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Proxxon FET - Safe working and accessories

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R J01/12/2021 18:13:03
6 forum posts

Just as an introduction before my question - I have recently started making portfolio boxes for artists. I use greyboard for the structure then cover in book cloth. For cutting greyboard, I was using a steel ruler and olfa knife but find it not precise enough. The two options for greyboard cutting are Victorian board cutters or a heavy duty guillotine. The first is hard to acquire, and both are large and expensive.

I came across the Proxxon FET table saw, and contacted suppliers and manufacturers who told me it would be suitable with the right blade for cutting greyboard.

My main questions are regarding safety and additional accessories I may need.

- Is it essential to get a sled for smaller work? Some pieces I will cut will be to 3cm height and 10cm long.

- The material is about 3mm thick, and when laying flat to cut, I will require the blade to be 45 degrees to achieve bevelled edges. In this case, I take it a small sled wouldn't be possible?

- I have watched some videos about saw safety, but is there any advice for cutting a thin lighter material? I plan to cut down from a3 sheet size of possible, then cut the smaller pieces I need.

Any suggestions of accessories welcome also.

Thanks, Rob

JasonB01/12/2021 18:27:08
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Depends on the design of the sled, many you see on the likes of youtube leave the blade exposed and remove the riving knife which is more dangerous than not using a sled. Provided the supplied mitre guide is not too wobbly in the slot then that will be adequate and even if it wobbles it would be better to fix that than run a dangerous sled.

You would tend to make a second sled with it's slot at 45deg to suit the tilted blade, that way you maintain the zero clearance.

As with any sheet material try to always cut with the longer edge against the fence or mitre guide, doing it the other way round you risk the work raking and jamming on the blade which may then spit it back out at you. Push sticks and blocks are also advisable so you don't get your fingers near the blade

Bill Phinn01/12/2021 18:46:46
753 forum posts
113 photos

Regardless of what kind of blade you use, if you're going to use a table/circular/mitre saw to cut grey board, you need to be prepared for the cut edges to be quite rough. These will require sanding smooth or cutting again in a rotary or mat cutter if you want to use the pieces to make neat boxes out of.

I've made plenty of Solander and drop-back boxes from grey and mill board, but rarely needed to bevel the edges of boards. When bevelling of binding board is required I happily make do with a sanding block or block plane.

R J01/12/2021 19:12:54
6 forum posts
Posted by Bill Phinn on 01/12/2021 18:46:46:

Regardless of what kind of blade you use, if you're going to use a table/circular/mitre saw to cut grey board, you need to be prepared for the cut edges to be quite rough. These will require sanding smooth or cutting again in a rotary or mat cutter if you want to use the pieces to make neat boxes out of.

I've made plenty of Solander and drop-back boxes from grey and mill board, but rarely needed to bevel the edges of boards. When bevelling of binding board is required I happily make do with a sanding block or block plane.

Thanks for the advice. How rough are we talking? Presumably the cut board keeps it integral 45/90 degree cuts?

Do suggest anything forerfecr 90 degree cuts instead of this table saw? Tried knives and a mount cutter with rail but still lacking precision.

Bill Phinn01/12/2021 20:21:16
753 forum posts
113 photos

Of the two pieces of 3mm board in the images below one was cut with a (fine-toothed) mitre saw and the other with a cast iron board chopper.

The pieces in the image showing short edges were cut with the grain, and the right hand piece was the one cut with the mitre saw. The image with long edges shows against-the-grain cuts, and the furry-edged board in contact with the aerosol is the one cut with the mitre saw. The same furry edge can be seen from a different angle in the with-the-grain image.

The best cutting tool for binding boards in my experience is a powered guillotine, though a cast iron board chopper comes a reasonably close second.

3mm grey board with grain.jpg

3mm grey board against grain.jpg

R J01/12/2021 21:03:38
6 forum posts

Thanks for taking the time to show me that. Really appreciate it.

Do you think the proxxon table saw with 50mmx1mm tungsten blade would give me much cleaner cuts than a mitre saw, seeing as it's for precise small model work? Proxxon suggest the tungsten blade will work, but I have no idea how smooth and clean it's going to be. The board structure won't be exposed, but the fluff in the photos you provided is not the clean level of cut I'd want. Shame proxxon couldn't cut a piece with one of their machines and show me before I start spending.

John Haine01/12/2021 21:20:04
4671 forum posts
273 photos

Proxxon machines seem to have a reputation for high price and poor delivery - that's certainly my experience. Some searching on eBay and Amazon will probably bring up quite a number of similar saws at much lower price which might be just as good. I would strongly suggest that you try out the Proxxon machine with the material you want to cut before buying, at the very least. Axminster are Proxxon stockists and are an excellent supplier and should let you see and try one I would hope, if you can get to one of their showrooms.

