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JSHarris    869

Some may remember that when I burned out my faithful and very old Black and Decker circular saw (which must have been over 20 years old), when finishing off our bamboo flooring, I made a stupid purchasing decision and went down to Screwfix and bought a large Erbauer as a replacement.  My reason for buying the Erbauer (apart from the price) was that it took the same big blades as my mitre saw, and as I had a fair few mitre saw blades I thought there was some logic in having the same size.  The Erbauer in question is this one: http://www.screwfix.com/p/erbauer-erb596cws-2000w-235mm-circular-saw-240v/71604

 

The problem is that it's far to big and heavy to use most of the time, so I went and bought a Makita cordless saw, which is a great bit of kit.  As a consequence, the big Erbauer has just sat in it's box for a couple of years, doing nothing except being moved about from one storage location to another.  One really nice feature about this saw is that the base plate is a bit of 3mm alloy plate, screwed to all the rest of the stuff.  This means that it will be dead easy to just make a new plate that could be set into a saw table, retaining all the angle and depth settings of the original (albeit with the need to bend under the table to get at the handles to move things).

 

Having looked around the web, there are lots of ideas around for making table saws, BUT, there is also what looks to be a safety "war" between US and UK builders of these things.  Most UK sites condemn the US practice of having no riving knife with attached safety guard; most US sites tend to suggest the safety guard and riving knife is a pain and limits flexibility and ease of use.

 

I can't see an easy way to fit either a riving knife or safety guard when I fit this thing under a table.  I can't use the existing guard, as that would mean leaving a very wide blade slot, and that's more dangerous than not having a guard, as stuff can get thrown up around the blade or jam it.

 

So, I'm proposing to go down the US route, and have just the blade coming out of a narrow slot.  I can't see that it's any more dangerous than running a slit saw or flycutter in a milling machine, TBH, and think it just needs to be treated with respect.  I will fit a no-volt switch and big E stop button.

 

So, what's the collective view on how mad an idea this is, and has anyone here done something similar?

Edited by JSHarris

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Alphonsox    237

I've got a commercial version of your proposal - a Triton work centre. At its centre is a 2.3 KW circular saw locked to a mounting plate and mounted upside down in a table. The saw is frankly terrifying in its standalone mode - I don't have the strength or self belief to use it, so it spends its entire life in the saw bench/ work centre while I use a small Bosch saw to wave around.

 

The Triton comes with a demountable riving knife and guard. I don't find them easy to work with so tend to leave them off. I think that as long as you wear serious safety glasses you are unlikely to sustain life changing injuries due to kickback.

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RichS    30

Why not fit a permanent riving knife behind the blade with a guard attached loosely so that it flips up as you push the timber through. I have an Elu flip saw that is at least 20 years + old and that's a similar system. I do sometimes use it without the riving knife and guard in place if just forming grooves etc. but at least it gives the option

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ProDave    660

Can you make a guard that comes down over the blade from above? Not infallible but some protection against stray things contacting the blade

 

you just need something behind the blade (and thinner than the blade) for it to pivot on.

 

Here's a random picture of a proper table saw showing what I mean

 

7225J_P&$prodImageMedium$

 

 

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every table saw i have ever used has had both parts removed as they are just a PITA because they usually mount the guard to the knife so you cant see what you are doing, with the exception of my big wadkin which the guard is on a separate arm that can be swung out the way and remains there, only advice i would give is to make your fence higher than the maximum depth of cut so there is at least something to stop things or you falling on to the blade.

 

table saws look and are just bloody dangerous so treat it with respect (which im sure you would) and you should be fine.

 

 

 

 

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Onoff    730
1 minute ago, ProDave said:

Can you make a guard that comes down over the blade from above? Not infallible but some protection against stray things contacting the blade

 

you just need something behind the blade (and thinner than the blade) for it to pivot on.

 

Here's a random picture of a proper table saw showing what I mean

 

7225J_P&$prodImageMedium$

 

 

 

Just what I was about to say. Like this:

 

20170908_165033.thumb.jpg.b9b416f4265e9195aa938619c277a1d7.jpg

 

 

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Onoff    730

Dangerous, yes as my 9 fingered BiL and mangled, intact 'ish, still sort of looks like a hand FiL would attest to. :(

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TerryE    315

Jeremy, its a personal judgement call, but I bought this  Titan TTB674TAS 254mm Table Saw 230-240V and it has done a lot of heavy duty service in the past two years and saved me many times its purchase price of just over £100.  But at this price, and with the ability to set height, tilt angles and fence positions, I can't see making your own table worthwhile.  Do it as a project if you are running out of things to do, but don't do it to save money.

