Building a panel saw for the shop will be a great asset that will save you room and money. The idea of a panel saw is to assist you in cutting 4×8′ sheets of plywood into bit size pieces accurately.
Panel Saw Material
Building a panel saw does not have to be expensive when compared to buying a factory panel saw. Most of the construction is built of wood along with some iron hardware for the saw to travel on.
Panel saws can be built to make vertical cuts as well as horizontal cuts.
The framework of a panel saw is usually built of 2x4s or 2x2s depending on how heavy you want it to be.
By running your 2x4s vertical and horizontal using 1/2 lap joints to form a box type grid with about 12″ squares. This will provide ample strength for the structure.
At the 2′ and the 4′ mark, add some support blocks along the framework that can be flipped out to support your material you wish to cut.
To mount the saw, a carriage must be built to move the saw from side to side as well as up and down for cross cuts.
The carriage consists of two pipes running up and down the height of the frame. This will carry the saw carriage vertically for crosscutting.
By mounting the carriage on rollers allowing the carriage to move from side to side for a horizontal cut.
When switching from horizontal cuts to vertical cuts, it is necessary to rotate the saw 1/4 turn as to cut in a different direction. This rotation is usually done by removing the saw from its mount, rotating it 1/4 turn and reinstall into its mount.
Installing A Counter Balance
You may want to install a counterbalance on the rear of the panel saw framework attached to the upper part of the carriage. this will assist you when making vertical cuts.