Convert Hand Saw to Table Saw




Introduction: Convert Hand Saw to Table Saw

About: I'm a happy fellow in Sweden. I love to create things that makes my life easier, such as IKEA hacks, Outdoor cheats and so on (my wife thinks im lazy, but hey dont make it difficult when it can be easy and c...

Hello everybody.
You probably like me, own a hand saw, but want a table saw, cause it's much stable and accurate then the hand held one.
Well this is my own try.
I tried to build a table saw, without spending allot of money, and I ended up with a pretty nice one, with a total coast of 1/5 of the original price of the cheapest table saw i found (the hand saw price not included).

I used Google sketch to draw a fast overview of what I had in my mind and it turned up very nice.

The idea is to make a table with a slot where I can use both a hand saw and a router. and still remove them and use them as hand held machines.


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Step 1: The Material/Tools Needed

The material you will need is some common material that I think every one should have.
You will need:

Hand Saw.
Old table that you was thinking to throw away. (check on the scrap yard or your neighborhood if they got one that they don't need).
Some wood.
Drill / screwdrivers
Nuts,(locknut work best as they resist the vibration from the saw)
Wing nuts.
Impact nuts.
A ruler and a pen.
Threaded rod M10

Metal tube.
4 * 90 degrees brackets.

Terminal Block
Rotary switch
Aluminum L-shape to work as Fence, but you can use any type, even wood.
Grounded plug.
About 1m of grounded electrical cable.

Step 2: Measuring & Cutting the Hand Saw Slot.

I started by measuring the center of the table and marking it on the table surface.
Measure the hand saw cutting surface and determine the slot position and dimension on the table.
Once done, go ahead and draw it on the table.
Measure the blade on your jigsaw, then use the drill and drill 4 holes, one in every corner of the marked slot.
The holes should be big enough to let you slide the blade of the jigsaw without any problems.
Use the holes as a start position and cut out the slot.

Please comment my work..

Step 3: Measuring & Cutting the Saw Blade Slot

Measure the Saw blade and determine the size of area you will need to cut out for the blade.
Draw the slot on the wood panel that you already cut out.
Use the drill and drill holes on the corners of that slot.
Once done, use the jigsaw and cut it out.
Test it on your Hand saw and adjust the slot if needed. (It's always better to cut a smaller slot then adjust, rather than a big one from the beginning).

Please comment my work..

Step 4: Attaching the Hand Saw to the Panel.

Mark and drill 4 small holes on the hand saw metal panel.
Drill 1 hole in each corner.
Measure the placement of the holes and mark the same places on the wood panel.
Measure the screw head and then use a drill as big as the screw head and drill some cuts on the marked places on the wood panel.
This will serve to make the screw head from sticking over the wood panel and by that don't prevent any thing from gliding through to the saw blade.
Once you done that, go ahead and finish drilling the holes with smaller drill with the same size as the  threaded part of the screw.
Test the fitting of the screws on the wood panel, and then if everything is working as it should, finish the job by attaching the hand saw to the panel with screws and nuts.

Please comment my work..

Step 5: The Wood Panel Rack

Use 2 pieces of wood big enough to cover the wood panel hole/slot and attach them under the table.
Use mounting screws and wood glue.
The mounting screws should be long enough to hold the wood rack with the table, but not to stick out from the table.

Test the wood panel with the table.. for me I found out that the hand saw did not fit,
as the wood rack stopped the hand saw to fit on the slot.

Well I had to remove the rack and cut out the place where the saw engine was supposed to fit.

Please comment my work..

Step 6: Testing the Hand Saw Slot

This is turned to be a very nice result after all.. and I only spent 2-3h working on it until now.

