If you've ever used a miter saw
to cut long, unsupported stock, you
know what a hassle it is to deal with a
saw that moves all over the place
while you're trying to make cuts. Yes,
you can buy saw stands, but they're
expensive and, frankly, not nearly as
versatile or user-friendly as this homemade
miter saw table.
This miter saw table supports long
boards and provides a fence that you
can fit with stops for making repetitive
identical cuts. It locks down your saw
so it won't budge while you're working.
Built-in cubbyholes give you a
place to store all those little parts and
tools that go with any carpentry task.
Just leave the saw on board and slide
the whole unit into your pickup truck
for on-the-road jobs. Or loosen the
wing nuts, remove the saw and haul it
away on its own. This table is also a great workbench for more than just
cutting. You'll find it a useful platform
for all those little carpentry tasks that
are part of any project, and it's right
there where you need it.
This design will work for any miter
saw. We'll show you how to
customize it to fit whatever saw you
have. As for tools, you'll only need a
table saw to rip the plywood and
dividers (Figure A) to width, your miter
saw to cut the parts to length, and a
screw gun to screw the whole works
Figure A: Miter Box
The basic design is simple, and the parts are all made from inexpensive, standard lumber. (For a Materials List, see Additional Information below.)
Buy the materials
Measure the diameter of your miter
saw mounting holes before you get
started. You'll need to buy hanger bolts
with matching wing nuts the same size
as the holes for a snug fit (Photos 3 and
4). Find the right bolt length by measuring
the height of the saw table and
adding 2-1/2 in. With the bolt size figured
out, head to the home center and
pick up your bolts and the other items
on the Materials List.
Cut the parts
1 of 1
Photo 1: Measure
Determine the divider height the goof-proof
way: Measure from a scrap of
plywood to the saw bed's surface.
Start by ripping the plywood to a
15-5/8-in.-wide piece for the bottom
and a 16-in.-wide strip for the top. If
you don't have a table saw capable of
ripping that wide, just snap lines and
do the cutting with a circular saw and
a steady hand. Don't worry too much
about perfect cuts; small variations
won't affect the project. Hold off on
cutting the top to length until you get
the dividers positioned later.
You'll cut the 1x6s into six
for the dividers and
then size them for
width as we show in
Photo 1. (Allow for the
top thickness by putting a chunk of
3/8-in. plywood underneath the 1x6 as
you mark; see Photo 1.) Rip one of the
dividers and stand it next to the saw.
Check it for height with a straightedge
resting on the saw table before you cut
the other five.
Assemble the table
1 of 1
Photo 2: Assemble
Screw runners to the base after you
attach the dividers. Then screw on the
plywood back followed by the top.
Start the assembly by laying out the
divider positions. Plan on a 22-in.
length for the tabletop on the right side
of the saw. Then size the miter saw bay
by examining your miter saw. Pivot
the saw right and left, and
make sure that you plan a
bay that's wide enough to
clear all of the moving
saw parts. The left side
of the top will be
Simply space the
evenly on the left
side. Screw the
dividers to the
base and then flip
over the assembly and screw the base to the 2x4 runners
Measure the final height of the
table without the top and rip the plywood
back pieces to fit, then cut
them to length. Screw the back and
top to the dividers.
Mount the saw
1 of 2
Photo 3: Place the saw
Clamp the saw in position and drill
shallow holes to mark the locations
of the hanger bolts.
2 of 2
Photo 4: Hanger bolts hold the saw
Drive the hanger bolts using acorn nuts.
Remove the acorn nuts, set the saw in
place and lock it down with wing nuts.
Center the saw in the bay and clamp
it in place. Drill 1/8-in.-deep holes to
mark the hanger bolt positions using
a drill bit that's the same diameter as
the saw's mounting holes (Photo 3).
Then remove the saw, drill pilot
holes and drive in the hanger bolts. Buy hanger bolts that fit the size of the mounting holes. Either use acorn nuts or tighten two
nuts against each other at the top of
the machine threads to drive in the
bolts (Photo 4). Drop the saw over the
bolts and lock it in place with wing
Build and mount the fence
1 of 1
Photo 5: Align the fences
Position the extension fence in perfect
alignment with the miter saw's fence
by using a straightedge. Screw the extension
fence through the top into the dividers.
Cut two 1x4s to the same length as
the left side of the top. Use the waste
to cut four triangle braces. Screw the
two 1x4s together and then evenly
space the braces and screw them to
each 1x4. Align the fence with a
straightedge lined up to the miter
saw fence, and screw the fence to
each divider (Photo 5). Use 1-5/8-in.
screws for all of the fence assembly.
While the fence provides a handy
rail for stop blocks when you need to
cut a lot of identical parts, you'll find
that you're usually better off with it
removed. That's because boards are
rarely straight. And if you try cutting
a long board that's bowed toward
you, the fence will prevent it from
fitting tightly against the miter saw
fence for a good, square cut. So, leave
it off for everyday cutting—screw it
on only when you need it.
Video: How to Build a Miter Saw Table
Mark Petersen, an editor for The Family Handyman, will show you how to get more efficient use out of your miter saw by building your own miter saw table.