This saw can be built in a single evening, and if you have to buy EVERYTHING will cost around $80. My total cost was $28 for the sheet of plywood. Everything else I had on hand. I've used it to cut through 1.5" Aluminum Bar Stock, 1/4" 2x3 angle, and 1/8 2" Pipe. It will pretty much cut anything eventually. And it's automatic, just start the cut, and keep an eye on it to stop it when finished.
Tools You Need:
1. Wood Saw (I used a miter saw, and a table saw, but you could do the whole thing with just a hand saw.
2. Drill Press (You could make this without it, but it is WAY WAY easier to be precise with one).
3. Carpenter's Square
3. Basic Hand Tools
Materials you need:
1. A Reciprocating Saw. If you sign up for their coupons, you can get this one: http://www.harborfreight.com/6-amp-reciprocating-saw-with-rotating-handle-65570.html for $20. This one is what I used and is perfect because it's easy to mount once you take off the handle.
2. Some Plywood (3/4" although 1/2" will work).
3. A light dimmer switch (optional).
4. A wood working vice like this: http://store.cbtoolgroup.com/jorgensen-woodworking-vise--4-12-p4302.aspx?utm_medium=cse&utm_source=googlebase I used an 8" vice I had.
5. Some 1/4" 2" bolts with nuts and washers for attaching the vice.
6. 4' or so of 2x4.
8. Some zip ties.
9. Some heavy stuff for weight (I used an old motorcycle starter, and an adjustable pulley).
10. Some High Quality Large Hose Clamps (6" or more).
11. One 8" Or Longer 5/8" Bolt (with only the end threaded) or a 5/8" rod / shaft. (A 5/8" hardwood dowel will work too)..