workshop

Build a Track Saw

Plunge saws, which are also known as track saws, are cutting devices that come with a track system, this system acts as a guide for projects that require long cuts, using a track saw allows you to perform long and accurate cuts. Using a track saw online can be quite expensive and not accessible to everyone, through this article you can build your own track saw.

Materials

Drill

Tape measure

Router

Combination square

Circular saw

Plywood

Step 1

First you will have to place the circular saw on the edge of the plywood, and then, with the help of a pencil draw a marking on the area where the plate stops. Make sure to carefully mark the same measurements all the way along the plywood, both the ends should have the same measurement. Use an aluminium tubing to make sure that the line that was measured is straight throughout the plywood, you do not have to limit yourself to an aluminium tubing, any rigid long object could be used to do this.

Step 2

With the help of a measuring tape, measure from the outermost part of the bit to the edges of the guide. The bit used for this project is a 5/8 bit, measuring this will give an inch and ⅜ on the measuring tape, keeping this in mind you will have to place the aluminium tubing.

You could place a brace in the middle of the plywood, next to the aluminium tube, this is done to prevent the aluminium tube from moving.

Lower the bit by 1/8 and manoeuvre the router through the line, you will have to pass through the plywood a few more times, and every time you pass through it you will have to lower the track even more, the track should be lowered at around 16th of an inch each time you pass through the plywood. For the final pass you will need to lower the bit just a tiny bit past the track rails.

Step 3

The track saw has two tracks in it, this is for accuracy and stability. You then have to find a second place to install the second track. This line would be the outer edge of the plywood. You will have to repeat the same method again. Clamp a metal tubing as reference to give you a stable line all the way through the plywood, you then have to take multiple pass throughs and with every pass you will have to lower the bit. This process might take you a tedious amount of time, it is advised not to hurry with this process.

The rails should be able to move freely in the racks and if there is any tension, you could use some sandpaper to smooth it out, using a finishing wax will also help with smoothening it.

Step 4

Next, you will need some aluminium flat bars, these can be found locally. You will have to attach this to the base of the saw,  For this you will need to drill some holes into them and then screw them on. Since the head of the screw needs to be flushed you will need to countersink it a bit. Next you will have to attach the rails to the saw, make sure to attach them accurately as it could cause tension if done incorrectly. 

Next you will need to cut the tracks made of the wood, you can use a saw to do this. You can attach a piece of wood at one end of the track. The tracks are almost done, all you have to do is sand out the entire surface. You are now done building a track saw. You can either leave it as it is or decorate it.

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