August 24, 2022
During the earlier stage in my woodworking career, I had only one power tool at that time—my circular saw. So, given my limited tool arsenal and budget to buy a new power tool, I tried to think about ways to convert my circular saw into a workable table saw.
I did manage to convert my circular saw to a table saw, and if you read on, you will learn about the simple steps I’ve followed to turn my circular saw into a table saw.
Steps on How to Convert Your Circular Saw into a Functional Table Saw
Of course, buying a ready-made table saw will be your best option if you are serious about building a woodworking career. But if you are like me at that time, wanting to make the best of what I had, you might as well follow the following simple steps on converting a circular saw into a table saw:
Step 1: Build a Table for Your Circular Saw
You can never convert a circular saw into a table saw if you don’t have a table where you can mount your circular saw. It is easy to make a table for your circular saw. You just need a rectangular table. It should be about three to four-foot deep and eight-to-nine-foot long.
You don’t need to buy new lumber for such a project. You can use your spare lumber for this project. Besides, the table need not be elaborate and fancy.
This improvised table should be durable and stable. Use screws to fasten the different table parts together for a sturdier frame. You can set this improvised table on your sawhorses.
Step 2: Build a Removable Panel
After making your table, you can now focus your effort on creating a removable panel. This removable panel will let the circular saw hang upside down. With this panel, you can flip your circular saw so that its blade faces upward.
In doing so, your circular saw will begin to look like a table saw. It should be removable to allow you to mount and remove the circular saw easily. Once you remove the circular saw from this panel, you can also utilize the makeshift table for different applications.
To build the removable panel, you need to cut out a panel slot from the table right in the middle where you want the circular saw installed. Ensure that the panel sits above two cross beams for maximum support.
Step 3: Create a Flat Edge for Your Fence
The fence needs something to ride on. So, you might need a good wood piece with a flat edge. This flat edge will serve as the platform where the fence wood ride. When making the flat edge, you might or might not consider the table’s orientation.
Look for a wood piece with the right thickness, like a 1/4″ plywood. Then, use wood glue to glue the plywood firmly. You will soon realize that the edge of the plywood is a good fence if the edge of the board is perfectly flat and straight. The fence, of course, must be parallel with the saw blade.
Step 4: Make Table Saw Fence
The fence will serve as the guide for your cuts. It should be adjustable. Nevertheless, it should be firm enough to let you cut consistently. You can use 1×4 lumber for this purpose. You can cancel out deficiencies and errors in your wood by using screws to screw them at 90 degrees to make an L-shaped cross-section. You can predrill holes on your wood. Besides, you should ensure that the wood’s edge is smooth. Hence, you need to counter-bore your holes using a half-inch spade bit.
Now that you have your fence, you can attach the fence to your table. Nevertheless, it is not easy to attach the fence, given that you need to make it adjustable and movable. You cannot screw the fence to the wood piece you’ve attached to the table’s right side.
Screw it to this wood piece at the right angle. Since the first wood piece comes with a slot that runs down the middle, you can opt to screw your fence in at whatever position in relation to the saw blade.
Step 5: Mounting the Circular Saw
At this point, you already have the table, fence, and removable panel. You can now set the circular saw on your panel. Cut a slot in your removable panel where the saw blade will protrude from the table. It will help if you mount the circular saw on the panel’s underside.
How you drill and mount the circular saw will depend on your circular saw type. Drill right through the panel and attach the circular saw using bolts and nuts.
Step 6: Aligning the Blade and the Fence
The fence should be parallel to your saw blade. So, make sure you align the fence to your saw blade. Pull back first the guard, but before doing that, ensure that you unplug the circular saw. Then, position a screw in the fence’s T and align it with the table end.
Then, screw an additional one to get the angle. Before trying your table saw, you need to align the saw blade with the fence. You can do this by adjusting the fence position so that the saw blade’s ends have the same distance to the fence.
Step 7: Cut Something to Test
You can try your new table saw after you squared the fence and the saw blade. But before cutting, set the distance to the depth of the saw blade and the distance to the fence. You can use the plug to turn the saw on and off. Use a woodblock to push the material you would like to cut. Ensure that you have checked the blade’s direction before you begin cutting.
As a caveat, you should ensure your safety when cutting. Put on your safety glasses and avoid loose clothing. Set your foot firmly before cutting. Don’t twist the wood piece you would like to cut.
Is the Worth to Convert Your Circular Saw into a Table Saw?
If you got all the money in the world, you don’t need to convert your circular saw into a table saw because converting is not that easy. Of course, it is a viable option if you can’t buy a table saw and want to cut wood using a table saw. You can follow the abovementioned steps on how to do it.
Converting your circular saw into a table saw will cost you not much if you have all the available scrap lumber out there. If you got the creativity and are a bit talented, you can quickly convert your circular saw into a table saw within a few hours. However, there is a safety elements you need to take into consideration.
In a way, we can say that converting your circular saw into a miter saw is worth it if you would seldom use a table saw. Instead of buying one worth several hundred dollars, you can simply convert your existing circular saw into a table saw.
Nevertheless, having a dedicated table saw in your workshop is better if you’re a professional woodworker. Your circular saw is worth converting if your job won’t require a top-notch table saw to do your daily woodworking tasks.
Sometimes, you need to convert your circular saw into a table saw because you need to cut some wood pieces in a manner a table saw would cut. But experts would not encourage you to convert your circular saw into a table saw, especially if you are a dedicated professional woodworker. Of course, it might be out of your whims and fancies that you want to convert your existing circular saw into a working table saw.
It might also be because you want to show the world that you can do it. But always remember that if you’re going to raise your level of woodworking activities a notch higher, it will be best to have a dedicated table saw that you can use whenever you want to make a cut using a table saw.
Liam is a 37-year-old woodworker and interior designer who loves to make every furniture project an art piece. He is very experienced in furniture design and woodworking project planning.