Brian Sullivan, a gearhead who frequents the Garage Journal Forum, gave me permission to use the photos he posted of the construction a pole barn at his home in Ohio. The barn itself is nice enough but what grabbed my attention was the table saw used by the Amish carpenters who built it.
I’m interested in the Amish because I like hacked tools, and Amish carpenters are almost forced to hack by the rules of their communities. It’s either that, or use old-fashioned hand tools—which some of them do.
Electric power tools are usually out because there are rules against being connected to the grid. But in some communities, gas engines are okay, at least for use in power tools or to run compressors that drive pneumatic tools.
We’ve seen gas-powered saws before, standard models adapted for use with gasoline engines. This saw is more home-made, and contains an arbor assembly taken from a standard saw, a mish-mash of hardware store parts, and what appears to be a Honda engine. It’s not a machine for a furniture maker but probably works fine for framing—the Amish equivalent of the cheap 8 1/4-inch portable that gets thrown in the back of the truck with a step ladder and left out in the rain.