DIY Miter Saw Stand

I finally recovered enough from the flu to get back in my shop and I immediately got started on making a miter saw stand. Here, take a look.
: D I must say....I'm pretty pleased.
A while back, a friend asked me to refinish a table for her....well short end of the story is I finished the table but it's still hanging around my shop. So when I bought a miter saw I threw a blanket over it and used it as a work surface since I didn't have anything else. Well, as you have seen in my recent posts, I have been putting a lot of effort into getting my shop cleaned and organized so that means I want the table gone.....which means I need to first build it's replacement.

Here is my work area before....keep in mind that I'm just getting started on this back wall so it's a mess right now, but it won't be for long.
There are a few places online where you can purchase plans for very cheap. One of my favorites was here. I looked around for a week and found lots of designs but I couldn't find one that I liked 100%.  So instead of buying plans, I decided to modpodge about four different ones together and figure it out as I went...what's new huh? : ) So if you like mine, then here are the step by step instructions.

Heads-up: This is going to be a long post. There was a lot to this build and I'm going to try and pack as much information in so that if you are trying to build one of these it will go smoother. Well...that's the hope anyways. If something doesn't make sense, or you can't figure out how I got a certain number then use the comment feature at the bottom, or the contact me tab at the top. 

Note: I'm using 3/4" redoak plywood on this build because I have lots of big scrap pieces hanging around from my past few projects. 

1) The first thing I had to do was measure measure measure. I needed to figure out how wide my saw was, how deep, how tall I wanted it off the ground, and also the distance from the base to the deck. Below are my numbers in case you have the same one:
Ground to deck: 33 15/16"
Front to back: 28"
Left to right: 25 1/2"
Base to deck: 3 1/2"
Wood: 11/16" - it's important to know the true measurement of your wood

2) I started by cutting the two sides. Click on the photo to see my dimensions. 
Note: I cut the sides 30 1/4" because I wanted the final height to be 33 15/16" but knew I would use 3" casters (so 33 15/16" - 3" = 30 15/16"). Then since my 3/4" wood actually measures 11/16" and that's what will sit on top of my side walls to sit flush with the deck I also took that into consideration (30 15/16" - 11/16" = 30 1/4").

3) Then I cut the top, bottom, and shelf.
4) Next I used my Kreg Pocket Jig to drill pockets in the three above. I came in 2" then spaced the rest 3" apart. ….I really can not stress how much I love this jig.
5) The next thing was to attach them. I set my first shelf 2 13/16" away from the top, then went down another 8" from there to place the second one, then just lined up the last shelf flush with the bottom. I used 1 1/4" Kreg screws to put it together.
Note: I came up with 2 13/16" because from the base of my saw to the deck measures 3 1/2". So I took 3 1/2 - 11/16" (measurement of my wood) = 2 13/16". Take your time to get this shelf perfect because it will determine how level your wings will be with the deck of your saw.

6) Then I flipped it over and screwed in the other side. Make sure you measure this side as well and make it identical to the first side.
7) I rotated the unit around and screwed in the casters

WilkerDon't: I first placed the casters 1 3/8" in from the sides because I don't like the look of them poking out. However, since I bought casters with brakes on them, I need them to poke out so I can get my toe on the lever to engage or disengage the break. So learn from me and just place them on the corners.

Note: I planned on buying two with breaks and two without however, Northern Tool only had one remaining 3" caster without a break on it, so I ended up with three breaks. If you want to save a few bucks you can buy two of each and put the two with breaks up front then the two without breaks in back 
WilkerDon't: Alright, so I put my miter on my stand to make sure nothing was going wrong, and found something small that wasn't part of the plan. When I rotate my miter I can only go to 48 degrees before the handle runs into the side wall of the frame. : / Ehh. It makes me mad that I overlooked it, but at the end of the day I decided to still move forward because I have never used anything larger than 45 degrees and since I don't plan on screwing my saw down permanently, if I do want to use a larger degree then I can just move the saw forward slightly to allow it room to rotate. If you want to avoid this collision then just make your shelves an inch or two wider.


Instead of making a wing the entire length of the side I decided to only make it 18", which is the length from the front to right behind the built on fence. Since this fence is what you butt your wood up against to keep it square, any wing past this point would be a waste and just more for your under wing to support.

8) So next I cut an 18"x 3/4" long strip then used four 1 1/4" screws to attach it in place.
9) Then I cut the two wings.
Note: I have a long explanation for why I made the wing 29" long but to not bore you a summery is: Most lumber comes in 8' joints, but you don't need the entire 8' to be resting on your wings to be just need the majority of it. I played with a couple different lengths but 29” seemed like the best fit to me.

