Planing to make my own table saw out of a circular one... what would make a good circular saw to use?

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keithy1959

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Why would they ever go missing?

I was (trying to be) being ironic - I agree with all you say. I'm picking up on the earlier posts which state safety as a reason not to do it - I just don't see why a DIY job will de-facto be less safe than, for example, a contractor saw. I have the same (set up) issues with my temporary solution, but not much worse than the Clarke saw I had before.


( ) = edited on post
Richard
 
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keithy1959

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Quite a few circular saws don't have riving knives, and the blade guards are sometimes not really practical when mounted upside down on a sheet of wood.
Agreed, but if you used one with a riving knife ( like mine ) thats not an issue. There is no "blade guard" on any table saw as they are redundant. there is a requirement for a crown guard however, but that remains true for any table saw. The tysack cast iron saw I've purchased to restore doesn't have one either - it will need to be added as a modification. If the essential differences between table saw and circular saw can be overcome ( riving knife, Crown Guard and NVR ) where is this safety issue.

Richard
 

JobandKnock

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I was (trying to be) being ironic...
At times I wish there was an irony smiley...

I'll be honest and say that in basic construction you can often get by without a table saw (mine hasn't been out of the lockup for 2 years) - a large (9in/230mm) portable rip saw (plus a plunging rail saw if you are doing lots of sheet material cuts) will do pretty much everything you need to do in terms of sizing construction timber (add in a little brushless 165mm cordless with a speed square and you may be able to stop carrying that hand saw with you, too). But the real thing that a DIY table saw lacks is a decent, micro-adjustable fence. It's the fence which turns a basic saw into something far, far more productive

Unless you've used one you may be unaware that those bigger, heavy rip saws will cut a straighter line than smaller saws with less effort required to keep them on the line (apart from the effort needed to lift them off the floor and onto the bench, that is!). The downside is that they are NBG for delicate, accurate cuts...
 

Spectric

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Is anything dangerous anymore, if you look at the way they are touting the vacines you could well believe they are the cure to everything, the magic cure for all and makes you invinciple.
 

MarkAW

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I wouldn't recommend going that route either. If you do, then read up on the safety aspects of a table saw. Things such as an incorectly aligned fence will cause kickback and throw the wood back at you, very very hard.

There's a lot of things you should know to make a safe design. Many you may not know that you need to know
 

keithy1959

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At times I wish there was an irony smiley...

I'll be honest and say that in basic construction you can often get by without a table saw (mine hasn't been out of the lockup for 2 years) - a large (9in/230mm) portable rip saw (plus a plunging rail saw if you are doing lots of sheet material cuts) will do pretty much everything you need to do in terms of sizing construction timber (add in a little brushless 165mm cordless with a speed square and you may be able to stop carrying that hand saw with you, too). But the real thing that a DIY table saw lacks is a decent, micro-adjustable fence. It's the fence which turns a basic saw into something far, far more productive

Unless you've used one you may be unaware that those bigger, heavy rip saws will cut a straighter line than smaller saws with less effort required to keep them on the line (apart from the effort needed to lift them off the floor and onto the bench, that is!). The downside is that they are NBG for delicate, accurate cuts...

Thanks for your comments

I would love a proper cast iron table saw, but I don't have the money. When my old Clark saw died, I was planning to get a Bosch or DeWalt, but Covid screwed supply lines, and the costs of second hand was silly, hence my DIY to get me out of a hole .

I have just bought an old Tyzack cast iron saw for the bargain price of £50. When I add the £35 petrol to collect it, the motor ( £20 shredder repurposed) £10 for bearings, £30 for pulleys as the old one is cracked, £25 for an NVR switch, I'll have a nice flat table saw but with poor dust collection, a re-engineered riving knife and a hand made crown guard, and it will only have cost me £175 !!.

I am seriously considering just using the table casting with my DIY Circular saw - hence my interest in safety concerns that people have expressed !!

I last used a decent table saw over 40 years ago when working as a stage carpenter, but I do know what you mean. I have my track saw for accuracy for now and seldom rip anything bigger than a 2M length of 4x2. I'm not using this in professional environment, so I can afford the innacuracy of a home made fence, and plane to size, but I absolutely get your point.

Still waiting for these safety concerns to be clarified though :D

Richard
 

keithy1959

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There's a lot of things you should know to make a safe design. Many you may not know that you need to know

...and that sums up my dilemna !! I know what I know, hence my questions - what should I know that I don't ?

