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Homemade Panel Saw ?

Senna's picture

Anybody here make there own panel saw? I was thinking of making my own using ideas from this site:

http://www.crankorgan.com/index.html

Gas pipe for the runners and roller blades bearings.


Edited 1/17/2004 3:33:06 PM ET by ASENNAD

RANGERP75R's picture

(post #96641, reply #1 of 20)

ASENNAD


   No, but I did build a sliding table once from pipe and roller bearing. If I used a lot of sheet goods, I would build a panel saw. Well worth it, IMO..


   Build it! The panels that go through it will come up smaller.


Regards...


sarge..jt


Proud member of the :  "I Rocked With ToolDoc Club" .... :>) 

Proud member of the :  "I Rocked With ToolDoc Club" .... :>) 

oldfred's picture

(post #96641, reply #2 of 20)

Asennad,


The panel saw is one of the things I hope to build - after I build my shop. It would be fun to build one from scratch, but you might check out the kit that Rockler sells for $300.  They also sell the plans.   Check out www.rockler.com


Cheers!


Oldfred

mike4244's picture

(post #96641, reply #4 of 20)

I built a panel saw for less than $100.00, sliding door hardware and 2x4 frame. I used a PC 6" saw boss on a 12x 16" piece of  1/2" MDO with rollers from sliding door hardware. Two 5-0" rails. 2" fixed casters on 8" centers for bottom rail. Put together with Simpson  1 1/2"x 3" angles for easy removal if needed. There are three rails, 6-0" long, bottom rail is L shaped for rigidity. Two vertical 2x4's on ends ,3" wide 1/2" thick diagonal brace on back. Top is 3" out of plumb to keep panels from tipping. Pulley with one gallon plastic jug for counter weight on back, fill with water, sand whatever til saw does not drop on it's own. I also added vertical 2x4 at cut line, this is scored with first cut. You mark sheet , slide to score line. Also prevents chipout in plywood veneers.


I did not make the saw adjustable for rip cuts, though I probably will next time I put it together. I took it apart when done and stored it on a shelf, I do not have enough room to store  the panel saw in my shop permanently.


Took about ten hours to put together. Most of this time was working out kinks. I had some problems at first getting the crosscuts dead square. What I did was to lay a six foot level across rollers and place a torpedo laser square and level on the level and square up . Laser does not have to be leveled, you are squaring from bottom rollers .


If I had to do this over again, it would take 4 hours to make. I made well over 200 crosscuts in oak veneer plywood, every cut right on. If you make yours similar to mine I would use 6"-0" opening sliding door hardware, I used 5"-0" hardware. Longer rails give you more leeway as far as the base dimensions to hold saw.You need two sets of door hardware. Lumber consists of following.


2x4x6'-0"   6 pcs.    two for uprights ,   four for three horizontal rails  ( bottom rail takes two and is L shaped,)


1x4x 6'-0"    two pieces for braces to hold panel saw 3" out of plumb


Scrap 1x3 for diagonal brace to rack.


2" fixed casters for rollers


Pulley, simpson angles and assorted screws.  Not including the saw, I have maybe $70.00 in it.


                mike

oldfred's picture

(post #96641, reply #5 of 20)

Mike,


Your panel saw sounds great.  Any chance of a sketch and/or some pictures?  I'll bet a lot of members would like to see it.  I think I understand your description, but a visual would be a big help.  What is a Simpson angle?


Thanks,


Oldfred

mike4244's picture

(post #96641, reply #13 of 20)

Fred, I will make a sketch later this afternoon. I will try to post it, never tried this before. Simpson angles are found at any Home depot or lumber yard, they are used for lumber connections in construction. They are cheap, don't recall exact price but probably .50 or so each.Next time I put it together i will take a photo for future post if needed.


mike

oldfred's picture

(post #96641, reply #15 of 20)

Mike,


Good luck with your post - I haven't tried posting any pics either.


I may have used Simpson angles and just didn't know they had that name.  I'll check 'em out.


Oldfred

mike4244's picture

(post #96641, reply #16 of 20)

Here goes Fred, if this doesn't post I'll get my daughter inlaw to help me.


