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Greg
20-Nov-2016, 17:36
I want to construct several LF and ULF pinhole cameras. Design is simple and I will be using thin plywood (available in hobby stores). Need a precise Micro table saw for cutting the sheets. Can anyone recommend a Micro table saw to purchase?

thanks

LabRat
20-Nov-2016, 17:47
We have some of the micro table saws at work (I forget which brand), and they are cute, but really have a limited use outside of small flat pieces that can also be cut on a larger bench table saw, miter saw, miter box + hand saw, etc...

There's more than one way to skin a cat!!!

Steve K

jnanian
20-Nov-2016, 17:54
i have a table for a dremel
they sell them on amazon
and they work well

IanG
21-Nov-2016, 04:17
I made the mistake of going down the Dremel route, the actual drill part is fine but the build quality of the accessories is very poor the drill stand is almost useless, as is the router.

A friend makes banjos and did some research before buying tools and ended up with Proxxon tools, he'd been warned about the Dremel quality, they make a micro bench saw. The build quality is superb.

Ian

jnanian
21-Nov-2016, 05:38
sorry to hear that ian. i've never had trouble with mine. my only beef is it makes an awful lot of dust.

Drew Bedo
21-Nov-2016, 07:01
Ummm . . .How small do you need to get? Despite a strong desire, I have never had the space or resources to do much wood work myself, but still have an interest. I see finely crafted little boxes at the Rocklear and Woodcrafter stores. People are doing high quality small work in wood . . .somehow. I would look into these retail outlets for some guidance, as they have classes and there are local area user-group type associations in some places.

Jim Jones
21-Nov-2016, 07:28
I have no experience with micro table saws, but doubt that they would be significantly better than any well-made table saw with the right accessories. ULF camera making may demand a larger saw. Some accessories can readily be made, such as sleds for precise right angle and 45 degree cuts, finger joint guides, etc. A sharp fine-tooth blade is important.

Jim Noel
21-Nov-2016, 09:52
look at micromark.com - they have at least one table saw among their 100's of tools.

Jody_S
21-Nov-2016, 09:59
I saw the prices on the Proxxon table saw, actually went to look at one in a store, then I converted an old router table by attaching a 4" circular saw underneath. Works fine, might not be quite as precise as the Proxxon but I get good results and it has a much stronger motor. I do own a Proxxon jigsaw, it's a finely crafted tool but their prices are insane.

Drew Wiley
21-Nov-2016, 11:37
Guess if you're into toy trains etc you'll use some kind of minature saw. Otherwise, just sandwich thin or delicate ply between thicker sheets when you cut it on
a conventional saw. Of course, there are far better, "none of the above" ways to do it if you have actual production in mind and not just a personal experiment.

Richard Wasserman
21-Nov-2016, 11:53
If all you are doing is cutting thin plywood why not do it with hand saws. Get yourself a good saw, practice a bit until you are proficient and go to it.

Here's a good selection to get you drooling— http://www.highlandwoodworking.com/hand-saws.aspx

Drew Wiley
21-Nov-2016, 12:18
A wide Japanese pull saw would work nicely. The problem with REAL Japanese hand tools is that you're expected to sit cross-legged on a bamboo mat for twenty years practicing with a sharpened stick, alongside a master, before you deserve a real saw or real chisel. But make one mistake, and you're expected to die with
honor with your chosen implement.

plywood
21-Nov-2016, 18:10
I have a Proxxon KS115 micro table saw. Very limited and not worth the money in my opinion. I intend to spend about $600 and get a Byrnes Model machines table saw with a few extra accessories. Not cheap but from all feed back the best choice by far. But for your use I'd opt for a regular 10 inch blade bench table saw and spend some money on some good finish blades. Probably set you back about $400 but you cannot expect to make sawdust without good tools.

BetterSense
21-Nov-2016, 18:17
Electricity is not required for everything. A hand saw and miter box should be great for any sort of wood camera in all but high volume production.

Leszek Vogt
21-Nov-2016, 19:04
One thing about the hand saws from Japan, the good ones are amazing.....leaving v. clean edge and the cut is less than 1/16" thick. Yes, they are joy to use and some are quite expensive. You should be able find some good ones here japanwoodworker.com‎

There are many ways to do this type of project. Some would cut the pieces with a hand saw or saber saw and clean it all up to final tolerances with a router (on a router table). One can use a "job site" saw (in US) like Dewalt, Makita or Bosch. Also, I've seen some inventive contractors, who installed one of the hand saws (7 1/2" blade) upside down, installing the switch seperately....and able to operate similarly as a conventional table saw.

If you utilise proper wood aids as a straight edge, you could get a miter saw (known as a chopsaw) and you could easily obtain v. good precision with that.

