How to Convert a Portable Circular Saw Into a Table Saw

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Convert a circular saw into a table saw with a specially designed table or one you make yourself, slotted to allow the saw blade and guard to protrude through the top. While a circular saw is not designed to make the precision cuts a table saw is capable of, it can be used to rip boards, make rough cuts and for other light-duty applications.

Things You'll Need

  • Power tool accessory table or a homemade table
  • Circular saw
  • Extension cord with a foot controlled on/off power switch
  • 1 1-inch-by-2-inch board cut to same the length as the table
  • 2 wood clamps
  • Push stick
  • Safety goggles
  • Get a power tool accessory table from one of the suppliers listed in the Resources section, or build your own. The table should have a rectangular slot cut in it 8 inches long and 3/4 inch wide to accommodate the circular saw blade and guard. Make sure any table you use is stable and wide enough to accept the stock you plan to cut.

  • Mount the circular saw on the underside of the table so the saw blade passes through the slot and the saw blade and guard protrude through the upper side of the table. Secure the saw with the brackets supplied on a ready-made table, or use wood screws to secure it to a home-built table. Make sure the screws do not penetrate the upper surface of the table.

  • Measure the width of the finished board you intend to cut. For example, if you want to end up with a board 6 inches wide, measure 6 inches from the blade on the left side of the table as you face the saw from the foot of the table. Make two marks at the 6-inch measuring point; one at the front of the blade and the other at the rear of the blade. These parallel marks will allow you to set your guide board properly.

  • Plug the saw into the extension cord and move the foot-controlled switch into a position where you can turn the saw on and off while cutting the board.

  • Place the 1-inch-by-2-inch guide board in line with the two marks and clamp the board at each end of the table. Start the saw and slide the board you're cutting along the guide board into the blade of the saw. Slowly guide the board through the saw up to the last 12 inches. Use a push stick to finish pushing the board through the saw.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always wear safety goggles when working with power tools.
  • If the saw binds or stalls, step on the power switch and turn it off immediately.
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