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Proxxon machine tools

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Michael Leek18/07/2011 10:30:40
14 forum posts
Does anyone have any experience of Proxxon tools? I'm considering getting a lathe, saw table, drill/mill, sander, thicknesser, etc, etc. Are they accurate, reliable and can they be used to fine tolerances?
ady18/07/2011 10:44:30
612 forum posts
50 photos
They certainly look like nice wee bits of gear, you don't see much second hand stuff reach the market though, they seem to be quite rare.
Cowells stuff seems to be a lot more common in the UK.
Michael Leek18/07/2011 10:47:37
14 forum posts
Problem with Cowell's is that they seem ridiculously expensive!
ady18/07/2011 11:09:57
612 forum posts
50 photos
A cowells is a "proper" lathe with a proper bed, large slotted cross slide, backgear etc
If you're new to this game I wouldn't go for a brand new unit either.
I'd get a decent second hand one and bash it about and make mistakes on it before splurging out on a brand new bit of kit.
Michael Leek18/07/2011 11:18:52
14 forum posts
Thanks 'ady' but your replies don't actually answer the question I posed in opening this thread - which was about Proxxon tools, not Cowell's!
I'm not 'new to this game' but had to get rid of much equipment a few years ago for a variety of reasons. Now I'm in a position to restart.
Michael Leek18/07/2011 11:18:56
14 forum posts
Thanks 'ady' but your replies don't actually answer the question I posed in opening this thread - which was about Proxxon tools, not Cowell's!
I'm not 'new to this game' but had to get rid of much equipment a few years ago for a variety of reasons. Now I'm in a position to restart.
Steambuff18/07/2011 11:32:31
522 forum posts
7 photos
I have used Proxxon tools and on the whole find them excellent, the build quality is what you would expect from a German Company.
The accurracy is good, better than a 'Far Eastern" unit straight out of the box.
They tend to be on the smaller size, so it depends on what you are going to use them for and which models you are looking at.
Michael Leek18/07/2011 11:59:18
14 forum posts
Thanks Dave.
My intended use is for small scale (1:96 and 1:192) model ships and small engineering projects such as the Stuart compound steam engine.
The tools I've been considering include the following;
Lathe PD 230/E
Micro miller MF 70 or the more expensive Micro miller FF500
Bench drill machine TBM 220
Table saw FET
Disc sander TG 125/E
There are other tools I'm interested in but these are for starters!
Spurry18/07/2011 12:10:01
219 forum posts
72 photos
I have a couple of the older model of FET table saw. On the new model, one feature that seems to have improved is the micro-adjustment feature, as mine have none. I would recommend carbide blades as the resulting finish requires very little sanding.
Roderick Jenkins18/07/2011 12:13:15
2138 forum posts
586 photos
I've seen good reviews of the table saw by fellow musical instrument makers. Would, I think, be ideal for model ship making. Professionly I've used the Proxxon TC circular saw blades and the small bench drill - good high quality kit.
Billy Mills18/07/2011 16:38:57
377 forum posts
The table saw is very useful and quite unique. Would think carefully about the lathe and mill.
The lathes are very expensive against other kit of comparable quality.
The MF70 mill has an Ali and plastic table and is VERY small but is one of the few small mills that will run up to 20,000 rpm for 1-3mm tooling. Well suited for very small work on soft materials in limited quantities.
Worth considering Sieg small mills and drills against the Proxxon's.
Would not rave about build quality at all, we are talking plastic and Ali extrusions for most models. These are miniature hobby tools well suited for miniature work in soft metals, plastic and wood with mostly very small brushed motors.
A few other posts have appeared, search PROXXON as the keyword.
Happy milling
Michael Leek18/07/2011 16:54:38
14 forum posts
Thanks Rod, Pete and Billy.
Billy: what do you meanby 'small quantities'? Are you saying that Proxxon machine tools are not designed for contrinuous use? And which lathes do you think I should look at?
I'll do more research anyway and I'll certainly check out the Sieg mill/drill, though it does seem as the Proxxon table saw is a good bet.
Michael Leek18/07/2011 17:02:07
14 forum posts
By the way, is the Axminster SIEG C1 Micro Lathe Mk2 any good? Size-wise it fits my purpose.
However, I note from Dave above that he suggests machine tools made in Asia are not necessarily as good.
Billy Mills18/07/2011 19:31:33
377 forum posts
Well if you are a hobby user you are not going to be running the same job all of the time so such factors as the hardness of the ways is not so important. Equally if the machine packs up it is an inconvenience rather than a disaster. I would not want to run any of my Proxxon tools continuously -they are NOT industrial tools but they are well designed for hobby use, many of their machines use plastic and ali ways.
I do use Proxxon tools, my use is in small scale prototyping in soft materials. It is all down to what your applications and expectations are and finding your own best value. My opinion is that Proxxon tools are very well styled and attractive but they are mainly hobby level tools.
If you can get to a stockist - such as Axminster - get to have a good look, feel the weight and get a test drive if you can.
Lathes and all other machine tools are a bit like religion- everyone has their own set of ideals and values. I would suggest that if you are going to use your new machines much then visit some local ME clubs and find out what other people use and have a try if possible. My own workshop is based around ex-industrial and industrial machines with Proxxon tools here and there for low volume small stuff.

Happy Milling
Michael Leek18/07/2011 19:49:12
14 forum posts
Thanks for the detailed reply Billy. I've only been up here in Scotland for three years and have yet to seek out an ME club - but it's a good suggestion of yours, as is trying a local Axminster stockiet (probably few and far between up here!).
Dusty18/07/2011 20:54:59
489 forum posts
9 photos
If it is the Stuart Launch engine you are thinking of then I think the little Proxxon lathe would be on the small side. I would venture to suggest that you should be looking at a 3 or 3 1/2" lathe minimum, which would be in the same sort of price range as the Proxxon.
I have used the Proxxon drill/grinder for several years and to my mind it is superior to the other well advertised competitor.
Donald Mitchell18/07/2011 22:04:11
90 forum posts
3 photos
Where are you in Scotland?
Donald Mitchell
Castle Douglas
Bonnie Scotland
Michael Leek19/07/2011 09:39:59
14 forum posts
Billy: nearest Axminister is in Cheshire so not much good there unfortunately!
Michael Leek19/07/2011 09:43:39
14 forum posts
Dusty: no, it wasn't the Stuart launch engine I was thinking off - nothing as big, though it would be a great project, especially as marine steam engines are a particular interest, but I have to be realistic in terms of workshop space - only 10' x 8' (arriving tomorrow too!). Thanks for the advice on the Proxxon drill/grinder.
What about the Axminster SIEG C1 Micro Lathe Mk2? Worth considering?
Michael Leek19/07/2011 09:45:22
14 forum posts
Hi Donald
I'm in Portknockie, Bannffshire (postcode AB56). Almost equi-distant by road between Aberdeen and Inverness.

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