I have been contemplating what to do about a method to repeatedly and accurately cut boards on my new miter saw stand. I am using an article in Fine Woodworking magazine as my woodworking plan for this project. In the article titled, “Your Miter Saw Needs a Stand”, author John White utilizes the Kreg Precision Trak and Stop System. When I began approaching the point in the building process where the Kreg stop needed to be purchased, I was a little surprised by the price. At the Kreg website, it is priced at $140.00 – I thought this was high.
I think I remember seeing Norm Abram create a shop made stop system, but after looking online for it or some other such method, I did not find anything significant (at least not quickly). Since I had gained a little money for my workshop fund, and as someone on Facebook pointed out, I will likely use this miter saw stand for the rest of my life, I decided to bite the bullet and get the Kreg stop system.
Upon opening the box, I was immediately impressed with the heavy-duty nature of this stop system. The parts are nicely fabricated. The Kreg website says the parts are “incredibly strong and built to last.” I quickly began to realize why it costs as much as it does.
The first step in installation is to drill holes in the back of the top trak for screws. When I have to do a lot of serious drilling, I will pull out my old Craftsman corded drill.
I needed about one-and-a-half lengths of top trak per side table to span the length of each fence (note to self: if I keep messing with metal, I am going to have to upgrade my metal-cutting tools).
With the top trak installed, it was time to install the stops. The Kreg Precision Trak and Stop System comes with what they call a Production Stop along with a Swing Stop. The Production Stop shown installed to the left in the photo above, is just that, a stop used when your work calls for repetitive, production style fabrication. The Swing Stop (waiting for assembly in the foreground above) is something that can be quickly flipped up and out-of-the-way.
About the only thing that could go wrong with this installation would be messing up the addition of the two measuring tapes. There is a left and right tape. I have now owned two table saws where the tape on the fence guide isn’t accurate, so I sure wanted this to go well and it did. The instructions make the process easy and the adhesive on the tape is a little forgiving; sticky but repositioning prior to firmly sticking the tape in place is possible.
Introducing my new miter saw stand…
As you can see, I added a coat of neutral paint – I was looking for a color that resembled natural birch and this is close.
I was showing my wife how the saw and the stand work, especially the self-contained dust collection. I had both side tables in their upward position and showed her the large board capacity the stand has. What she really wanted to know was how she was going to get past it so she could get to her car. I quickly lowered the side tables and she smiled. She likes the things I make, but I have a way to go before she gets the same satisfaction I do.
I have needed this miter saw stand for many years. I can’t believe I waited so long before making a stand like this. The improvement in stock handling and the added safety and convenience will be huge. This brings to a close step two in my workshop renovation. I now have this stand and my new router table completed. A new tool cabinet is next and it will be a major project for me.