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shop made vertical panel saw

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Project by wdh posted 1338 days ago 9277 views 18 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So fellow Lumberjocks, this is my panel saw. I had a hard time lifting 4×8 sheet goods up to my TS and sometimes a hard time getting it through the saw without some sort of problem like jamming so I always needed an assistant. No more. You may recognize the basic design from other posts. Being on a small budget, I walked through HD looking for material that didn’t cost a lot. I saw on other VPS’s 4 U bolts with some sort of washer for bearings to mount the saddle to the pipes yet let it slide easilly.I looked for something to use like that but couldn’t find anything suitable.
One day at work I was pondering what I could use when I noticed the a/c compressor that went bad and was all apart on my bench had 7 cylinders about 2” by 1 1/4 diam.I cut one out with a hack saw and took it to HD to test fit it on the 1 1/4 fence pipe (top of fence). It slid on perfect. I bought the 2 staightest pieces (their 10’ 3”long). I cut more cylinders useing my chopsaw, bolted them to some 1”x1” alum angle then added a piec of 1/2” plywood for the base.I used fence hardware to secure the guides to the bottom and simple brackets at the top.To compensate for any bow in the guide “beams” I mounted a dial gauge to the saw frame so the needel was on the pipe. Then I turned the pipe around taking note of the position of the bow- to the left or right, I turned the pipe so the bow was up or towards me and drilled a hole in the bottom mount cup and secured it with a screw. Did this for both guide “beams”. At first I bought the straightest piece of 2×4 i could find for the sheet material to rest on, but I found even the slightest bow or inperfection made it impossible to adjust it so the cuts were square. I took the 2×4 out and put in a piece of 4” MDF trim board instead.This workde good after a minor adjustment- which is doneat the top brackets. Later I extended the frame on both sides and made the saw base so the saw could be mounted sideways. Now I can cut a 4×8 sheet lenghtways by pushing it through. I plan on adding dust control to it and upgrading the counter balance.It will make things easier I’m sure.

-- Wayne,Saint John,NB





15 comments so far

View gul's profile

gul

398 posts in 1564 days


#1 posted 1338 days ago

It’s wonderful. Too big a project for me.Great work.

View wdh's profile

wdh

55 posts in 2241 days


#2 posted 1338 days ago

I should mention that the guide beams have to be lubricated for the saddle to slide well.This is no big deal but you know how sawdust sticks to grease but I don’t put much on it, and the sawdust wipes off easily.

-- Wayne,Saint John,NB

View Ken90712's profile

Ken90712

14821 posts in 1790 days


#3 posted 1338 days ago

Very cool, should be very useful.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View wdh's profile

wdh

55 posts in 2241 days


#4 posted 1338 days ago

Thanks,Ken90712, Gul it wasnt that big of a project timewise but does take up a lot of room which was ok for me. I now have to come up with a way to lift the sheet goods up onto it. I have to lift them the widthof the 2×10 base plus the 4” MDF straight edge.Doesn’t sound like much but I’m not supposed to lift any more than 10kg due to torn/damaged dhest muscles. I’m thinking maybe I could use the 12volt winch I bought and never used or making one of those sheet goods handling carts I saw on LJ. It has a top that tilts. I have to look for it again to see if that would do the trick.So far I have been lifting one end onto a stack of 2×4’s then lifting the other end up onto the panel saw.Anybody have better ideas?

-- Wayne,Saint John,NB

View Jamie Speirs's profile (online now)

Jamie Speirs

4094 posts in 1458 days


#5 posted 1338 days ago

Wayne, that is neat.
I’ve a design that I’m playing with to move boards onto my wall mounted panel saw.
It is a trolley with two forks and a lever to raise the board.
If my reckoning is correct, the lever would reduce the weight need to lift the board to under 10kg’s
I wanted to use it when I cant get some one to lift a board for me.
Jamie

This is a picture of my saw, I think we would be looking at the same idea.

