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(old) Proxxon BFW 36/E vs. (new) Proxxon BFW 40/E

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John Smith 4723/09/2021 16:09:31
231 forum posts
11 photos

Hello

I am thinking of buying a second-hand Proxxon BFW 36/E on eBay. This is mainly because I simply can't afford to buy its successor the BFW 40/E.

Proxxon say that the BFW 36/E will be at least 20years old.

But I am trying to work out what the differences are...

Was the BFW 36/E a good machine?

Proxxon also say that "the BFW 36/E had a 300 watt intake, but the transformer only had 100 W" whereas the newer BFW 40/E has a power consumption of 250 watts.
==> Do you think that this means that the 40/E will have much more torque?
e.g. x2.5 more?

Also from what I can see on these diagrams, the older BFW 36/E only seems to have two ball bearings units, whereas the newer BFW 40/E seems to have three - which would presumably make the latter much more durable when it comes to milling.

 

delme-proxxon-bfw 40e.jpg

Evidently one major difference between the Proxxon BFW36/E  and BFW40/E is that in the letter the control electronics are now built into the transformer box rather than being build into the unit itself, but I don't think I care about that...

Either way, this is the BFW 36/E that I am tentatively thinking of buying:
  


www.ebay.co.uk/itm/124897478181

It's on for £458.00 but open to offers.
What do you folks think it's really worth?

J
 

Edited By John Smith 47 on 23/09/2021 16:11:40

Edited By John Smith 47 on 23/09/2021 16:12:13

Bill Phinn23/09/2021 18:28:44
572 forum posts
86 photos

Given that it's almost certainly been used in professional manufacturing for around twenty years, and that you can get a new BFW 40/E delivered for less than they're asking, I'd be looking to pay no more than a two figure sum - that's assuming I even wanted it.

Grindstone Cowboy23/09/2021 19:43:50
708 forum posts
58 photos

Don't know much about them, but it does seem very highly priced.

Rob

Roger Best23/09/2021 20:39:55
306 forum posts
36 photos

IMHO 2nd hand but serviceable is worth only half the price of new at best.

This is older, and not a collectors item so far less.

Robert Butler23/09/2021 21:22:29
291 forum posts
6 photos

Moving the decimal point two places left would be nearer the mark. I have no first hand experience of Proxxon but posts on this Forum are not very complimentary

Robert Butler.

not done it yet23/09/2021 21:56:38
6322 forum posts
20 photos

when it comes to milling.

It looks like a drill to me, not a milling machine.

peak423/09/2021 22:52:26
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1485 forum posts
162 photos

If it's of any interest, There's a Unimat 3 up for sale HERE
https://store.lathes.co.uk/adverts/for-sale/emco-unimat-3-lathe-milling-attachment-austrian-built

Bill

John Smith 4727/09/2021 23:41:41
231 forum posts
11 photos
Posted by peak4 on 23/09/2021 22:52:26:

If it's of any interest, There's a Unimat 3 up for sale HERE
https://store.lathes.co.uk/adverts/for-sale/emco-unimat-3-lathe-milling-attachment-austrian-built

Bill

No thanks, I do not want a lathe.

Edited By John Smith 47 on 27/09/2021 23:41:58

John Smith 4727/09/2021 23:49:02
231 forum posts
11 photos

Proxxon tell me that "The BFW 36/E had a 300 watt intake, but the transformer only had 100 W.
The power consumption of 250 W of the current BFW 40/E is correct."

I was thinking I could just buy a (modern) BFW 40/E transformer, and use it on the (old) BFW 36/E. However unfortunately I see that the 40/E takes a 40volt input whereas the 36/E can only handle 36 volts, so I am now wondering if there would be a risk that I would blow up the 36/E....

... Or are Proxxon covertly admitting that the 36/E could really handle 40volts!?

Martin Connelly28/09/2021 09:00:40
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1889 forum posts
203 photos

Just so you know, I bought one of those small XY tables as shown in the photo for use where I worked (not my own money). It was for positioning parts under a dot-matrix engraver. That was about all it was fit for, it was not well made and had no strength, the leadscrews were just a simple metric thread in a trapped basic nut.

