Byrnes Disc Sander
Because of space restrictions, I really have to keep my machines portable (other than the lathe and milling machine) which generally means small.
Before I got into model engineering, I was quite into model boats which is where I first discovered this machine while ‘lurking’ on one of the forums (Yes, I am a lurker). Everybody who owned one of these machines raved about them and remarked on how accurate they were, so I thought ‘that’s for me!’
Having owned one for nearly three years now I have to say this is one of the best investments I have made. Although primarily designed for the model woodworker, this little beast will handle all metals including mild steel easily. The main advantage of this machine is its accuracy, we are talking precision. It has a sliding protractor which can be set in 5° increments with a locating pin and locking screw, as has the table, and these angles are spot on. I have so much faith in the accuracy I will often use it instead of the mill to square up edges, or to flatten a face of a casting prior to milling.
The Table and Disc are made from aluminium, which may be a little off putting, but after three years use there is little scratching and absolutely no sign of wear. The sanding discs only take a couple of minutes to change and the ones I have seem to last ages. The only downside is the price, they certainly aren’t the cheapest on the market, but you gets what you pay for, and to my mind, it was money well spent.
If like me you struggle for room for permanent fixtures such as a belt sander, then this is a worthy replacement, once finished with it can easily be packed away and stored away freeing up that valuable bench space.