Anyone see the "panel saw" in Workbench?


I was, as soon as I got around to it, going to build a panel saw out of some aluminum angle irons. Then I saw this month's Workbench. Maybe a professionally designed one would be better than mine....?
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Being w/o a table saw, I was tempted to try this one as well. But I think it's kind of a convoluted design. Not too crazy about the wood runners, for one - I would ASSume that using extruded aluminum T-slot tracks would be more stable and accurate. I also noted that it won't support a full 8' long sheet of plywood as designed, either.
The other apparent problem I saw was one of operation. Since the saw travels from top to bottom, it's reversed such that operating it from the handle (at least on my DeWalt saw) is either really hard or downright impossible. Not to mention unsafe (?) - other panel saw designs I've seen incorporate some sort of counterweight to keep the saw from dropping free.
It seems to me that if you rotated it 90 degrees (and angled it against the wall), and ran the saw from left to right at a normal height, it would work fine.
At least, these were my first impressions. I'll reread the article tonight to get a better grip.
- Matt
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Matt Stachoni wrote:

Being w/o a T/S is NBD, IF, you have a few other tools.
A 2"x2"x1/8"x96" aluminum angle, a couple of 3" C-Clamps, a router with a bottom bearing, and a Bosch saber saw will get a lot of work done.
Do your layout on the plywood, cut proud with saber saw, clean up with a router.
Built my router table this way, then used the router table to make all the finish moldings.
It can be done.
Lew
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In the countertop biz, 12' long 25.5 " wide slabs of substrate become unwieldy at the best of times...now glue on a 8' L-shape section and it becomes farging nigh impossible.
I henceforth learned to take the tool to the job. 2 x2 x 1/4" aluminum extrusion works very well for me... 'cept I use a Milwaukee circular saw with a nice sharp blade and cut 1/4" long ('over' dimension.). Then I use a 12, 8 or 3 foot 1/4" x 6" wide aluminum guide and, with a 7" square base on a router, I clean up the circular saw cut... BUT!! They're dead-nuts perpendicular.
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On Tue, 22 Nov 2005 01:02:15 GMT, Lew Hodgett

I'm finding this out. So I've been using a low-tech 8' long aluminum straight edge, some clamps and a 120-tooth DeWalt plywood blade in the circular saw.
But I just bought a Bosch 1617 router kit the other day, along with a Freud 1/2" carbide up-spiral carbide bit. The "Tool O' the Week" (next week) is the ubiquitous Bosch jigsaw.
- Matt
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wrote:

Yeh, the saw seemed awkward to me also. Does it say why the saw goes down? I read it in the library, so I can't check.
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Going horizontally means that you have to make sure the top part is clamped good, or the weight of the top piece will cause the saw blade to get pinched between the two pieces. Going vertical (either way) eliminates that problem.
--
Clint
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Yeah, that's a good point, thanks. But I would think that just two clamps on the top edge would eliminate the squeeze on the kerf.
- Matt
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wrote:

another solution for kerf pinch would be to jam a shim into the kerf after starting the cut.

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AAMOF, up until Saturday, I had that copy of Workbench on mine, planning to seriously look at making it. However, upon further inspection, I realized that I don't have any wall space in my shop where I can put this. So, I'm back to using the rolling workbench for my infeed table and the long outfeed table. Only real trick is lifting the ply onto the workbench.
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wrote:

There was this link to a little trick posted some time ago. Basically you buy a set of folding legs for a "banquet table", then attach them to a semi-sacrificial frame of 2x4's. By putting this "see-thru" table on it's side against the sheet of plywood standing on its edge, you can flip the plywood against the table, then leverage the the combo back onto the table legs. Set the circular saw not too deep, and you can saw quite a few sheets.
See <http://www.thewoodshop.20m.com/panel_cutting_table.htm
And thanks to whoever posted this before!
--
Best regards
Han
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... snip

Thanks, that's helpful.
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I just use a 4x8 sheet of 2" styrafoam on the floor, and lay the sheet goods right on top. Good straight edge and you can kneel right on the work piece for long cuts.
Mike M
On Tue, 22 Nov 2005 09:59:24 -0700, Mark & Juanita

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Here is another solution.
http://www.eurekazone.com/products/smarttable.html
Alternate to keeping a 4x8 sheet of 2inch styrofoam around.
Dave Paine.

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Works great but the floor is not a good place for a lot of us.

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Han wrote:

Instead of using 2x4s on the table legs, you may want to add John Carroll's* idea of using less-expensive, better (I think), ready-made, and readily available (often trashed) Frame-and-Panel doors. Just remove the panels and you have a great frame for sawing on top. They're usually $5 or less at thrift stores, free at most dumps, and best of all they have straight-grained wood in the frames--which is not the case with most dimensional lumber.
*John Carroll, Working Alone, p. 15
Regards, Bill Seavey
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Han wrote:

Instead of using 2x4s on the table legs, you may want to add John Carroll's* idea of using less-expensive, better (I think), ready-made, and readily available (often trashed) Frame-and-Panel doors. Just remove the panels and you have a great frame for sawing on top. They're usually $5 or less at thrift stores, free at most dumps, and best of all they have straight-grained wood in the frames--which is not the case with most dimensional lumber.
*John Carroll, Working Alone, p. 15
Regards, H
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For you guys that are looking for a nice straight edge. I bought an extruded aluminum piece roughly 2" x 5"x 9 ft long for $20 from a window place. It was removed out of a building that was being thorn down. It was junk to him so $20 made him jump for my money. It is solid so by placing the saw horses about 4 ft apart the end of the sheets drop down but a c clamp on each end bring it tightly to the straight edge.
Have fun guys Eric
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I built this one: http://www.thewoodshop.20m.com/panel_cutting_table.htm Best twenty dollars and four hours I ever spent. And the four hours includes going out to buy the parts and making the edge guides. It folds up and stores with the sheet goods, it doubles as a work surface, you can clamp anything to it anywhere, and last fall the neighbor borrowed it as a display table for her yard sale, and later her dad used it to prep her new screen door. He said he was going to make his own as soon as he got back to the farm. Half inch ply I just toss on the table. The heavier stuff, I use that tilt/lean/lift method. My back thanks me every time I cut a panel.
I think this is the third time I've posted about this panel cutter but I just like talking about it so much. :-)
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