I have a 10" Ace hardware contractor's saw. I paid $99 for it. I have
made a few "improvements" to it over the years, like grinding down the
funky non-standard ridges in the miter gauge tracks, but otherwise it is
a fairly stock saw with a cast aluminum top that for some reason has
stayed reasonably flat. The fence is crap, of course, and the miter
gauge is laughable, so I made a few of my own (90, 45, and 22.5
degrees), hence the grinder work.
I'm starting to finally come down from the Remodeling Project from
Hell---700 new square feet and counting since September---and now that
warm weather is arriving, I am pulling all the old moldy crap out of the
garage and drawing plans for the New Shop, now that we have some
interior storage. My goal is to be able to work indoors without
dragging everything out and setting it up outside on sawhorses.
So. I have a ton of scrap lumber and some sheet stock, including some
laminate. I figure while I'm at it, why not build myself a new table
saw with all the scrap, using my existing saw for parts!
My plan is:
1. replace and/or augment the weenie aluminum top on my saw with
something larger than 18"x24" built from the laminate, probably 4 feet
across and maybe 3 feet deep so I can actually use the thing for plywood
2. build a stable, heavy floor mount for it, maybe with retractable
wheels so I can take it outside when The Mess gets overwhelming in the
3. build a vacuum fitting into the cabinet to keep the dust down
4. design and build a fence that actually works, or failing that go buy
a Bismeyer and make it fit
Am I nuts to go into a project like this? Will I end up with a bunch of
new scrap and a table I can't put back together right, and have to go
buy a regular cheapo table unit anyway? Or should I revel in creative
navel-gazing bliss and marvel at my own rat-like industrious little
handiwork, and further gloat about having kept all that scrap in the
Also, any advice is appreciated on table size, height, other features to
build in while I'm at it, etc.