Try Your Hand at Building Your Own DIY Bench Saw
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If you are fed up with cutting wood and metal using a hack saw or hand saw, why not invest some time in making a simple tool to help you out? If this sounds interesting, then follow this simple guide to making your very own mini-miter saw.
As you can imagine, like any project of this nature, you'll need some tools and materials before you get started.
Materials and gear needed
- Wood glue
- 24v 12,000 RPM DC motor
- Motor mounting bracket
- Table/miter saw parts
- Rectangular hollow aluminum tubing
- 693 zz ball bearings
- Male DC adaptor
- Timing pulleys
- 5/16 inch (8mm) smooth shaft rod
- Linear rail shaft supports
- Micro push button
- Circular saw blade
- Electrical wires, resistors, and soldering gear
- Protractor and pair of compasses
- Soldering kit
- Clear varnish/lacquer
- Screwdriver set
- Various bolts and nuts
Step 1: Make the base and handle
The first step is to cut a small block of wood to 1 and 37/64 inches (4 cm) by 3 and 5/32 inches (8 cm). This piece will form the main mounting point for the handle hinge to the base.
Next cut another piece of wood 1 and 31/32 inches (5 cm) by 11 and 13/16 inches (30 cm). This will be used as the main handle for the miter saw.
Then cut another piece of wood 7 and 7/8 inches (20 cm) by 11 13/16 inches (30 cm) to form the DIY miter saw base.
Take your smaller block and glue it slightly off-center to one end of the wooden base.
Ensure it is perfectly aligned with the base, and then clamp it into place until the glue is fully cured. Once the glue is dry, take two of your linear shaft supports and screw them into place on the smaller block.
Next, take the other two supports and screw them into one end of the length of wood to will form the handle of the DIY miter saw.
Turn the handle over so that the supports are facing downwards, and connect the supports together using a length of steel rod to form a hinge.
Before fully threading the rod through the hinges, be sure to add a spring in the center of the hinge.
Step 2: Complete handle and add motor
Next, remove the handle, and mark out its length on a strip of hollow rectangular tubing. Cut the metal down to size using a hack saw. Clamp the extruded aluminum strip to one side of the handle, and screw it firmly into place.
Rinse and repeat for the second length of metal tubing and attached it to the opposing side of the handle.
Next, mount your DC motor bracket to the handle towards the hinge end. Ensure it is square with the main handle before fully committing to screwing it into place.
Then, take your motor, and mount it to the bracket as needed.
With that complete, take one of the timing belt pulleys and firmly attached it to the axle of the motor.
Step 3: Add the blade mounting axle
Next, take your timing belt and attach it to the pulley.
Pull it tight and mark out the position of the axle for the circular saw disk axle on the handle. Next, take your ball bearings and insert them into the ends of the linear motion bearing.
Squeeze them together using a clamp if needed.
Then, take another length of the rod, mount another timing pulley to it, and thread the rod into the linear motion bearing, as required.
Take the assembly, connect the timing pulley, and mark out the mounting position needed on the reverse side of the handle to the motor. Screw and mount the assembly to the handle as needed.
For best results, add one screw to check the position of the axle relative to the motor. If the timing pulley belt is not tight, adjust and reattach.
Once happy, fully mount the assembly to the handle underside. When complete, add the circular saw blade mounting hub to the exposed end of the rod as needed.
Next, mount the circular saw blade and attach it to the hub. With that complete, take the blade guard and mark out where it needs to be mounted on the handle.
Drill holes through the guard and handle as needed, and mount the guard to the handle.
With the guard in place, remove any protective coverings to your blade, and secure it to its hub.
Step 4: Add the activation button
Next, mark out on the handle where you want the activation button to be situated. Once happy, countersink a hole through the handle to accommodate the button.
With that complete, remove the side metal rod, and drill a hole at 90-degrees to the button hole to feed the button's wiring through.
Drill a matching wiring penetration point into the side metal bar, and feed the button's wiring through the assembly.
Take the exposed wires at the button end of the tube, and feed them through the penetration in the handle. Then solder the wires to the push button, as needed.
Once complete, reattach the side rail to the handle.
Step 5: Wire up the button, motor, and power supply
With that complete, wire up and solder the other end of the push button's wiring to the motor, and the motor to its DC power connector.
Once the button is fully wired, sink it into its hole as needed. Next, take the DC power adaptor and mount it to the hinge end of the handle.
Step 6: Complete the saw handle
With the main electronics completed, take the entire handle assembly and reattach it to the base hinge. As before, do not forget to add the spring to the hinge.
With that complete, test the action of the handle, and adjust where needed. It should move freely but with some resistance thanks to the spring.
Next, pull the handle down and mark out where the blade meets the base. Route out a hole to accommodate the blade so that you can cut through things later.
If you have not already done so., cut a small length of aluminum tubing and attach it to a protractor to make the miter adjustment assembly. With that complete, keep the blade depressed, and mark out where you need the miter adjustment to be placed.
Drill holes and mount the miter adjustment as needed to the base.
The miter adjustment should rotate freely but be able to be secured in place when in use. Reset the miter adjustment so that it is perpendicular to the saw blade and mark a reference point at 90-degrees on the base of the board.
Rinse and repeat for various distances from the blade as needed.
Next, take a wing nut, washer, and bolt, and produce a locking mechanism for the miter adjustment on the base.
Step 7: Stain the base
With that, your DIY miter saw is basically complete. Now you can make it look nice.
Take some wood stain or lacquer and treat the exposed wood on the miter saw. Rub in using a clean rag.
Do the same for the handle.
Once the stain has dried, your DIY miter saw is now ready to be put to work. Perhaps you could use it to make some other interesting woodworking or metalworking projects?
How about a DIY dropbox for your home?