Step 7: Making the Fence Track

I used a bit of wood big enough to hold the 90 degree bracket, cause my table was not thick enough to hold it.
I pre-drilled for the bracket, then I used the mounting screws to attach it to the wood piece.
Once you ensure the brackets on the wood piece (one on each side), go ahead and mount the threaded rod in the holes of the bracket.
I used building brackets, as they come pre-drilled with mounting holes and a hole big enough to make my M10 rod pass through with no problem.
Don't forget to put the adjustable bracket on the threaded rod and ensure to put 2 wing nuts on the same rod.. one before and one after the adjustable bracket. (They will work as fixing nuts for the fence later).
The idea is to make the fence adjustable and movable along the threaded rods.
Attach the treaded rod to the brackets with lock nuts.. (This was a hard part, as the lock nuts was very hard to work with).

Do the same with the other fence track.

Update: 2012-10-27

Well as I was done with this I found out that it will take way too much time to slide the fence forward and backward along the track.
A new solution had to be found. and after a couple of hours thinking about it..
I modified the track a bit.
I started by adding a Metal pipe over the M10 rod.
The pipe had a 10mm of inner diameters and you can find those at any hardware store.

I found some brackets who was bigger in the inner diameters then the metal pipe, and thick enough to drill through.
Drill 2 holes on the bracket 90 degrees away from each other, then use a threaded tap to make them threaded.
Use any kind of screw you want as a lock knob. (I used old table leveler feet)
Use another longer screw on the other hole to serve as the fence attachment.

Please comment my work..

Step 8: Attaching the Fence Track to the Table

Measure and mark on the wood part of the fence track where you will drill 2 mounting holes.
I found that using impact nuts is the most ideal solution for me.
Drill 2 holes on the wood and then measure again and drill 2 other holes on the table frame.
Make sure to drill the holes on the table frame at the same location where they meet the holes on the wood of the fence track.

Once done, hammer in the impact nuts on the holes.. Remember to use a drill head bigger with 1 size then the impact nut size.. it will make it easier to slide into the hole.

Attach the fence track to the table frame using bolts from behind the table frame.
use bolts that have almost the same length that are between the table frame and the fence track..
We don't need any bolts sticking out too much and stopping the bracket on the fence track from sliding free forward or backwards.

Please comment my work..

Step 9: Attaching the Fence

Now it's time to mount the fence.
Start by fixing the track fence locking bracket and making sure that the fence mounting screw is perpendicular to the table.
mark on the fence where the mounting screw will be and drill 2 holes one in each side.
once done slide the fence over the screws and ensure to fix them with 2 nuts. once from above and one from under.

AND VOILA! The Table is done.
Now for some electrical work :)

Please comment my work..

Step 10: Making the Table Elctrical Switch

Sorry that it took long time to update..
lets see



(Picture 1)
Start by drilling 2 or more holes on one of the table legs. they will serve to mount a tree plate to hold the electrical socket and
the rotary switch.

(Picture 2)
The tree plate has a double function, the first is to isolate against the metal leg of the table in case of electrical shortcut. and the second one to serve as good and stable hold.

(Picture 3+4)
Start by mounting the electrical socket to the tree panel, then connect the electrical cable, the yellow/green cable is the ground and should go on the middle.
Cut about 10cm from the electrical cable.
Connect the other electrical cable side to the rotary switch..  DO NOT SWITCH THE CABLE POSITIONS... CONNECT AS MY PICTURE IF POSSIBLE....
Close the electrical socket as the picture.

(Picture 5+6)
Mount the rotary switch socket to the tree panel right under the previous one.
then close the socket.

Finally connect the grounded plug to the end of the electrical cable.
Voila the ON/OFF switch is ready to start working.

All ideas and question are welcome.

Step 11: Removing the Safety Trigger Switch


Start by removing all the screws holding the circle saw handle.
Once open.. unscrew the switch from the handle and then unscrew the wires out of it.. REMEMBER THE PLACEMENT OF THE WIRES.
Use a terminal block to connect the wires directly to each other.. in this case we bypass the trigger switch and the saw will turn ON every time you connect it to the electricity.

I used a plastic plug to cover the switch hole.. but electrical tape can do the same work and cover the holes. It can be a good idea to keep the dust from getting inside and with that eliminating the risk of fire or even getting electrocuted by mistake.

Once done close the handle and screw back everything in place.

Now connect the circle to the table electrical socket and you can use the rotary switch to turn the saw ON and OFF.

