Minature Table Saw Gets The Teeny Jobs Done

Table saws are highly useful tools, but tend to take up a lot of space. They’re usually designed to handle the bigger jobs in a workshop. It doesn’t have to be that way, however, as [KJDOT] demonstrates with a miniature table saw.

It’s a saw that relies on a simple build. The frame is made of plywood, and can be built with just a drill and a hand saw. A brushed motor is used to run the saw, using an off-the-shelf PWM controller and a 24V power supply. A handful of bearings and standard brackets are then used to put it all together, and there’s even a handy adjustable fence to boot. With a 60mm blade fitted, the saw is ready to go.

It’s a build that would be great for anyone regularly working with wood or plastics on the smaller scale. If you like building dollhouses, this could be the tool for you. You might also find the table nibbler to be an enticing proposition. Video after the break.

36 thoughts on “Minature Table Saw Gets The Teeny Jobs Done

  1. Sourcing those parts locally anywhere else than in east Asia is mighty difficult and costs as much as a commercial table saw… made in China.

    Of course you can order everything from Aliexpress or Banggood etc. but if you don’t want to wait a month and throw good money (and jobs) out of the country by importing, you’re up the creek without a paddle. What can I use that isn’t 10,000 miles away and abusing the postal union to sell dollar trinkets to make a cent?

    1. In other words, it would be more interesting to see how to make a table saw out of something like standard 806 bearings and brass/aluminum tube and a 555 for PWM controller.

      Otherwise it’s just “buy these particular parts, assemble: a table saw”. You don’t go to IKEA, buy a bunch of flat pack furniture, assemble it, and then call it a “hack”.

      You call it a “life hack”.

        1. It would be if the holes were pre-drilled. Otherwise, the guy literally gives you a shopping list on Banggood to say “buy this”, so you can buy all these particular parts and put them together.

          Is this a hack, or a subtle advertisement for Korean and Chinese online shops?

      1. Do you know where to buy American-made 608 bearings? I’ve spent hours (if not days) scouring the internet, but the only ones that I could find are horrendously expensive. (They’re marketed for high-end skateboards.) I don’t intend to be snarky; I genuinely want to know if you have a better option.

        1. That is actually where I got mine at first (I used to skate way, WAY back, and sometimes being a packrat comes in handy). You could probably get a bunch of cheap, beaten up skateboards and harvest them, or do the world a favor and take them out of fidget spinners, but really, AliExpress is probably the best option.

          I say this having tried the previous two methods (used skateboard bearings are, perhaps unsurprisingly, not always in great condition, and it takes a lot of fidget spinners for a decent number of bearings)

        2. The point isn’t so much to have “American made”, but to have something you can actually buy at your local hardware store. The unfortunate reality is that the bearings are made in outsourced factories in China, but at least they’ve had to pay the shipping fair and square to import it.

          1. Also, for the point of bearings in particular, a real proper hack would have been making the bearings yourself as well. Cast your own babbits made out of plumbing solder.

            In fact, I bet you the whole thing could be literally made out of scrap without necessarily buying anything, including the motor and the cutting wheel – though I’ll give you a motor and some basic electronics and other generic parts that are available anywhere.

        3. Looks cool! I’d love to have one, although I’d find all sorts of excuses to never use it, because table saws are scary!

          I’ll just be over here cutting a crooked like with my oscillating tool, and filling the gaps with hot glue and then papering and urethaning over the whole project.

      2. When I go to IKEA, buy a bunch of flat pack furniture, and assemble it, i don’t call it a “hack” OR a “life-hack”; I call it getting new furniture.

        I *do* have 4 LACK end-tables on the way from them, ready to be converted into a 3D-printer enclosure (along with some plexiglass sheets, casters, some old high-SP PC fans, various air-filtration layers, some LED strips and a variety of 3D-printed parts).

        That’s more of a life-hack in my book, using everyday items for new, marginally creative purposes smarter people came up with for you to copy, although really, it’s just me being too lazy to cut and weld together a multi-level enclosure out of angle-iron (in my defense, I’m also really pretty sick with a chronic pulmonary illness, and my doctors looked about ready to slap me when I mentioned welding, respirator or no).

        1. Would you consider submitting your projects to HaD when they’re done? I’ve been considering getting a CNC router for some projects but I don’t have a lot of space, if I could have one inside a coffee table it would be fantastic!

      3. Dear Luke,
        I find your comment not fair. This is a project build from the ground up. Sure it uses parts you can buy somewhere, but isn’t that the case for many other project too? Unless you consider a hack or a project only “hacker worthy” when it’s made from bare sand, living trees and and iron oxide?

        Seriously, the only reason why this looks simple is because it’s clearly shown how it was done. If the person of this project made an obsuce video showing only the end result, I’m sure you would think different about this.

