It sounds ridiculous, doesn't it? You can make your own table saw if you want. That's the ultimate do-it-yourself project right there. You're so good at making things by yourself that you're not manufacturing your own tools (almost). It's not that lofty though. However, it is possible to save a lot of money from having to buy your own table saw by making one yourself. You just need the right tools and the right know-how.
All you "need" to do is attach a circular saw to a table in a way that works just like a commercial table saw would. That's all. With that said, here are the things you need to get and do to accomplish this task.
- A file
- Zip tie
- Power strip
- Circular saw
- Drill and bits
- Square beam
- Pencil for marking
- Wood screws (50 millimeter)
- Flathead screws (16 millimeter)
- Melamine, plywood, or other boards for the tabletop and legs (alternately, get a table)
Steps on How to Make a Table Saw
1. Preparing The Base: Drill 5 holes that are about 4 millimeters in diameter within the circular saw base. This will be the board's new fixing points. Don't forget to clean the burrs on the board after drilling. Don't let any trace of them behind. Of course, it'd be better if you got plywood instead of old laminated particle board known as melamine to do the job, if only to ensure that the surface is as sturdy and long-lasting as possible.
However, once you go the plywood route, you'll also need extra tools like a sander and varnish to make the board as smooth as laminated melamine. Don't get anything too hard that you can't drill or saw through though, unless you have the right tools and experience in woodworking with hardwoods.
2. Acquiring The Right Tabletop Material: It's imperative that you get a board that you can smoothly slide items through for cutting. In such cases, readily laminated particle board or melamine makes sense. Otherwise, prep your plywood with sanding and varnishing so it could match melamine smoothness. It should also be 1.8 centimeters thick, 50 centimeters wide, and 80 centimeters long.
Maybe get something that was part of a closet or cabinet or anything you can recycle to maximize your budget. Ideally, you want a board that's straight and edges that are perfectly square for you to work with. If you can find a ready-made table with close or exact dimensions as that, you're good to go with it too.
3. Positioning The Saw: Put your circular saw in your preferred place. For example, you can place it 30 centimeters into the 80 centimeter length so that you have at least 50 centimeters to work with when moving work pieces along the circular saw blade. However, that's a personal preference of mine and you can place the saw wherever you see fit as long as you have enough workspace to work with.
Check to see if the base is square and use a pencil to mark the fixing points that you predrilled earlier. Drill right into the hole markings. Now check to see if it's still perpendicular to the front edge and surface. If it's not, adjust thusly. Make sure your pencil markings are accurate from the start so you won't have to do things over with a new tabletop.
4.Sawing the Saw Opening: Turn on your circular saw then gradually and carefully cut the gap or opening that its blade is supposed to occupy on your melamine or plywood board. Now check how square the saw is on the tabletop. A crooked or angled saw will naturally produced crooked or angled cuts. You need it squared so you have a point of reference.
Place the base on your desired position and put in all 5 screws. I went with 5 16-millimeter flathead screws. This gives the base more holding surface and allows it to sit better. Mark, pre-drill, and screw two beams that are 8 centimeters by 4 centimeters in size at the bottom of the tabletop. This will be the fixing structure for the legs of your table saw.
5. Making The Table Saw Legs: You can also use plywood or laminated particle boards (in my case, from the same closet or cabinet) to make legs. For particle boards, insert one more board to give more support for the overall construction in light of the nature of such boards. Then again, giving table leg reinforcement for your plywood legs won't hurt either.
On that note, make the height of the legs meet at least your waist. If the table is too low or lower than a coffee table you'll have to stoop low or bend down yourself in order to do some decent work piece cutting and woodworking. They should also be as square as possible to prevent wobbling.
6.Finishing Up with the Electronics Part: Zip tie the depressed trigger. Make two holes to zip it up to the power strip. Now you don't need to move the trigger of the circular saw to activate it. Just plug the saw to the power strip then plug the power strip to the nearest wall socket.
The circular blade is now forever running whenever the power strip is turned on and to switch it off you have to switch the power strip itself. The on/off switch of your power strip will give serve as the new switch of your homemade table saw. To finish up, test the blade. You can make a temporary side fence with a square beam and two clamps. You can buy a proper fence by cannibalizing a used table saw or making one yourself.
If you want to save money and have a spare table you could use then you should make your own table saw. This guide tells you how to make a table along with the saw you're supposed to insert unto it, but you can also use it as a guide on how to attach a circular saw base to an existing table provided that it uses the same dimensions.
Thicker, fancier tables will require more adjustments on your part and some common sense on where to apply them. However, more often than not, it's better to make a custom table to fit your circular saw base instead of retrofitting a table with a saw.