DIY Panel SAw

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Forum topic by TheRock posted 03-23-2012 02:42 PM 16042 views 1 time favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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19 posts in 2283 days

03-23-2012 02:42 PM

I need to remodel my wife’s kitchen (or get a new wife, and that is no fun). I have a Ryobi BT 3000 table saw but it just is not large enough to cut a full sheet of plywood. My dad taught Industrial Arts for 38 years and had four boys. When he needed to cut a full sheet of plywood my brothers and I became board holders. I have six daughters. They are worthless in the garage. They simply cannot hold a sheet of plywood with their fingers in their ears because the saw is too loud; hence, my need for a DIY Panel Saw.

I saw this one recently:

Does anyone know anything about this panel saw kit?

-- TheRock

21 replies so far

View mtenterprises's profile


933 posts in 2719 days

#1 posted 03-23-2012 03:05 PM

I don’t know anything about the kit but years ago I built my own pannel saw. This looks like a good product I’d have bought it back then.

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View lizardhead's profile


652 posts in 2868 days

#2 posted 03-23-2012 03:10 PM

Rock: That is so funny, I can see a mental picture of your girls with their fingers in their ears, Yukky, Dad

-- Good, Better, Best--Never let it rest---Always make your Good be Better & your Better Best

View Julian's profile


1348 posts in 2717 days

#3 posted 03-23-2012 03:15 PM

First time I’ve seen this panel saw but it looks like a good product. The only problem I see with panel saws is that they take up a lot of space. I typically cut plywood sheets with a straight edge and circular saw and then take it to the table saw for final cuts. And with an outfeed table I can cut 8 ft long pieces by myself with no problem. Unless you plan on using the panel saw often you might be better off taking your money and investing in a bigger table saw.

-- Julian

View Loren's profile (online now)


10476 posts in 3674 days

#4 posted 03-23-2012 03:40 PM

I recommend vertical saws over large table saws. They are
more reliably accurate due to gravity, though setting them
up to cut square requires some insight. They don’t consume
so much floor space and allow one to forgo elaborate outfeed
setups used when cutting large panels on the table saw.

One of the problems with lower-end panel saws is that they
often lack a shoe that rides on the wood. Thus tearout
happens and you get one “good” side and one “bad” side.
When a third axis is added to allow the saw shoe to plunge
and ride on the work, tear-out is controlled. Some industrial
saws have scoring blades.

Anyway, you won’t get finished edges when crosscutting with
a panel saw like the one in the video. Ripping with the grain
of surface veneers works better. You will however get
squarer crosscuts of full sheets of ply and find ripping full
sheets is made much easier. Cut quality can be improved
by laying masking tape over the cut line prior to cutting.

View dbhost's profile


5726 posts in 3258 days

#5 posted 03-23-2012 03:44 PM

I have the newer version of your saw, a Ryobi BT3100, and even with the wide table kit, I hate cutting full sheets on it. I would rather move the blade through the wood, not the wood through the blade… So I use a cutting guide and circular saw to cut down my sheet goods… With careful measurement, I get clean accurate cuts, without the added risk and hernias of cutting on the TS…

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View bluekingfisher's profile


1250 posts in 3006 days

#6 posted 03-23-2012 03:46 PM

It looks a great bit of kit, but, so it doesn’t cost $3000, so what does it cost?

-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

View joebloe's profile


157 posts in 2321 days

#7 posted 03-23-2012 03:46 PM

I just looked at the web site,looks like a good set up.But you will end up spending about $500.00 total for the set up plus a saw.If you are going to be using it a lot I can see getting it. But if your not I would just use a pair of saw horses.2-3 2/4/8’s,a good straight edge, a couple of C clamps and a circular saw,and keep the $500.00 in your pocket.I have built a lot of cabinets this way.Also works great for the router.

View Tornado's profile


3 posts in 3292 days

#8 posted 03-23-2012 04:45 PM

Have you heard of a company called Safety Speed Manufacturing? They manufacture a home hobbyist model called the PRO2K Vertical Panel Saw that sells for $899. It is all set up for you including the motor and they guarantee an accuracy of 1/32” out of the box. They are also offering free lower extensions for a limited time. Here is a link to their website My neighbor has one of these and uses it all the time and loves it!

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 3901 days

#9 posted 03-23-2012 04:45 PM

Just a suggestion of a completely different option you may not have considered … most large cabinet shops have automated systems for cutting sheet goods. You might find one that would be willing to cut the parts for your cases, and it might be less than the cost of a panel saw.

-- -- --

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 3264 days

#10 posted 03-23-2012 05:03 PM

I’ve got some 1” hardened tubing that I use with some linear bearings for jigs now. The manual on the website includes plans to build the frame. I’ve got a bunch of pine 2X4’s cut and the rails, bearings and 1/2” plastic sheeting for the saw & router base… Looks like a new project. I have a yard barn to build and a panel saw would do the cuts I need to make and keep them straight without buying a sliding miter saw…

-- Hal, Tennessee

View TheRock's profile


19 posts in 2283 days

#11 posted 03-23-2012 06:27 PM

Thanks for all the input. My time is limited enough that I would much prefer to have a panel saw over using a circular saw, saw horses and a straight edge of some kind. I really like the fact that you can swap the saw for the router so quickly. It looks like a really elegant design. It can take me up to 15 min. (or more) to get the datto in my table saw. (It is a real pain because the access is so limited.)

If I get this kit (and I probably will) I will share photos.



-- TheRock

View Vincent Nocito's profile

Vincent Nocito

485 posts in 3391 days

#12 posted 03-23-2012 06:38 PM

Shopnotes volume 4 had a plan for a home built panel saw. You can get the plan these days from Plans Now for $5.95. It was built from plywood, 2×8s and electrical conduit.

View Knothead62's profile


2584 posts in 2988 days

#13 posted 03-23-2012 09:00 PM

TheRock, get you girls some ear protection. I make my grandsons put them on when in the shop.

(or get a new wife, and that is no fun).
I’m thinking about trading my wife for two thirties. :D

View toolie's profile


2134 posts in 2655 days

#14 posted 03-23-2012 09:42 PM

+1 on vincent’s shopnotes comment. only needs as much wall space as you want to allocate for cutting. but i’d skip the traditional panel saw as it needs 16’ of uninterrupted wall space for max efficiency. sell the bt3, buy a real TS, construct a simple outfeed table and make a worbench mobile, using it for an infeed support. i routinely rip 4×8 sheet goods this way alone and never have a problem. if that’s not comfortable for you, get your circular saw, an edge guide and a 4×8 sheet of 2” ridgid insulation. use it to support the sheet goods on the ground so there’s no heavy lifting. cheape and faster than buying plans and materials for making a panel saw.

-- there's a solution to every just have to be willing to find it.

View TheRock's profile


19 posts in 2283 days

#15 posted 03-24-2012 01:45 AM

Knothead 62,

No worries with my daughter’s hearing. They just leave when the power equipment comes on. I do have ear plugs but I would have to get their fingers out of their ears to put the ear plugs in ;)

-- TheRock

showing 1 through 15 of 21 replies

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