Panel saw

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Forum topic by Brett posted 05-08-2011 05:39 AM 7059 views 1 time favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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16 posts in 1996 days

05-08-2011 05:39 AM

Topic tags/keywords: panel saw aluminum skil

Here is a video of the panel saw I am working on.

This is a panel saw project I have been working on. I am not quite done with it yet. The saw is a worm drive skil saw. The carriage rides on ptfe slides I machined from blocks on my mill. The frame is aluminum tube, still not as light as I thought it would be though! I had use about a 40lb counter weight. Anyone else built one of these? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

-- Brett --- HOLY MOLY!

4 replies so far

View Chipy's profile


374 posts in 2013 days

#1 posted 05-27-2011 01:28 PM

I am jealous!!! Niece job I have all ways wanted to build one of thees but did not have the room.I am not sure what your qustion is? Is it that the saw does not move freely if so I would add more weight until the saw moves freely or is it that your lateral movement is restrictive? Does the saw rotate to cut on both planes because a lot of designs I have seen the saw is mounted on a round disc witch can be rotated.

View Loren's profile


8159 posts in 3068 days

#2 posted 05-27-2011 06:00 PM

If you don’t have a floating shoe that allows the saw base to ride
directly on top of the work, you’ll struggle to make good cuts,
especially in chip-prone material. Even if the saw cuts square,
if the cuts are rough, you’ll have to re-cut the parts on another

Your design is a good starting point and better than many shop-built
saws I’ve seen. You’ll discover what’s working for you and what’s
not when you get some experience using it.

I’ve owned 3 vertical panel saws and am in the process of building a
4th, modeled on a Striebig, which will be the most precise of
them all.

A very good design for an economical panel saw is the PanelKing,
which is no longer made and I thing the inventor’s business was
pretty much wrecked by the emergence of tracksaws. The
PanelKing does do some things better than tracksaws however,
especially repeat and exact parallel ripping of panels. It has a
floating shoe as well. I have an earlier, cruder version of the PanelKing,
which I considered upgrading, but the company closed and
I was not too impressed with the longevity of proprietary parts
used in the mechanism.

Here’s a picture of the PanelKing:

Hopefully you can make out that the saw shoe has a somewhat crude
mechanism that allows you to move the saw carriage out of the way,
put your panel on the table, move the rails to position, lower the shoe
to ride on the panel, and make your first cut. The use of a Festool
plunge saw is not essential but it does make some cuts faster and
the dust collection and variable speed are good features as well.

I do recommend using a saw with a brake or one that stops relatively
fast. This will allow you to work faster when using the saw.

View Bertha's profile


12989 posts in 2113 days

#3 posted 05-27-2011 06:08 PM

To say I’m impressed is an understatement. I’m jealous of your fabrication skills.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View dbhost's profile


5590 posts in 2652 days

#4 posted 05-27-2011 06:50 PM

Shop Notes had plans for a collapsible panel cutting jig in the last issue I have been considering building. I don’t have space for a dedicated panel saw… They are really nice for knocking down sheet goods fast though…

-- My workshop blog can be found at

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