How can i make a skill saw in to a table saw

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Forum topic by JaySybrandy posted 02-02-2014 12:50 PM 4919 views 0 times favorited 38 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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78 posts in 2180 days

02-02-2014 12:50 PM

Topic tags/keywords: saw tablesaw

How can i make a skill saw in to a table saw because I want a table saw and im not buying one me and my dad made my router into a router table with a fence ???

38 replies so far

View Danpaddles's profile


576 posts in 2916 days

#1 posted 02-02-2014 01:53 PM

I got by for a long time with a circular saw bolted upside down under a small old kitchen table.

Of course, you will probably be giving up any sort of safety device. Know that going in- fingers don’t grow back, they tell me. But I still have all mine.

Make a switch, using house wiring parts, that you can hit easily if something goes wrong. Think- a switched receptacle. Place it where you can reach it.

I used a pair of 1/2-13 bolts, I found some with a flat head, only about 1/8 thick head. I counter bored the saw top, then sunk the bolts in with epoxy. I drilled corresponding holes in the bottom of the saw. It is important that the saw doesn’t wiggle. After a while, I started to look for a second circular saw, it took a while to bolt up the saw after using it handheld. Wrapped some wire around the trigger to keep the switch ON.

I didn’t have money for any fancy Rockler type aluminum fences, heck, thirty years ago I doubt there were such things, if there were, I did not know where to find them. I used a hunk of angle iron with a bit of 3/4 plywood screwed to it. C-clamps to hold it down to the table. I would measure very carefully with a steel rule, both to the front and the back side of the blade, when I set it. Careful- get it crooked, and you will have a bind.

Cross cuts were free hand, I would draw a line, and carefully just push the board thru. Bet there are a lot of guys cringing about now. But it worked. Well lit work area helps. Looking back, I probably should have tried harder to add a small miter saw to my gear for cross cuts.

Talk to your dad, and look at some craigslist ads, you might be able to find a table saw, and find room for it. That way you can have a real fence. I did some good work on that set up I had, but now that I have a nice saw, I understand that my productivity was poor, partly due to the time it would take me to set up the fence to make a cut safely, with any accuracy. My projects were limited, of course, and 2 inch thick oak was just about beyond me. I can remember clouds of smoke from burning oak. and noise- it was loud, the plywood acts as a big resonator. and a few times, the saw would get crooked and just seize up.

In a day and age of Saw Stops, riving knives and lawyers, some may tell you not to try it. But with some careful thought, and methodical application of intelligence, always thinking about that spinning blade, yes you can do it. It kept me making sawdust when I didn’t have money. But I’d sure start looking for a real table saw pretty soon.

-- Dan V. in Indy

View Nicholas Hall's profile

Nicholas Hall

352 posts in 2710 days

#2 posted 02-02-2014 02:07 PM

Generally speaking, it’s not a good idea. Well designed, well made tablesaws are extremely dangerous, a homemade, duct-taped tablesaw is a time-bomb.

Hand surgery is 10x to 50x the cost of a tablesaw. Find another way to accomplish the cut you imagine you need the tablesaw for. A bandsaw might work. A cutting guide might work.

That’s my 2 cents.

-- Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. -Groucho Marx

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3470 days

#3 posted 02-02-2014 02:12 PM

I would not do it. There are enough used table saws on the market so that you will be able to find one for a reasonable price. In the mean time you can still cut accurately with your circular saw by using a couple of matching saw horses and a good strait edge to guide your saw. It will be safer and will not waste a lot of time.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View camps764's profile


867 posts in 2964 days

#4 posted 02-02-2014 02:23 PM

What everyone else said…

If you look on craigslist you can find table saws fairly cheap…I see craftsman table saws in the $50-$75 range on a daily basis…sometimes even less for the bench top table saws.

I would start saving today, squirrel away about $100 or so and you should be able to get yourself a decent, safer table saw.