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View MayflowerDescendant's profile

MayflowerDescendant

413 posts in 1388 days


#6 posted 1338 days ago

Great job! Anything that reduces the physical effort (and chance of injury) and affords us more pleasurable / relaxing time in the shop, is a good thing! Thanks for sharing.

-- Glen - Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

View woody57's profile

woody57

645 posts in 2028 days


#7 posted 1338 days ago

great job and without spending a lot
try some spray silicone on the rails
I use all the time on my table saw and planer.
It is not greasy at all but make everything slick.
I got it at my local hardware store.

-- Emmett, from Georgia

View dfdye's profile

dfdye

372 posts in 1638 days


#8 posted 1338 days ago

That saw is awesome! I love building things on the cheap when they will serve their purpose. I don’t have too much of an issue using a straight edge and sawhorses to break down sheet goods, but this is DEFINITELY a winner if I ever need a panel saw.

As for moving sheet goods around the shop, I use a $10 movers’ dolly I picked up at HF and put the edge of the sheet on the carpeted boards of the dolly. This does a great job of protecting the edge of the veneer of plywood, and it makes things a breeze to wheel into position. You do still have to lift the entire weight of the sheet onto the dolly, but the height of the dolly should be pretty close to where you need the sheet to slide it into the saw.

I have absolutely no clue if this will actually work for your purposes, but if you have a moving dolly (or want to plunk down $10 to experiment) it seems worth a shot! Good luck!

-- David from Indiana --

View Jeremy Greiner's profile

Jeremy Greiner

568 posts in 1373 days


#9 posted 1337 days ago

I wish I had the space on a wall for this, this is amazing!

-- Easy to use end grain cutting board designer: http://www.1024studios.com/cuttingboard.html

View docholladay's profile

docholladay

1286 posts in 1660 days


#10 posted 1337 days ago

I’m with Jeremy. One day, I dream of a shop with enough room for one of these. I really get tired of cutting plywood freehand with my circ saw out in the driveway to get it down to manageable size. I like your design. Very effective.

Doc

-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View wdh's profile

wdh

55 posts in 2241 days


#11 posted 1336 days ago

Thanks for the complements!

-- Wayne,Saint John,NB

View Hacksaw's profile

Hacksaw

178 posts in 1978 days


#12 posted 1335 days ago

I don’t use sketchup so I’ll have to describe the “roller skate” we used to move around big glass panels . Take a 2×4 about 3’ long now mark the center (18”) from there taper from the edge (3 1/2”) to the end (1”) at the center mark drill a hole 3/4” up from the bottom install a 2 1/2” wheel on each side with a bolt running through the hole as an axle. If you want you can gut a groove in the top of the board to make it impossible for the sheet to fall out. If that doesn’t give enough lift use a longer 2x and make it a 2×6 instead of a 2×4

-- Nothing's impossible...it just gets expensive

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

15431 posts in 1468 days


#13 posted 1335 days ago

Now that’s what I call all right. Good work. I wish I had room for one of ‘em.

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View David's profile

David

176 posts in 2316 days


#14 posted 1335 days ago

A couple of years ago; I saw (no pun intended) a home built panel saw that had rails top and bottom so the saw could move L & R as well as a track for the saw to move up & down. The tracks were made from electrical conduit and the rollers from small bearings and it worked like a typical gantry machine. To rip a sheet the long way, the saw was rolled R to L and to cross cut; it could move down. Of course the saw had to rotate for each operation. The article was published in Woodsmith so I wouldn’t want to violate any copy rights but here’s the article and it would fit if you have a limited wall space. Woodsmith Panel Saw

-- Islandwoodworker@Gmail.com

View WistysWoodWorkingWonders's profile

WistysWoodWorkingWonders

11908 posts in 1758 days


#15 posted 1302 days ago

nice work, looks great and functional and best of all, takes up only a small amount of space!

-- New Project = New Tool... it's just the way it is, don't fight it... :)

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