View Full Version : Circular Saw into a Table Saw
01-03-2001, 02:10 PM
I have very little space, so I have trying to come up with ideas to conserve it. I have recently purchased a router table top with folding stand from Rockler and it has an optional plate for a jig saw to be used as a scroll saw. I have contacted Rockler about a plate for a circular saw, but they don't make that.
Does anyone have any suggestions on where I can find such an item or ideas on how to maybe make this?
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
01-03-2001, 02:51 PM
Don't do this.
You will make a marginal tool at best.
If space is a consideration then a benchtop saw is in order. Trying to convert a circular saw into a bench tool is a losing proposition.
I don't care for bench saws, everyone should start at the contractors level if possible and serious about woodwork. But if you're fighting a small space a bench top saw is as small as you should go. There are various plans for foldaway tables where you can unfold wings when you need to use the saw and the entire unit stores in very little space.
marshall, I don't disagree with Mark often, and I do agree with him about not trying to build a tablesaw in this manner. But I don't think everyone has to buy a contractor saw to be a happy woodworker. Not knowing your financial situation, my advice would be to buy as good a saw as you can afford. Given, a $100 to $300 benchtop saw isn't as powerful or even as durable as a $400 to $800 contractor saw, but if I had had to wait until I could afford to throw $400 or $500 into a saw plus all the other stuff needed to get started, I may not have ever gotten into woodworking. Start with what you can afford, and move up when you get a little more experience and feel for what kind of tool you need. Heck, I still have my first benchtop saw to use when my primary tablesaw is set up for a specific cut and I don't want to change it, so I don't think that first hundred bucks was wasted at all. By the way, a company that went by the name of Hirsch used to make a folding table to use a circular saw on, or jigsaw or router, with a fence and miter slot. I bought one to use as a second tablesaw when needed(back when I only had the cheap benchtop saw). It was useless, as the sheet metal insert that held the saw sagged and there was a big depression in the table, the fense was as stiff as a peice of tin, and the miter slot had about 1/8" slop in it.
01-03-2001, 11:56 PM
While I understand your point about $. I think that I would not buy a table saw if I could not at least get a contractors saw. I would go for a bandsaw instead. I know a lot of people out there will say that you can't do what you want to do with just a bandsaw. Well if you read Krenov's books you will find him not owning or even wanting a table saw. He takes wood blanks not even 4s stock and cuts it down into workable pieces of wood. Makes his own veneer. The quality of his work is world famous and all built without a table saw.
The Table saw was the first tool I bought, I was just married in my final year of college. We lived in a 2 bedroom mobile home. My new wife and I had one room and my saw had the other. When I needed to build a piece of furnature I would cart the thing out the the front porch and cut up #2 pine into some bookcase or impressive paper weight.
My wife though I was out of my mind at the time but know knows that my tools have added 1000 SQ Ft to our house filled it with furnature, built cribs and toy chest for my grand children. Over the years the only regrets I have is for buying something that was not good quality. It always cost me more money in the long run, but more important, it cost me lots of energy. Lots of wasted time and mateials. Lots of times when I thought I should not be a woodworker becasue my stuff was so poorly made. I had spent sometime in school using good tools and building some nice things. I continued with the idea that maybe it was the tools and not the user. It was both. Now I could use a bad tool and do some good work. It would be hard and I would have to use a lot of hand tools to get good results with a poor power tool, but I could do it. The beginner that does not have the same experience might just quit.
I've been through more saws than I like to admit.I started with a circular saw in a table and approximately 12 table saws later now have 2 unisaws. If it is absolutely the circular saw or nothing, go with the circular saw. My suggestion is to try to get a saw with a cast iron top. Delta has some for under $400. While they may have universal motors and make a lot of noise, they do give a reasonable quality cut. I've found good tools to be addactive. THe more good ones you get, the better ones you want.
Strongly consider a shopsmith or totalshop. It used to be a nice multistation tool to help solve space problems. I think if I was living in an apartment this diehard would have one in a bedroom or livingroom if I was single.
01-04-2001, 06:52 AM
There is a company called ELU that makes a table saw that the top flips over, pull a pin or two and it turns into a mitersaw.
This a powerfull tool. Not a toy. Costs approx $800.00 to $1000.00.