I just previewed my attachments, the drawing takes up too much space but if you print it out it is very clear. You may have to print 4 separate pages , i will learn in the future how to shrink the page.I didn't want to try this again tonite , already spent 4 hours getting this far.Also if you drag the frames to the left  the drawing is more legible.


mike


 


Edited 1/19/2004 7:42:01 PM ET by MIKEK4244

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SCFrankland's picture

(post #96641, reply #17 of 20)

Here they are again just a little smaller.

Scott C. Frankland


Scott's WOODWORKING Website

"He who has the most tools may not win the race of life but he will sure make his wife look like a good catch when she goes to move on."

Scott C. Frankland

Scott's WOODWORKING Website

"He who has the most tools may not win the race of life but he will sure make his wife look like a good catch when she goes to move on."

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mike4244's picture

(post #96641, reply #19 of 20)

Thanks Scott, I realized they were too large after I experimented in the Sandbox forum. I'll figure out how to shrink them for future posts.


mike

oldfred's picture

(post #96641, reply #18 of 20)

Thanks, Mike, for drawing it out.  Looks like it would be easy to build and use.  And I appreciate the time you took to share your plans.   I'll go check out the hardware.


Thanks, Scott, for reducing the pics too!


Oldfred

Senna's picture

(post #96641, reply #7 of 20)

Sounds very interesting. As somebody else said - any chance of photos or sketches?

BTW there is a free plan on the 'net but its in DeltaCad format and you would have to download the trial version of Deltacad. I couldn't get it to work in Autocad.

Find it here:

http://www.woodworkersworkshop.com/cadfiles/drawings/panelsaw.zip


Edited 1/19/2004 1:53:49 AM ET by ASENNAD

whoover's picture

(post #96641, reply #3 of 20)

I have a home made one which I made using plans from WoodSmith.  It is great and the cost was right!  I keep it in my garage so I can cut up plywood panels before taking them to my basement shop.


 


I recommend it.


 


Bill

oldfred's picture

(post #96641, reply #6 of 20)

Bill,


I went to WoodSmith website and found one panel saw guide.  Looks like all the cuts are made horizontal with the saw riding on a guide board.  Is that the rig you made?


Thanks,


Oldfred

whoover's picture

(post #96641, reply #8 of 20)

http://www.woodsmithstore.com/panelsawkit.html


This link shows the kit that I have.  It cuts both horizontally and vertically.


 

JMartinsky's picture

(post #96641, reply #9 of 20)

How accurate do you find that panel saw?

John

whoover's picture

(post #96641, reply #10 of 20)

I usually cut the pieces to within an 1/8th or so and then final cut on the table saw.  I have never really pushed it to see what I could achieve on it.

oldfred's picture

(post #96641, reply #11 of 20)

Thanks! 


I went to the site and found your saw this time.  Looks like what I want.


How does the saw rotate  to cut horizontally?


Oldfred

whoover's picture

(post #96641, reply #12 of 20)

Yes, the saw rotates.  Actually, you loosen some hand screws and rotate it from the vertical slot to the horizontal slot.  Clearly, the rotation mechanism is a little slower than the expensive models, but it works fine!


 


Bill

oldfred's picture

(post #96641, reply #14 of 20)

Bill,


The rotation sounds easy enough.  Thanks for the replies


Oldfred

Mackwood's picture

(post #96641, reply #20 of 20)

I put a panel saw together several years ago.  Bought the basic frame with rails and carriage at an auction for $125.00  I built a base for it and put some gurney castors (two lock) under it.  I had to buy a saw and make an adapter plate to fit the carriage.  It worked great just like that for several years.  It developed a problem when the original return spring broke so I trashed the whole spring concept and went with the plastic jug counter-weight.  I put an eye-bolt in the metal lid, filled the jug with sand and suspended it from a nylon rope.  This worked well for about a year and a half.  About two weeks ago, I came in the shop and noticed that the saw carriage was in the down position and I never leave it that way.  Lid had pulled off the plastic jug, sending the carriage crashing down to the stops.  Bent the crap out of the carriage; had to disassemble, straighten and reassemble.  Put plumbers tape straps around the jug and secured to the eye-bolt.  Works fine again.


Morale of the story:  panel saws are great, building one is fun, high tech they ain't or certainly don't have to be! Enjoy, whether you buy one or build one!


Mack

"Close enough for government work=measured with a micrometer, marked with chalk and cut with an axe"