Despite my small shop, I like to make large projects (such as the cedar-strip canoe shown with me). So to maximize my shop space, I built this inexpensive, makeshift panel saw for breaking down sheet goods to rough size.

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Despite my small shop, I like to make large projects (such as the cedar-strip canoe shown with me). So to maximize my shop space, I built this inexpensive, makeshift panel saw for breaking down sheet goods to rough size.

First, I bolted 2' foldaway stand-offs to the bottoms of 8'-long 2×4 legs, as shown in the drawing. The bottom of the legs have 12 " holes drilled every 8" to hold the removable, doweled support blocks, as shown. At the tops of the legs, and in three wall brackets lag-bolted to the wall studs, I drilled 114 " holes to accommodate a 1" diameter 8'-long iron pipe. After drilling the ends of the pipe for cotter pins, I slid the pipe through the brackets and legs and secured it with the cotter pins.

To use it, I spread the legs to support the outside edges of the workpiece. For crosscuts in full sheets, I stand the sheet on the floor and clamp it to the legs above the cutline to prevent binding. For partial sheets or for rip cuts, I rest the sheet on the support blocks, which I position at a comfortable height before clamping the sheet to the legs.

To position the saw guide, I fasten a clamp about 9" below the cutline on one side and rest the end of my shop-made straightedge saw guide on the clamp while I position and clamp the other end for the cut. Then I go back and position the first end of the guide.
—Bill Anders, Gettysburg, Pa.