Monday 5 December 2011

Low-Buck Tools: Mitre Saw Stand Upgrades

                  "  I won't cry, no, I won't shed a tear..."
                                               -Ben E. King

            Building a bigger boat means building up my tool inventory, and in some cases, building the tools.

              So while it rains outside, making DonorBoat stripping an unattractive proposition, I decide to improve the functionality of my mitre saw, Low-Buck style.

            Mitre saws are handy tools for boat projects. Measure twice, lay the wood on the table, pull the trigger, pull the saw down, wood gets cut, done.   Easy peasy.

          But mitre saws have limitations.   One of the drawbacks to the typical 8-10" mitre saw is the small table size- any stock longer than 12" is longer than the table is wide, so extensions or supports are needed, which can lead to frustrating attempts to get work stands or sawhorses or stacks of books  adjusted to just the right height to support the work.  Been there, done that, got the unintentionally beveled offcuts to show for it.


       The saw in question is an old Delta 10" saw, which travels on a repurposed rolling crate cabinet, which used to support my old radial arm saw, which was after it was used as a shipping crate for...something.

   I wanted to add table and fence extensions to both sides of the saw, allowing stock up to 8' in length to be supported.  In the interest of space conservation, I also wanted the extensions to be stowable when not in use.   I did some quick sketching and figuring and measuring...

... and then gave up and as usual, winged it.

Requisite headscratching and pensive posing out of the way, I dug into the stack o' scrap which hides in the deepest darkest corner of the skunkworks deep beneath stately Jones manor and pulled out the disassembled carcass of an IKEA cabinet.   For those of you playing along at home, the damaged and dismembered donor for this project was a Robin three drawer dresser.  RIP Robin.

   And then I did indeed proceed to rip Robin, and crosscut Robin, and generally reduce Robin to a small pile of lumber of approximately the correct shape and size.

     For those of you without the preferred Scandinavian flatpack donor scrap, one may substitute the 3/4" -1" plywood of their choice- a 4' x 4' piece will do.
    I found a couple of old piano hinges, grabbed a fistful of screws and a bottle of glue and got busy.  An hour later...

The wings fold back, and are secured against flapping with a hook and eye catch on each side.  When deployed, they are held true with bolts screwed into tee-nuts installed in the walls of the cabinet.  No wobble, no sag, no droop...

naw, sometimes it's too easy.

    First order of business on the new saw wings was to dissect more of Robin to build a new fence for my radial arm saw.


   I kinda like the matching colour motif.

    Total time invested between initial brainfart and "mission accomplished" beer:  2 hours.
    Total cost:  $0   (Even if you had to buy a piano hinge, screws, tee-nuts, bolts and the necessary wood brand spankin' new, you'd be hard pressed to spend more than $40 on this project.)

    Next up- a Low-Buck adjustable fence stop for the new fancy fences.

     Thanks for taking the time to check us out.  Please feel free to "Talk the Dock!"  Link us, follow us, or just tell your friends.


  1. But... But... Radial arm saws do a fantastic job of compound miter cuts at larger sizes, and you already have one.... I's is sooo confoozed :)

    Paul from NWOnt.

  2. You are absolutely right, Paul- the RAS is great for mitering. But there is a benefit to having two saws active at once. One can be set up for angles, one can be set up for quick cross cutting. Less set up time on repetitive projects, less chance of mistakes. Also, my mitre saw is portable- my radial arm saw has a table too big to fit throgh the narrow door of the skunkworks!

  3. Really helpful post! Have bookmarked so I can go bak to it when I'm writing.This blog

  4. I have been looking for a low cost miter stand to build for my father in law. Looks like this will do the trick.

    Thanks, and keep up the good work.