• Share:
How to Build a Miter Saw Table

Miter saw stands are an essential, but expensive accessory for carpenters. Instead of buying one, save money and get a more versatile work table by building your own. Use these photos and free plan as a guide.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Overview

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 together.

Figure A: Miter box

Figure A: Miter box

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

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 15-5/8-in.-long chunks 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

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 whatever remains. Simply space the middle dividers 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 (Photo 2).

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

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 nuts.

Build and mount the fence

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.

 

Additional Information

Back to Top

Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

    • Clamps
    • Miter saw
    • Cordless drill
    • Tape measure
    • Circular saw
    • Socket/ratchet set
    • Level
    • Drill bit set
    • Framing square
    • Safety glasses
    • Table saw

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

    • Hanger bolts, wing nuts and acorn nuts to fit mounting holes in saw.
    • For other materials, see Additional Information at the end of the Step-by-Step section.

Comments from DIY Community Members

Share what's on your mind and see what other DIYers are thinking about.

1 - 6 of 6 comments
Show per page: 20   All

April 05, 3:21 PM [GMT -5]

Why no video of building this? Why not including the magazine issue that has this topic illustrated? Why not have you web page search not include the reference to the issue??????? Why include a video if building a saw table that is completely different from this one?

February 25, 12:37 PM [GMT -5]

I have been using this stand for a couple months and love it. I ended up using 3/4 plywood which makes it a bit heavy but it has a nice solid feel. One change I made was to simply leave off the back. I found having open compartments make it easy to put my stock or cut pieces in. I recently made a sawhorse from family handyman plans and placed each part in a different compartment as I was making it and it worked great for keeping things organized.

RWT

September 06, 12:20 PM [GMT -5]

I followed the instructions and modified it to fit on an old grill base. I removed the guts of the grill leaving the two shelfs on each side. This is where I attached the table. I used 4 screws the same length as the ones used to hold the saw to the table. I did not use wing nuts because I am not removing the table from the moble base. I also attached two handles on the side of the table to help move it when I needed to. I have used old materials and referbished them to bring them to life and made them better.

March 01, 10:56 AM [GMT -5]

I have been using this table for several years and it works like a dream...very simple to make, but just a little heavy to carry for one guy. This set up can also be made into a permanent work bench just by adding legs. It is a great design.

January 20, 10:39 PM [GMT -5]

I don't know how I lived without it. and it was fairly easy to make.

January 18, 6:19 AM [GMT -5]

Just what I need! Thank you for sharing this.

+ Add Your Comment
closeX

Add Your Comment

How to Build a Miter Saw Table

Please add your comment
closeX

Log in to My Account

Log in to enjoy membership benefits from The Family Handyman.

  • Forgot your password?
Don’t have an account yet?

Sign up today for FREE and become part of The Family Handyman community of DIYers.

Member benefits:

  • Get a FREE Traditional Bookcase Project Plan
  • Sign up for FREE DIY newsletters
  • Save projects to your project binder
  • Ask and answer questions in our DIY Forums
  • Share comments on DIY Projects and more!
Join Us Today
closeX

Report Abuse

Subject
Reasons for reporting post

Free OnSite Newsletter

Get timely DIY projects for your home and yard, plus a dream project for your wish list!

Follow Us

Featured Product

Buy Now