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Using a cirdular saw as a table saw

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Forum topic by Shahidan posted 10-28-2015 05:17 AM 911 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Shahidan

28 posts in 981 days


10-28-2015 05:17 AM

Many people say using a circular saw as a table saw by mounting it under a table is dangerous. I just wanted to know what danger ? To me any table saw is dangerous. You have to be careful,that is all. Many of us could not afford a real table saw .


22 replies so far

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ForestGrl

445 posts in 546 days


#1 posted 10-28-2015 06:15 AM

The first thing that comes to mind is that it would be woefully underpowered, which is a danger in itself. Stability could be questionable. Of course there’s no guard (but some, being immortal, don’t use them anyway). No splitter, but that’s not hard to solve. That kind of set-up would be quite limited in the kinds of cuts and range of stock that could be used.

-- My mother said that anyone learning to cook needed a large dog to eat the mistakes. As a sculptor of wood I have always tried to keep a fireplace. (Norman Ridenour)

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Rick M

7905 posts in 1840 days


#2 posted 10-28-2015 06:44 AM

Most woodworkers today never learned properly, never learned about safety, and have made it up as they went along. That’s why they will argue at length how riving knives are a necessity while they stand behind the blade when ripping a board. Most of them believe that pushsticks are always safer than using your hands (they aren’t). They get angry when someone tells them the best safety feature is between their ears and they get really angry when it’s pointed out that 100% of table saw incidents are user error. What they want to believe is that injury is inevitable unless you have all the latest technology, guards, riving knives, flesh detection, etc., because that excuses them from learning how to use their machines safely. What’s dangerous about an upside down circular saw is what’s dangerous about any table saw.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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SuperCubber

867 posts in 1745 days


#3 posted 10-28-2015 09:06 AM



Most woodworkers today never learned properly, never learned about safety, and have made it up as they went along. That s why they will argue at length how riving knives are a necessity while they stand behind the blade when ripping a board. Most of them believe that pushsticks are always safer than using your hands (they aren t). They get angry when someone tells them the best safety feature is between their ears and they get really angry when it s pointed out that 100% of table saw incidents are user error. What they want to believe is that injury is inevitable unless you have all the latest technology, guards, riving knives, flesh detection, etc., because that excuses them from learning how to use their machines safely. What s dangerous about an upside down circular saw is what s dangerous about any table saw.

- Rick M.

Nailed it. I do love a good riving knife though. :)

-- Joe | Spartanburg, SC | "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine

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Tennessee

2410 posts in 1974 days


#4 posted 10-28-2015 11:25 AM

My very first “table saw” was a B&D circular saw mounted upside down in one of my benches. This was a small shop in my Cape Cod home, up in the peak area where I took over one half for a nice woodshop. I used the lower part of the ceiling and rafters to rick up wood. I would have loved to have a table saw, but I was arguing over a used router with my spouse at the time, and money was really tight.

With all that, I knew I was playing with fire with that saw. No riving knife, no way to stop it save for the foot switch I put in, and the blade was always out there, with no guard. The only way to lower it was to get under there and untighten the wingnut to lower the blade, which I rarely did.

As soon as I could afford it, I bought a Ryobi BT3000. Cheap table saw to be sure, but at least it had a lowering device, suitable guards, but no riving knife. It had this crazy sliding table that held the miter, which was actually kind of cool, since the wood didn’t have to slide over the tabletop being pushed by the miter. It rode on the moving table to get cut.

Honestly, I am blessed to have all my fingers and thumbs, after the three years I used that upside down saw.

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

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Quanter50

273 posts in 1756 days


#5 posted 10-28-2015 12:59 PM

My first “table saw” was made by a company named Hitsch. I think I paid $36 for it brand new from a now defunct home improvement store named “Mr. Goodbuys”. Your hand held circular saw mounted under the table. The long bar on front operated the shut-off switch.

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ohtimberwolf

634 posts in 1812 days


#6 posted 10-28-2015 01:43 PM

I have had one. The worst part to me was having no way to lower the blade easily. That made it very limited in its use because I didn’t want to bother doing that. I didn’t keep it or use it very long. It seems to me that kickback would be my biggest concern. larry

-- Just a barn cat, now gone to cat heaven.

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JayT

4772 posts in 1671 days


#7 posted 10-28-2015 01:55 PM

I find it interesting that in Europe and Australia, you can get manufactured units designed for mounting a circular saw into a table unit, but in the US, they are almost impossible to find. You’d think with the European highly regulated focus on safety (sliding table saws, dust collection, etc.) they would be the first to outlaw these types of units if they are that dangerous.

