Picture of Combination Circular/Table Saw
I needed a table saw to make a frame for a Fresnel lens, and I was asking some of my fellow grad students if they had a table saw I could use. I got a couple of hints where to find one on campus (which I eventually did), but a friend of mine made a particularly interesting observation.

"Yeah, it's strange that they don't make a circular saw that just snaps into a table so you can use it as a table saw."

And thus the seed was planted. I remember at the time I brushed it off, but a few days later a friend and I decided to sketch the plans out for one and try to make one with three criteria:

1) Make it cheap.
2) Design it so that all you need to build it is a drill and a circular saw.
3) Design it so that you can easily remove the circular saw when needed.

The video below is a time-lapse of us building our Circular/Table Saw over the course of ~4.5 hours. We were planning as we built, so I am confident that this could easily be replicated in 2-3 hours.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
Required Tools:
Circular Saw (More on this ahead)

Optional Tools:
Chop Saw

1/4" 20 Machine Screws
1/4" 20 Wingnuts
1/4" Lock Washers
2" Wood Screws
3" Wood Screws
Zip Ties

3 2x4's (Pine)
2 1/2x1's (Pine)
2' by 4' sheet of particle board

Everyone has their own method of selecting lumber, we like to look down the length of the wood and search for warping. Sometimes I like to lay the wood on the ground and see if it rocks or falls over, but this method requires the floor is even. Finally, make sure there aren't too many knots.

All in all, this project should cost less than $70. That's including the cost of the circular saw and all components (but assumes you own a drill and the necessary drill bits).
august.yount6 months ago

dude; your a figgin genius

A very neat build. I once owned a steel adaptor plate that Black & Decker used to market for one of their saws. It could be mounted above a table on fixed legs or flush mounted with the table surface. The saw clipped into the underside of the plate with sturdy spring-loaded catches. It was very easy and fast to mount/dismount. I've never seen another one. The relatively thin steel plate didn't reduce the cutting depth as much as a thicker wood panel.

good luck
flowbea771 year ago
I am also very interested in this job. I have searched some videoes, and it's a great job! Looking for more informations

tetraflak4 years ago
This instuctable is on my todo list. You guys did a great job!
pilotneko (author) 4 years ago
Hi guys, I got a few messages that my time-lapse video was difficult to watch. I sped it up and added a soundtrack (terrible music, I know!). I don't want to affect my chances in the Craftsman tool contest, so I'll just post it here in the comments:
rimar20004 years ago

I maked years ago a cutting table like this, and it have been very helpful. I still use it on a regular basis.
Xuster4 years ago
Hey guys,
Just to let you know that what you are showing up here is extremely dangerous. You really need to use a miter gauge when crosscutting on a table saw NEVER a fixed fence as we see in the photo. If the angle of you wood piece had changed for any reason while you were riding against that fixed fence the blade would have catched it and throw it across the room or worst in your face. I learned this the hardway and received a piece right above my family jewels (ouch!).

here is a video where a pro makes the same statement.


be safe and enjoy you new toy!
jdege Xuster4 years ago
This is less dangerous with a table-mounted circ saw than with a real table saw for the simple reason that the circ saw motor doesn't have anything like the same power.

A circ saw is more likely to stall than to throw a piece of any size.
neffk Xuster4 years ago
It's not magic---it's just a matter of keeping the piece from twisting. When the short edge is against the fence, it's harder to keep straight.
Phil B4 years ago

I did something like this many years ago, but wanted to be able to use a miter gauge.  I also wanted to be able to remove the saw to rip panels, etc.; and then return it to the saw table quickly so that it is in the same precise alignment it had when I removed it.  I also wanted to make precise rip cuts.  My Instructable appears in the related Instructables above, or you can view it here.  It was very little effort than what you did, but should give you some additional useful features.
pilotneko (author)  Phil B4 years ago
Your instructable is really very nice, I like the miter gauge you added. I'm not sure if I was too clear in the instructions, but the circular is removable on our setup as well. Much like you said, I was interested in keeping the saw functional as a circular saw. It only takes a minute or two to remove the saw from the table or reattach it.
The important thing is that our projects work for the purpose each of us has in mind to fit our needs. And, a couple of times I have modified something after I posted it. What we post is not necessarily the final word. It is handy to be able to remove the circular saw and use it for other purposes. Thanks for publishing your Instructable.
neffk4 years ago
I did a similar project, last year. You have much nicer pictures, though.

pilotneko (author)  neffk4 years ago
Nice! I'm sorry I missed your project the first time around. I usually lurk around Make:Blog and am just starting to get into instructables.

How's the table saw holding up?
neffk pilotneko4 years ago

I used it a lot for several months. I ended up finding a good used Delta for 100 $, which was a good deal. If I hadn't found a cheap saw, I would have continued to use my DIY saw.

jdege4 years ago
I've been thinking about making an insert for my circ saw that fits into my router table top. That'd let me take advantage of its fence and miter slot. I might make another for my jig saw. And maybe for a Dremel, so I can use it as a small drum sander.
pilotneko (author)  jdege4 years ago
I think that's a great idea! I've talked to my father about doing this, and he actually suggested I modify a router table to be able to do both. In the end, I just decided to make a simple table saw that could be built with nothing but a circular saw and a drill.