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table saw opinions

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Hello everyone,


My name is George and I this is my first topic. I have built about 5 wooden ship kits and I think now it is time for me to make one from scratch.


I want to cut my own wooden stripes but I am not very familiar with the table saws that are available in the market. I am not willing to spend more than 200$.


I would appreciate your opinion, helping me decide what table saw would be the best for making wooden model ships.


Happy holidays to all 


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First of all, a very warm to :sign:

A forum where all questions old as new will be answered.


There is an on-going discussion regarding this in the following topic,

Please read this topic, which I think you will find very rewarding.


Personally, still not an owner, the Byrnes table saw is the way to go, yes you will spend more money but the tolerance and accuracy, along with future value of machine speaks for itself.


Buy cheap and repeat it, buy Expensive and keep it! :):P:D:)

Edited by Nirvana
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The Proxxon KS230 is around $200. I have one and it is ok for general cutting but not accurate enough to consistently rip planks. I'm not sure there would be anything available to do what you want for that sort of money. If there is, I'd be interested to know myself!

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A table saw is a great convenience, but it can also be a great annoyance.  Do you have experience with a table saw?  If not, I suggest that you read Bob Sorenson's article about tablesaw operation (and if you have experience read it anyway ;)). I've been lurking here for a while and considering whether to build a ship model or not.  (I've built several ships-in-bottle with nothing more than a knife, scissors, paintbrush, and a coathanger.)   Most of my experience is home improvement woodwork, furniture and guitar building.  


That said, my tablesaw cost $200 a few years ago on Craigslist.  It is a compact Yates-American M1701 cabinet saw from 1956, and was very well designed and built, with a TEC motor, and on the left side it has a 4" jointer and a 10" disc sander.   On the right side, the designers included a provision to mount a router.  It is a marvelous sturdy machine that is perfect for a home shop. (Bragging aside,) I think that you might find a serviceable used saw, if you're patient.  Follow the second-hand market, and ask your family and acquaintances.  If you find something interesting, go to vintagemachinery.org and look around for other examples and for the manufacturer's manuals.

Edited by Bob Blarney
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Thank you all for your time and your replies. I appreciate all of your comments. I don't have any experience using table saw. Thank you for mentioning the manual it is useful.


The Byrnes table saw seems to be perfect but the price is a little over my budget, but sometimes you get what you pay for.


The proxxon KS230 looks good but maybe i might have to wait a little more to get something more accurate.


Thank you again for your comments, i might end up buying stripes for now and in the future I will consider your advice :)


happy holidays 

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George, for scratch building, a table saw may not be the best or necessary tool for you.  For many years, I had a lust for power tools, and I still peruse the glossy tool-porno catalogs ("If I only had this, then I could do that...")   I think that you could do well with hand tools that you'll find useful for many things.  


My starting list of handtools for this genre of work would be:


A sturdy workbench:  it doesn't matter what it looks like -- just that it doesn't rock or wiggle, and the top is flat & level, and that you can clamp and screw down things on to it -fixtures, jigs, and parts,


A vise that holds things for you (, instead of a vice that holds you!). I have a nice small Record vise, but this might not be a bad choice for limited funds:  http://www.harborfreight.com/2-1-2-half-inch-table-swivel-vise-97160.html


Machinist rules:  thick & stiff 6, 12, 18 inches, chrome satin plated, etched (not printed), and they're not too expensive if you know where to look.


machinists' engineer squares, 2-6 inches, 


A low-angle block plane, e.g. a Stanley 60-1/2 or 102/103


a japanese-style handsaw: Shark or Vaughan (most X-acto or Zona saws blades are too effete)


a mechanical pencil or three;  Staedtler 0.3, 0.5, 0.9 mm


an Olfa snap-off knife. or a similar thing.


I could go on...  I think it is possible to build a mechanism to cut thin lumber with these tools.

Edited by Bob Blarney
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KeithW thank you for the link. Very interesting and I got a lot to learn about it.


The reason I wanted a table saw was that I wanted to cut my own stripes the size that I want and from the lubber that I prefer.

Currently I am making a Greek fishing vessel from scratch and I can say that buying the wood supplies for it didn't come very cheap and a lot of times i needed other supplies that i found from the leftovers from the older kits that i made in the past.


I will see what I will do in the future maybe with more simple tools i will be able to cut thin lumber or I might get a reliable table saw for that use.


I would like to thank you all for responding to this topic.


Wish you all a happy new year

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Hi George. 

   I'm not sure how much scratch building you plan to do but in my case, since I'm building the MS Constitution Kit, the amount of wood I intend to replace with a harder wood, would cost about 1/2 of what I'm spending on a Jim Byrnes saw. And as I'll be building other ships and replacing most of the Basswood that generally comes with them, this little saw will have paid for itself when it's all said and done. My budget isn't anything to write home to Mom about either, but after saving for a couple months, I'm making it happen. Also, you're right about getting what you pay for so consider these things before making your decision.



:cheers: Cheers

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello GLakie,  


I have made 6 models from kits and now I am finishing my 2nd model made from scratch.

They were mostly entry level kits but now I find it more interesting and challenging in making models from scratch from ships or boats that I like working on. That's why I wanted to buy the table saw.


I agree with you that in the end buying a reliable saw like Jim Byrnes, it will pay off, but for now I may have to keep buying supplies online. 


Thank you for your responce

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  • 4 months later...

I have a proxxon its the one with the adjustment on the guide.It was very expensive it is not very accurate and is frustrating to use, as for really accurate repetability it is just not

very good.Do not waste your money get a Byrnes table saw even if you have to buy a second-hand one it will be worth every penny.Oh i still have the Proxxon but i use it just for

generell use.


                                Regards janet (B)

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