Portable Table Saw

Mel Koresh contacted me recently to share an invention he has developed and he thought tiny house builders might be interested in. I am going to let Mel explain it to you.

I’ve been a siding contractor for 11 years here in Michigan (Pro-Tech Siding Contractors) and working as a machinist for 8 years allowed me to come up with this design to help make siding more economical and efficient. The Side Track handles siding with ease and also works great for remodelers and carpenters since it will cut a variety of materials. The shipping box is 24” x 60” x 4” and the Side Track needs only minor assembly.

The Side Track Saw Table by itself measures 2’ x 5’ and it’s a very lightweight portable saw table made of 1” square aluminum tubing with an aluminum extruded saw slide system and has a ½” thick work surface. The Side Track comes with a DeWalt 6 ½” rechargeable saw, battery and charger specifically designed to fit the Side Track, no mounting plate or bolts are required. I also recently redesigned the Side Track to fold in half making it even more portable so it will fit in the trunk or back seat of a car or truck. Current saw tables on the market are 6’ long and weigh 80 lbs. and require an expensive mounting table and use electric saws that need cords and generators. With the Side Track, batteries can be charged using your car or truck cigarette lighter outlet. So you can basically build anything anywhere even with no power!

This saw table will cut most vinyl, aluminum, wood and hardi plank siding material. It will also cut most lumber 1 ½” thick such as 2×4’s up to 2×12’s and decking material. Another unique feature is that the Side Track locks into 18 pre-set roof pitch positions from 4/12 to 12/12. Once you know your roof pitch you just move the saw slide to the appropriate pitch, tighten the knob and you are ready to cut. Moving from straight cuts to angle cuts only takes seconds. You can cut a complete rafter without a framing square. The Side Track will set up on folding saw horses or can be mounted to a DeWalt miter saw stand using the pre-drilled holes for the brackets. And because it weighs less than 40 lbs it can be used up on scaffolding since it doesn’t require extension cords.

The Side Track is patent pending and I’ve use it extensively for 2 years siding all day every day working for 18 area builders on new home construction and cutting a wide variety of materials on remodeling jobs.

I’ve been selling the Side Track on my web site and have had good results and I’m look forward to having the Side Track in area siding supply stores in the near future. To learn more visit Mel’s website www.SideTrackSawTable.com

Here is a customer’s response to Mel’s design:

Its funny you should email today.
This was the first day I’ve used it….installing some hardi plank.
Man what a great track saw!!! Very smooth and supper easy to us.
Not to mention how light this baby is…you nailed the design.
Everyone has asked me about it.
I would highly recommend this side track to anyone in the construction industry.
I will get some pics for you when I get a chance.
The job I’m on now wouldn’t do justice…but I have a renovation coming up
that’s all hardi plank, 2 story’s high plus gables…..I’ll be sure to send you some good shots. It will be around the first of the year before I can get them to you via email.
Thanks again and good luck.
-Jonathon -Sneed Perpetual Builders Inc

Side Track ready to ship

Things to Think About

Di has been responding with a lot of comments on the Tiny House Blog and I thought she had some great ideas of things to think about when looking into downsizing or designing a tiny house. I asked Di to do a guest post and following are her suggestions and ideas.


  • Think of the present and future. Try a one-story building.
  • Adjust the height, width and length of a building. An 8′ ceiling may be sufficient.
  • Measure and rearrange interior items. It’s easy to edit a floor plan in MS Paint.
  • A twin bed is 3′ x 6.25′. A double bed is 4′ x 6.25′.
  • Most under-counter appliances are 2′ x 2′.
  • Some stoves/fridges are more narrow.
  • Some fridges/dishwashers are small enough to fit under a kitchen sink.
  • Rather than a porch/deck, store a portable screenhouse and lawn chair in the trunk of your car.

Photo Credits: ProtoHaus


  • Rather than rely on lighting, provide adequate daylight.
  • Try windows east, west, north and south.
  • For longer-lasting daylight, try skylights.
  • Use windows/skylights where needed, such as over the bathroom, kitchen counter, bed/couch.
  • For spaciousness, try recessed lighting and deep window sills.
  • Rather than drapes, try a small curtain at the top of a window.
  • For curtains, recycle your favorite fabrics – they’re easy to make, clean and change.
  • Mini blinds are more versatile than shades.

Continue reading

The Borderless House

Both Sylvia from the Netherlands and Kai from Germany sent me this cool little movie that is worth taking a few minutes to watch. Kai who has built a tiny Tumbleweed home translates it for us.

I’ve found a short film (actually an Ad from Hornbach Germany, a building supplies store like Home Depot) which is very amusing. Nice plot and pictures, no speaking and some very nice space saving ideas which might be interesting for your readers.

URL is http://www.das-grenzenlose-haus.de
The title means, wordly translated: “the borderless house – you can find a home in every shed”

The Borderless House

Mobile Solar SolMan

This is a post I wrote for the Tumbleweed blog back a year or so, but I felt the information would be good to have here on the Tiny House Blog too.

Adding Solar to your tiny house can be a daunting task if you are not up to date on all the latest technology and how it works together.

A couple of weeks ago we had a “Meeting of the Tiny Minds” and Bill Kastrinos of Tortoise Shell Homes told Jay, Stephen, Michael and I about this great solar solution that was out there.

What if there was a simple solution to this and all you had to do was plug and play? SoleMan a company based in Willits, California has come up with just that kind of solution.

They call their system the “one small, easy to move, all in one integrated unit, ready to point towards the sun at your best location, and deliver up to 1200 watts of AC power, and 12 volts DC power, and even charge all your Ni-Mh smaller batteries.”

This little unit is on heavy duty bicycle wheels so you can have your Tumbleweed home in the shade and easily roll your solar unit where it gets the most sun. Continue reading

Phase II: Wall and Roof Framing

Todd Miller from the Oregon Cottage Company is building another cottage and is sharing with us a series of the steps involved in building a tiny cottage on wheels. You can view Phase I: Subfloor Sandwich System here. Phase II is on wall and roof framing.

I Begin this phase of construction by making sure I have enough hold down hardware to anchor my wall sill plates to the trailer frame. I use anchor bolts not only tie the sill plate to the subfloor system but to also insure that the system is tied to the trailers frame. I use 5/8” Galvanized through bolts with 2”x2”x ¼” thick steel square washers on the sill plates and 5/8” galvanized cut washers with lock nuts on the underside of the trailer. Since the bolts will be penetrating through both sides of ¼” tube steel I make sure I have a sharp bit with a spare sitting in my bit box. I also recommend another option of using HDU or PHD simpson ties in unison with the through bolts. Then I set my 2×4 wall sill plates and nail them down with 3” nails.

Making sure I hit the 2×4 spacers below the ¾” plywood. Then I locate the anchor bolts. I locate my anchor bolts within 12” of each corner and space them no greater than 36” apart from each other where the sills make contact with the subfloor system. This is the first step in insuring that the wall system will be secured to the trailer frame. The other hold down hardware will include strapping and will be touched upon latter in the next construction phase. Continue reading