 

I have made changes to the Titan -- like dumping the riving knife and guard, because I came to agree with the US sites.  It just gets in the way and halves the functions that you can use the saw for. (For example dadoing)  It also means that you can't see your cut so I find I can cut a lot tighter without it,

 

I have made other changes like replacing in the handle on the fence to increase the grip and square framing the whole table on the sides and back so that I can clamp a running fence to wider pieces and cut pieces like sheet materials.  Again any form of guard gets in the way with larger pieces. 

 

I have a couple of rules: (i) I treat the "cone" above the centre plate as "death" and never put my hands inside it whilst the blade is spinning.  I always use push stick if I need to control a work piece within this area, and (ii) I always set the blade depth to no more that a few mm higher than the work piece. (iii) I make sure that I can see the teeth stationary before I move my hands over the table.

 

I also have a couple of roller props -- handy for managing longer cuts.

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joe90    186

On my table saw I too tend to take the knife and guard off, it's a must for ploughing. I also have a chainsaw, gas nailer, etc and all of them need treating with respect otherwise they will bite you. I have a Triton table saw that hand circular saws fit into and found it great for many years.

 

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/TRITON-WORKCENTRE-Mk3-SAW-TABLE-AND-ROUTER-TABLE-/152688201932?hash=item238ced10cc:g:awoAAOSwlc5Zqpir

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JSHarris    869
55 minutes ago, Onoff said:

 

Just what I was about to say. Like this:

 

20170908_165033.thumb.jpg.b9b416f4265e9195aa938619c277a1d7.jpg

 

 

 

 

That I like, as it does away with the need for the riving knife, which although of some use, apart from providing an attachment for a guard, would need to be fixed to the pivot somehow, to allow cuts to be made at an angle.

 

Although I agree with @TerryE, it doesn't makes much sense from a financial viewpoint, I hate waste, and I have this pretty much unused, 2 kW, 235mm circular saw just sat doing nothing.  I'm also part way through building a cyclone dust extractor box for the new workshop, so the current plan is to make a box with a flat top that will do three things.  It will be the dust collector for the workshop (using an old 1800W vacuum cleaner motor that I've been saving for a useful job, with one of these cyclone separators: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Plastic-Cyclone-Powder-Dust-Separation-Collector-Filter-For-Vacuums-Cleaners-/272836140016?hash=item3f864d1bf0:g:DSgAAOSw32lYx4uM and an old plastic bucket with a lid), it will be a small saw table, with two bits of alloy T track set into the top to act as guides for the rip fence, and also as a mount for my mitre saw, which will just bolt down to the same T tracks that are used for the rip fence (with the table saw blade retracted below the table surface).

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TerryE    315
19 minutes ago, Ferdinand said:

the Erbauers are quite rare and do OK on ebay

 

And possibly sold by the bastard who broke into our shed and pinched a load of tools! xDxD

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Alphonsox    237
1 hour ago, JSHarris said:

I'm also part way through building a cyclone dust extractor box for the new workshop, so the current plan is to make a box with a flat top that will do three things.  It will be the dust collector for the workshop (using an old 1800W vacuum cleaner motor that I've been saving for a useful job, with one of these cyclone separators: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Plastic-Cyclone-Powder-Dust-Separation-Collector-Filter-For-Vacuums-Cleaners-/272836140016?hash=item3f864d1bf0:g:DSgAAOSw32lYx4uM and an old plastic bucket with a lid)

 

I'm using an old Dyson upright with the hepa filters removed feeding via a bucket, remarkably efficient at clearing the air.

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Onoff    730
1 hour ago, JSHarris said:

 

 

That I like, as it does away with the need for the riving knife, which although of some use, apart from providing an attachment for a guard, would need to be fixed to the pivot somehow, to allow cuts to be made at an angle.

 

I'll measure the guard in my photo up if you want. It's on a 300mm blade saw btw. It DOES have the riving knife that you can just see that rises and falls with the blade.

Edited by Onoff

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JSHarris    869

My plan is to make the table bigger than the timber box it sits on, with that timber box housing the home made dust extractor (which I'll use as a general purpose workshop vacuum as well).  I've decided to add hinges to the table, so that I can lift it to adjust the saw depth and angle easily, and have some storage space in the box for spare blades, the fence when it's not being used etc.  The fence will be a length of 2" x 3" x 1/4" aluminium angle I happen to have, faced with a bit of 12mm thick acetal sheet that I also happen to have. 

