Please be careful if you attempt this project at home. There are power tools involved, which should inspire extra caution. Real table saws cause their share of injuries, so just imagine what could happen with this ad hoc arrangement.
Step 1: Make the Table
You'll probably want to add some cross pieces. Be careful that all screws are counter sunk or counter bored. I used pine and 2-1/2" coarse-thread dry wall screws, which countersunk themselves. I used a pilot hole to prevent the plank from cracking.
Remember that you want to hang a large saw under the table when you're choosing where to put the cross pieces. Make sure there's enough room to mount and adjust the saw.
Step 2: Make a Removable Panel
To install a panel, there are a lot of options. I had washers and smallish lag screws and was thinking about how cleaver I was, so I used them. It's a lot of work to remove the lag screws and I don't have the appropriate attachment for my drill. Instead of lag screws, you just us regular screws.
Again, make sure all of your hardware is below the surface of the table.
If you're inspired, you can even use a block plane to deal with any bumps. But the plane can only make it locally flat, so your table could still be off. But who cares---if you wanted something really precise, you'd have purchased a table saw a long time ago and you're only reading this article to see if it's a joke.
Step 3: Make a Flat Edge for the Fence
I found a flat piece of wood of the appropriate thickness, a bit of 1/4" plywood, and some glue. After it was firmly glued into place, I realized that the edge was a good straight board but the edges were not parallel. I was able to correct for it later because the fence need only be true to the blade, not the end of the table.
Step 4: Make the Fence
I had some 1x4 lumber in the garage, so I used it. I tried to cancel out errors in the wood by screwing them together at right angles so that their cross-section was L-shaped. I was working with pine, so I pre-drilled my holes. The edge of the fence needs to be smooth, so I counter bored holes with a 1/2" spade bit.
Step 5: Mount the Saw to the Panel
There were two problems from this set up, though. First, I couldn't cut through 2x4 lumber because the boards I made the table out of were too thick. Also, I found out why zero-clearance plates are so popular.
I removed the first panel, which was made out of 3/4" lumber, and replaced it with 3/8" plywood. There's a bunch of shims to keep it level with the surface of the table. The saw is mounted on a panel and there is the possibility of changing the bit that surrounds the blade. The combination of the panel and plat works, but the table isn't very flat. There are a lot of little corners and edges and sometimes things get caught.
I also found out that the slot was too wide because bits of wood kept falling into the saw. They either were launched toward the ceiling of my garage or caused the saw to slow down and jam up. So I made a new slot that was just wide enough for the saw blade. It doesn't have a blade guard, anti-kickback device, or a splitter, so it's really quite dangerous. I'll have to make a splitter and guard ASAP.
Step 6: True the Fence to the Blade
I spent a lot of time making the T square, but it turns out that the table's end wasn't square. I was able to correct for the difference using the method outlined above.
Step 7: Cut Something With Your New Table Saw
I had to use a bit of wire to activate the switch on the handle of my saw. Then I used the plug to turn it on and off.
Remember to use something wood to push your piece through the saw. Check the direction of the blade before you start cutting.
Also, don't wear loose clothing or gloves. Do wear safety glasses. Have a firm footing before you begin a cut. Beware of twisting the piece or pausing mid cut. Basically, remember all the stuff your shop teacher told you.
Use the saw at your own risk. Your fingers are responsible for your actions.
Step 8: Things I Made With the Saw
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