Home made saw bench.


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24 Jun 2012
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Fenay Bridge. Huddersfield.

I'm not encouraging novices to follow what I do but just for a bit of interest I like to rebuild or make machinery from scratch. Quite a while ago I downsized many of my machines including selling my Startrite combination woodworker; I then needed a sawbench so I designed and made my own saw bench; I seldom do angled cuts but if stuck I have a Skilsaw and bandsaw so I just wanted a rise and fall saw bench. I don't like underpowered machines so chose to make this 4hp single phase double belt drive.

Construction is from readily available steel sections and I bought a new heavy duty motor with a matched DOL starter. An arc welder was used to weld where needed. The motor and starter cost around £150 and were the most expensive items.

Kind regards, Colin.


The new motor and starter under test before installation; the motor has an extended body and was a very good buy through eBay as was the DOL starter. When buying a starter the motor details will need to be known; these are always on the motor nameplate such as volts and amps.


Initial aligning with a temporary pulley slid on.


The bench stand welded and the motor mounting being set up here seen sitting on a pedal bin with wooden packing for fine adjustment; this needs to be perfect.


An old very heavy duty saw spindle and bearings I've had for years it being ideal for this project; new SKF bearings were installed.


The fine rise and fall with crank and trunnion. I have an engineering lathe so turned metal components aren't a problem I can turn them to my specifications.


Workshop space is limited so the saw is mounted on a pair of wheels and a lever type pair of handles fitted to raise and wheel the saw; a simple enough design but works well; the handles are automatic in that when lifted they reach a pair of stops then further lifting of the handles lift the front of the saw; the handles drop out of the way when not in use; it took a bit of thought to sort these out but they work. The height of the table top matches the height of the bench in the middle of the workshop so the bench allows support of the timber as it's fed through the saw.


The completed saw with auxiliary wooden fence attached to the very heavy duty rip fence; the fence locking lever ensures the fence won't move once locked; the 1/8" thick steel top I had kicking around. The saw has a 4" cut depth which can be doubled by flipping the timber being cut; it's highly unlikely I'll need to rip anything at 8" thick but if pushed a larger diameter blade could be installed. The saw is powerful with no indication of bogging down but it needs to be used with caution because it won't take prisoners.

This saw was designed to fit into my workshop and it's a joy to use; a permanent riving knife is installed; this riving knife designed and made by me allowing rebating without having to remove the riving knife. I enjoyed making this saw and it's built to a high standard and is very robust.

Many thanks for your replies; much appreciated.

It's amazing how alike our two saw benches are Mike; did you make yours; I need better extraction on mine but as usual I'm held up by bad weather preventing me doing many of the projects I'd like to do. Mine was mostly made of materials I had to hand from other projects apart from buying the motor and starter etc.

Having successfully made the saw bench it wasn't any good unless put into service; one job I did using it was to install a new front porch to our bungalow.


Side frames assembled and glued.


The main frame showing it's possible to do big jobs in a small space; it was a struggle working on my own but well worth it; the workshop smelled wonderful.


In order to move the large unwieldy frame from the workshop beneath the bungalow up to the front of the bungalow I fastened a large wheel to a corner and moved it as I would a wheelbarrow; once in position wedges were used to ensure it was square then it was screwed home with damp proof course around its outer edges. What a relief to have reached this stage.


Fully installed with tinted glass; I also made the decking using heavy steel with scaffolding boards for the deck; the metal frames were also made by me; I enjoy improving our home.


What a huge difference this porch has made to our comfort; it's subjected to extremes of weather here on the exposed valley side. The cladding is also my work as is all the paintwork. I only use top quality materials after all I save a fortune on labour; the paint is American Benjamin Moore it's expensive at around £90 per US gallon and I used five and a half gallons giving the bungalow exterior a full and comprehensive make over; this paint is without doubt the best paint I've ever used it looks the same now as if it had just been applied. The paint was expensive but long term is the cheapest. We've lived here for 33 years and would have been better demolishing the bungalow and building from scratch because we've done everything from replacing foul drains up to installing the entire roof ourselves.

About Us - About Shaw Paints Ltd. - Benjamin Moore UK

Having decent kit means big expensive jobs only cost for materials; machines like the saw bench soon pay for themselves; we were quoted £6,500 for the roof work 33 years ago when we moved in and the insurance company refused the claim stating it was "Lack of maintenance" we couldn't borrow another penny so lived with water ingress to two rooms whilst I researched how to install a roof and we worked as many hours overtime as possible in order to save for roofing materials. The roof finally cost around £2,500 so we saved a great deal of money but at high risk because we'd never done any roof work previously.

I'm just rambling on because it's too cold to do anything in the workshop during this bad weather. I'm playing at being a keyboard warrior but I've got a wonderful workshop waiting for me. I dislike plastic much preferring timber after all we've never wanted to live in a Lego home. All our wooden window frames are original and still like brand new at 54 years old but I don't mind maintaining them.

Kind regards, Colin.
Hi Colin
Yes mine was home made, most of the parts were leftovers from boat building. The top was purchased from a local scrap merchant when I took some off cuts in.
I paid a local engineering firm to surface th top and cut the groove for the mitre guide. The dust shroud covers the blade and there is a small extract pipe from the top guard.

Nice one Mike; it's amazing what can be squeezed into a home workshop. Your saw is posher than mine because yours has the mitre slot.

I must follow you around because I visit timber and scrap yards collecting offcuts. ;) I never seem to use all my offcuts they just get smaller.

Kind regards, Colin.
The mitre slot was useful in the past but is now largely replaced by a sliding mitre saw which is very accurate.

Thanks Mike; I decided on the plain top without mitre slot because I have a big DeWalt radial arm saw for crosscutting also a DeWalt mitre saw; for smaller jobs I have the bandsaw with tilting table and mitre slot so I think I've got it covered.

If only the weather would warm up; I'd done the supermarket shopping this morning before 8 o'clock it sure was frosty but better than for those poor souls having suffered flooding.

Kind regards, Colin.

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