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Panel Saw

Panel Saw


I studied these plans while coming up with my own version.

Panel saw article by Ron Brown 8 5 2023

Panel Saw at Ron Brown's Best


Tackling Big Projects Here is one method I use that has worked for over 50 years.

1. Define the finished project

2. Break it down into pieces

3. Assign a logical sequence to each piece

4. I write it down and keep it on a clipboard.

5. Make a comfortable timetable for finishing each section. There are usually 4 or 5 before we have it completed.

6. When I accomplish this project, I begin the same process for the next one.

Let me give you an example: I’m just a little guy making stuff in my own shop so it doesn’t take much to cause a delay in my operation. I use a lot of HDPE plastic only available in full sheets so I have to break it down to fit my machines and the space I have to store raw inventory.

 My plastic supplier will gladly cut it for me, “IF” they have someone to run the saw (they don’t always), if the saw isn’t broken down (it breaks down frequently), if there isn’t a 200,000-piece cut order in front of me (every spring and fall), etc. That puts me at their mercy unless I want to break out the circular saw and cut it up myself. Depending on the material, a full sheet weighs from 80 to 100 pounds and is sharp and slippery.

 I decided that a specialized panel saw was the solution. But wait! They are expensive and I really don’t have a place to store it and certainly can’t allocate permanent wall space. I’m a clever guy and I know how to use the internet and I build stuff. Step one, research, watch videos, look at plans, etc. Then I designed one the size I needed, for the space I have available, for the material I need to cut, and set a very small budget.


I ordered a pair of 7’ long linear rails on Amazon ($130). I ordered a 7-1/4” Skill saw on Amazon ($60). I bought ten 2X4s at Home Depot. I designed the mechanism for the folding legs that I could cut on my CNC. I decided to use an existing aluminum shelf made from square tubbing that I had on hand from a previous business for the main frame, lucky me. I selected a design for the saw slide that would work for either rip or crosscut and completed the CNC programming. Then I waited. I chewed on the design and reworked it a few times over a few months. When I has some spare time, I worked on the subassemblies and tucked them away.
 When I was ready, I devoted a full day to its final assembly. I got it 95% right on the first try! We made a few adjustments and put it in service. There have been a few times since we finished our panel saw that my cut order lead time was excessive so Chris and I pulled the panel saw out, opened up the legs, and cut our own sheets. Works like a charm. It stores in about 9” between two rows of toolboxes and a freestanding cabinet system. This whole process took 6 to 8 months and progressed a little at a time while I gathered the parts and built the subassemblies. Except, for the actual final construction, it was like a mushroom; you don’t see anything then one day there it was.


 I already know some of you are going to want plans so you can make your own. Sorry, the most I can do is post some photos for you to view as you make your own. We will make a page on our website for your convenience at I will tell you that our out-of-pocket cost came to about $300 in total. Most of that was for the linear rails, the Skill saw, and the 2X4s. Do you know how to eat an elephant? One bite at a time. If you have a large project in mind, be patient and begin the process today. Remember that wherever you go, there you are.

Here is my inspiration for this message. Gen 11:6 NIV The LORD said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Jer 29:11 NASB ‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Luke 1:37 AMP For with God nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfillment. Phil 4:13 AMP I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].

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