No matter, safety is crucial no matter what you use.

Les

Jody_S
21-Nov-2016, 21:23
Don't let anyone talk you into buying an expensive hand saw for this. The biggest advantage of a proper table saw, hobby or otherwise, is repeatability. You set it up for the cut you need and you can knock off 1 or 100 pieces all exactly the same. Unless you have a 20 year-old's eyes and hands (or a lifetime of training), it's the only way to go.

Richard Wasserman
22-Nov-2016, 07:04
I would much rather have inexperienced people using high quality hand tools than things like table saws that have great potential for serious injury. Both hand and power tools require learning and practice to use well, but with hand tools the likelihood of losing digits is fairly remote.

vinny
22-Nov-2016, 07:56
just get an old 8" or 10" off craigslist for $25-50. put a 7 1/4" Diablo blade in it.
I just sold an old Craftsman at a garage sale for $30 because it was too heavy for job sites.

Jody_S
22-Nov-2016, 08:47
I would much rather have inexperienced people using high quality hand tools than things like table saws that have great potential for serious injury. Both hand and power tools require learning and practice to use well, but with hand tools the likelihood of losing digits is fairly remote.

What, I've been doing this for 40 years and I still have 7 fingers, I don't see what the problem is?

Actually, the only tool I've ever injured myself with was a hand tool. 5 stitches in my left palm 3 years ago because a stupid Chinese knock-off wouldn't hold a sharp edge. The secret to not getting injured is using the right tool for the job. and not letting yourself get impatient or distracted.

Drew Wiley
22-Nov-2016, 11:27
Power tool can be designed to keep your fingers out of the way. Plenty of them already have been. I just don't like the mess table saws produce, nor their relative lack of accuracy. Take it from someone who has sold the damn things for decades. Missing fingers? Never seen anything like that. How can you see something that
is missing? In fomers days we had laborers who grew up in places like Arkansas where the idea of a table saw was a washing machine motor connected to a big
saw blade with an open V-belt. They were the lucky ones if they still had seven fingers left to count. They could all tell stories about people they knew who were killed using those home-made rigs, cutting firewood.

Michael Cienfuegos
22-Nov-2016, 12:19
Power tool can be designed to keep your fingers out of the way. Plenty of them already have been. I just don't like the mess table saws produce, nor their relative lack of accuracy. Take it from someone who has sold the damn things for decades. Missing fingers? Never seen anything like that. How can you see something that
is missing? In fomers days we had laborers who grew up in places like Arkansas where the idea of a table saw was a washing machine motor connected to a big
saw blade with an open V-belt. They were the lucky ones if they still had seven fingers left to count. They could all tell stories about people they knew who were killed using those home-made rigs, cutting firewood.

My grandfather had a 1926 Chevrolet set up to cut cord wood. I remember it had a huge (in my young eyes) saw blade attached to the drive shaft. I'm not sure whatever happened to that beast, but it looked scary.

m

vinny
22-Nov-2016, 13:06
My grandfather had a 1926 Chevrolet set up to cut cord wood. I remember it had a huge (in my young eyes) saw blade attached to the drive shaft. I'm not sure whatever happened to that beast, but it looked scary.

m
we had one of those too for cutting slabwood leftover from our sawmill that took the belt from the Farmall H tractor. It had a 20 inch blade and no blade guard to speak of. No one ever lost a digit.

Drew Wiley
22-Nov-2016, 13:43
We had a real sawmill in town. It still operated with an old-style greenchain. About twice a year a worker on the greenchain line would get caught in it, and himself
get turned into dimensional lumber. Then two or three tree toppers would get killed each year. Still, it was a vastly safer industry compared to how logging was
done around there in the latter part of the 19th century. Horrible accidents still occur even in the modern automated mills. Won't go into details.

Joe Smigiel
22-Nov-2016, 15:07
I think you may be limited in accessories with a small saw. I'd opt for a nice 10" table saw that would incorporate a good fence and accessories like outfeed tables, featherboards, etc. Build some jigs to make cutting small pieces repeatable and safe. Invest in a zero-clearance insert as the small pieces will have a tendency to slip in a normal saw slot and kickback.

After experiencing a kickback, I invested in a MicroJig Grr-Ripper (http://www.microjig.com/products/grr-ripper/) adjustable push block and MJ-Splitter (http://www.microjig.com/products/mj-splitter/) guide. I feel much more confident operating the saw now.