        I found this an interesting project, also slightly scary because of the sharp spinning blade (less sharp after curtting the PCB material).

        1. Yes, it’s a project, but not a hack.

          Consider, if you buy one of those old Radioshack kits with specific parts and instructions, assemble it, and put it in a shoebox – is it a hack? No, you’ve just assembled a kit. That’s not hacking. A hack needs an element of creative and/or novel problem solving in the absence of a ready solution that one simply buys.

          This excludes parts that are produced as a part of a meccano-like construction system, such as buying shafts and pulleys, gears and belts, that are meant to go together to make exactly the kind of systems that is shown in the video: the solution is already given, you’re just implementing it. That is just like building shelves out of commercial modular units. Your implementation may be unique, but it’s not creative or novel, and you aren’t doing anything those parts aren’t meant to do.

          The ONLY hack-worthy aspect of the whole video is the drilling and threading of the shaft coupler to attach the saw blade.

          1. Now, if you were one of the first people to ever construct a miniature table saw out of ready-made parts, that could be a hack because it’s a novel way of using the parts, but since the product already exists on the market and so many have done it before, it’s just a trivial craft project.

            Like making candle trays by dipping coffee filters in gypsum. The first person to do it was being creative – hacking – the rest just copied the idea off of make magazine.

    2. Probably typed on a old usa made ibm model m connected to a usa made ibm at?

      Dont blame the chinese for being the next generation in a long line of underpaid people like the korean taiwan and japanese people before them. And the underpaid american people before that. Greed is universal distributed throughout the world.

      1. Thank you for this very true sentence.
        (in the 80s we used to be afraid of the japanese industry, now it is the chinese where we shall be officially be afraid of. but… industry is already fleeing china for vietnam, thailand, and parts of africa, and it is not western industry alone, but the chinese one also).
        and now? “kill the rich, they have our money?” “kill the poor, they take our jobs?” which way do you want to go?

      2. I don’t.

        I blame the people who import the stuff despite knowing how detrimental it is to their own economy, and what kind of abuse is involved in making and shipping it.

        Even if stuff back home cost more, the money comes back around. Stuff abroad costs less, but you lose the money. More precisely, you end up in debt with the other country who now has your money, who is expecting to get something in return for the money – and they aren’t interested in buying your products, instead they want (geo) political influence.

    3. You use motors from discarded printers and scanners and battery vacuum cleaners. Same place to get bearings and high quality steel rods of 8 and 10mm, PSU, etc.

      (I have one of the Banggood tiny table saws. Pretty much worthless, even on basswood. Maybe some different blades than it ships with will make it work. The project here cuts FR4 way better. I have not looked at ways to beef it up yet.)

    1. That little sucker works great, and it goes on sale fairly often; I think I paid ~$18 for mine, after tax.

      My favorite thing about it is that the table is completely and easily detachable (since you need to do so to change saw blades), which means, with a little ingenuity, you can hook the table to an angle grinder with a cutoff wheel, and use it as a mini metal table-saw. You could just replace the saw blade with a cutoff wheel too, but since it is meant to cut wood, the lower RPM would probably cause issues.

        1. Are you kidding me?!?! Definitely wear gloves while using a table saw?!?! The only people that are qualified to wear gloves while using a table saw are the ones that are sick & tired of having fingers… You should try it first and let us all know how it went. I hope you’re ambidextrous or can type with your knuckles.

  2. Nicely made little saw, and a well-produced video. Not much needed to improve it, perhaps some ballraces, a better fence with a wider 90 degree square and a pattern of small holes in the deck directly in front of the saw blade to suck in more of the pcb dust. Great work!

  3. This is a great build! IMO tiny tools are sometimes more convenient than full-size tools. For example, they’re great for people living in dorms or small apartments. Many people (myself included) wouldn’t want a full-size table saw cluttering their small living space, but would have no problem finding room for this build.

  4. Seems like safety might be improved by not having such an unsupported overhang on the saw end of the table. Seems like it could fairly easily get tipped up if one isn’t careful to hold the motor side down. (Either something catch underneath and lift the thing, or a weight tips it to the saw end.)

    A bit more weight might help, or clamping it down when in use, or extending the support under the right side of the platform.

    Might be nice to think about how to add a saw guard to it too.

  5. I made a similar design and just sourced the parts. Not to save money (everything together adds up to the price of a commercial product) but just to get a feel for all the involved aspects like available motors, torque, timer belt ratio’s, needed rpm, etc. Also nice to design a perfect setup for me with guides and sliders. If you set yourself a goal with something seemingly simple, you learn a lot. Great fun (for the same price).

  6. if you want to see a very exact table saw (=saw standing on a table), google for “bridge city” “jointmaker pro”.

    IMHO this saw concept has a lot of potential.
    there is a diy version of it on the internet, unfortunately it is neither simple nor cheap to get hold of the sawblades.

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