Sliding Carriage Panel Saw

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Project by MJMeers posted 01-24-2009 08:39 PM 119341 views 113 times favorited 46 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Being fairly new to woodworking I was told that I should start off small. After building a couple wall sconces for the wife I decided that doing the smaller sized projects were certainly fun, but I wanted to go bigger…to me it was time to start building furniture.

I didn’t have a power jointer or planer at the time so I decided plywood was going to be the way to go. I learned very quickly that getting a full sheet of plywood into my basement shop was a chore in itself, but getting it cut down on the table saw by myself was not only a challenge, but flat out dangerous. So I started cutting the sheets down with an edge riding attachment for my circular saw. While it got the job done it was sort of a pain getting everything set up each time. Then one day I saw the plans for a sliding carriage panel saw in issue 88 of Shopnotes Magazine. I immediately decided that I HAD to build it.

After numerous “learning experiences” I completed the panel saw. And it works great. Its ability to do both rip and crosscuts make it incredibly versatile. I mounted it on an open wall in my garage which ended up being very convenient because when I bring home full sheets of plywood I can now unload them into the garage, trim them down on the panel saw and then easily carry the pieces into the shop.

All in all it ended up costing a little under $400 for the hardware and lumber to build the panel saw, but compared to the $1000+ cost of a store bought one I can’t complain.

I learned so much during the process of building this panel saw and would seriously recommend it to anyone that is looking for a challenging and functional project.

-- Matt, RI

46 comments so far

View Tom Goodman's profile

Tom Goodman

198 posts in 5142 days

#1 posted 01-24-2009 08:50 PM

WOW ! This is a really nice set up. wish I had the wall space so I could make me one. But that’s down the road a bit. Anyway welcome to Lumber Jocks. I’m sure you’ll learn a few things as well as get some ideals. I know I have.

-- - " If you want square work, You don't cut corners. " - -- Tom Goodman, Santa Maria, CA. [email protected]

View lew's profile


13317 posts in 4766 days

#2 posted 01-24-2009 08:51 PM

That turned out GREAT!!

Saw this and thought about making it- if only I could get a full sheet of plywood to my basement shop!!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Dusty56's profile


11863 posts in 4698 days

#3 posted 01-24-2009 09:18 PM

where did you get the “pole” across the top from ? I used to use the metal version of this model at a lumber yard I worked at back in the 80’s…..what did you use for the saw”return” mechanism ?

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Suliman Syria 's profile

Suliman Syria

424 posts in 4814 days

#4 posted 01-24-2009 09:18 PM


-- Suliman , Syria, jablah ,

View MJMeers's profile


29 posts in 4422 days

#5 posted 01-24-2009 09:22 PM

Thanks everyone… this is my first project on Lumberjocks and I can’t believe how quickly people have responded since I’ve posted it.

-- Matt, RI

View MJMeers's profile


29 posts in 4422 days

#6 posted 01-24-2009 09:27 PM

The pole across the top is a 10’ EMT conduit from Home Depot with a 1 1/2” outside diameter. The saw guide rides along this pole for the rip cuts.

I used a pair of 9/16” x 16 1/2” springs from Lowes along with some pulleys to create the suspension system for doing crosscuts. The base for the circular saw rides up and down a pair of T-Tracks that I got from Rockler.

-- Matt, RI

View douginaz's profile


220 posts in 5012 days

#7 posted 01-24-2009 09:32 PM

Excellent job. Less than half the cost of store bought is impressive. Nice work.
Doug in AZ.

-- If you need craft books - please visit our small business at

View bayouman's profile


94 posts in 4676 days

#8 posted 01-24-2009 09:41 PM

This is going to be my first project of the Spring. All I have to do is move all the plywood that is leaning against the wall of my garage shop to make room for it. I have all this plywood and find excuses not to build something with it because it is such a pain to work with. My second project will be the cabinet station for my tablesaw that I have been wanting to build for a long time. Thanks for the inspiration. I have favorited your project to remind me in the Spring to get busy.

View MJMeers's profile


29 posts in 4422 days

#9 posted 01-24-2009 09:47 PM

I’m glad to hear that you’ll be tackling this one… It was certainly a challenge to make, but I am so glad that I did.

I had my fair share of learning experience while I was building it, and if during your building process you have any questions that you’d like to ask, by all means feel free to ask…

-- Matt, RI

View mtnwild's profile


3733 posts in 4537 days

#10 posted 01-24-2009 10:30 PM

In my dream shop I would have one of those. Really good idea. That will save you so much time and energy.

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5229 days

#11 posted 01-24-2009 11:06 PM

Great job! This will save you so much work you’ll be happy all over again every time you use it.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View coolio's profile


7 posts in 4419 days

#12 posted 01-24-2009 11:14 PM

Wow!! This is awesome. You are the best little Woodguy in the world. Can you make me one of these?

-- You can call me "Big Wood"

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 5257 days

#13 posted 01-24-2009 11:25 PM

I’ve seen the plans for one of these in shopnotes. Have always wanted to make one. Looks like you did a bang up job. I think you can either make them vertical or horizontal.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Zuki's profile


1404 posts in 5087 days

#14 posted 01-24-2009 11:31 PM

Looks well thought out. Great job.

-- BLOG -

View doyoulikegumwood's profile


384 posts in 5003 days

#15 posted 01-24-2009 11:40 PM

wow i must have one of these thanks for showing us

-- I buy tools so i can make more money,so ican buy more tools so I can work more, to make more money, so I can buy more tool, so I can work more

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