The home made crosscut saw table has proven to be a valuable addition to the workshop and has made a robust portable power tool into a precision cutting tool at little cost. Equally important is that it may be easily and quickly converted from one form to the other. The following shows how how to make one from recuperated materials.
I wanted the portable circular saw to fit onto some kind of sliding table, the exposed saw blade would be beneath the table and would cut stuff held in the blade’s path. Thus the castor wheels would be screwed upside down to a baseboard and the table holding the saw would run on the castors. The table’s movement would be restricted to a forward/backward motion by guides or tracks on the underside of the table into which the castors would fit.
I used two pallets (only a small part of the plywood-topped one shown above as I actually managed to make 7 different projects from the whole piece). I also used the wood from one pallet plank to make the runners, stops and guides. A piece taken from an MDF-topped pallet was used for the base of the saw table.
On one of my regular visits for pallet collection, one of my ‘suppliers’ had thrown out a steel-framed transport dolly with small castor wheels welded to it. This was transported home with the pallets as I realised the castors were the essential final part in the plan I had to construct a crosscut saw table. However if you can not recuperate these, you can buy sets of castors.
Step 1: CONSTRUCTION, OPERATION & MODIFICATIONS
A detailed step-by-step description of the build can be found in the film but there is also a written and photographic transcript to be found here on my blog The Green Lever - crosscut saw project.
When I need to use the crosscut saw table, I firstly clamp the base to a Workmate or workbench. The moving table is placed onto the castors and the saw baseplate is pushed into the rectangular hole at the same time holding the blade guard in the 'open' position (blade exposed).
Once seated in position the guard is held open by putting a nail through a hole in the guard perimeter and letting the nail rest on the top face of the saw baseplate. Next, the saw blade cutting height is adjusted so that the blade touches the MDF table surface and then it is locked at this cutting depth.
To cut the timber the saw is drawn back away from the guide, the timber is slid into place and held firmly against the guide edge. If I only need to cut one or two pieces of wood I mark the desired cutting point with a pencil and can see this mark through the hole in the baseplate. The stationary blade may then be brought up to the wood edge to ensure exact positioning with the mark. Moving the saw away from the edge prior to starting prevents 'snatch' .
If a greater number of equal length pieces are required I find it easier to clamp an end stop to the baseboard against which the edge of the timber can be held.
I have definitely found the need for adding a small light over the table, specifically to illuminate through the hole in the saw baseplate so as to clearly observe the cutting marks.