Bill Phinn02/12/2021 01:29:56
753 forum posts
113 photos

Being the owner of several Proxxon items, including an MF70, I'd go one step further than John and say, even without seeing it in action, that their 200W two- to three-inch-diameter-bladed table saw will almost certainly produce an inferior result when cutting 3mm grey board to what can be achieved with a common-or-garden 1500W 10-inch-bladed sliding mitre saw like mine.

There is no small or cheap solution to cutting thick grey board or mill board cleanly, unfortunately, though substantial cast iron board choppers are sometimes still available second hand, often for significantly less money than the Proxxon saw's list price.

Iain Downs02/12/2021 08:30:26
857 forum posts
751 photos

Not sure if this isn't a red herring, but a few (12?) years ago I bought a book guillotine (probably from eBay - I might be able to find out if of use). That's chomped through 4000 paperbacks since.

From memory, it cost about £200. When I was looking for a device to cut the spines off my books (for scanning, but let's not get into book abuse, please!) I looked into saws vs guillotine. The saws were effective, but slower, produced a less clean edge and, more important for me a LOT of dust.

I'm not sure how accurate you need or this would be - with the books there was a tendency to pull the lower layers in resulting in a slightly skewed cut. This may not happen with board.

If you are near west north yorkshire, I@d be happy for you to experiment with my guillotine to see if it would work.

Iain

R J02/12/2021 08:59:12
6 forum posts
Posted by Bill Phinn on 02/12/2021 01:29:56:

Being the owner of several Proxxon items, including an MF70, I'd go one step further than John and say, even without seeing it in action, that their 200W two- to three-inch-diameter-bladed table saw will almost certainly produce an inferior result when cutting 3mm grey board to what can be achieved with a common-or-garden 1500W 10-inch-bladed sliding mitre saw like mine.

There is no small or cheap solution to cutting thick grey board or mill board cleanly, unfortunately, though substantial cast iron board choppers are sometimes still available second hand, often for significantly less money than the Proxxon saw's list price.

Would you mind casting your eye over the the Ideal 1058 guillotine. It's a paper guillotine but seen it mentioned for geyboard. It's over £500, so I'd expect it to cut 2-4m greyboard well.

R J02/12/2021 09:00:54
6 forum posts
Posted by Iain Downs on 02/12/2021 08:30:26:

Not sure if this isn't a red herring, but a few (12?) years ago I bought a book guillotine (probably from eBay - I might be able to find out if of use). That's chomped through 4000 paperbacks since.

From memory, it cost about £200. When I was looking for a device to cut the spines off my books (for scanning, but let's not get into book abuse, please!) I looked into saws vs guillotine. The saws were effective, but slower, produced a less clean edge and, more important for me a LOT of dust.

I'm not sure how accurate you need or this would be - with the books there was a tendency to pull the lower layers in resulting in a slightly skewed cut. This may not happen with board.

If you are near west north yorkshire, I@d be happy for you to experiment with my guillotine to see if it would work.

Iain

Thanks for the offer.

Im just over the border in South Scotland. I will maybe avoid a table saw for now and try and source a more suitable guillotine.

Iain Downs02/12/2021 13:08:32
857 forum posts
751 photos

The Guilottine I bought 11 years ago is no longer available. However, amazon have one which is similar in scale (see the link).

Please note (terms and conditions apply), I am not recommending this item, just providing a reference. There may be bigger or smaller ones.

You use the handle to turn a clamp and then cut with the lever. It will go through an inch or more of paper without any issues.

Iain

Bill Phinn02/12/2021 14:32:21
753 forum posts
113 photos
Posted by R J on 02/12/2021 08:59:12:

Would you mind casting your eye over the the Ideal 1058 guillotine. It's a paper guillotine but seen it mentioned for geyboard. It's over £500, so I'd expect it to cut 2-4m greyboard well.

I've used one of those in an institutional bindery; it's ok for thin board, but not really up to the job of board over about 2mm.

You'd be better off with a guillotine of the kind Iain suggests (like him, I can't endorse any particular product) or better still a powered one. Bear in mind that a guillotine blade has a very sharp edge and will need sharpening much more frequently than a board chopper's blade, which is very different in its geometry.

R J02/12/2021 15:33:31
6 forum posts

I've considered these guillotines before, as well as the Vevor ones which aren't currently in stock.

The only thing that puts me off is the measurent only in cm's. The ideal 5058, has mm's as well which would be really useful for me.

Iain Downs02/12/2021 16:05:55
857 forum posts
751 photos

Bill is right. The blade is frighteningly sharp as it comes and a little awkward to sharpen! I found this a very nervous exercise. On the good side, I probably only sharpened 4 or 5 times in 4000 books, which I thought was quite good.

What I did was to set the gate at a known distance and screw it down HARD. I think use shims (bits of plastic mainly) of various thicknesses to set my required depth. You would (perhaps) be astonished at the variation of width in paperbacks which seem nominally the same!

Iain

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