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AW Extra 6/6/13 - Mobile Miter Saw Stand

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Mobile Miter Saw Stand

Get more from your miter saw with a stand that handles everything.

By Richard Tendick


This stand has everything you could want. With the wings up, it can handle 8-ft.-long boards on either side. With wings down, the stand is only 5-1/2 ft. long. It’s on casters, so you can move it anywhere. When the casters are locked, the stand won’t budge.

You can make exact, repeatable cuts with a cursor mounted on a flip stop. For jobs outside the shop, just pick up the saw and go. It’s mounted to a notched plywood platform that automatically aligns with the fence.

Most sawdust goes through a hose connected to an onboard vacuum. Dust missed by the vacuum bounces against a back stop and drops into a collection box. The vacuum is plugged into a tool-actuated switch. When you turn the saw on, the vacuum comes on, too. When you’re done sawing, the vacuum automatically stops.

 

Custom-fit your saw

As designed, this stand should be large enough for most compound miter saws. The Cutting List’s dimensions accommodate my saw, a 12-in. Delta 36-412 which measures 25 in. wide and 17-in. deep with a 4-3/8-in.- high saw table.

Altering this stand to fit your saw is easy. The saw sits in a well that’s formed by two drawer boxes sitting on top of a base cabinet (Fig. A, below). Custom-fitting simply means changing the well’s width so there’s a minimal gap between your saw’s table and each box. To change the well’s width, make the boxes narrower or wider.

You shouldn’t have to change the boxes’ height. Two supports under the saw platform raise the saw level with the boxes’ tops (see photo, at right). Change the thickness of these supports to accommodate your saw’s table height.

The dust hood’s depth may have to be altered to fit your saw. I made the hood as shallow as possible so the stand takes less floor space. When I need more depth for a 45-degree compound miter cut, I remove the hood.

If you have a sliding compound miter saw, you’ll probably have to increase the depth of the base cabinet, drawer boxes and dust hood.

 

A less-expensive version

I went all-out on my stand, adding my favorite bells and whistles. The cost is about $500 without the saw or vacuum. That’s a lot of dough, but you can slash the cost to $210 by eliminating the commercial fence parts, using less expensive plywood with no edge-banding, dropping the drawers, doors and dust hood and doing without the tool-actuated switch.

 

Make the boxes, cabinet, and wings

1. Measure your saw to determine the size of the stand’s well. If needed, adjust the sizes of the drawer boxes and cabinet in the Cutting List (below). Cut all the plywood pieces to size (Fig. D, below).

2. Cut 1/4-in. strips of solid wood to edge-band the sides of the boxes’ tops (B2). Glue on the banding.

3. Cut dados and rabbets in the parts for the boxes and cabinet (A1, A2, B1, B2, B3, B4) (Detail 2, below). Note that a drawer box’s top (B2) overhangs its sides (B1, Detail 1, below). This overhang provides clearance for the wing’s prop (B8) to fold against the cabinet’s side. Assemble the boxes and cabinet. Glue and screw the spacers (B5) to the boxes. The spacers bring the inside of the drawer box flush to the face frame, which will be attached later.

4. Glue the double-thickness wings (B7). Lay the parts on your tablesaw’s top and weight them with cinder blocks to apply clamping pressure. Trim the wings to final size.

5. Cut strips to band the wings, doors (D), drawer faces (C4), saw platform (E1), shelf (A5), dust-hood sides (F1) and dust-hood top (F2). Glue on the banding.

6. Cut out the wing props (B8, Fig. B, below). Glue material to make the hinge spacers (B6). Cut them to final size and glue and screw them to the boxes.

7. Cut the continuous hinge into four 14-in. lengths. Place the boxes upside down on a flat surface. Attach the wings to the hinge spacers flush with the back of the boxes.

8. Screw the upper boxes to the cabinet.

9. Drill holes in the back of the vacuum-cleaner storage area for the vacuum hose and the power strip cord. Drill a hole in the well for the saw’s power cord.

10. Attach the casters to blocks (A6). Screw and glue the blocks to the cabinet.

 

Make the face frame

11. Cut solid-wood strips (G1 through G5) for the face frame. Assemble the face frame with pocket screws, dowels or biscuits.

12. Glue the face frame to the box and cabinet assembly. Install the glue blocks (G6) behind the wing covers (G1).

 

Add the wing props

13. Clamp the wings so they’re level with the boxes’ tops. Attach the props to the cabinet so there is about 1/2 in. of clearance between the prop’s top and the wing’s bottom.

14. Measure the gap between the prop and the wing (Measurement “A,” Detail 3, below). Make a ramp-shaped prop stop (B9) to fit each side. Attach the stops.


Make the dust hood and drawers

15. Cut rabbets on the drawer sides (C2) and dust-hood sides (F1). Assemble the dust hood.

16. Cut two brackets (H20) from aluminum angle stock. Drill holes in both brackets. Use a hacksaw to cut a notch in the left-hand bracket (Fig. C, below). This notch allows the hood to rotate outwardly for cleaning. Attach the brackets to the dust hood. Place the dust hood in position and mark holes for the hanger bolts on the drawer boxes’ tops. Drill holes and insert hanger bolts (H15).

17. Assemble the drawers. Attach the drawer guides to the drawers and boxes (H3).

 

Mount the platform and saw

18. Use a dado set to cut notches in the platform’s sides for the index blocks (E4) and power cord.

19. Place the platform on top of the cabinet. (Note: The platform is 1/4 in. shorter than the space between the drawer boxes. This space is necessary for easy removal of the platform and saw.) Place your miter saw on the platform. Measure the distance between the saw’s table and the box’s top. Plane or rip the two height spacers (E2, E3) so each one’s thickness equals this distance. Place the spacers under the saw platform. Adjust each spacer’s thickness by removing more wood or adding paper shims until the saw’s table is exactly level with the boxes. Remove the saw and attach the spacers to the cabinet. Replace the saw platform.

