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New Miter Saw Station

My next part of the garage makeover is to build a miter saw station. I bought the plans from Ron Paulk and studied them over and over and watched his videos on building his work bench. So, I finally used Mikey's Sketch pad to design my version of the miter saw station.

Here is my plan.

Rectangle Font Wood Gas Pattern

Sorry there is not a lot of detail in my plan but here is the jist of it.

  • Build two cabinets that will be used for storing power tools and larger jigs and leave room for short cut offs 24 inches or less. Use 3" locking casters on the front.
  • Add drawers or trays as necessary to make it easier to get to the tools such as the air compressor.
  • Position Shop Vac in the area under the miter saw.
  • Build the Ron Paulk version of The ultimate Miter Saw Station…with a few exceptions such as the width will be 24 inches instead of 18.
  • Attach the miter saw station to the cabinets with 3/8" bolts.
  • Build an extension table for the left side of the miter saw. Support it with Ron's saw horse as shown in his plans.

All of this planning sounds good except, I have made slight changes as I went along. Hopefully for the good. I am mainly using Ron's plans as a guide and to see his ideas of designing his bench and stand.

I have searched You Tube over and over watching videos until it all became a blur. However, I do like the ideas Jordan incorporated into his miter saw stand. I should also have room to set up my belt sander and maybe the oscillating sander. The more, the merrier.

Other inspiration came from the miter saw station built by Steve at downtoearthwoodworks.

Dust collection for this saw is #1 priority on my list. I already have the Shop Vac hooked up to it with the dust routed through the Oneida cyclone which works just great. I checked the vac and there is nothing but an empty bag in it. If I do set up a sander or two, I will most likely build some sort of short manifold so I can connect the tools to the Shop Vac also. That shouldn't be to hard.

But the main thing I want to do is build some sort of hood to catch the airborne dust and draw it downward into a port that will be routed to my Harbor Freight Dust collector. That is a work in progress. I think it is doable because there will be about 6 1/2 inches behind the miter saw station that I can use for plumbing. :)

Cabinet Construction
I have completed the carcases for the two cabinets. I used Birch plywood purchased from a lumber yard for $39.95 sheet. That is not too bad price wise.

Each cabinet has two sides and a center divider, along with a solid bottom. I connected these pieces with 4 inch stretchers also cut from the plywood and everything was joined together using pocket hole construction. Since I want these cabinets to be strong, I used some 1/2 inch plywood left over from another project to fill in the back of each cabinet. I used the Kreg micro pocket hole jig to drill the 1/2 inch pockets and one inch screws. That made the cabinet very strong.
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I mounted some plywood pads under each corner of the cabinet to give the casters some extra meat so the lag screws will get a good grip.

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And here we are, up to date. Both carcases are ready for drawers and face frames. I have them set in place and mocked up the saw, air compressor and the shop vac.
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After the initial dry fit, I realized that I probably should shorten the overall length a few inches and leave room for the dust deputy to sit at the end which will make it really easy to empty. So I think I will shorten the miter saw Station overall length to 80 inches instead of the original 90. After doing some preliminary measuring, I will be able to have about 8 1/2 inches of full support for whatever I will be cutting with about 37 inches to the right of the blade and about the same to the left. With a short extension, I will be able to support a full 8 feet to the left of the blade and still have the garage door down. To the right, I can go out over 12 feet with no problem.

That brings the project up to date. I think I will ponder the situation and maybe go to the store and check out the HVAC metal stuff. Hopefully, I will be able to fit in the duct work so I can rout it to the dust collector.

I forgot to mention that the miter saw is brand new. I sold my original Harbor Freight model and bought the Hitachi 12 slider from the Big Box Store. So far, I really like it. Smooth, not too loud and the factory blade works surprisingly well. The main reason for purchasing the saw new was to gain about three inches of wall clearance with the two position slider. Maybe I can do a review after I have had it for awhile and get used to it.
Coming along nicely


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New Miter Saw Station - Construction Details

I have been working diligently trying to get this phase of the makeover finished.
Here are some pics of the construction.

