DIY Inspiration: Convert a Circular Saw into a Table Saw

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If you’re like us, you’ve walked through your favorite home improvement center and seen great-looking table saws, thinking, “One of these days there will be room in the budget.”  We’re riding to the rescue as we head into the weekend with a terrific option that dates back 40 years, and is still a cool, viable, out-of-the-box solution today.

We’ve mentioned before in this space the love affair we have with the website Instructables.com, where you can find handy tips, photos, step-by-step tutorials and sometimes, videos for how to take on all kinds of projects.

This one grabbed us for a few reasons.  First, it allows you to convert on the fly; you can use your circular saw as a circular saw when you need to, and when you’re done, it pops right back into place on the table for use as a precision table saw.  Second, there’s the obvious expense factor, being much cheaper to adapt an old circular saw than to guy buy a shiny new table saw.  Third – and this is one that might not occur to you right out of the gate – one person mentioned to us that as his own father was aging, his ability to make straight and precision cuts with a circular saw was dropping off rapidly, and his steadfast refusal to invest in new tools was leading him to do fewer and fewer woodworking projects – a piece like this took care of that problem.

It’s pretty simple to build, and includes a rip fence and a miter gauge – two of the most important features of the table saw you’d buy in a home improvement warehouse. We’re also fans of the guy in the photo, the guy who created the saw in the first place – his name is Phil, and while we can see that he admires the work done by guys like Norm Abrams from This Old House and New Yankee Workshop, he’s not a fan of the way some of these DIY shows use the latest and greatest tools that force viewers to have a fully-stocked wood shop before they can tackle a project.

Great work, Phil.

A Precise Table Saw from an Electric Hand Saw from Instructables.com

(Image by Instructables user Phil B)

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