Martin C

Edited By Martin Connelly on 28/09/2021 09:01:26

Andrew Tinsley28/09/2021 11:10:56
1485 forum posts

You were asking about Proxxon mills a month or so ago. I said at the time that they were overpriced and poor quality. You seem to have ignored that and went ahead and purchased a Proxxon mill. Your comment was, I think "poor quality".

You now seem to want to compound your error and buy yet another Proxxon mill This time over 20 years old and goodness knows in what condition. Why bother asking on the forum, if you ignore the advice proffered?

Andrew.

Edited By Andrew Tinsley on 28/09/2021 11:13:10

Robert Butler28/09/2021 11:50:02
291 forum posts
6 photos

Andrew T, Quite so!

The Unimat 3 has the milling attachment and a significant number of other accessories for £375.

Robert Butler

John Haine28/09/2021 13:08:39
4170 forum posts
242 photos

Leaving aside the proce and quality, the worktable and travel are ludicrously small for serious work. I really don't understand why people would buy Proxxon rather than say an X1.

John Smith 4728/09/2021 16:48:58
231 forum posts
11 photos
Posted by Andrew Tinsley on 28/09/2021 11:10:56:

You were asking about Proxxon mills a month or so ago. I said at the time that they were overpriced and poor quality. You seem to have ignored that and went ahead and purchased a Proxxon mill. Your comment was, I think "poor quality".

You now seem to want to compound your error and buy yet another Proxxon mill This time over 20 years old and goodness knows in what condition. Why bother asking on the forum, if you ignore the advice proffered?

Andrew.

Edited By Andrew Tinsley on 28/09/2021 11:13:10

Andrew - I hear you, absolutely. I resisted buying Proxxon for as long as I could because the quality control is dreadful. Unfortunately I could find no other half-credible options. Every other option I could find were x2 to x3 the size & weight as well as being more than x2 or x3 the price.

John's "X1" (from Seig presumably, although he doesn't say) is 32Kg.

Whereas
- Proxxon MF70 is 7Kg
- Proxxon FF230 is 17Kg
- Proxxon BFW 40/E kit - c. 12Kg

i.e. I wanted something the size and weight of a middle-weight Proxxon which has good build quality. Such a thing doesn't exist.

Not everyone has the luxury of having a dedicated workbench.


Unimat 3:

1. I couldn't work out how the power is supposed to get to the spindle.
I googled it but could see nothing. (Presumably I'd need to find & buy an additional motor?)

2. I don't really need a lathe (and I don't have space to store things I don't need)

3. The table is absolutely minute - the smallest I have ever seen anywhere

4. Also although I'll was assuming that the build quality would be vastly better than Proxxon (to be fair, it could hardly be worse) I don't like the idea of a circular post for milling. Looks like poor engineering design to me - tongue & groove is surely better.

5. They don't seem to make them any more.

All-in-all, probably a good choice for an expert but a poor choice for a milling novice.

J

Edited By John Smith 47 on 28/09/2021 16:50:12

Robert Butler28/09/2021 17:47:21
291 forum posts
6 photos

1. The Unimat 3 milling attachment uses the motor detachable from the lathe. See lathes website

2. Lathes are useful and the Unimat is very tiny

3. The advert describes and pictures the separate, detachable table which is used for milling and is described as such

4, Assumed you are referring to dovetail rather than 'tongue & groove'. Given that your original intention was to mill a 45 degree slope on thin material, the loss of register using a circular column is academic

5. They don't make the Proxxon BFW36 'any more' either

Members have suggested/discussed just about every small machine and method of manufacture available including the Proxxon and only the latter seems to have any appeal to you so buy it.

Robert Butler

Edited By Robert Butler on 28/09/2021 17:49:36

Rod Renshaw28/09/2021 18:41:00
325 forum posts
2 photos

 

When I have, briefly, looked at Proxxon machines they seem like beefed up toys rather than machine tools. They may be okay for modellers who make small things out of brass, alloy and /or plastic but they don't seem rigid enough or powerful enough to cut steel with any facility. Posters on this forum don't seem to think much of them.