-- Steve

View distrbd's profile


2252 posts in 3050 days

#5 posted 02-02-2014 02:33 PM

I must agree it is a wiser to buy a used table saw, ,there was once a product called Hirsh Saw Table with orange legs,MDF top that you could attach a circular saw to it I thought it wasn’t a bad idea in theory but in practice it was an accident waiting to happen,here’s a link to it:

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View patron's profile


13694 posts in 3945 days

#6 posted 02-02-2014 02:37 PM

been there done that too
just make sure the base is solid
(like if you use a piece of ply
on horses)
don’t want the ply sliding on the horses

get the saw parallel to the side of the base
(i just drill thru the base
and use flathead machine screws and some wing nuts and lock washers)
after you are sure it is good
you can add stops around the saw shoe
so it registers right
in case you need to use it regular
and can put it back into the rig right

as dan mentioned you want a decent fence
i made two t-squares for one i made once
(like the kind draftsmen use)
one for ripping
and one for crosscutting
(it will be cut to length by the blade itself)
and give you a line of cut there
stay to the side for sure (from directly behind the blade path)
just in case there is any binding
and a regular light switch works
as mentioned
just keep it up front and handy

don’t get cocky
every cut is critical
especially with un-milled wood
like you might have on a job site

work safe
and do get a decent table saw

welcome to LJ’s
when you get a chance

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

View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1332 posts in 2539 days

#7 posted 02-02-2014 02:53 PM

It’s not worth it. You may think that you’ll be saving money, but it is totally impractical. You could buy a cheap used one for $100. You’ll end up spending $50 to make yourself one and it will take you a solid day and it will likely be dangerous and inaccurate. Take the advice of everyone who has replied and find yourself a cheap table saw.

An safer and cheap alternative for now would be to use clamps and a straightedge as a guide. I built an entire bookshelf in that manner and it worked out ok. My guess is your results would be better with a straightedge guide and a freehand saw than a homemade table saw.

I know it is often frustrating when nobody answers your actual questions. I have been there too. The guys who have commented above have some serious experience and we are just trying to help you make the correct decision.

Good Luck!

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View waho6o9's profile


8812 posts in 3181 days

#8 posted 02-02-2014 03:16 PM

Make a track for your saw and you’ll have your

fingers when you need them. ;)!

View knotscott's profile


8354 posts in 3979 days

#9 posted 02-02-2014 04:14 PM

You can build a work station for a Skil saw, but IMO (and others) it’s not worth the cost or effort….you still end up with a very loud, low powered saw with little upside, and questionable reliability.

Saws like this sell in my area for $50-$100 on a regular basis, and have far better upside potential (full size cast iron contractor saw with a belt drive induction motor).

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View Nicholas Hall's profile

Nicholas Hall

352 posts in 2710 days

#10 posted 02-02-2014 04:16 PM

One thing you need to really think about is the risk of kick-back. If your blade is not perfectly parallel to the the fence, and you don’t have a riving knife, the odds of getting kickback rises exponentially. The chances of you getting the fence/blade alignment perfect is quite low; the chances of you fixing the circular saw in such a way that it cannot possible move a millimeter during a cut is also low. Welcome to kickback city.

Even a circular saw can throw a board back at you with enough force to take your eye or customize your face. Depending on where you’re hand is when this happens you might lose the full use of your right hand permanently in the process.

Table saws are just too cheap to risk serious injury on a juryrigged tool. As is mentioned above, you won’t really save that much money trying to build your own anyway.

-- Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. -Groucho Marx

View bullhead1's profile


228 posts in 2853 days

#11 posted 02-02-2014 05:08 PM

Please don’t do it. I have witnessed a table saw accident where I had to search through a pile of saw dust to find a coworkers finger. This happened on a tuned up $3,000 saw. I don’t think an upside down skill saw under an old table would be any safer. Please show your father these well informed responses!

View distrbd's profile


2252 posts in 3050 days

#12 posted 02-02-2014 08:22 PM

SPAM alert.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View DKV's profile


3940 posts in 3108 days

#13 posted 02-02-2014 08:28 PM

Lordy, lordy, lordy. Sweet baby Jesus and all the saints in heaven. An “accident” in your future it is…

-- This is a Troll Free zone.

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 4189 days

#14 posted 02-02-2014 08:36 PM

There is an Australian company called triton who make the very thing you are looking for they sell all kinds of accessories too. Look them up under triton or triton tools etc Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View ohtimberwolf's profile


961 posts in 2956 days

#15 posted 02-02-2014 10:51 PM

Don’t know where you are but here is just an example in my area. larry

-- Just a barn cat, now gone to cat heaven.

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