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Garage Shop Panel Saw

By: Bryan Nelson
A garage shop doesn't leave you with a lot of room for working with large sheets of plywood. Here's a safe way to tackle this problem.

Cutting a sheet of plywood down to size in a cramped workshop is always a challenge. Commercial panel saws can be a substantial investment. Plus, they require dedicated wall space. Seeking a solution, I realized the only space I had available in my garage shop was in front of the overhead door. So any method I came up with for cutting plywood had to be set up and torn down quickly. The answer lies in the four supports you see in the photo above and the drawings on the following slides. They act as a portable “panel saw” for cutting any type of sheet goods. After you’ve made the cuts, the supports can be stacked out of the way neatly in a corner.

Each of the supports locks onto the top strut of the garage door. With the support clamps in place, you can add the cleat at the bottom of each one. They hold the plywood sheet during the cut. Safety Note: If you have an automatic garage door opener, make sure to disable it when setting up and using this system.

You can see how mine works in detail ‘a.’ If the shape of your door’s strut is different, you may need to configure your supports to match. The key is to make sure they lock in place without moving.

Published: April, 12 2018
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