I realise from your earlier posts that you need something smallish and portable but there is a basic contradiction between very lightweight and rigidity. It's possible the reason you can't find what you want is because no one makes it - because it can't be done.

In your position I would think seriously about the earlier suggestion of a wheeled trolley to support one of the suggested alternative machines ( which would still be a lightweight in model engineering terms) or else forget the idea entirely and take up some other hobby.

Edited By Rod Renshaw on 28/09/2021 18:48:52

John Smith 4729/09/2021 11:37:18
231 forum posts
11 photos

Robert Butler:

I still can't find a single photo of the Unimat 3 motor driving the mill.

Yes, 'dovetail'

Come off it I have said from the start that the BFW36 has been replaced - "20 years ago". Yes, quite obviously they don't make it any more.

Correct. Members here have been extremely helpful. I would have cheerfully paid twice the price of a Proxxon for an equivalent that was properly made, however as members have pointed out nothing of comparable size but better quality exists on the market.

I have bought Proxxon kit before. The real truth is that the build quality does varies quite a lot from individual item to individual item, it's just appalling how expensive it is for such variable build quality. Either way, I certainly went in with my eyes open.

To be fair, the MF70 does have its fans - lots of them! - and some people HAVE managed to mill steel successfully with the MF70.

And either way, MF70 at a mere £250 was not all that expensive and in many ways is just an interim decision and I still have money in reserve to buy something better quality later.

  
Rod Renshaw:

No, what I object to is the build quality of Proxxon. Just because it is small doesn't mean it needs to be poorly made. The MF70 is a noisy little blighter even when not under load. I have yet to measure it but others have moaned that it has with far too much runout. Fwiw, the MF70 came with one screw for the table that was totally unfit for purpose. It literally couldn't be screwed in(!).

But that was nothing compared to the 'Ferrex Belt and Disc Sander' that some kind member recommended.


https://www.aldi.co.uk/ferrex-belt-and-disc-sander/p/805501490545800

Yes, it was dirt-cheap at just £90, but I had to do 'open heart surgery' on it to even get the table to line up at 90° to the disk because the supporting rod was quite so inaccurately drilled. Probably the worst-made product I have ever bought. But I needed to use it too urgently to send it back.

Rod Renshaw, in this context I find your suggestions about "get a wheeled trolley" to be quite offensive. I have repeatedly said that I am constrained in space. No, I don not have dedicated table space and no, I do not have space for a trolley. Like thousands, probably millions of other hobbyists, I only have SHELF space. You do not even begin to understand what is going on in my life and what my constraints are.

If that's the best advice you can come up with I suggest you give up giving advice entirely and find a new pastime.
 

Edited By John Smith 47 on 29/09/2021 11:42:38

Brian G29/09/2021 11:49:04
782 forum posts
34 photos
Posted by John Smith 47 on 29/09/2021 11:37:18:

...I still can't find a single photo of the Unimat 3 motor driving the mill...

There are several photos of the motor on the milling attachment here on lathes.co.uk LINK

Although none of them show the milling table in place, it can be seen stored at the upper left of the wooden cabinet. Should you buy a Unimat without the milling table, I understand the table is the same part as for the Unimat DB/SL.

Brian G

JasonB29/09/2021 11:50:09
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Moderator
21435 forum posts
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Posted by John Smith 47 on 29/09/2021 11:37:18:

Robert Butler:

I still can't find a single photo of the Unimat 3 motor driving the mill.

How hard did you try looking, put "unimat3 mill" into google and there are plenty such as the third image down this page Motor can easily be swapped between lathe and mill or if you are lucky like me you have two motors.

Robert Butler29/09/2021 12:06:25
291 forum posts
6 photos

The lathes website carries an image of the lathe motor attached to the mill. Put your hand out of bed! BUY THE UNIMAT so that we can all get some sleep!

Robert Butler

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