Think table saws are professional tools outside the reach of average users? Think again. This video shows how you can easily use a circular saw (in this case a 30 year old Makita) to drive a home-made table saw. This saw has been used for decades, and used in the construction of hundreds of homes, before portable table saws were common.
This is a saw you can build this afternoon! Plus it easily fits in a car and weighs under 20lbs. Save your money for a fullsize cabinet saw and use this for small rips.
- Circular saw
- Scrap or reclaimed plywood
- Use of a router and drill/impact
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Step 1: Find Some Scrap Wood!
Look through your (or your buddies) scrap wood pile for some plywood.
In this build the top of the saw is made from 1/2" thick fir plywood and the dimensions are 21" X 24".
Both of the sides of the saw are made from 3/8" thick fir plywood and the dimensions are 8 1/4" X 16" .
Woodfiller was used to smooth out the top of the saw table.
Step 2: Trace Out the Saw and Router Out a Space for the Saw to Sit
Place the circular saw on the underside of the table and trace around the base of the circular saw. Then remove the saw and using a router, freehand cut a space for the saw to sit so it will not move side to side.
Once you have done this you can simple "plunge cut" the circular saw through the table so that the blade comes out the other side.
Step 3: Add the Sides!
In this case hinges were used to secure the sides to the table top. This allows the saw to be collapsible. A scrap piece of wood was screwed on to allow for the saw to be clamped down to a work table (clamp is shown on the intro page).
Step 4: OPTIONAL: Wire in a Switch
At first the trigger of the circular saw was simply zip tied into the "ON" position, and the saw was turned off by unplugging the saw. For slightly improved safety, I suggest adding a switch onto the side.
If your budget allows, foot peddle activated switches are available online, and would allow you to turn off the saw without removing a hand from the material you are cutting!
Step 5: Cutting
To make your first rip cut, all you need to do is nail or screw on a scrap piece of wood to the table top. This saw was used for years without a fence being added.
I highly recommend buying a cheap speed square to make sure the blade is square with the top of the saw.
Make sure to measure the distance between the blade and the fence both at the front of the blade and at the back of the blade. If these measurements are different, it may cause your cut to be off, or worse, the blade might "kick" your working piece back towards you.