Miter Saw Upgrade

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Project by vrice posted 09-02-2012 05:41 PM 17433 views 20 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve been intending to perform a major upgrade to my workbench for several years now. I finally got around to it. When I’m working on most projects I like to setup my table saw for rip cuts with my Freud Glue Line Rip blade installed. I then do all my cross cuts with my miter saw. This process works well for me. Well, my miter saw throws saw dust ALL OVER THE PLACE. In addition I didn’t have a good way to make multiple cuts at exactly the same length (i.e. no fence with stop). So I’ve finally added a fence and dust collection system.
My miter saw is definitely low tech and feature challenged. However, it does an excellent job at making spot on 90deg cuts (or other angles obviously) which is 99% of what I need. So rather than investing in a higher priced saw I’m just improving the performance of this one.
First the dust collection. The event that pushed me into getting this done was the gift of a small shop vac. I thought I could dedicate this to dust collection on this saw. I purchased a cyclone from ONEIDA. Rigged up the setup shown in a pic above. I then ran some 2” ID PVC from my saw mount back over to where the vac sits. Lastly I designed a hood to go behind the saw. The place this saw sits is a mount that’s part of my workbench. This saw is removable as other pieces of equipment can reside in the mount (Hollow Chisel Mortiser, Scroll Saw, Bench grinder). You can better see this setup in my workshop pics. (I love this functionality.) Anyway the hood I came up with is shown in the pics. This is a cleaner look with a Shetchup image:

The last low tech addition to this dust collection is the plastic shroud. Since this is all removable I wanted to make this simple. Its just a plastic sheet help onto the hood via spring clips. Easily removable. This setup catches MOST of the dust coming off the saw. A HUGE improvement.
The fence was designed with the idea I don’t want it there all the time. When I need the bench top I want to be able to remove it. Also its relationship to the saw needs to be adjustable. Hence the setup I’m showing here. I routed two slots into my benchtop into which I can put a T-blot. I created a fence from laminated 0.75” birch plywood. Into this fence I routed T-slots on both faces. Lastly I got a piece of 2” aluminum angle bar stock and mounted that to the fence. As shown above I can place a straight edge against the miter saw fence and then set the position of my new fence. I created a hardwood stop block with a tenon that rides in the T-slot. This prevents this thing from rotating under pressure from stock being positioned for a cut.
Now my miter saw station is considerably easier to work with and more functional. Still makes spot on 90deg cuts.

-- Vic Rice

10 comments so far

View HorizontalMike's profile


7898 posts in 3792 days

#1 posted 09-02-2012 06:55 PM

Nice job Vic. I keep thinking about building one of these but find that I have already used up most of my wall space in the shop. Maybe when I retire the old plywood bench and need a replacement…

Also like your DC setup.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 3067 days

#2 posted 09-02-2012 07:10 PM

I have a similar hood for my miter saw – not perfect but it works pretty good.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View Sodabowski's profile


2390 posts in 3711 days

#3 posted 09-02-2012 08:49 PM

Tool upgrade FTW. My father has an almost identical crappy miter saw. It’s able to produce decent 90° cuts, which is also enough for him. Impressive fence there buddy!

-- Thomas - there are no problems, there are only solutions.

View Prplhrtjarhead's profile


80 posts in 2984 days

#4 posted 09-03-2012 01:07 AM

Wow! I’m instantly rethinking the Mitre Saw work bench. Very Nice.

-- "We'll preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we'll sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness." R. Reagan, "The Speech", 1964

View whitebeast88's profile


4128 posts in 3069 days

#5 posted 09-03-2012 01:50 AM

great bench.trying to figure out a layout to build one for my shop.

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View dnick's profile


986 posts in 3261 days

#6 posted 09-03-2012 03:32 AM

Great job. I’m going to file this one for future reference.

-- dnick, North Hollywood, Ca.

View b2rtch's profile


4920 posts in 3927 days

#7 posted 09-03-2012 10:09 AM

I have a similar installation but I use my HF dust collector with a 4” hose and I use a , recently purchased,Makita LS1016 that really saves quite a bit of space in the rear

-- Bert

View kdc68's profile


2989 posts in 3155 days

#8 posted 09-03-2012 10:55 AM

Great idea. Thanks for sharing

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View vrice's profile


101 posts in 3570 days

#9 posted 09-03-2012 02:09 PM

I know the more powerful dust collector would improve things a bit. I have an old Jet DC-650 (1 HP) that I use for my BIG needs (jointer, thickness planer, drum sander). I hooked it up to this miter saw. It definitely sucked up ALL the dust created. However, the dedicated setup here is more than adequate and allows me to dedicate the vac. My Jet is on its own platform I roll around for hooking up where it is needed most. In fact I’m right in the middle of building a dedicated setup for this Jet which includes a pre-separator using a trash can lid cyclone from Woodcraft:

It uses an interesting caster/feet setup I’m trying out:

My expectation is pushing this platform in one direction will cause the feet to rotate down and stabilize it. Pushing the other direction will cause the feet to rotate up and let the casters take over. We’ll see.

-- Vic Rice

View PortlandWill's profile


5 posts in 3057 days

#10 posted 09-28-2012 02:45 PM

Nice job, thanks for the ideas!

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