6d4565498.JPG

 

 

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10 minutes ago, No Idea said:

That’s ingenious but why not just shove a 3/8 spanner on it?  That’s what I do. 

No idea ---- If I understand, you mean use a spanner instead of the bar I made. The issue is that the bar has to be slotted and slotting out the shaft of a chrome vanadium spanner would have been more difficult than machining up a piece of mild steel bar.

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Or lay a piece of softwood on the table, raise the blade, and jamb the face of the block of wood up against the saw teeth and hold it fast there, then turn the arbor nut.  The teeth bite into the wood when the arbor is turned by the wrench. I've never changed a table saw blade any other way.

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On 12/10/2019 at 8:42 PM, No Idea said:

I just use a 3/8 spanner on the shaft flats and hold it to undo the blade locking nut

Yes that's how I did it until I got frustrated with having to use 2 hands. Now it is easier and quicker which is important when you change blades frequently as I do.

23 hours ago, Bob Cleek said:

Or lay a piece of softwood on the table, raise the blade, and jamb the face of the block of wood up against the saw

I do a lot of my work with fine toothed slitting saws and they are much more difficult to jamb than a TCT saw.

Edited by KeithAug

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1 hour ago, KeithAug said:

Yes that's how I did it until I got frustrated with having to use 2 hands. Now it is easier and quicker which is important when you change blades frequently as I do.

I do a lot of my work with fine toothed slitting saws and thy are much more difficult to jamb than a TCT saw.

Quite true. 

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On 1/11/2019 at 9:08 AM, DocBlake said:

You won't regret it!  The only thing that could make the Byrnes saw better is Jim using his precision machining skills to create a tilting arbor for angle cuts.  There is a tilt table available, but is fussy to use and time consuming to set up.  I guess you can't have everything.  Also, here's a link to the Byrnes saw user guide mentioned above:  

 

http://web.archive.org/web/20160401201451/http://www.hobbymillusa.com/byrnes-saw-operation.php

Would love to see a thread on just the tilting table, its use,installation and any modifications people created. I'm finding the tilt table is lacking a lot of information but I'm eager to try it out!

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On 12/13/2019 at 8:49 AM, JackieTrades said:

The only thing that could make the Byrnes saw better is Jim using his precision machining skills to create a tilting arbor for angle cuts. 

The drawback to a tilting arbor on a Byrnes saw is that, with a tilting arbor, you can't use a "zero-clearance" table insert because the blade opening has to be wide enough to accommodate the angle of the blade as it tilts. This impairs the utility of the saw when cutting thin pieces. The only alternative with a tilting arbor is to have a "zero-clearance insert for every angle of bevel you want to cut. Good luck with that!

 

The Byrnes tilting table attempts to avoid the insert clearance problem by tilting the table. However, any bevel desired can be cut by simply shimming the workpiece on the side opposite the cut. Set up takes some experimentation, but it's a lot less expensive than the tilting table option and how often does anybody really make beveled cuts, anyway?

 

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9 hours ago, Bob Cleek said:

 

 

and how often does anybody really make beveled cuts, anyway?

 

There it is, in a nutshell.  I have a MicroMark saw which tilts the blade.  I think I've used that feature once in maybe 10 years.

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Another Christmas arrival:

IMG_0133.jpg.0e665a39ddc84e33d2afe1f802553f53.jpg

Thanks to all who answered my recent questions in this thread. Given that I do a lot of timber management on my mostly wooded 40 acres already, and have stacks of maple, cherry, cedar, and other woods curing in my barn, I'm really excited to start making more fine-scale materials with this saw. Here's a few Eastern Red Cedar strips I milled up just to make sure the saw was functioning properly after shipping:
IMG_0134.jpg.2bbec14b74cc7877a2b809fc9b7ddabd.jpg

It's so pretty, I'm curious to try modeling something with it.

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