Combo Panel Saw and Lumber Cart

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Project by tedth66 posted 05-08-2011 07:38 AM 114826 views 118 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Since my garage is my shop I’ve always had space challenges. When I have to deal with a full-size panel, things even get more difficult. Clearing out the space to cut down a panel is not only back breaking it’s also very time consuming.

Another issue I’ve dealt with for some time is scrap material building up against the wall.

I finally got fed up with investing so much time cutting down panels and dealing with the scrap lumber build-up so I decided to make a combo Panel Saw with Lumber Cart. This cart not only allows me to store my scrap material and a few full-sized panels but it also allows me to cut down panels without the long setup time.

I made the panel storage side out of 2×3s (frame) and mounted a 1/2 piece of ply to it to act as the sacrificial piece. The panel frame is hinged with 1/2” bolts so when it’s time to cut the panel all I do is pull out the lower portion of the frame and it locks into place. With the use of my Festool TS55 track saw, cutting down a panel is now a piece of cake. The rest of the cabinet is made out of scrap ply and scrap MDO. It’s not pretty but it does the job. I only had 18” of width to deal with because I still need to park my cars in the garage.

FYI – The locking mechanism I used on the panel saw was the same mechanism I came up with on my outfeed table on my tablesaw cabinet.

-- Ted

24 comments so far

View Ken Fitzpatrick's profile

Ken Fitzpatrick

376 posts in 5106 days

#1 posted 05-08-2011 07:53 AM

Nice job I love it. Been trying to figure something like this out and you just did it for me. In the process of re-doing my shop over with my grandson and this will be included. Have the same Festool saw with track. Storage and a back saver for cutting panels. What more could you ask for.

-- • "I have noticed that nothing I have never said ever did me any harm."....... Calvin Coolidge

View ianlee74's profile


153 posts in 4031 days

#2 posted 05-08-2011 08:17 AM

Great job. Looks great. Scares me a bit though. Do you have any balance issue when the table is extended out for cutting? Looks like it could be a bit off balance especially if there weren’t a lot of scrap on the other side.

-- Ian, Tennessee

View patron's profile


13718 posts in 4424 days

#3 posted 05-08-2011 08:53 AM

this is probably the best BIY i’ve seen
even with a ply track for the saw
if you don’t have the sawtrack type

i guess the scraps make
for a good counterbalance
as ian was asking about
some temporary (or permanent)
flip down legs might solve that issue

thanks for the tip
it’s a good one

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 4198 days

#4 posted 05-08-2011 12:58 PM

great thinking and well done :-)

take care

View Sodabowski's profile


2400 posts in 3916 days

#5 posted 05-08-2011 02:53 PM

“Pretty” is not the word. “Awesome” is. Thanks for sharing!

-- Thomas - there are no problems, there are only solutions.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5301 days

#6 posted 05-08-2011 03:28 PM


If I can ever manage to take over the other half of my two-car garage, I’ll definitely have one of these.

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

View tedth66's profile


458 posts in 4272 days

#7 posted 05-08-2011 04:06 PM

Thanks everyone for the nice words.

@Ian – yes this was a concern of mine as well. A flip-down adjustable leg mounted in the center would be great, but I’m still trying to come up with a solution for this to accommodate for my slightly uneven garage floor. In the meantime, I use the panel saw up against the wall. A ledger board mounted on the wall, located just above the lower horizontal piece of the storage side of the cart, prevents the cart from tipping if the weight on the panel side becomes excessive.

Thanks again.

-- Ted

View Matt 's profile


212 posts in 4832 days

#8 posted 05-08-2011 05:17 PM

Very good idea! Great job!

-- Hold on! Let me get the board stretcher!

View prompt's profile


341 posts in 3676 days

#9 posted 05-09-2011 06:36 PM

Very functionally. I too often cut the big sheets of plywood. maybe I will do something similar
Thank you.

-- Elhan, Azerbaijan

View Robsshop's profile


923 posts in 4058 days

#10 posted 05-09-2011 08:45 PM

A great combo, very well thought out. If the leg support doesn’t work out ,perhaps a tether cable at the top fastened to adjacent wall ?

-- Rob,Gaithersburg,MD,One mans trash is another mans wood shop treasure ! ;-)

View tedth66's profile


458 posts in 4272 days

#11 posted 05-09-2011 11:25 PM

Thanks for the suggestion Rob, that’s definitely something that would work.

There’s another reason why I haven’t tackled this yet. I’m thinking about mounting one side of the cart to the wall with a large hinge. There’s really no reason why I need to wheel this thing around the shop. If I need to get to the scrap lumber then I’ll just swing it out, get some lumber and then swing it back. The hinge will act as the support for one end and I might latch the other end to support the other side.

-- Ted

View bk_gamm's profile


1 post in 3634 days

#12 posted 06-01-2011 06:22 PM

Nicely done. How do you have the track “mounted” to the panel, is it just friction or something else? I can’t quite see it in the picture.

TX for sharing.


View Bertha's profile


13615 posts in 3776 days

#13 posted 06-01-2011 06:24 PM

With that Festool hanging off of it, I might be the most expensive panel around, as well as being the best one. I can’t believe I’ve never seen this idea used before. It’s incredibly clever to employ a track-enabled saw in this format. Very impressed.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View tedth66's profile


458 posts in 4272 days

#14 posted 06-02-2011 02:30 PM

The Festool track comes with special clamps to lock it down. The track also has friction strips but I almost always lock the track down using the clamps. Had I taken a picture of the back side when the track was on, you would see the clamp at the top.

Thanks. I’ve used it numerous times and it’s working out great. No more clearing out space to cut down a heavy panel. Before coming up with this idea, I searched for a design that would work with my space issues but I came up empty. I pretty much designed this on the fly and as sort of a proto. Eventually I’ll redo it and make it more attractive and possibly add more features to it.

-- Ted

View D11RDozer's profile


63 posts in 4042 days

#15 posted 12-06-2011 01:21 AM

Very cool design.

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