If you are an expert woodworker, then you know how convenient a panel saw can be. This tool can be any type of sawing machine that features a sliding table used to cut sheets into sized pieces. The original sliding panel saw was invented in 1906 in Germany by Wilhelm Altendorf. The invention helped to carve a new path for woodworking by making a noticeable difference between the panel saw and other types of tools. Vertical panel saws can help especially if you operate a shop or busy at-home woodworking business. They allow for excellent cut accuracy and one-person operation. They are also space-saving and can help you save both time and money overall.

The Best Uses for a Panel Saw

The vertical panel saw is commonly used in woodworking and carpentry. They are used to cut wood into various pieces and shapes. Some of the most common uses for panel saws include sign making, prop houses for TV shows and movies, custom cabinetry, and to create common household furnishings such as dressers and tables. They can be used to cut precise panels, backdrops and pieces of wood that are all the same thickness. Panel saws can be used to create soft edges and with the right amount of planning, there is very little waste left behind making this tool very cost effective. If you are the type of person who doesn’t want to waste any of your materials, you could benefit from creating your very own panel saw for personal or commercial use.

image via: Widget Works Unlimited

Creating Your Own DIY Panel Saw

There are many woodworkers who choose to create their own customized vertical saw so that they can make it the exact size that they need for their ongoing projects. Making your own panel saw can be a simple task, especially for those who are already trained in woodworking. By following these simple steps, you can easily make your own panel saw for use with various wood working projects. Now you will never have to struggle with cutting down full sheets of plywood in your workshop or pay to have someone else cut it down for you.

To make your own panel saw, you will first need to construct a grid by butting and screwing 1x4s on edge. The ends of the grid should be screwed to the frame and lag screws should be used to mount a 2×4 ledge to the bottom edge of the grid. You will want to drill holes to allow for six rollers. Any type of wheels will do, you can even use old roller skate wheels to complete the job.

Your next step will be to construct the A-frame. These will be folding A-frame legs that are made by gluing and screwing 1x4s to a 2×4 base. The legs should provide support to the grid at around 80 degrees off the ground. Make sure the legs do not overlap when they are folded flat, plus you should extend the feet forward of the rollers to help keep the panel saw stable at all time.

Before you have a chance to mount the legs, you should attach a pair of 2×4 cleats to the frame. Then you will need to attach a filler block to the ledge for additional support. This will help to transfer the weight of the sheet to the legs without putting too much stress on the overall structure. You can use common door hinges to attach the A-frame to the cleats and to the filler block.

Finally, to complete the project you will need to add a pair of cutting guides, one five-footer and one 10-footer. These guides can be made using a 1×4 glued to a ¼-inch thick hardwood piece of plywood. Cut the plywood wider than needed and allow the first cut with your new DIY panel saw to clean up they edge. To use the cutting guides, mark both ends of the cut line on a sheet and clamp one end close to the line. Then line the other end right to the opposing mark. Go back to the first mark and put the edge of the guide on it. Secure the sheet to the grid right below the cut line using a third clamp. This will prevent the sheet from shifting during the cut. Add a clamp above the cutline to prevent the upper piece of plywood from pinching the blade. Then set your saw depth to no more than ¼ inch more than the sheet thickness before you make your cut.

Making your own DIY Panel Saw is a great way to familiarize yourself with how the tool works since you constructed it yourself. You can save yourself some time and money by putting together this essential woodworking tool, and you won’t ever have to leave your work station to have another sheet of plywood cut again.

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