The article I selected from the first issue is a project that has seen many versions over the years. For the beginner with limited funds who has a circular portable saw and would like a table saw, this solution is a decent alternative, until you can purchase a dedicated table saw or build a more advanced saw of your own.
When it comes to a table saw, lots of iron, with a accurately machined, large, table surface, is the way to go. But that is just me. With the advent of the web many people have advanced and built wood framed fully adjustable table saws. If you want more than just the basic conversion in this article, you might want to check out Mathias Wandel's site at Woodgears.ca or John Heisz's site at Ibuildit.ca., he is currently building a nice fully adjustable wood framed saw. If you look back in my Popular Mechanics plans posts, there are a few wood table saw versions there also.
So from Workbench #1-1958, here is the article "A Table Saw From Your Portable".
So here is a picture of my table saw. A very long time ago (ha, ha) I started out like many with a similar plan to the Workbench plan above. The table I built was smaller but basically the same. I built alot of decent projects with that make-do table saw. In 83 I purchased a Taiwan import from Busy Bee. It was a knock-off of a low end contractor saw and underpowered. You know the type, with the open web, iron, extension tables. I sold it when I sold the workshop in the Ottawa area, mentioned in another post.
So In 2001 I was building my house and shop on my little piece of heaven up here. I made a trip to Toronto, and on my way home stopped at the Canadian Tire in Barrie on a whim. Sure enough they had Delta's top of the line contractor saw on sale reg. $700 for $625. There was a hole in the fence and rail box, on further inspection I found the back rail was missing. I offered $550, after hemming and hawing and a consultation with the manager they agreed. I brought it home and within 3 days the Delta dealer had shipped me a new back rail, free of charge, can't beat service like that.
Love this saw, big, heavy, accurate table, lots of blade head adjustment, the 1 1/2 HP sealed Delta motor has lots of power. I have never stalled or tripped the overload on it. The huge extruded aluminum front rail and fence have adjustment and T slots for accessories.
I don't ever see a need for another saw, however if a used Uni-Saw or even a General, presented itself at the right price, I probably would grab it, if only to rebuild it to it's former glory.
For dust control I built a hopper and attached it to the bottom saw frame. The hopper is built from 1/4" plywood with triangular strips to strengthen the corners. A 4" dust collection gate was installed at the bottom to accept 4" dust collector hose.
For a better seal I cut a foam cover to fit the back and attached it with double sided tape for vertical cuts. For tilted cuts the foam is easily removed. Under the foam is a 1/4" plywood back cover that is shaped to allow a full 45* tilt. It opens up the back a bit but dust collection is still decent.
In the pictures, the blade guard is removed. Don't run a table saw without a blade guard in place.