Panel saw

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Project by Loren posted 04-06-2013 02:38 AM 9736 views 7 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Panel saw
Panel saw No picture No picture No picture No picture No picture
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I know this isn’t mostly wood but I noticed Vonhagen
posted some machine stuff he designed and made in
metal, so I guess it’s ok.

Vonhagen’s cool sliding table saw he built:

My panel saw I built:

<iframe src=”” frameborder=”0” height=”315” width=”560”></iframe>

9 comments so far

View whitebeast88's profile


4128 posts in 3435 days

#1 posted 04-06-2013 02:52 AM

very cool panel saw!!

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View Ken90712's profile


18067 posts in 4434 days

#2 posted 04-06-2013 11:21 AM

Nice job, panels…

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Viktor's profile


476 posts in 4664 days

#3 posted 04-07-2013 10:15 AM

This is awesome! One thing is to build your own tool, quite another is to make it better than the factory product. Linear ball bearing – nice!

View devann's profile


2260 posts in 3937 days

#4 posted 07-07-2013 04:49 AM

Nice rig Loren. You answered most of my questions has I watched your video.

What do you think was your total material cost to build the saw?

Do you have a parts list?

Thanks for the post.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

View Loren's profile


11275 posts in 4893 days

#5 posted 07-07-2013 05:46 AM

Around $700 I reckon.

The part that is hard to duplicate is the 90mm extrusions which are
just silly money to buy new. I got some surplus from a place
that was building exercise machine prototypes or something like

I think it could be done sensibly with 3” square steel channel, which
is not too costly and is quite straight.

Linear bearings for the arm I got on ebay. Something cheaper
could be improvised… perhaps a wood box enclosing the arm
beam with high density plastic inside for bearing surfaces.

Some other parts in addition the beam stock and linear bearings:

1) 20” lazy susan (ebay)
4) u-channel flanged fence posts (home depot)
2) 4” gate wheels
2) gate wheel boxes
2) 15’ lengths of 1.5” angle iron. (one goes on top for the gate wheels, the other at the bottom)
1) sheet melamine
2) linear bearings and rods with 3-6” of travel for the saw shoe.
1) piece of 1/8” aluminum or similar to mount to the lazy susan
1) DESTACO 606 Straight Line Action Toggle Clamp (handle rotates, better for clearance)
1) smaller push pull clamp to lock the bottom
1) toggle clamp to lock the saw carriage in ripping or x-cut position.

Hope this helps… it was an improvised build that took me several

View Buckethead's profile


3196 posts in 3114 days

#6 posted 07-07-2013 12:12 PM

Excellent platform. I have had the “pleasure” to use a couple different panel saws doing work at various locations. I was less than impressed by their performance. Their cost, however, is impressive indeed. Tear out is a huge problem. The ones I used seemed to have bad blades, and weak motors. That was most baffling to me considering the cost of the unit. (I suppose this is a reflection on the owner of each saw, at least as much as the manufacturer. In both cases, the saw seemed to be integral to the unit. I did not recognize them as any major brand circular saw, but perhaps they were not included with the unit.)

An old circular saw in usable condition makes a far better cut.

It does look like quite a bit of work, but for anyone who uses sheet goods in a dedicated shop on a regular basis, this is definitely worth the effort.

Yours seems far superior in function to any I have used, although that experience is admittedly limited.

Very well done, Loren… Thank you for sharing it with us. It’s fantastic!

-- Support woodworking hand models. Buy me a sawstop.

View devann's profile


2260 posts in 3937 days

#7 posted 07-07-2013 05:16 PM

Thank you for the list Loren.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

View Loren's profile


11275 posts in 4893 days

#8 posted 07-07-2013 05:44 PM

I made a bunch of notes while I was building the rig here:

View Loren's profile


11275 posts in 4893 days

#9 posted 07-07-2013 05:54 PM

The issue generally with the Safety-speed-cut style panel saws
is that there is no floating shoe. There are routers that
float in these panel saw rigs, but the saw heads don’t.

The other issue, which is more minor, is that to rip you
have to push the stock from one side to the other and
this takes up more space. Because the top part
being ripped off presses down on the blade during
a rip, the performance of my rig in ripping is not
ideal – I’ve been thinking about solutions, some way
of holding the off-cut in position until the cut is done –
for now with straight-lining long pieces of ply for edgebanding
I’m using a track saw because it’s more reliable.

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