This is a homemade chop saw for small metal stock. I made this from wood and a cheap Harbor Freight 4 1/2 inch angle grinder with a cutting wheel.
Step 1: Gather Materials
For this project in used some scrap lumber, a 2 inch hinge, a pipe clamp, and the grinder.
The wood is 1/2 inch plywood for the fence and base and a 2x4 for the cutting table. The grinder cradle is also plywood.
The hinge and pipe clamp are standard issue. All grinders are different but on average a 4 or 5 inch pipe clamp should be enough.
The grinder is a 4.5 inch ultra steel brand which is availible from Harbor Freight. This is their cheapest grinder and often goes on sale or has coupons from their website. I got mine for less than $15.00. Many people bash harbor freight for being low quality but I have had decent luck especially for the excellent prices. This project can be done with any brand grinder.
Step 2: Grinder Cradle
This step will differ based on the grinder. I cut a piece of plywood the width of the grinder. Next came two peices vertically to create a c shaped channel for the grinder to lay in. It is important for the power switch and all controls to be easy to access.
Step 3: Cutting Table and Arm
To make the cutting table I started with a 2x4 and cut a deep groove through it for the blade of the grinder to fit into.
Next I attached that peice of 2x4 to a peice of plywood. I used a large rectangle of plywood to also attach the cutting arm and hinge onto. the plywood is bigger than the cutting area so it can be clamped to a workbench. I also drilled holes in it so it could be hung on the wall for storing.
The hinge attaches to the the piece of 2x4 that is perpendicular to the cutting table and then the grinder cradle. It is very important that the hinge and grinder is very square to the fence so tje cuts will be square.
To outline: this is a T shape made of 2x4 attached to plywood. on the short end of the T there is a hinge that swings a cradle holding a grinder.
Step 4: Fence
The final step was to add a cutting fence. The fence to make sure cuts are square and hold the workpiece steady.
Currently there is no clamp for the fence like on a big metal chop saw. I am holding the peice being cut much like a wood on a compound miter saw but I could use a clamp if needed.
The fence is made from the same plywood. It rises above the cutting table about a .75 inch. I cut a notch in the fence so that it would fit around the 2x4 that holds the cutting arm.
On the back of fence I used two screws to make a holder for the grinder arbor wrench that to make it handy for blade changes.
Step 5: Finished
This cutting jig works great for small stock. I haven't tried anything big but for me I usually only work with small stuff. I think with rotating or spinning the workpiece this could handle 1 INCH or maybe 1.5 inch angle iron.
Its not on for the picture but the safety guard does fit and is used for the tool.
This cost almost nothing to make and for what I do with metal working is great compared to the cost of a full-size chop saw this is a great alternative.
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