Basically, every woodworker needs a circular saw. It’s not for the fact that they are one of the most useful power tools to own. It’s because of the versatility. You can use them literally anywhere, with or without a table.
That’s right. You don’t have to have a table to use a circular saw. If you don’t have a table saw, this a great alternative tool to have. Now, hold on a minute. Is it really safe to use a circular saw without a table?
The answer: It depends. You will have to somehow support the stock you are cutting. When you are on the Jobsite, you can easily find things to use as a table, or you can get on the ground and start cutting things there.
I’ve seen people use buckets to support the lumber. While it’s not recommended, it’s certainly possible to do so.
Keep in mind that these are powerful saws, so you have to be very careful. Think of a circular saw as a table saw on the hand.
How To Use A Circular Saw Without A Table – The Basics
When it comes to circular saws, you will find two kinds of them. There is the worm drive saw where the motor is on the rear and sticks out a bit. And there is the sidewinder saw where the motor is on the side and also sticks out a little bit.
There are just different design-wise. In terms of functionality, both of these saws are great and powerful. However, I prefer the worm drive circular saw because it’s easier to control and kickback action actually drives the saw back into your hand.
Now, you have to be careful because these saws will have kickbacks, and you will have to hold them steady when you are cutting straight. A Worm drive circular saw are more expensive and also heavier than sidewinder circular saws.
Now, it doesn’t matter what type of circular saw you use; if you want to cut without a table, you will need to make sure whatever you are putting on is clear. Also, you can place something underneath the main material that you can afford to have cut.
Keeping The Depth In Mind
A circular saw cuts a material by extending the blade. The cutting depth depends on how much you extend the saw blade. Whenever you are cutting material, make sure to adjust the depth accordingly, or else the blade will dig in further down and cut whatever is underneath the main stock.
Steps For Using A Circular Saw Without A Table
There are a couple of ways you can use a circular saw without a table. What I’ve found is that if you use a guide, you can make faster and accurate cuts without sacrificing the portability or maneuverability of the saw. With that said, let’s have a look at how you can build a guide.
Things You Will Need:
- A circular saw
- A plywood sheet
- A measuring tape
- A ruler
- A pencil
The easiest part here is to build the guide. So, let’s get onto that.
First, pick a wide board. Make sure it’s wide enough to hold any type of material you want to cut with a circular saw. Now, take three wood pieces of the same length and glue two of them to the board. The length of the wood pieces should be higher than the board.
You can either glue them down or use a nail gun for a tight bond. You can also drill three holes on the pieces and screw them down. What we are looking for is a board that resembles a tray. The pieces of wood that you have attached should look like rails on the side.
Now, take another flat and wide board. It should be smaller than the first board you already attached. Take this new board and place it on the glued pieces. Remember to place it horizontally.
This shorter board should serve as an overhead bridge. Once you have placed it on the rails, you will notice a wide opening underneath it. This is where you will place the main material that you will cut in the future.
The cutting surface should be shorter than the board when placing it on the rails. To make the board straight, use a ruler. Now, screw the board down and make sure it is secured firmly.
It’s time to make the fence. Put the saw on the bridge and make sure the blade is against the bridge and not over it. Except for the blade, the rest of the saw would be on the bridge.
Hold the blade tightly against the bridge and take a pencil to draw a line on the other side of the saw to where the shoe ends. This is a reference line that you will need to follow to attach the fence.
The fence will act as a bar for the saw shoe, and the saw itself would ride on top of it as you cut a piece. Now, all you are left with a wood piece. Take the remaining piece of wood and glue to the point where you drew the line. You can place this wood piece either on the surface or on the side.
Okay, you have now made a guide that will work as a base whenever you are cutting any material. This means you don’t have to have a table around all the time. All you have to do is place the material you want to cut between the rails and drive your circular saw across the rails.
You can also use a jig, but it’s better to use a guide made with boards and wood pieces. Feel free to make improvements as you like to the guide, as it will help you make accurate cuts on different materials. And that’s how to use a circular saw without a table.
This is me Sonnet. I manage a full-time workshop for my clients’ woodworking projects. From a very young age, I’ve been always passionate about DIY projects. And that’s the reason I’m amicable with the woodworking tools. I’m regularly handling a couple of projects like cabinets, furniture, boats, and many more using wood, veneers, and laminates.