I know about :
  • Riving Knives
  • Crown Guard
  • NVR Switch
  • Full Length fences causing kickback - I use a rip fence that stops at the front of the blade
  • Push Sticks
  • Finger no-go zone
  • No wearing gloves
  • Fixing the saw to the table securely
  • Dust Extraction requirements.
Whats missing ? :)

Richard
 

TominDales

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Hello everyone! My first post here, nice to e-meet you all :)

I am planning my second shop project, just finished a workbench and now I want to make a table saw using a circular saw attached under the top.

Best!
Felipe, welcome to the forum, you will find you get lots of advice, probably more than you wish for at times.

A good tables saw is at the heart of cabinet making, however I would recommend that you wait a while before considering getting one, either buying, repairing or making. A mediocre table saw is a pain, and its probably the most hazardous tool in the garage/shop.

Unless you are making a lot of stuff, I'd start by doing things by hand and ideally asking your local wood merchant to do the ripping to size for you on their professional saws. So if you can be patient cut things by hand to start with, its what they did for centuries and you will have a better idea of what you really need. There are other options, which might meet your needs better when you know what you like making and the size of your shop etc, consider a track saw or a band saw. There are lots of fun project to do such as attachments to your bench or tool racks, storage space etc.

I recommend taking time to get a decent TS and read a few reviews on TS safety. Beware of US YouTube channels on TS's they are full of really bad advice regarding TS - they promote weird push blocks that go over the blade and often take the guard off and then wonder why they have accidents.

I used hand tools for years before buying a hobby table saw - which was a mistake, I should have asked this forum but I bought a 10'' amateur TS and then spent ages making a decent fence and putting second hand extrusion round the table to strengthen and level it, re-plumbed the dust collection. I will at some stage invest in something better, but I've probably spend 50 to 100 hours fettling a poorly engineered saw.
 

TominDales

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Thanks for your comments

I would love a proper cast iron table saw, but I don't have the money.
Still waiting for these safety concerns to be clarified though :D

Richard
I'd say you have covered the main safety issues. You seem very experienced and aware of the hazards. I just would not recommend this route for a beginner.

There are so many design factors to get right. I made the mistake of buying a cheap hobby saw for about £100 and have then spent hours truing it up, reinforcing the table with extrusion, replumbing the dusts extracts and building an accurate fence. it screams like a banshee on hard wood and anything thicker than and inch and I'm nervous doing bevel rip cuts and the blade easily goes out of true and can loose speed.
 
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paulrbarnard

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...and that sums up my dilemna !! I know what I know, hence my questions - what should I know that I don't ?

I know about :
  • Riving Knives
  • Crown Guard
  • NVR Switch
  • Full Length fences causing kickback - I use a rip fence that stops at the front of the blade
  • Push Sticks
  • Finger no-go zone
  • No wearing gloves
  • Fixing the saw to the table securely
  • Dust Extraction requirements.
Whats missing ? :)

Richard
Experience and a sense of fear.
 

JobandKnock

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Still waiting for these safety concerns to be clarified though :D
My safety concerns were:

1. The lack.of a permanently wired in NVR switch which will prevent the saw restarting in the event of a power cut followed by power restitution

2. The lack of an adequate riving knife assembly (kick back risk)

3.The difficulty of rigging up a crown guard (primary safety concern)

4. Problems associated with getting a rigid enough short rip fence (kickback concerns, also accuracy)

But the other main issues I had were:-

1. The motor noise - induction motors are a lot quieter than the universal motors used in portable saws

2. The difficulty of producing accurate bevel rips

3. (Partly safety) The difficulty of adjusting blade height

4. Lack of power (stalling is another kickback risk)

Just for the record
 
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Felipe

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The discussions in this post are way above and beyond what I expected, thank you very much everyone.

My take off is that a table saw is not a versatile of a tool as American youtubers make it look, once you have riving knife, crown and half way through fence, it seems that you are basically using it for ripping and maybe using with a mitre gauge. No slot cutting, or other improvised cuts.

In a woodworking class I took on the American side of the globe we even used the circular saw to cut a taper on the under side of a round stool top, with a jig to spin the piece on the tilted blade. Out of curiosity, how would you make this cut here in UK only following safe guidelines?

As of my next steps, I will give a in depth look at track saw videos and decide what to do next :)
 

JobandKnock

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Housings, grooves and rebates are more safely cut with a 1/2in router and an appropriate bit.

Crosscuts are more accurately cut on a mitre saw, and when you start cutting construction sizes (e.g measured in metres - try trimming 50mm off the end of a 5.4 metre length of skirting on a table saw and see how much fun you have), but considerably safer.

