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Thread: Scary table saw

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Austin, Texas

    Scary table saw

    Walking past a construction site in Hong Kong a couple weeks ago, I saw a skil saw attached to a sheet of plywood, blade up, resting between two saw horses. No apparent fence, so I was horrified by the risk of kick-back even more than the risk of an open blade, and worried about how anyone would get a straight cut with that setup.

    Just as we were passing the opening in the construction fence, somebody walked up to it, reached underneath and turned the saw on, slapped the work piece on the plywood table, and suddenly I saw the secret... the area on the far side of the blade was another sheet of plywood on a track. The workpiece was against a small fence on the "slider" and they had a sliding tablesaw. Why did I pay tens of thousands of dollars for my sliding table saw - that one must have cost under $100 and appeared to work perfectly.

    No I don't have a picture (so maybe it didn't happen?). A snapshot would have just shown a scary blade up skil saw. You needed a movie to see a simple elegant solution, and we didn't have time to wait for another worker to need to use the saw.
    Charlie Plesums, Austin Texas
    (Retired early to become a custom furnituremaker)
    Lots of my free advice at

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    S E Washington State
    I often marvel at how others get buy and still get the job done. By others I mean others in other countries. I belong to an Australian forum, and I an often amazed at the comparatively poor quality tools they have and get buy with. But they still make lots of awesome and beautiful woodwork.
    "We the People ......"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
    Some hardware stores used to sell a steel table that you could put your skilsaw in, and use it as a table saw. In my poorer days, I was often tempted to buy one. I can't remember if it had a fence or mitre gauge.

    The other member of Mensa, but not the NRA

    Everyone is a self-made person.

    "The thing about quotes on the internet is that you cannot confirm their veracity" -Abraham Lincoln

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Independence MO
    I know Hirsh used to sell one, as I picked one up at a sale, NIB for $5. (jig saw was one of the items it would work with) I think I sold it, as I use a guided saw system from overhead instead.
    When your poor, you have to get creative.
    Friend build a pool table with a circular saw and router, and it looked better then most of the store bought I had seen. Tools don't equal skills.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
    I've seen some really scary setups in places like rural Japan, Philippines, South Korea, etc. Some of the tools and adaptations are almost beyond belief, and you wonder how anyone has lived through using them.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Wapakoneta, OH
    Seems like there was a video on the net either showing how to build such a saw (or maybe it was how to use it). It was just a curiosity to me, thinking that folks wouldn't do such a thing. Guess I was wrong.

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