How to convert circular saw to table saw
: Rick: Do you know of any circular saw to table saw plans on the web?
You might check the archives of this board. Several months ago– or maybe more– I described the simple process of mounting a circular saw to the underside of a board so that it could be used for ripping strips.
Basically, you line up your saw on a wide board — could be a 1×10 or a 2×4 foot panel of plywood or hardboard — and mark around the perimeter of the saw’s base for 4 carriage bolts (1/4 inch). On the tip of the table, use a 3/4 inch to 1 inch spade bit and drill a wide hole the diameter of the head of the carriage bolt about 1/8th inch deep. Then, continue the hole through the board with a 1/4 inch drill bit. You might want to use a slightly larger hole, say 5/16ths to allow for some tweeking in alignment later on. Drop in the bolts, set your saw on the bottom of the board between the bolts, and use washers and wingnuts to clamp down the saw.
During this time you have, of course, adjusted the saw so that the depth of cut is zero. that is, the blade is adjusted for the start of a plunge cut. When the saw is firmly attached, start it, and make the plunge cut, lowering the blade through the board the saw is mounted to. You don’t have to go all the way down. You just need the blade protruding an inch or so.
After that you just need to mount this on a couple of sawhorses and clamp it down, or make legs for it — short ones so you can use it on a tabletop, or long ones so it can stand on the floor.
With the power off you can back the saw blade out a fraction to relieve friction and to keep as little of the blade exposed above your work.
You don’t need an adjustable fence if this will just be for ripping strips. Bolt or screw down a straight 1×3 which you set 1/4 inch from the blade. The infeed side of the fence should be as long as the table. the outfeed side should end about 1 inch past the blade. This way the flexible strip which you are cutting can move away from the blade to prevent it from binding.
You should mount a narrow wedge or very small fence at the far end of your table, in line with the outside edge of the blade. This is positioned as an island, in the saw kerf, pushing the strip to one side, but allowing the freshly cut edge of the board you are working on to rub along one edge of this as the strip flexes off to the side.
As you rip your strips, you’ll start by aligning your board with the infeed fence. As you push the board past the saw blade it eventually comes to that “island”, against which it continues to ride as the strip is created.
One of the awkward problems with this setup is turning the saw on and off. For this you really want an external switch. You can make one easily with a 4 inch electrical box, a standard on/off wall switch and a duplex outlet. Get a cover for the box which allows you to mount the outlet and the switch directly to them. Use a short piece of #12 wire to connect one terminal of the switch to the “hot” side of the outlets. You can buy an extension cord for an airconditioner which has 3 #12 gauge wires in it. Knock out one of the “slugs” on the 4 inch electrical box and install a connector which will clamp on flexible wire. (some boxes may already have these) cut the socket end off of your extension cord and feed the cut end through this clamp connector. The green wire on the extension cord goes to the green connector on the outlet. The white wire goes to the connector on the outlet labeled “white” and the final wire, which is probably black or red, goes the remaining contact on the switch. Make sure that there are no lose wires and close up the electrical box.
Mount this switch to the front of your saw so it will be handy to reach, but won’t get in the way. Puttng it under the front edge of the table, and about 2-3 inches back, will keep you from accidentally snagging the switch.
Once the switch in the handle of your saw is locked on you can use the new switch to turn the saw on and off.
Most saws can be locked on with a locking push button, but if yours can’t, then use a nylon cable tie to hold the trigger switch to the handle.
If your “fence” is the same height as the wood you will be ripping, then you can make a rudimentary blade guard from a board secured to the top of the fence. Make this overhang the blade by an inch or two on all sides. Lower the saw, start it, then raise ti so that it cuts into the wood “guard” above the fence, about 1/4 inch. Then back it out 1/8th inch. That is to reduce binding. This guard will also keep your wood flat on the table.
Mounting a router is a similar process, however most routers have bases or base inserts which are already threaded. find the appropriate bolts (they may be metric) in the appropriate lengths, use the router base as a template, mark the hole locations with a pencil and drill slightly oversize holes for the bolts. drill or rout out a hole for the cutter bits to fit through, which is just enough larger than the bit so that there wont be any rubbing, but not so large that your work can fall through it.
Hope this helps