Drew Wiley
22-Nov-2016, 17:10
Those overpriced *&*%%!! blocks? I just dumped them. Oh well, I'm just a few weeks from being a grumpy old retired tire-kicker myself, albeit way too busy to even kick tires. But I'll still retain my snooty attitude toward table saws. I was selling vastly safer, faster, more accurate Norwegian pull saws over twenty years ago. Now they've apparently gotten too expensive to import. But you should see some of the toys sitting just twenty feet from my desk at the moment. Most of the USA is still basically in the Jurassic era when it comes to woodshop equipment, unless we're talking about expensive manufacturing machines, which are all metric anyway. Well, I hope to use some of my own lesser "metric" shop toys during this Thanksgiving holiday break (five days here). But I'm also looking forward to another walk or two in the rain, and a bit more darkroom time.

vinny
22-Nov-2016, 17:15
who wants to collect the funds to get Drew table saw for Christmas? I've got $5 on it and there's a Harbor Freight right up the road:)

Drew Bedo
23-Nov-2016, 06:31
I understand the joy in conceiving then creating a finely crafted and functional object, wooden or otherwise.

A pinhole camera is a simple project. One attractive aspect of a PH project is how non-photographic objects may be repurposed and adapted for PH photography.

To make a close approach to the finely crafted wood box that is at the heart of the OP, please consider a pretty nice box used to ship cigars from Drew Estate. Their "ACID" brand (an acronym for aa daughters name) are made from ~1/4" mahogany with finger jointed corners. They are plentiful and cheap to get from a cigar store or on e-Bay. The work required to modify one of these boxes into a functional PH camera will lower the learning curve when evaluating tools and techniques and developing wood working skills.

I have used these boxes, pretty much as-is, for gift boxes occaisionally for years. The lables come off leaving a smooth surface. Refinishing can be as simple or complex as you want to make it. At the lower end I just use Acetone and 4-ought steel wool to even out the varnish already on the wood.

Give this a look for starter projects before cutting up expensive craft woods.

Cheers

Ron (Netherlands)
27-Nov-2016, 13:25
I understand the joy in conceiving then creating a finely crafted and functional object, wooden or otherwise.

A pinhole camera is a simple project. One attractive aspect of a PH project is how non-photographic objects may be repurposed and adapted for PH photography.

To make a close approach to the finely crafted wood box that is at the heart of the OP, please consider a pretty nice box used to ship cigars from Drew Estate. Their "ACID" brand (an acronym for aa daughters name) are made from ~1/4" mahogany with finger jointed corners. They are plentiful and cheap to get from a cigar store or on e-Bay. The work required to modify one of these boxes into a functional PH camera will lower the learning curve when evaluating tools and techniques and developing wood working skills.

I have used these boxes, pretty much as-is, for gift boxes occaisionally for years. The lables come off leaving a smooth surface. Refinishing can be as simple or complex as you want to make it. At the lower end I just use Acetone and 4-ought steel wool to even out the varnish already on the wood.

Give this a look for starter projects before cutting up expensive craft woods.

Cheers

Indeed, that "Cuban" mahogany looks great, and finely crafted. Many thanks for the tip (although a bit too much shipping costs for Europe)

Kevin Crisp
27-Nov-2016, 13:31
I'm thinking the chances of surviving a fall into a micro table saw are pretty good.

Drew Bedo
27-Nov-2016, 14:28
Indeed, that "Cuban" mahogany looks great, and finely crafted. Many thanks for the tip (although a bit too much shipping costs for Europe)

I think they come from Central America (could be wrong).

I have found them quit inexpensively at a tobacco shop or cigar store. When the boxes areempty they give them away or sell them (here) for under $5USD. I would look for the "ACID" brand at high-end cigar stores near you.

el french
27-Nov-2016, 23:40
Although I have a table saw, chop saw, CNC router, 3d printer, metal mill, wood and metal lathes, I'd still recommend the OP use a hand saw for the project.

Not only is a hand saw cheaper, but can also be as accurate if not more so than a power saw. It's quite easy to clamp cutting guides to the workpiece. There's a ton of plans for miter boxes on the web.

It's also cleaner with less sawdust floating around, but it's still not a bad idea to wear a breathing protector.

I prefer Japanese style pull saws to push saws.

Drew Wiley
28-Nov-2016, 11:06
Ahhh, finger-jointed Spanish Cedar cigar boxes, that's what I used for bug collections back when I was a little tyke. Never thought about putting a lens hole in one.
As a matter of fact, I couldn't afford any kind of camera back then. Had to make even my own insect nets. Constantly wanted a 35mm camera so I could take
closeups of insects; but when I was finally given a Pentax a number of years later, I never did take pictures of bugs. More interested in mtn climbing at that point.

Drew Bedo
28-Nov-2016, 20:21
The OP wants to make a pinhole cameras . . .no lens.

Back-in-the-day even you could afford to make a pinhole camedra from a cigar box. You just couldn't afford the film.

