In recent weeks I have had the opportunity to try a particularly interesting work tool for model makers who love working with wood, namely the Proxxon circular table saw, the 2070 FET. Light compact (35 x 24 x 37.5 cm the dimensions for a weight of about 6 kg.) And easily positioned if necessary on any work surface and then to put it on a shelf, the FET allows you to cut not only wood or balsa but different materials such as plastics, plexiglass, fiberglass as well as non-ferrous metals (however, each material requires a dedicated cutting disc that stands out for the number of teeth present). Accepts blades from 50 up to 85mm in diameter. The machine comes with the 24-tooth blade excellent for wood and balsa.
The heart of this machine is a DC motor with a toothed belt transmission that is quite silent even if the "whistle" of the blade rotation makes itself heard. The blade can be tilted up to 45 ° for diagonal cuts but has a cutting depth limit of 22mm, so if you intend to use it also for household chores keep in mind this limit.
But let's get to the "juice" of the question: I tried the machine to make both balsa strips and wooden blocks for reinforcements with beech and pine. I must say that the cut is particularly clean, but care must be taken to bring the piece close to the aluminum longitudinal guide; it seems trivial but if you have to make strips of a certain length (for example 80cm) when we start cutting the tablet after about twenty centimeters of cutting the piece will be off the work surface and care must be taken that this does not rotate compromising the precision of cut; which does not happen if we cut small pieces that do not come out of the work surface (among other things well done with a good thickness aluminum). This problem does not arise, however, for pieces to be cut larger in width as the Proxxon FET has on its left side an additional extractable work surface that allows you to rest the piece on a larger surface.
The same aluminum longitudinal stop guide slides on a graduated ruler and has a double stop: a small wheel that temporarily blocks the sliding but that allows you to make small adjustments with steps of 1/10 of a millimeter through a graduated knob placed at the start of the measuring ruler, and a lever stop that definitively locks the stop and I have not found any play once the two blocks have been tightened.
What created some difficulties for me, however, is the readability of the measurements on the graduated ruler (at least it did this to me ...). If you need to make angled cuts instead, a transverse guide is also provided with an aluminum ruler and scale with degrees of inclination useful for the series production of pieces of equal angle and length.
When cutting wood at the maximum thickness allowed, the saw does not create problems and the rotation of the blade does not undergo worrying slowdowns, a sign that the 0.2Cv motor is sufficient for machining, even if when working with pieces on the edge of the blade you notice a little effort in advancing the table which can compromise the stability of the machine which weighing 6 kilos does not have a sufficient mass to counteract an energetic check. However, the small size (30x30cm) allows it to be placed on the work bench without problems.
If you need to replace the blade, the Proxxon FET 2070 has a practical system that allows you to raise and lock the table and the motor unit for replacement or for cleaning the saw. And here I have to open a separate chapter: when cuts are made, the processing material due to the rotation of the blade is almost entirely discharged into the machine body (the compartment under the work surface where the motor is placed) and therefore eliminate the sawdust produced (among other things very fine) it is necessary to raise and block the work table; alternatively an aspirator can be connected to the saw using the rear union and a rubber adapter that is supplied with the machine. I connected it to a vacuum cleaner bin but to be honest I noticed that not all the residues are sucked but the sawdust remains in the machine body and must therefore be eliminated by hand ...
Before starting to cut, it is recommended to install the tilting blade cover on the work surface to protect yourself from inadvertently touching the blade while the machine is running, and a plastic pusher that allows you to push the piece towards the blade safely: this it is not a simple accessory to use for those who are beginners because I have repeatedly lost the grip on the piece I was cutting with consequent alignments in the cut.