Case work with drawer slides ready for drawers or trays.
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Top of the cabinet. The miter saw portion will bolt on to the top of the two cabinets.
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Laying out the templates for the sides and ends. Dang that MDF makes a lot of dust.
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Rough cutting the openings so I can route 'em smooth using the template I cut from MDF.
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Two routers are better than one! Here I was routing the pieces for the sides and ends of the miter saw stand. When I finished routing a piece, I would use the other router to do a little round over to ease the sharp edges. Then I would move to the next piece and repeat.
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Time to drill a few pocket holes. Check out my air filtration unit in the background. Don't laugh, it works great.
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Dry fit. I cut the two tops for the stand and set the saw in place to see how it would fit.
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More construction pics coming soon including the final assy and the installation of the Kreg Precision Trak. Rockler had a 20% off sale going so I couldn't pass up saving almost $25 on the Trak. :)
Nicely done.


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Face Frames and Drawers, Oh My!

I finished up the basic construction on the miter saw station and put it in service. I am loving it.

Using pocket hole construction, I built face frames for both of the lower cabinets.
Note: All of those clamps might be overkill but they kept my stuff where it was supposed to be.

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Next it was time to build the drawers. Actually, there are two trays and three drawers.
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I set up a dado blade on my table saw for a 1/2 inch cut. That allowed me to do two operations:
  1. Rip the drawer pieces for the 1/2 inch plywood I used for the drawer bottoms.
  2. Cross cut the ends of the front and back pieces only.
    I set up a stop block on the table saw fence so the boards would have some space between the end and the fence.

Don't laugh at the painters tape. It worked well as an "almost zero clearance insert". :)

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I also made a simple tray for one of the drawers. It is holding the hardware for my next project.
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And then i ran out of paint! :-(

If you remember, I wrote about the Kreg Precision Measuring System in my last entry. GAWD that thing is the cat's meow. I quickly cut the pieces to build a cooler. Then I realized I had lumber left over, so I cut most of the pieces for the next cooler. The first one is finished and out the door. I plan to start the assembly of the next one tomorrow.
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I had to label the various pieces so I won't get confused.
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And from that pile of boards POOF! Just like maagic, they turned into a cooler.
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Next up in my makeover plans is to incorporate dust collection into the miter saw station. I will have room for the 1 inch belt sander and the oscillating sander.

I found a Fernco plumbing repair rubber boot at HD that is a perfect fit for my miter saw dust port. Inside diameter on both ends is 2 3/8 inches (for 2 inch PVC, I guess). That fit the dust port and the shop Vac hose is 2 1/4 inch diameter so it fits on that end also. Snug the clamps and it is a done deal.
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...and temporary set up for my router table!!!

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And last but not least, a new tape rack! I used a pallet board and some shaker pegs I had on hand.
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Did I mention I am having fun? Well, I am.
I like the way you've got your router table incorporated in there also


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Drill Press Makeover

I have been really busy lately building a couple of my coolers. The miter saw station is working out great. I still have to make drawer fronts and install them and finalize the dust collection system.

So, I looked around and realized my drill press was just in the way with no easy way of moving it without literally picking it up and moving it onto the work table.

So, I devised a plan. :) After browsing the internet and checking out projects fellow LJ'ers have posted, I decided to build a stand with several drawers to hold all of my stuff.

  • Drill bits of varying style, size - some of which are in cases and some are loose in the drawer.
  • Forstner bits - some in a case, some loose and a couple are really big.
  • Hole saws - up to 5 inches in diameter.
  • Assorted accessories like key chucks chamfer bits and other misc stuff I have collected over the years.

Here is what I started with. A bench top drill press from Northern tool with 3/4HP motor sitting on a B&D Workmate. I had previously built a table for the drill press but it is going to be replaced by the one described in ShopNotes Issue #94.
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I didn't have enough plywood so I bought a sheet of Maple at Lowe's. I had a $10 discount card so that helped.

I cut two sides, a top and a bottom piece and a couple of pieces for the back. Also, I attached a 1/2 inch wide piece across the top and a three inch piece across the bottom in the front. The two raw edges were covered with some 3/4 inch maple I had in the scrap pile.

I cut the sheet down to rough size with a track saw. I doubled when I cut the sides. :)
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Before doing any assembly, I decided how many drawers and what size I would need. That turned out to be fairly easy. I will build all four drawers 4 inches deep. That means the bottom drawer will actually be a tray to hold my two vises and whatever else I can pile in there. :)
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Next up was assembly of the mobile base purchased from Harbor freight. Twenty percent off made it $31 and some change. I have the same base on my band saw so this should have been a breeze. Right? Not hardly.

