Hi everyone, when I need to cut long pieces of wood or boards, I find my circular saw awkward to keep straight, especially when I have to start leaning across the workpiece to get to the far side. I don't have a proper workbench, just an old Black & Decker workmate stand that I can clamp the pieces to. Now, If I could find way to mount my circular saw under the workbench, so I could feed the work through it, I think that might be a solution. Yes, I could go and buy a table saw, but storage space is at a premium and I'm not sure I would use it enough to justify the cost. Any thoughts would be welcome.
"Any thoughts would be welcome."
All I can offer is my experience. I looked at the Triton table saw in early 2000 when I owned a large 230mm Hitachi circular saw that I thought would be fantastic for it. A friend owned a Triton table saw and he allowed me to try the Hitachi inverted.
In the end the Hitachi was simply never designed to be inverted and I think this goes for a lot of other saws. My friend owned a dedicated Triton saw designed for the table.
I played with something like what you mention above (workmate stand) but in the end, too unstable and dangerous. I eventually purchased a cheap second hand table saw. Never looked back. I would consider an Ozito table saw - for starters, rather than an ad hoc system.
Thanks for the quick feedback Graeme, you are right about the workbench being a touch unstable! Anyway, I have been checking some of the other discussion threads and the Ozito keeps popping up. Apparently it's nothing special, but it is cheap and, for the occasional user like me, does the job adequately. Time for a trip to Bunnies to have a touch and feel. Cheers.
Welcome to the Bunnings Workshop community @VulcanJohn. It's marvellous to have you join us, and many thanks for your question about building a table saw.
I'm going to jump on the safety bandwagon and recommend purchasing a table saw. Table saws scare the hell out of me, even at the best of times. You certainly don't want one mounted on a table not designed for it.
I have the Ozito table saw, and it's not a bad little unit that will, at minimum, allow you to cut straight lines. A significant difference between lower-end models and those above $500 is the ability to lock the rear of the fence. In the cheaper models, only the front locks. I did find on the Ozito that when cutting larger sheets, my cut sometimes wandered off the line slightly, +/- 1mm. This was due to the fence flexing over its length. I made a slight modification to allow a quick-grip clamp to be attached to the end of the fence. The clamp locks the fence at the rear to the table, akin to the more expensive machines. I achieve near-perfect cuts now.
You should find that most table saws' legs can be removed, so if you're only using it once in a while, it might be worth taking them off for ease of storage.
I'll be keen to see what you purchase and hear your thoughts on it.
Hi Mitchell and thanks for your thoughts. The safety aspect has now made me dismiss the plan of mounting a circular saw beneath my Black and Decker workbench. Apart from the lack of stability, the difficulty of getting underneath the table to switch the motor off in an emergency is major worry.
I had a look at a couple of new machines at my local Bunnings today and was disappointed that the fences flexed, they could only be locked at one end and the "T" groove sleds and accessories all rattled around in the slot on the table, thereby negating any hope of staying straight and true across the cut. The Makita is still one I need to have a look at (I can't remember the model but it was $699) as it gets a few good recommendations, but there wasn't a display one set-up for me to check out.
In the interim, I found a Craftright 50" Aluminium Clamp and Cutting Guide, I/N: 5860136, priced at $24.90, which might help with keeping a circular saw cut straight.Have you used one of these?
I'm sure @MitchellMc will get back to you ASAP with his thoughts, but in the meantime you might like to check out this Best Advice article - What table saw do you recommend? It has input from Mitch as well as other experienced Bunnings Workshop members like @Brad and @r23on.
Looking forward to seeing what solution you go with.
Good morning @VulcanJohn
"Have you used one of these?
I don't own the Craftright straight edge - but I played with one in the Bunnings store on a display bench. Sorry - but I wasn't impressed with the lock 'tightness' - especially as my hand electric circular saws are weighty corded machines, so I still prefer a strong straight edge with G-clamps when cutting large boards.
"was disappointed that the fences flexed."
How much flexing did you notice? Miserable weather here so I'm just showing the fence only - it weighs around 20 kg and is held onto the front of the table saw with a large steel bar and held in place with bolts with hand grips. So it's a front only locking fence. But if I apply 'enough' force to the tip - I can flex it around 4 to 5 mm. But the thing is, if that amount of force is applied tangentially whilst pushing wood through the saw - then I'm doing something seriously wrong.
"T" groove sleds and accessories all rattled around in the slot on the table"
Loose mitre gauges on inexpensive table saws will always be a problem, possible solution - an inexpensive compound mitre drop-saw?
My eyes are terrible.
Only now did I notice your Vulcan avatar!
I'm hoping you have an aviation story to share! 😁
Hi John (@VulcanJohn),
I haven't used the Craftright cutting guide. Given that it's a budget-friendly product, I would expect adequate results. I'd encourage you to give it a shot. If you're not happy with how it performs, I can make contact with the store and streamline the returns process for you.
Regarding the Makita table saw, it might be worth asking one of our helpful Tool Shop team members if they could open a box for you to check it out. I'm sure they'd appreciate wanting to check out those features.
Hi again John - @VulcanJohn
"it might be worth asking one of our helpful Tool Shop team members if they could open a box for you to check it out. I'm sure they'd appreciate wanting to check out those features."
As Mitchell suggested above - I for one would be very interested to see how you get on with this and what your thoughts on the Makita are. I too have only seen it boxed up.