Wanted to ask what you all use for cutting planks for scratch building hulls etc.
Obviously, if using balsa, then the sheets can be cut into strips using a hobby knife or similar. If using other hard or soft woods then either a tablesaw or bandsaw needs to be used. It seems that if I use a tablesaw I’ll be creating as much sawdust as planks owing to the thickness of sawblades (about 1/8 inch - which is about the same as the plank thickness), so will a bandsaw be able to cut the planks accurately enough?
I’m sure that a seriously expensive bandsaw will easily cope, afterall they can be used for cutting veneers but will a diy/light workshop bandsaw be good/accurate enough? (thinking about 250 euros/dollars or less) I’ve got a birthday coming up so hoping She Who Must Be Obeyed can be persuaded that it’s a must have tool for all those little jobs around the house, but only if it’ll be good enough for cutting planks I mutter quietly under my breath…
Apologies for being a bit long winded, but basically is a bandsaw the way to go & if it is, any recomendations?
Look forward to hearing from you
I just ran across this myself. I tried a bandsaw, and it wasn’t as nice as I would have liked it. I shopped around and thought hard, till I found a micro-table saw FKS/FE from Proxxonor MicroMark. They are exactly the same, just re-branded appropriately. But Proxxon is less expensive.
I also ordered the smallest kerf blade I could find in their inventory, it came with a carbide tip blade, but with a wider kerf.
I have to say, WOW!!! I really like the thing. I was able to make very consistent wide strips very easily of 5 foot lengths of wood very easily. I also find that I am using the saw more and more as the days go on for other things. Basically, I should have bought one of these years ago.
Depending on where you live (outside the USA), you can get Proxxon’s newer table saw (FET), which looks nicer and is cheaper than their FKS/FE version. Either one is just outside your price point, but it is worth it, IMHO.
Many thanks for your reply - I’ve had a chance to look at the Proxxon saw tables and the narrow blade kerf (1.5mm) is certainly an improvement on what I’m using at the moment. The big negative for both the FKS/E and the new FET is price. Here in the UK the first seems to be about 540 euros (£360) and the FET is 525 euros (£350) - perhaps this is just an example of rip-off britain at work, the FKS/E being just over $360 on a US site. I’m sure they’re both amazing tools but I really don’t think I can justify that sort of money for something thats going to get fairly limited use. Although they do a KS230 for about 150 euros but it’s got a max depth of cut of 8mm!!
I wondered if when you tried a band saw it was one of the older styles that use three wheels to run the blade around which apparently limits tension or one of the newer styles which only use two wheels and give better blade tension (if the frame is strong enough)?
In the meantime, if anyone else has any ideas then I’m ready to listen/read.
I tried 2 different band saws, one with bushings, one with bearings, both with two fly wheels. It was the fence and the narrow blade. I kept getting wandering cuts. Maybe it was just me and my fingers, but it just didn’t work, for me.
As for the using the Proxxon saw. Now that I have it, I use it quite a bit now. I’ve quit using my hand saws and miter boxes, and just use the table saw. Every time I use it, I kick myself for not getting one sooner. But I understand the price issue. It took me awhile to just accept it.
Hello again Guzz,
Many thanks for your experiences with the bandsaw - no reason to suppose I’ll find one any different. I guess that leaves me with two options. First, accept the price of the Proxxon saws & get one, or second, stick with what I’ve got and cry at the expensive piles of sawdust I’m creating!!
Once again, many thanks, I appreciate your input.
I don’t know if this will help but this is what I did. I got an old bench grinder at a pawn shop for $10. I got the blades from somewhere in New York but it looks like you could get them from Proxxon. The rest is just stuff I had laying around. There is no height adjustment and no tilt, this is strictly for cutting planks. And boy, it works. It’s almost as fast as my full sized table saw and there is no sanding. The planks come out of the saw as smooth as a baby’s bum. No kidding.
If you need more pictures just shout
I cut cedar planks on my 10 inch table saw. I use a thin kerf finishing blade. that leaves a smooth finish and does not waste too much wood. The secret though is to have (make) a zero clearance throat plate for the saw. I made mine from a scrap of hardboard. Cut to fit the saw, and shimmed with washers to become flush with the tabletop. Then slowly raise the blade through the plate to cut the zero clearance slot.
For balsa, I made a balsa plank stripper from two scraps of pine about 12 inches long, and joined to form a right angle as a base plate and back plate. The I made a wood spacer about 2 inches long and the thickness of the planks, and screwed to the back plate just higher than the plank depth. The I trapped a craft blade into the spacer with a small thin metal strip and two screws. The craft blade points down and the point is pushed into the base plate. It is easy to replace the blade. The long back plate makes a good guide as you push the balsa sheet through the stripper to keep the planks straight against the blade.
Thanks for your pictures & info; after reading Guzz’s posts about the proxxon tablesaws I started thinking about adapting other tools to take the proxxon blades. Your ‘homemade’ saw has given me some much needed ideas to take this further. Kicking around somewhere I 've got an old ceramic tile cutting table saw & if it’s powerful enough it could be worth experimenting with - ‘necessity being the mother of invention’ and all that.
I like your methods, unfortunately my ‘tablesaw’ is a typical diy sort of thing that uses a wolf table top that’ll take a router or hand held circular saw to create the table of choice. If my memory serves (doesn’t happen that often!) I don’t think I can get narrow kerf blades for my saw - it’s a dewalt of some sort, but I’ll certainly double check the blade availability. Particularly like your methods for producing a zero clearance throat plate - whichever method I go down I’ll definately be incorporating that idea.
Many thanks to you both for your input.
don I love your set up… I wish I had something like that when I did my Ec12 bamboo deck…
I ended up using a band saw with a home made jig and it worked fine…