my panel saw build

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Forum topic by uptoolateman posted 03-24-2018 04:13 PM 3289 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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68 posts in 1316 days

03-24-2018 04:13 PM

Topic tags/keywords: panel saw tablesaw miter saw

Here are some pics of my panel saw, this is another project that spiraled out of control. I started this around the same time as I started my craftsman table saw upgrades. I had originally intended to purchase a swap saw kit from A2 equipment, but by the time I had saved enough money to buy a kit he had closed up shop. Thus began a several month long design and build, I incorporated some of the portability features of the swap saw in my design and I can tear it down without tools in about 15 minutes. I have wanted a panel saw for years because the whole clamping a piece of wood to use as a straight edge for my circular saw was getting old and I plan on building kitchen cabinets this year. I use this saw almost every weekend for everything from plywood, 2X lumber, green house panels and corrugated plastic roofing. There are a few improvements and revisions I still have to make mostly to do with dust collection. What I have discovered about a panel saw is that I don’t know how I got along without it. The other revelation is that its huge, so for now it lives on my front porch.

I also have a router plate setup for the saw to make it more versatile. There is 28 pounds of counterweight and the carriage moves without effort and does not drift up or down if I let go of it. I have the router weighted to within 1 ounce of the saw plate so that the counterweight is balanced with either. I have the vacuum hose and power cord going over a roller at the top and tethered to the counterweight so they move up and down with the carriage. it takes under a minute to change the saw from cross cut to rip or swap over to the router.

10 replies so far

View Woodknack's profile


13584 posts in 3625 days

#1 posted 03-24-2018 05:00 PM

Sweet panel saw. Clearly a lot of thought and experience went into it.

-- Rick M,

View bonesbr549's profile


1589 posts in 4312 days

#2 posted 03-24-2018 05:55 PM

nice use of 80/20. does it hold tight tolernances?

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View uptoolateman's profile


68 posts in 1316 days

#3 posted 03-24-2018 07:38 PM

It holds reasonable tolerances at this point in time. Ripping cuts and crosscuts are pretty repeatable and square, but I have a couple of improvements to make to the saw plate itself due to intermittent issues with cut edges being at exactly 90 degrees. I am still relying on the saws original blade tilt lock to hold the saw 90 degrees. Its just made up of stamped steel pieces and there is flex in it and if I push the board in too hard at the beginning of the cut the blade can tilt out of square slightly. I am working on a bracket that attaches to the motor end of the saw and has a leveling/lock screw that attaches to the base plate to help insure the blade stays 90 degrees. Also because the saw is on my porch I have noticed seasonal changes (temp/humidity) that affect my rip setting. I can set the ripping scale to be accurate one day and then the next time I use it it might be off 1/32 or so.

View Ripper70's profile


1379 posts in 2154 days

#4 posted 03-24-2018 07:43 PM

Lordy, you are one ambitious dude! I’m still trying to motivate myself to get that 1”x12” cut to length for a closet shelf my wife’s been begging me to install since last summer.

Nice work on that build!

-- "You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away." --Vince Ricardo

View Kelster58's profile


759 posts in 1785 days

#5 posted 03-24-2018 07:49 PM

That is AWESOME…..Wish I had room for one of those!!!

-- K. Stone “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Benjamin Franklin

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68 posts in 1316 days

#6 posted 03-24-2018 07:50 PM

Thanks for the kind words, I kind of get carried away on projects sometimes. I’m sure my wife thinks I need some kind of 12 step program. I’ve been replacing interior trim and doors in my house and this thing has been great for trimming the doors to length, I have cut a few shelves as well.

View uptoolateman's profile


68 posts in 1316 days

#7 posted 03-24-2018 07:55 PM

Ya I wish I had room for one of these as well that’s why its still on my porch :). The basement room I could put this is setup as a paint booth for the door and trim project and the first bay of my garage is full of stuff that needs to go to the recycling center, habitat for humanity or the dump. Also the first bay of garage is going to be my sons smithy for black smithing.

View copythat's profile


173 posts in 1851 days

#8 posted 03-24-2018 07:56 PM

I wish I had a little of your ingenuity! Nice work!

-- Rob

View KTNC's profile


188 posts in 1501 days

#9 posted 03-24-2018 09:19 PM

Way to go uptoolateman! That thing looks nice enough to be in your living room if it wasn’t for the sawdust. Thanks for sharing.

View uptoolateman's profile


68 posts in 1316 days

#10 posted 03-25-2018 12:57 AM

What makes you think it wasn’t in the living room at some point, it was mocked up in the living room while I was building and designing it a various points in time. My wife just bought me the Rockler material mate and its now assembled and sitting in the living room. She doesn’t want me injuring myself moving sheets from the trailer to the panel saw, I think she is dropping clues that I should buy a bunch of plywood soon. Plus she doesn’t like my whining when I throw my back out.

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