Drew Wiley
29-Nov-2016, 09:28
If you need to use a "micro" table saw to do it, wouldn't a cigar box be too big? Did Minox ever come in a pinhole version?

Mrportr8
29-Nov-2016, 11:08
Save your money. For the price of one decent table saw that can make accurate, repeatable cuts you can outfit tourself with a nice full set of high quality hand tools. A pinhole camera will not require the accuracy of a table saw, and the nice thing about hand saws is that they are alcohol powered and stop cutting when they detect flesh. Go to: lostartpress.com and you'll find plenty of help. And some snarky blogs well worth reading.

Drew Wiley
29-Nov-2016, 11:56
Some people like pulling lenscap and counting the seconds, while others like a shutter that does that for them. Just sayin'. Some people like to count away hours
with a handsaw, and others like something that does that faster and more accurately, so that they'll have more time for the darkroom. I classify table saws in
neither of those categories.

Jac@stafford.net
29-Nov-2016, 14:33
[...] the nice thing about hand saws is that they are alcohol powered and stop cutting when they detect flesh.

That is funny! It didn't work for me when I amputated my left thumb, but I was anesthetized by Dr. Jack Daniel. :)

Drew Wiley
29-Nov-2016, 17:10
Being born with six fingers on each hand, you can afford to lose a few. At least that's how it worked out up in the hills among those who shared their DNA a bit too
closely. That also explains why they had so much difficulty understanding the metric system.

Mrportr8
30-Nov-2016, 09:20
Food for thought: Buying the best camera does not automatically make you a better photographer, buying the best table saw does not make you a better woodworker. If you only intend to build a couple of pinhole cameras then either use hand tools or ask around for someone who has a table saw or hobby saw that you can use. Or better yet ask them to make those parts for you. If on the other hand you wish to tool up and start production then that's a different conversation.

Greg
30-Nov-2016, 16:48
Thanks to everyone for all the input.

Some background: For the past 5 years I've been dumpster diving in a dumpster that was next to my wife's business. A high-end custom kitchen/bath/bar/etc. cabinet store next door uses the dumpster. Probably 3 times a year they would have one of their display floor model setups completely replaced. Instead of re-using the cabinets, they would carefully take them apart and throw out the pieces in the dumpster. 90% of the pieces of wood were not worth reusing, but 10% of the pieces of wood were solid maple, cherry, oak, and other fine woods, and a whole lot of sheets of thin very high quality plywoods. In there past 5 years I have collected a lot of wood.

Was thinking of constructing four dozen or more pinhole cameras with the wood and donating them to our local school... reason for getting a micro tablet saw. Project fell through.

I do have a table saw but every time you turned it on, it would trip the GFI circuit breaker. An electrician looked at it and told me it was the motor and only solution was to replace it. Owing to the very used condition of the table saw, can not justify the cost of an OEM replacement motor.

After doing a lot of research, the MicroLux Mini Tilt Arbor table saw from Micro-Mark looks to be one amazing little piece of equipment. Another non-photo project now in the works, that might justify getting a MicroLux Mini... we'll see.

FYI: I have a few precision hand saws and have loved using them over the years.

Drew Wiley
30-Nov-2016, 16:58
You're lucky to be next to a shop. I have the opposite problem of just not knowing where to store all the wood scraps. Small pieces go into waterproofed plastic
garbage cans for storage outdoors, and things like long mouldings, including picture frame mouldings, go in ten foot sections of vinyl raingutter resting on my
shop rafters. Sheet goods are still a headache. I have an old neighbor up the street who got donated scraps of all kinds of exotic wood from really high-end furniture makers, and made a variety of fun things out of them until a stroke finally rendered him unable to do so. Dry cherry, maple, and walnut are common
and useful for cameras. Doubt I'll ever make one. Got too many now. A slick little table saw that workers still covet is the Inca system (not Incra). But I've gone
full modern "Euro shop" myself. A lot safer, cleaner, and takes up far less space.

eduardtoader
9-Dec-2016, 02:46
This might be too small table saw for an ULF project but I'm sure you'd find a way to adapt this YouTube project to your needs .
https://youtu.be/gaa5UqS1CcM


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

plywood
9-Dec-2016, 10:38
Greg;
Just curious about your mention of the pinhole camera local school project. Was that something initiated by the school or a project you thought of. I've considered running some kind of class locally into pinhole photography but haven't gone past the daydreaming phase. I had thought of a camera using regular 4X5 film holders as that is a lot simpler than running back into the darkroom or using a changing bag every time you want to load up an new shot. My design for a camera is made from 1/4 inch hobby plywood and 3/16 black on black foam core. It has went through many versions but I think I have it narrowed it down to the least pieces and time to construct. Using photo paper as a negative makes processing simpler and is low cost compared to 4X5 film.