1 Person Made This Project!


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19 Discussions


5 years ago

Nice working, that I'm talking about


5 years ago on Step 10

Nice work But what did you do to unlock the safety on the trigger so saw can fire up plus are you you thinking about possibly making blade adjustments without going under table? I Like Your build and plan on using what you have done.


6 years ago

This is what I need now, so I'll try to make it as soon as possible.


6 years ago on Step 6

Speaking of on/off switches, when in Canada, I bought a commercial table which made possible turning a circular saw into a table saw (very much the way you did here).
I remember the setup included a safety feature: a long transverse bar, held by two short braces at the extremes of the working surface. In a hurry, the operator could hit the bar with the hand, hip (or even the belly). Near one of the legs of the table there was a toggle switch which the bar would operate when depressed, thus turning the saw off.(see sketch). Near the opposite end of the bar there was a simple spring to keep the bar high (at about 45 degrees) when not pushed.

Emergency stop.JPG

Reply 6 years ago on Step 6

Correcting myself: the right name was "rocker switch" and in reality, the (here light blue) bar should look much larger than the switch (in my drawing proportions are not right) but I believe the idea was conveyed anyway)


7 years ago on Step 6

Looks like your mounting plate is higher than the surrounding table. I would suggest adding some thin shims to the wood you mounted to the underside of the table in the previous step. In the 4 corners you should also add an impact nut and drive a bolt from the underside. You can then use the bolts to raise and level the mounting plate to the table surface.

Kickback is going to be a big concern with this set up. You should drive a couple of flush mount screws from above through the mounting plate to secure the saw to the table. That way if there is kickback you only need worry about the workpeice flying instead of a live saw!

I will be building something similar in the coming months with the intent of having interchangable mounting plates for a jig saw, belt sander, and/or possibly a planer once I work out a guard system.


Reply 6 years ago on Step 6

You seem to be right in that the mounting plate is protruding. Your "shimming" solution, although very good, is not feasible because the underside slats are glued. Perhaps HC could sand down the underside of the mounting plate. The four height-regulation bolts in the corners are also a good idea.

What I don't see is the kickback concern. I had in the past and have now a similar setup in my shop, and the skillsaw never jumped up or out (not even when I experienced a kickback).
Additionally, when cutting most of (if not all) the time you will have a fence (a guide for the workpiece) clamped side to side on the table, bridging over the mounting plate and thus preventing it from moving.


Reply 7 years ago on Step 6

You know what... your idea of fixing the table saw plate to the table is actually very very good... I really didn't think about that.. after all safety is the most important.

will do that and will post picture as soon as I'm done.

Thanks again... really appreciated your help.


7 years ago on Step 10

This looks good so far. I'm interested to see how you defeated the safety trigger switch.


7 years ago on Step 9

You probably want to make the bolt holes on the fence slightly outsized for the bolt so that you can micro adjust the fence relative to the blade. No matter how carefully you set it up, time, temperature and humidity will cause it to drift out of alignment and you will need to square it back up again.


7 years ago on Introduction

May be a silly question, but how do you turn it on? Do you rig the trigger so that it automatically comes on when you plug it in?


Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

Will rig the hand saw and build a On/Off system on the side of the table.
Will post picture and instruction very soon.
thanks for the replay!


7 years ago on Step 9

Good start. You should think about adding a sled or fence to ensure straight cuts.


Nice work on the tool conversion.

I have a similar project in the works, and have been considering the best way to mount my saw. I am wondering with your system of having the sprung blade guard coming through the table surface, does it interfere with the material you are cutting? My concern is that it might push up lighter material (thin MDF for example) away from the work surface and become dangerous.


Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

That shouldn't be to much to overcome. I had a guard that slid right over 1/2" but snagged paneling every time. I just wrapped wire around the little lever and tied the annoyance open.

... Ever come up with a solution during a fit of rage lol ?


Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

well the blade guard on my saw is the original one that came mounted on the hand saw.. and it slide very easy backward and forward without any effort at all.
I will try cutting thin materials tomorrow and I will post back my opinion as soon as I'm done testing.