20. Center the platform in the well. Cut index blocks (E4) to tightly fit the platform’s notches. Bevel the block’s tops to make it easier to install the platform. Screw the blocks to the spacers with the platform in place. Place the saw square on the platform and attach it.

 

Make and install the fences

21. Cut slots on the box and wing fence bases (E7, E8) by drilling 1/4-in. holes at the end of each slot and routing between the holes (Detail 4, below). Cut notches on the box fence bases (E7) to accommodate the dust hood’s brackets. Cut #20 biscuit slots in the bases (E7, E8) and the fence faces (E5, E6) and glue the fences together. Make sure each face is square to its base.

22. Cut the Kreg Top Trak to the length of each fence. Drill holes in the back of the Top Trak and attach the pieces to the top of the fence faces with the screws provided.

23. Clamp a 3/4-in.-thick sacrificial board to the saw’s fence and place a 3-ft. straightedge against it. Slide the box fence against the straightedge. Drill 1/4-in.-dia. holes into the top of the box at the slots’ rear. Remove the fence and redrill the holes to 5/16 in. dia. Install T-nuts in the holes.

24. Cut two pieces from a 1/4-in.-20 all-thread rod. They should be long enough to leave 1-1/2-in. of thread sticking out of the knobs (H13). Glue the rods into the knobs with epoxy or other adhesive. Reposition the box fence against the straightedge and fasten it with the knobs.

25. Raise the wings and support them with the props. Align the wing and box fences with a straightedge. Drill holes into the wing at the rear of the slots and repeat the installation procedure for the T-nuts (see Step 23). Cut two new all-thread pieces so 2-1/4 in. sticks out of the knobs. Glue the rods into the knobs. Clamp the fence in place using the knobs. Repeat for the other wing.

26. With all the fences clamped even with the sacrificial board, drill 1/4-in. holes for locating pins (H11), which index the fences (see “Multi-Position Fences,” at right). Drill the holes all the way through the fence and at least 1 in. into the boxes and wings.

27. Remove the sacrificial board and reposition all the wooden fences so they’re even with the saw’s fence. Use the knobs to clamp the fences in place. Drill through the locating pin holes into the boxes and wings. Install the locating pins.

 

Add the doors

28. The doors are full-overlay style. Attach the door hinges to the cabinet and doors. Install the door pulls and magnetic catches.

29. Attach the drawer faces to the drawer boxes.

30. Sand and finish.

Click any image to view a larger version.

Folding wings


Cursor and flip stop


Removable saw platform


Dust-collection hood


On-board vacuum


Sturdy casters


Multiple-Position Fences

You can move the fences on this stand to three different positions, depending on the job. The fences are clamped to the stand’s tables by threaded knobs. A pair of steel locating pins pass through a support behind each fence and into a series of holes drilled into the stand’s top (see photo, bottom right). This automatically indexes the fence to two of the three positions.


For most cuts, you can line up each of the extension fences with the saw’s fence.


For making cuts with no tear-out on the back side or for cutting very short pieces, you can move the extension fence forward to align with a zeroclearance fence.


When you make a compound miter cut, push the extension fences back so you can slide the saw’s fence to the left (see photo, above). It’s also a good idea to push the fences back for cutting slightly bent or crooked stock.


Cutting List


Project Requirements


Hardware List


Fig. A: Exploded View


Fig. B: Wing Prop


Fig. C: Dust Hood Bracket


Fig. D: Plywood Cutting Diagrams




Sources

Note: Product availability and prices are subject to change.

Kreg, kregtools.com, 800-447-8638.

MSC, mscdirect.com, 800-645-7270.

Rockler, rockler.com, 800-279-4441.

Sears, sears.com/tools, 800-377-7414.


This story originally appeared in American Woodworker July 2006, issue #122.

July 2006, issue #122

Purchase this back issue.

 


Comments

Bob McLachlan wrote re: Mobile Miter Saw Stand
on 09-22-2009 8:27 AM

An excellent project, one that I will build in the near future.

Gbahena73 wrote re: Mobile Miter Saw Stand
on 10-09-2009 5:25 PM

looks very nice. i am in complete aw

ken knight wrote re: Mobile Miter Saw Stand
on 10-13-2009 8:34 PM

Does it get any better than this?  If so, it will have to wait until I build this one!!! My hats off to you, Rich.

BRYANT BETSILL wrote re: Mobile Miter Saw Stand
on 10-23-2009 2:43 PM

Once again, people that should know better have put out yet another miter box stand / bench etc... that has the same fundemendal flaw as most all these projects have. .. No where to grip the piece and move it. i.e. In all my miter saw tables I leave a 4" space on each side of the saw's "table" to grip especially a flat piece to either hold or move slightly on the tool. To re-state, leave a "hand hold" space between the saw's flat table, and the wood table for holding your work. And while I am at it, why could'nt you build it to go up and down as saw's wear out and are exchanged.

kenboh1123 wrote re: Mobile Miter Saw Stand
on 05-07-2010 4:52 PM

this project was awsome and most excellent choice for my shop

Sarah12 wrote re: Mobile Miter Saw Stand
on 06-29-2010 6:01 AM

Hello! I think this is my first visit so I wanted to say hi!