MicroLux Tilt Arbor Table Saw

85870_RSo .. I broke down and bought the MicroLux Digital Table Saw from Micro-Mark. Which in my opinion is the best table saw. I have been cutting strip-wood to length for years .. first using various miter boxes with (for me) limited success. Later I modified a Harbor Freight chop saw to do that with better results. I have also purchased relatively serious quantities of scale lumber online for some relatively serious damage to my bank account. It occurred to me that in addition to the other things it could do .. cutting my own scale lumber would pay for the saw in time. When I looked at the saw at Micro-Mark I saw (sic) that it was “New and Improved” ….
New and Improved at the Same Low Price!

The MicroLux Tilt Arbor Table Saw is more powerful, more accurate, and smoother running than any other saw its size. It has a variable speed motor, so it will cut metal and plastic as well as wood. And now, the rip fence is equipped with a DIGITAL readout . . . set-ups for accurate rip cuts couldn’t be easier! This is, without a doubt, the most feature-packed machine ever designed for the scale modeler. Includes a calibrated miter gauge with its own adjustable fence, blade guard, anti-kickback attachment, and 80-tooth fine-cut steel blade for balsa and basswood up to 1 inch thick, hardwood up to 1/4 inch thick (hardwood up to 1 inch with optional carbide blade). Blade diameter 3-1/4 inches with 10 mm hole.

84904_RI had placed my order and then at some point I was looking at the accessories. The main one that I had been interested in was the plastic inserts – the blank blade plates. Since the saw is a tilt-arbor there is a gap in the blade plate to allow the saw to tilt. The problem is that this gap allows thin strips of wood (scale lumber) to fall through that gap. The answer was to replace the stock blade plate with these plastic blank plates and then by raising the blade through the plastic cut a nice, narrow slot which allowed cutting that costly scale lumber.

In the photo we have the old saw #80463 showing the plates. Note that the plates secure with a couple of screws.

85870~3_R.. and then we have the “New and Improved” version. The blade plate is shaped differently .. and most importantly attaches differently. No screws .. but similar to the way a battery cover snaps into something. There are a pair of hooks on one end that you engage, then drop the plate down so that a catch depresses and snaps into place. The question that comes to mind immediately is .. how can a blank (read plastic) plate replace this to cut stripwood? The plate sits on a recessed ledge and it might be possible to drill and tap a threaded hole at either end to mount a plastic blank – but it would be nice in Micro-Mark had a blank plate to use without any such modification.
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About etraxx

Retired from the Army in 2006. Served during Vietnam - 1969-1972 as as 72B - Communications Center Specialist (Teletype Operator). Got out .. and went back in 1987 as a 19K - Armor Vehicle Crewman - (M1/M1A1 tanker) getting out in Korea in 1999. Went into the Reserves .. got mobilized in 2001 .. stayed active until my retirement with 20 years in 2006.


MicroLux Tilt Arbor Table Saw — 12 Comments

  1. “New and improved” is something I learned to be wary of… Usually I disregard/remove/disable the various inconvenient “features” that are present in almost everything I buy. But your mileage may vary.

  2. Flipped over. On the left is a ‘hook’. You slip that under one side .. and then press down .. the spring/clip on the right then locks it in place. The problem then is .. how can I replace this with a piece of Lexan?

  3. So. Here is a pic of the table and where the above blade plate fits. The two set-screws I mentioned can be seen on the right. They appear to me .. to set the end of the plate so it is level with the table so wood doesn’t catch. What is interesting is that below each there is a round boss. Makes sense that they provide a goodly bit of metal for threads. Here’s the interesting bit. THe other end is blank as you see .. BUT .. there are bosses under there also! Now .. it occurs to me that if I drill and tap those two blank tabs .. and remove the set-screws when necessary that I should be able to screw down a plastic blank plate. The steel plate measures 0.090 in. thick so 3/32 in. Lexan would work. The two set-screws stick up 0.030 in. so .. if I remove them I can put them back at that height (assuming that their purpose IS to get the blade plate level at that point). I need to get them out so I can get what thread they are .. find some 3/32 in. Lexan, find some flat head screws that have a 3/32 in. thick head .. and .. match the threads. Fun stuff.

  4. So. I removed one of the setscrews and took it with me to lowes. They have a ‘thing’ hanging near the nuts and bolts that you can use to measure thread sizes. The setscrew is metric, a M5x.80 thread. Ok. Fine so far. They had some Lexan sheet measuring .093 in. thick. Again fine .. that is only .003 in. too thick .. I can live with that. Found a stainless M5x.80 x 16 flat head machine screw .. and there ran into a stumbling block … insert *sigh*

  5. A M5 Flathead Capscrew has a head-depth of 3.1mm .. which translates to 0.122 in. That is some .030 in. higher then the Lexan (insert foul language) ((that is according to this website .. Crank.com .. I actually think that the screws at Lowes were even thicker of head))

  6. So. Can I drop back and punt? How about adding the hook thingie and ‘some kinda’ catch to the Lexan? Can I do that? So .. how do I attach this catch .. and hook .. assuming I can make them from .. something. I might be able to make them from metal and attach them via a screw from the underside. The problem there is that would only give me .093 in. of Lexan to thread .. which is asking for trouble .. IMO. OK. Screwing .. and cementing *might* work .. more or less .. assuming a cement that works on Polycarbonate can be sourced. Weld On sells such .. example their IPS 16 would work to attach a Lexan hook to the Lexan. How about the metal spring/clip? Metal doesn’t bond to Lexan much at all even with super dooper Epoxies. It *might* be possible to bond a pad of Lexan to the Lexan thick enough to allow threading.

    note: Loctite has an Epoxy Plastic Bonder that *might* work. It claims that it will bond polycarbonate and stainless steel.

  7. Ed,
    You’re over thinking this.
    Just cut out your new plate to fit and set it in the opening. It may work fine as is.
    If your fence is close to the blade and sitting on top of the plate, the fence itself will hold the plate in place.
    I do this on my full size TS with no problems. If all else fails, use some double sided tape. You won’t be swapping the plate in and out that much anyways.

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