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I have owned a DeWalt DW705 miter saw for many, many years, and it has never had a proper home in my workshop. In fact the place in my shop where this saw has resided is sooo embarrassing that I refuse to describe it for fear that I will be duly admonished by both woodworking experts and newbies alike.
What I will say is that it was in a far corner of my shop and it usually had a nice pile of sawdust around it to keep the saw warm in the cold winter months. The area was a mess and the setup was haphazard at best. This situation was something I refused to address for a long time, but I finally got too frustrated with it.
Finding my miter saw a proper home meant creating more space. This is the reason I built my new router table and put it adjacent to my table saw. My new miter saw stand will be located where my old router table used to be and continues my overall effort towards a multi-step shop reorganization plan. The new miter saw stand is step two.
You may have seen this design before. It was unveiled in Fine Woodworking #209, their 2010 Tools and Shops issue. John White came up with the design which immediately caught my eye because it solves four needs in my shop:
- Mobility – it will be located opposite my table saw. I’ll need to move the miter saw stand when ripping long boards.
- Compact design – the tables on each side of the saw fold down when not in use; a plus in my shop.
- Dust collection – the base houses a small shop vac; important because running dust collection to the miter saw isn’t practical.
- Added safety – the stand provides some much-needed support lowering risk when cutting long boards.
The design is also somewhat economical since all of the wood comes from two sheets of plywood. But, I suspect the shop vac and other accessories will mean this won’t be a low-cost project – not expensive, but certainly not a budget miter saw stand.
You can see in the design I have a two-tone color scheme. I thought about jazzing up the design with some unique details like I did with my router table. Ultimately, I decided this stand is too utilitarian for embellishment. But maybe I could add a little style with color – the images above are meant to look like birch and red oak plywood. I think this could look good; maybe even a two color paint job. We’ll see.
With my garden planter project completed, I purchased two sheets of 3/4 inch birch plywood. This meant oak plywood was no longer part of the plan; that option would have been very wasteful and would have made the project more difficult to build.
I laid out the parts on the sheets of plywood following the cutting diagram provided in the FWW article. What you see above are the parts for the base: the bottom, top, sides, back and the two parts which make up the front.
The base has five holes which serve as ports for airflow, power cords and dust collection. I used two different size hole saws to make them and smoothed the slightly ragged edges with a small round over bit in my router.
Assembly could not be easier – pilot holes and 1 5/8 inch sheet rock screws. John White writes in the FWW article: “No glue needed. Drywall screws provide plenty of holding power, so there’s no need to fuss with glue.” Sounds good to me.
Previously, I had laid out the location of the sides and back on the bottom piece of plywood. This helped me establish where I could position the casters and see how deep I could make the little notches on the corners.
Adding the front in an unusual way
With the bottom attached, I can turn to installing the removable front panel and adding the top. The front panel needs to be removable so I can gain access to the little shop vac that will reside there. John White comes up with an unusual way to attach the front…
In the image above two screws are driven into the base of the front panel. These slip into two holes drilled along the front edge of base bottom. The panel then tilts upward and two magnetic catches lock the panel in place. Just like the rest of this build so far, this no frills method works and is quick and easy to accomplish.
I will say this – the front of the base could use some stiffening. Under the weight of my miter saw, I noticed a small amount of racking; but I am not sure if anything can be done about it at this point.
What is next?
The next step in construction will be to add the folding side tables, highlighted in red below…
While the miter saw stand has been easy to build so far, this next step gets more complicated. It will involve routing slots for the movable extenders which should be fun since I’ll have to use my new router table to complete them.
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