Ultra Portable Dremel Solar Cell Table Saw




Introduction: Ultra Portable Dremel Solar Cell Table Saw

About: After being laid off in 2009, I got rid of my car to save money. The difficult transition from a car to a bicycle led me to start Solarcycle and design USB chargers that keep smart phones alive.

I used this table saw for my solar USB charger prototypes (Solarpad):


It's not a fast cutter, but it can cut solar cells, thin sheets, plastics, and much more! I wouldn't use this saw for very heavy objects because most of the parts are plastic.

All you need is:

2 clamps


Dremel Router Tool Adapter

Sharpest, Thinnest Dremel Diamond Bit Available (I think I used http://www.dremel.com/en-us/Tools/Pages/ToolDetail...)

1" X 1" Square Acrylic Bar (Or any 1" X 1" Bar)

* WARNING: Use a respirator and safety glasses when cutting to avoid dust particles entering your lungs or eyes!

Step 1: Assemble the Table Saw

Attach the diamond bit (I think I had to use a paper shim because the collet was too big) then attach the Dremel to the router adapter. Now turn the router upside down and rest it on top of the 1" X 1" Bar on the corner of any sturdy table. Hold it in place then use the 2 clamps to hold it down (I used quick release clamps because it's easy to do this with 1 hand). Don't tighten the clamps with too much force or else you might break the router plastic backstop. Home the Backstop by sliding it all the way in and tightening the backstop screws.

To adjust the saw, first loosen the main adjustment screws. Now raise the diamond bit until it is slightly above the material you are going to cut then lock that adjustment screw. Now measure the distance from the backstop to the diamond bit tip to create the cutting width and lock that adjustment screw.

Now you're ready to saw! To avoid fingerprints use thin cotton or rubber gloves. Make a test cut and measure, then adjust if necessary. The higher the Dremel speed, the more fine the cut. If the surface gets sticky, put some Kapton tape on the router to make it slippery. Push the material slowly because it's not as fast as a band or circular saw. It makes up for lack of speed with it's ultra-portability and fine cuts. The best part is that it converts back to a normal Dremel very fast for other projects!


If you want to reduce the amount of chips, dust, or flakes, just rest a portable hand vacuum between the clamps close to the drill bit and turn it on! Dust may still fall through the bottom though. Make sure the vacuum is supported so it doesn't fall off.

Step 2: Cut Cells or Other Material and Pack Up When Done

Here's an image of one of my completed solar cell projects from cells I cut from this table saw. I also used the saw to cut the plastic sheets holding the epoxy encapsulate in place.

Once your done, the parts for this saw can easily fit in a backpack for storage or transport.

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Participated in the
Full Spectrum Laser Contest

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Participated in the
Portable Workstations Contest

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Participated in the
Spring's Coming Contest

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Participated in the
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    6 years ago

    Neat! I like the idea of using the router attachment. I also made a device for the portable workstation contest. Good luck to you.