Your taper could be cut using a router, home made jig and a core box bit or straight bit. You can scallop seats the same way (see some of Bill Hylton's books)

Fundamentally table saws were originally designed for ripping timber. Cross cut saws appeared early on, too. Cross cutting requires a very different blade to rip cutting, so unless you put a compromise universal blade on the saw (which delivers second rate cuts whichever way it's used), you need to change blades to get the best results.

Thinking a table saw is the solution to every problem strikes me as a being a bit like having only a hammer - then thinking that everything else is a nail

Incidentally, check out @petermillard 's "10 Minute Workshop" videos on YouTube for some good stuff on track saws and sheet material furniture
 

TominDales

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The discussions in this post are way above and beyond what I expected, thank you very much everyone.

In a woodworking class I took on the American side of the globe we even used the circular saw to cut a taper on the under side of a round stool top, with a jig to spin the piece on the tilted blade. Out of curiosity, how would you make this cut here in UK only following safe guidelines?
You can make the chamfer very quickly with a spoke-shave, its amazing how much wood they hog out. Paul sellers has lots of videos on spokeshaves. Here is one chamfering a stool seat, see 10 minutes in The Underrated Spokeshave Thrives in Our Video Q&A - Paul Sellers' Blog If you want to machine it, then a router chamfer bit would get the best results. A Stanley 151 spoke-shave costs about £20 on my Bezos store.
I have in the past cut housings on a TS, but tend to either use a router of by hand using a saw and hand router these days. If you have a lot of joints to make, I would recommend you buy or make a router table as its takes the time and tedium out of repeated joints. HOWEVER if you only make the odd piece I find its quicker by hand and far far more fun. My son had great fun make mortice and tenons for a table over Christmas a real sense of achievement doing it by hand. But if you have dozens to make then it does make sense to set up a machine such as a router. I would support the earlier post JobandKnock about a mitre saw. They are very accurate and comparatively safe for what they do.
 

TRITON

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listen triton a company who made such things way back always warned that your cut quality and accuracy totally depends on the saws bearings.also a 9 1/4 saw is better. triton sold a strap that went around the saw body to stop it drooping..
Rubbish. I'm not drooping at all and if anything, it's my age :(

Problem you have is also there is no real way of having a guard in place, unless its something supported off table, which itself will likely be adequate, but not really useful or safe.
Without a guard in place, no matter how many push sticks you have and no matter their length, Tiddles will be in shortly to get sarcastic and throw a wobbler at you.
 

TRITON

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an incorectly aligned fence will cause kickback and throw the wood back at you, very very hard.
Unlikely if theres a riving knife present.
My saw bench is really only there to cut approximates, and the planer or rather thicknesser does the final dimensions. I seriously doubt my fence is accurately aligned to the blade, more than likely 2mm out over 700mm.
At worst it produced a tapered cut.
 

paulrbarnard

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Unlikely if theres a riving knife present.
My saw bench is really only there to cut approximates, and the planer or rather thicknesser does the final dimensions. I seriously doubt my fence is accurately aligned to the blade, more than likely 2mm out over 700mm.
At worst it produced a tapered cut.
I don’t think you understand how a fence works. It won’t simply cut a taper it will cause the saw to cut on opposite edges of the kerf. If the taper is toe in, closer at the back of the blade, that is asking for nasty kick back. It will produce a straight cut with a wide kerf set like this but almost guarantee kick back at some point. If it is toe out you might be able to hold it against less aggressive kick back but the work will inevitably wander away from the fence as the kerf tries to follow the blade, not the fence, and you will finish up with terrible cuts and hopeless accuracy.
 

keithy1959

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My safety concerns were:

1. The lack.of a permanently wired in NVR switch which will prevent the saw restarting in the event of a power cut followed by power restitution

2. The lack of an adequate riving knife assembly (kick back risk)

3.The difficulty of rigging up a crown guard (primary safety concern)

4. Problems associated with getting a rigid enough short rip fence (kickback concerns, also accuracy)

But the other main issues I had were:-

1. The motor noise - induction motors are a lot quieter than the universal motors used in portable saws

2. The difficulty of producing accurate bevel rips

3. (Partly safety) The difficulty of adjusting blade height

4. Lack of power (stalling is another kickback risk)

Just for the record

Thanks - some good points there. I'd forgotten how loud some of these saws are. The old B&D one I use is surprisingly quiet, and its wrapped in a box of 25mm MDF which helps, but the old Clark was so loud, I often did things by hand rather than get the thing out.

I guess the conclusion is that DIY saws if done properly are no less safe than a purchased item, they just are much harder to get safe and accurate, and there is more scope for cutting corners and ultimately, fingers !

Richard
 

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