Edit: You can also buy an “extremely dangerous” radial arm saw in Europe. Try to find a good new unit in the US.

100% of table saw incidents are user error.

- Rick M.

Amen

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

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oldnovice

5721 posts in 2828 days


#8 posted 10-28-2015 04:18 PM

JayT, Most woodworkers, like my late uncle in Germany and his sons, had very little room for anything the size of a table saw or could justify the cost of these machines. I doubt that you will find the same percentage of garages in Germany when compared to the U.S. where many hobbyist shops, and probably a few pro shops, are in the garage.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

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BikerDad

284 posts in 3061 days


#9 posted 10-28-2015 08:50 PM


They get angry when someone tells them the best safety feature is between their ears and they get really angry when it s pointed out that 100% of table saw incidents are user error.

- Rick M.


Best safety feature is thinking, but it’s false that 100% of table saw incidents are user error. 99.9% I’d go along with, but not 100%. Freaky deaky scheiss happens. Sawblade hits a chunk of metal embedded by the manufacturer in a piece of MDF and launches a tooth at the user. The variety of non-user caused incidents is legion, even if the ratio of them is very small.

Of course, the “only idiots look to technology to improve safety” types usually get angry whenever somebody points out that the improved technology comes from the safety feature embedded between our ears.

With legions of vastly superior circular saw mounted under a table (or over, in the case of monster industrial machines) options out there, there’s only two good reasons to take a garden variety circular saw and hang it under a sheet of plywood sitting on two 2×4’s spanning a pair of sawhorse. The first reason is “you’re making a post-apocalyptic movie” and it’s part of the story. The second is you’re desperately poor and can’t even afford the $50 that you can get a crappy benchtop saw for off of Craigslist.

Half of human progress is figuring out how to do things that we couldn’t do before. The other half is figuring out how to do those things we already know how to do, only better and/or faster and/or safer and/or cheaper.

-- I'm happier than a tornado in a trailer park! Grace & Peace.

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TheFridge

5764 posts in 946 days


#10 posted 10-28-2015 09:02 PM

It would work. But a good circular saw cost just as much as a used craftsman contractor saw. I’d just get a used contractor saw and take the extensions off if I was that hard up for space.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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Rick M

7905 posts in 1840 days


#11 posted 10-28-2015 10:56 PM



Sawblade hits a chunk of metal embedded by the manufacturer in a piece of MDF and launches a tooth at the user.

- BikerDad

Debris flying back out of the blade is the most common hazard I experience with a saw. Two of the most important rules are don’t stand behind the saw blade and wear your safety glasses.

#8
https://www.tru.ca/hsafety/workinglearningsafely/work/tablesaw.html

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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Shahidan

28 posts in 981 days


#12 posted 10-29-2015 03:22 AM

ForestGirl.

You say circular saws are under- powered but my 7 1/4 inch Skilsaw could cut 2 by 2 very easily. If it is under=powered surely it wouldn’t cut that easily.
But right now I am not so sure of mounting it upside down.Even using it in the normal way I am a little scared.

Locally(Malaysian) manufactured table-saw all have 2 to 4 hp motors.Some have sliding tables but none has blade guard , riving knife or tilting blade. There has been few reports of accident resulting from using such saws. As so many small wood shops are using this type of table-saw nobody thinks it is dangerous.And nobody bothers.

A big locally made table-saw is about ten times cheaper than the one imported from Europe.Not many persons could afford a “real” table-saw . You can’t get a US$300 here.

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TheGermanJoiner

847 posts in 1097 days


#13 posted 10-29-2015 03:26 AM

There’s no safety measure better than common sense. Be careful and you can make it work. Im sure that there are plenty of things you can create without the latest and best equipment. One day on the job my hammer handle broke and a rock worked wonderfully. lol. My point is that work with what you have and keep your brain in your head and you should be fine. With common sense you can die with all 10 fingers

-- Greg - Ferdinand and Son Construction: Do it right the first time. Like us on Facebook

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gfadvm

14940 posts in 2150 days


#14 posted 10-30-2015 12:36 AM

Since no one has mentioned it I will: the main drawback I see is engineering an accurate fence. Fence malagnment is a major cause of kickback. Your circular saw may have power sufficient to cut a pine 2×2 but ripping 2” oak is a whole nuther deal!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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Rick M

7905 posts in 1840 days


#15 posted 10-30-2015 12:53 AM

The fence has been done by several people.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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