I followed the directions and milled a 2×4 into 1 1/4×1 1/4 pieces. Then I cut them according to instructions. A trial fit showed everything was too short. So I cut the long ones shorter and made two new long sides. I guess I was just goofy because the instructions are correct . The side boards must be cut so the rear wheels can fit into the frame. :-(

After putting this thing together and taking it apart several times, I finally got a good fit. The only problem is the front casters weren't high enough to provide enough ground clearance for my very unlevel concrete garage floor. So, I took them off and added a couple of washers to each one (front casters). that solved the problem and it moves easily around the shop.

One additional step I took was to drill a hole in each of the corner brackets so I could bolt the cabinet to each piece. A 5/16 inch bolt/washer/nut has the cabinet securely mounted in place. I marked the holes with masking tape and drew an arrow to each one. I drilled these. They weren't part of the kit.

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I made a top for the stand from part of a solid core door which was left over from when I built my work table. It is 1 3/4 inch thick. I trim it slightly to get the sides even, then I attached an edge band made of 1/2 inch Baltic Birch. Still making use of the stuff I have available to use. since the door has a particle board core, I used a goodly ( :) ) amount of glue, countersunk screws and lots of clamps. Hopefully it will stay together for a long time. I covered the top with some white Formica I had on hand. After all was said and done, I trimmed the Formica, then ran a chamfer bit around the top to ease the sharp edge.

Here is the cabinet painted and installed on the base.
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And VOILA! My job here is complete! Well, almost. I still have drawers to build and the table. Note that I mounted the drill press to the stand by bolting through the top and the plywood top of the stand by using 3/8 inch x 5 inch bolts/ washers/lock washers and nuts. BTW, this setup is really stable. That had been my main concern from the very beginning.
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And I just devised a plan to make an adapter so I can bolt my bench vise to the drill press base! :) I sent my buddy a note requesting for a piece of plate to make an adapter. He usually has all sorts of stuff laying around his shop also!

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Hope you liked this post. i will post pics of the table build when I get it going.
Ya gotta luv that pocket hole joinery. Nice cabinet


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Under Table Wheeled Tool Storage Drawer

I was sick and tired of my clamp situation. There is not really any wall space available for a clamp rack. So I decided to clean out under my work bench and build a drawer with wheels that I can roll in and out.

I used whatever I could find to make the tray. The front and rear pieces and one side are 3/4 inch plywood. I had to use a piece of 1/2 inch for the other side. :) The bottom is 1/2 inch CD plywood glued and stapled to the frame. I used a piece of 1/2 inch plywood to make a separator for the drawer to keep the clamps separated and somewhat organized. I wish I could have fabricated some slotted pieces so I could let the clamps sit straight up, but there isn't enough clearance to do that.

I made the wheels out of more 1/2 inch plywood. I used a 5 inch hole saw which made the job a snap. All I had to do was sand off the fuzz and install them with 1/4 inch bolts, washers and lock nuts.

As you can see, this is not high end cabinetmaking, but dang this sure is handy and helped reduce the clutter I was dealing with.

I still need a handle. Next trip to town I will get a handle to match the two drawers.

After seeing what a big difference this drawer made, I looked around realized there is more room under my big tool box. so, looks like I will be making several more of these drawers in the near future.

Hope you like it.

Note: This was not my idea. I ran across it in a magazine a while back. I forgot which one.

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That's a good idea.


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Mo Power!

Yea! The electricians have arrived. They are going to run a dedicated 20 amp circuit for my 2HP HF Dust Collector. Last week I fired up my new Grizzly 18 inch drum sander and tripped the breaker.

So, I decided to call out the experts. Now the drum sander will be on one circuit and the DC on a completely separate circuit.

AND…they are also going to run a new 15 amp circuit to the dining room and kitchen. We have had problems in the past tripping the breaker in the kitchen especially during the holidays when the microwave, toaster oven and one other appliance is being used. Now the new circuit will solve that problem. Also, I am fixin' to start building a new set of cabinets in the dining room so two outlets will serve the counter area for them. That will make my wife a very happy girl…and me too.
"Mo Power" is always good.
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