10) Next, I cut an 18” strip of piano hinge then mounted the hinge 3/4” back on my wing.

Note: However wide you make your bar in step 8 determines how far down you need to mount this hinge.
Tip: I bought a 72” piano hinge and just used a hack saw and my vise to cut the different lengths needed; it comes out cheaper this way. If you use all the same dimensions as me then you will need 82.5” of hinge. I had a 13” joint left over from a previous project but if you don’t then you will need to buy a 72” and also a 12”. 

11) Now I mounted the wing. This step is a two person job. I put a level on my wing then had Cody come out and position it where it was level and hold it while I crawled under the wing and drilled it in place.
If your wing is slightly under flush with the deck of your saw then this is the step where you can correct that! Put a straight piece of wood on your deck and have some hang over onto the wing then move the hinge up until there isn’t a gap. This will only correct a small difference though because if you raise the hinge up too much then when you close your wing, the end will be sticking up higher than the deck and that creates another problem. To avoid any of this just make sure you mount the hinge correctly on the wing in step 10 and also measured correctly in step 5 when you mounted the first shelf that holds the saw.

Support Wings: 

Before I get into these wings, just remember that I’m not an engineer or expert and I find that the hardest part about building things is figuring out the dimensions things should be. I mean…should I make it 22” or 24”? What’s going to give it enough support without being overkill? Psh, I have no idea guys. I don’t know if there are formulas out there to run to make a support piece the most structurally sound but most of the time I just kinda wing it. ….(<-- cheesy pun) : ) I had a scrap piece in my shop that happened to be 22 3/8” wide so I thought that was that was the perfect dimension to make the support wings. ; )

12) Since my piece was already 22 3/8” wide, and I decided I wanted it to be 24” long, I started by cutting the 24” length. Then I drew a 4” line on each end then used a straight edge to connect the two, which gave me my diagonal line to cut along.

Tip: You can use a temporary fence even for a diagonal cut like this. (Video tip here)
13) To allow the support wing to lay flat against the side but still swing out and hold the wing level, I cut out a notch that was 17 ¾” x ¾”.
Note: Even though the bar I am working around is 18” long, the hinge takes up 3/4” so that on top of the 17 ¾” I cut in allows enough clearance (and a little extra) for the wing to not hit that bar and fold all the way flush.

14) So then I cut another length of piano hinge (23 ¼”) and screwed it in place on the wing support first then attached the other side to the stand.
Awesome. : ) I love love love it when things work out.

15) Alright, so to create a ‘stop’ so the wing support would position itself in the same place every single time I raised the wing, I cut out the below shape from ¼” wood. The wing support is 4” so I made the cut out on this is 4 ½”. I used ¼” wood so the gap would be minimal when the wings are closed.
16) Then I positioned the wing support where I thought it would be giving the most support to the wing and used my speed square to figure out what angle it was cocked at. It turns out it’s 60 degrees. Next I used two ¾” screws to attach the stop block cutout.
17) Now I just repeated the steps and attached everything on the other side the same exact way and sequence.

So this is it opened....
And then collapsed...
....: ) And then opened. Just because I literally can't stop.
Here is a view of the wing from the back
18) The last thing I wanted to equip my stand with was a scrap box for the bottom so I cut a bottom, two sides, a front,  and a back wall.
19) Then I took the front and back walls and first measured and marked where I wanted to cut, then used a jigsaw to cut it all out.
Tip: I happen to know that the handle on a beer box is a good shape and size for just about every hand, so I went to the fridge and ripped one off to trace. ; )
20) Last thing I did was put pockets in everything and screw it all together.
and well...: ) I guess that's it. 
I might add a fence on both wings so I can include a built in tape measure but I haven't decided yet. If I add one then I'll add an update here.

I'm not going to lie and say this was easy because it wasn't. Everything seems to work in relation to something else so it was complicated figuring it all out and trying to see interferences and consequences of each decision. However, if you don't have to change any dimensions and can just follow the steps then this should be a simple build. Again, if you are trying to use my instructions and have a question then just shoot me a comment. Heck, if you use them and don't have a question still shoot me a comment!

Total Time: A weekend
Total Cost: $54
I only had to tear into one sheet of plywood for this build because I was able to make all of this, except for the scrap box, out of scrap wood. So my expenses were $24 for casters, $15 for a 72" piano hinge, then $15 for an 4x8 sheet of plywood. 

If you want to see it in is a video I posted on my YouTube channel showing how it works and me giving a summery of it's features.