 

To support both the fence and be able to bolt down the mitre saw, when the circular saw isn't being used, I'm going to rout out two parallel grooves in the table, perpendicular to the blade, either side of it and 360mm apart.  Into these grooves I'll screw some T slot extrusion, so I can secure either the fence or the mitre saw (which has fixing holes 360mm apart) to the rails, using T nuts and hand wheel screws.  I'll add a T bar to the end of the fence that runs along the front edge ot the table, so that it stays square.  I reckon that having the fence tightened down right behind the blade should help keep it rigid.

 

Photos will follow once I have it all together.  I tested the old vacuum cleaner with the dust cyclone just now, and it's extremely impressive, more impressive than our old Dyson DC-01, which was forever clogging up and was an evil thing to clean out properly.  I think the secret seems to be that these Chinese cyclone units are longer than the Dyson efforts, and have a properly shaped intake, the promotes a higher velocity swirl.  I'm very impressed for what was a pretty cheap bit of kit.

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TerryE    315

I use an old Wickes Henry-style vac but have a look at the series of videos by this guy on making dust extractors: Matthias Wandel - Building a dust collector blower.

 

And Nick, the fence could be improved and replacing the handle largely did the trick.  I also clamp a second fence on my frame if I am cutting 125mm planks (2×65mm and run through the planer thicknesser).  Elsewise it works fine for me: it is sturdy and right (once I replaced the clamping handle so I could easily tighten it).

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JSHarris    869
45 minutes ago, TerryE said:

I use an old Wickes Henry-style vac but have a look at the series of videos by this guys on making dust extractors: Matthias Wandel - Building a dust collector blower.

 

And Nick, the fence could be improved and replacing the handle largely did the trick.  I also clamp a second fence on my frame if I am cutting 125mm planks (2×65mm and run through the planer thicknesser).  Elsewise it works fine for me: it is sturdy and right (once I replaced the clamping handle so I could easily tighten it).

 

 

Thanks, when digging around for info I had already seen his experiments.  Being someone who rarely throws anything away, when an old vacuum cleaner self-destructed a few years ago (the casing broke beyond repair) I stripped out the motor and centrifugal fan unit (it's an integral unit).  By pure chance, the cyclone unit I've bought has a 50mm bore stub pipe at the top, and the suction connection in the centre of the old vacuum cleaner unit is a tight fit on to a bit of 50mm OD waste pipe that is a tight push fit into the top of the cyclone unit.  There were no mounts on the vacuum cleaner unit, as it was just held in place inside the moulding that broke, but luckily the centrifugal fan casing seems to be made of some sort of glass filled thermosetting plastic, which when roughed up bonds very well with epoxy.

 

So, I've cut a hole in a bit of MDF and glued the fan unit, with a short stub of 50mm waste pipe to it.  This will then be a tight push fit into the suction connection on the cyclone unit, which looks like this: 

59b3c438c6b33_Cycloneseparator.thumb.jpg.1ec7f8435e2105fb69fb236f49436935.jpg

 

The lower end of this will be screwed to a bit of ply that acts as reinforcement to a plastic bucket lid.  The suction pipe (on the right in the above photo) will connect to a length of 50mm bore suction hose fed  that will connect to glued in bit of 50mm waste pipe at the side of the saw box.  The Erbauer saw has an extract connection that's a bit smaller, around 30mm diameter, so there will be another length of flexible hose from there, via an adapter, to another glued in length of 50mm waste poking out the side of the box.  The idea is that I'll make up a push-fit U shaped connector to allow the extract to be connected to the table saw, and another flexible hose with appropriate adapters that can push fit on to connect to the mitre saw extract connection, plus a long length of 50mm flexible hose to use as a workshop vacuum. 

 

By having standard plumbing 50mm push-fit waste connectors it should be easy to connect the unit up to anything else, and I think it's just as easy to plug and unplug push-fit pipes than faff around making proper blast gates to do the switching.  I'm looking to make it a bit lower in height than my bench, and fitting lockable casters to the base of the box, so that I can wheel it under the bench when it's not in use as a saw.  With luck that will give me an incentive to keep the bench clean, by having a vacuum right under it all the time!  Another bit of kit that the box will have is a flat cone "floor sucker", that again can be connected to the vacuum cyclone.  The idea is that this will work as a fixed extract when sweeping up the workshop floor - I should be able to just sweep stuff towards the slot down near the floor and have it get sucked up.

 

As soon as the epoxy has cured I'll take a photo of the vacuum motor unit fitted to the cyclone top.

Edited by JSHarris

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