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Proxxon TG 125 disc sander review


karincorbin
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I have to give the Proxxon TG 125 disc sander two thumbs down for fine scale modeling.

 

Three important issues with this machine that make it unsuitable.

1. The miter gauge. While it is set up in a T track the fit in the slot is intolerably sloppy and you will never be able to maintain an accurate angle with it unless it is securely clamped against the table.

 

2. The motor mount. I use the word motor mount very loosely here as in truth the motor is not securely held in position. Just pushing on the face of the disc with your finger at the outside edge will deflect the position of the face by more than 1/8". The reason for this is how Proxxon designed the motor to be secured in place. What they did is wrap thin, adhesive backed foam tape around the motor. The plastic housing of the sander has two thin wall sections fore and aft that when the housing is screwed together press into the foam. That is it, there is no stiffness to the mounting because of the use of the foam and the fact that the thin extruded plastic sections are all flexible materials that could never truly hold that motor parallel to the miter slot in the table. No screws, no metal clamps, no precise adjustments in position can be made and maintained.

 

3. The machined aluminum disc face on the unit I tested was not truly flat. It was not horribly off but it was off enough that you would not always get a true sanded angle if you were trying to make a precisely fitted join with no visible gap.

 

What I do like about it is the variable speed control. This unit is OK for quick and dirty sanding jobs but you can get far less expensive sanders for that at the regular tool stores.

 

If you need a precise disc sander and want to purchase one ready made you will want to get a Byrnes Model machine sander. You can rely on it to be accurate. The motor is well secured in position and the miter gauge is not at all sloppy. The difference in the retail prices between the two machines is not all that great but the difference in quality certainly is.

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I have used a few disc sanders from tiny 4" to 24" behemoths in a pattern shop.  I owned an 8" delta for many years.  I now have a 12" harbor freight disc sander.  I think it is important to look for a cast iron disc of common size which is easier to remove sanding discs from and is less likely to warp.  Higher RPM is another point.   In the case of a disc sander larger diameter allows higher cutting speed which works better for abrasives.

 

The Byrnes sander is a bit small for my use and the variable speed isn't a feature I would want.  That being said, Jim's products are top notch in all respects and he provides excellent service.  I have been drooling over his thickness sander recently and hope to buy one eventually.

 

One thing I learned at the pattern shop is to use fairly coarse sanding discs which don't clog or wear out as fast as finer grits.  I was taught that a disc sander is more of a material removing tool than a finishing tool

 

I haven't ever used a miter gauge with a disc sander but have often used simple shop made jigs/fixtures.

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i "made" a disc sander out of my MicroLux (tilting arbor) table saw by taking a toothless saw blade blank and affixing self-adhesive sanding discs to it.  It seems to be reasonably accurate and I can control both the miter (with the miter fence) and the tilt.  The variable speed doesn't go as low as a true disc sander but it works fine for me.  

 

The biggest benefit (for me) was that I didn't have to allocate real estate for another dedicated tool.   :-)

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