This long desired project is finally finished. Now I can clean-cut metal, plastics or wood stock easily and with minimal loss. I think everyone working on small parts must have one.
Some time ago I was working on my cnc lathe and get tired of my options to cut stock, so I decided I needed a mini table saw before continue. Proxxon micro table saw seemed to be exactly what I needed, but I choose to make my own.
My start point was a 1/4″ 51x17cm aluminum plate, a 1/15 hp ac/dc 5000 rpm Dayton motor, three proxxon saws, and, of course, the Proxxon micro saw as a reference design. I got three of these motors for $16.00 plus shipping on ebay (well, I order two, but, the seller forgot to ship them at time and kindly add a third). Please don’t ask for motor a source; the original seller isn’t available anymore.
I began designing key elements: the table itself, the motor mount and the saw rotating support. Once I build these parts and put them together I got a functional saw, that help me to build the rest of the parts.
One of the tricky steps was to cut the aluminum rectangle to size and square it. As the length was larger than sherline table travel, a two step mill and hand filing was required.
Fence was made of delrin and aluminum, and has two locking screws. Assembly allow some degree of adjusting so delrin guides slides without play over aluminum.
Angle guide was made of delrin and a 1.5×12 mm brass bar. Tough at first I thought that was really unnecessary, it’s a must to cut bars.
Timing pulleys and belt are 3mm pitch / 9mm wide HTD, and were ordered at sdp-si.com, an awesome site. Here’s the order:
Part Number Quantity Unit Price Extension
A 6R23M040090 1 $6.13/Each $6.13
A 6Z23-017DF0908 2 $5.19/Each $10.38
A dust receptacle it’s a must, as without it you get a mess of chips lying around. I build this using 3mm policarbonate (Lexan) sheet and 1.6m screws.
Table support was made using hard some wood I salvaged from an old stepladder.
Tough you can make thumb screws on the lathe, I choose to buy them on ebay. I got a bunch of 30 (three types) for $5,74 plus shipping from a Uk seller. They are nice.
I got three proxon saws: for wood, hss for metal and carbide tipped. The first only works for soft wood; for hard woods carbide tipped must be used. The hss one works great for thin metal sheets, but clogs on thick plates. With the carbide tip saw I can cut 9.5mm (3/8″) of aluminum, tough not really fast (the saw clogs a bit). In this test I cut 6.5mm (1/4″) without problems:
Tough a little more of power would be welcomed, the motor seems to do the work. Something not clear to me is that Proxxon states this cutting capacities for their saw:
tough it uses a 1/10 hp motor while mine is only 1/15 hp, and I can cut 6.5mm aluminum (more than four times proxxon capacity). Maybe it has to do with lack in rigidity or something else.
There was a lot of work in designing and building this tool, but was worth, and now is one of the main tools in my shop. And it seems to have better cutting capacities (an precision, I guess) than the Proxxon one.
Draft drawings are available if someone is interested.
Here are the drawings for the main parts. Please note that these are not detailed building instructions.; no tolerances, no part lists, etc.
Some things to note:
- I use R4 bearings: 1/4×5/8x.196 (metric 6.35×15.875×4.98). Bearings, bearing housings and spindle must fit without or very little play. Thread-locking fluid may be used in bearing housings if any play.
- Spindle axis length should be some less than nominal (40*) to reduce axial play (this was a trial-error to me).
- Pulley set screws must use thread-locking fluid. Without this, screws may get loose (this happened to me, not a nice experience).
- The motor mounting block was designed to fit a specific motor.
- I think the angle guide system can be enhaced by cutting a guide with a T profile (4th pic, below). A dovetailed guide would be even better.
- A thicker table (let’s say, 3/8) would be another enhacement.
CAD drawings HERE.