Author using a circular saw

Author using a circular saw

Space is limited for me. I do not have the luxury of owning a covered area which I can utilize as my workshop for my diy projects.

Table with circular saw overall view

Table with circular saw overall view

One day, I found a foldable banquet table on sale at one of the local supermarkets. With the discounts, it was considered very cheap.

Because I did not have to pay much for it, I had no qualms to modifying it to suit my purposes. My first modification was to use it to support my work with a circular saw.

Circular saw with guide

Circular saw with guide

Many people will tell you that a circular saw will cut very straight. In actual fact, you need a lot of practice in order not to stray from your intended path. Many people also suggested to use a piece of plank to act as a guide. It looked easy in the youtube videos, but for a beginner like me, the saw tend to stray off its path.

Circular saw table with work piece clamped in place

Circular saw table with work piece clamped in place

I often cut short pieces of wood. I needed some sort of clamp to hold the work piece in place.

For circular saw use, I made a side guide out of a piece of 2″ x 1″ wood with a phenolic board bottom panel. I found that the circular saw shoe plate was able to slide more easily on the phenolic board instead of plywood which I used in my early attempt.

Guide for circular saw

Guide for circular saw

The work piece could be clamped to the banquet table by the side guide itself by long studs and nuts, the length of the studs being sufficiently long for thick work pieces. I used wing nuts at the bottom part, so that I did not have to use a wrench at the bottom. For clamping, I just held on to the wing nut by one hand at the bottom and tighten the top hexagon nut by a wrench.

I also found that by using studs instead of bolt, I could very easily clamp any thickness of work piece, and yet did not leave a long protrusion of the threaded rod on the top. I just adjust the height by the position of the bottom wing nut so that most of the protrusions would be at the bottom of the table.

The side guide was step cut at the stud hole area so that the protrusion of the nut and stud would not so high as to interfere with the movement of the circular saw when it is in use.

Saw table folded up - bottom view

Saw table folded up – bottom view

The body of the work piece could be clamped in a similar way using long studs and nuts (hexagon and wing nuts) and a fulcrum piece. I had drilled many holes all along the table top. Usually I could select the best clamping positions. If I could not find a good position, I could just simply drill another hole to take in the stud and clamp.

Table folded up - top view

Table folded up – top view

You might have noticed that I have also drawn out some lines on the table top. Some of the lines indicate the locations of the steel frame of the banquet table and they serve to guide me as to where not to drill the holes, otherwise I could drill at practically any location that I wanted.

The one thing good about a banquet table was that it could be folded up for storage and transportation. When I needed to use it, I would bring it out from inside the house and unfold it. And after finishing a job, I could fold it up and bring it back into the house for safekeeping.

It suited my purpose very well.

I also know that the MDF board of the banquet table would not be able to stand exposure to water very well, especially now that it had so many uncoated open holes, so I had to be vigilant whenever I used it outdoors.