Make a kid friendly table saw

How to Make.

I posted a video of our first safe table saw for our primary school aged children to use and it seemed popular. So below are some instructions for building one. Like all these things I don’t usually plan much outside of my head so I don’t have drawn plans I’m afraid. Also I didn’t take many photos of the building process unfortunately. But, the one positive, is that this is a simple build and it really varies based on the size of your drill and the table size you want. There are 2 links at the bottom of the page with links to the two places I saw this idea from first. Both contain instructions for their slightly different builds, both are useful to visit if you are unsure of anything.

The construction time from start to finish on this one is only a few hours. The equipment you will need is:

  • Wood of a decent thickness for the frame. I used 1 inch plywood but you could make a nicer one from solid wood.
  • A chuck tightening drill of some type. Mine was a black and decker and a bit bigger than I would have liked.
  • A double head sheet metal nibbler drill attachment. Like this one … Amazon link
  • A spade bit for a drill to cut the centre hole (about 1.25 inch is fine but can be bigger)
  • Electric screwdriver
  • Various sized screws and metal brackets.
  • Optional mains voltage power switch

First thing is to cut your lengths of wood. Mine is a 2ft square top board with 6 inch lengths around the sides. Cut them nice and straight with either a handsaw or jigsaw.

Once cut these can be easily assembled using some good length screws (depends on your chosen wood thickness). CHECK the length of your drill with the nibbler attached. My drill was longer than the board I had cut for the table top (idiot). So I had to adapt the sides to fit it.

Cutting the hole in the centre is easy using a drill with a spade bit on it. This hole will act as a channel for all the cut pieces of material that are spat out of nibbler, so make sure it is not too small.

(Something like this)

At this point the basic frame is done, the easy part I guess. Next is to add the nibbler attachment to the drill you are using in the build. If I had had a smaller drill to hand I would have used it as the one I used does not fit great within my planned box size (below is not the drill I used). 

The nibbler attachment comes with two identical cutting ends at each side. If used without securing, it will spin around and around. That is not what we want so it is important to secure the ends to prevent rotation. I inserted the nibbler into the cut hole from the underside and made sure the opening to the cutting tool was perfectly level with the table top surface.

Next it is a case of carefully aligning the drill so the nibbler is in the right place. I used a variety of wood off-cuts and metal brackets to align it correctly. Triangles of wood are useful for this as they can be slid into place to get the correct height. This is going to completely depend on the shape and size of your drill.

I then added some pieces of wood over the drill to hold it in place. The larger top panel has a hole cut that had the other end of the nibbler attachment in it to stop it spinning around. These along with the metal brackets were holding the drill well but I was a bit concerned over time how well this would hold up with the kids knocking it about. I decided it needed to be more secure so took a decision to do something a bit silly that worked out great. That was to physically screw into the plastic shell of the drill. Just to warn you that this could break your drill if you puncture a PCB or wire. Fortunately mine was fine (do this at your own risk). The end result was a drill that is locked in extremely tightly and is very unlikely to move.

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Turning the machine over it can now be tested to make sure everything seems correctly aligned. I made some minor adjustments at this point to the nibbler height and position by loosening off a few of the screws on the rear. Once I was 100% happy I screwed it all up again tightly.

At this point your table nibbler is basically finished. If you want to then you can add a simple cap over the top of the nibbler. The only reason for me doing this was to show the direction of the cut with an arrow and also to cap the fast moving shaft that does protrude from the top. It’s not dangerous if left uncovered but I thought I might as well. The STL for the cap is here ‘CLICK HERE‘ if you want to 3D print your own.

 

I hope that is useful. Your process will depend very much on the size and shape of the drill you choose, so this is only a guide to what it might look like.

Good luck if you build your own. Ping me on twitter if you have any questions.

 

Original idea spotted here: https://hackaday.com/2018/09/14/behold-a-diy-kid-friendly-table-saw/

Also: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEZTf5bcqqo

 

Here are my daughters having a play with it.