10pm on a Saturday night and, after a lovely dinner with friends, I can’t think of a better way to round out the evening than by settling in at the computer with a beautiful glass of 2010 Shiraz and catching you up on one of the several projects I’ve completed in the last couple of weeks. Sorry I’ve been a bit slack at writing up my plans… too busy building stuff!
(Thankfully) I’ve had a mitre saw bench for a while (hubby made it 🙂 ) but I’ve been wanting to raise the side supports so that a long piece of wood is supported when you lay it across. I finally got around to doing that! I also want to build a ‘catcher’ to funnel the sawdust down to a dust extractor… haven’t gotten to that yet but wanted to show you what I’ve done so far!
I don’t have photographs of the early construction of this table, but have drawn it up so that you can still see all the steps. It’s made entirely of 2×4’s – or 90x40mm if you live Down Under 🙂 So while it’s not made of free pallets, it’s made of cheap, widely available structural pine. You want a table that’s going to be holding such a heavy piece of machinery to be square after all! The table has been built in such a way that if/when you replace your mitre saw, you won’t have the pull the entire table apart to make it fit 🙂
Total dimensions (including 88mm high casters): 878mm high, 1200mm long, 460mm deep (760mm with the side supports)
- 65mm screws
- 25 – 30mm screws
- 5400mm length of 90×40 structural pine, cut into 3 x 630mm and 4 x 720mm and 2 x 300mm lengths
- 2 x 5400mm lengths of 90×40 structural pine, each cut into 4 x 1200mm and 1 x 460mm
- 1 x 2400mm length of 90x40mm structural pine, cut into 1 x 1200mm and 1 x 630mm lengths
- 460x950mm piece of ply, at least 5 mm thick (I got mine off a pallet that hadn’t been left out in the weather)
- Approximately half a square metre of plywood, at least 12mm thick (I used 17mm because I had a sheet of it at home). IMPORTANT – read through all the steps, take your measurements and then draw your dimensions on to your ply before cutting anything!
- Wood glue
- 4 x heavy duty casters
- Mitre saw or circular saw
- Jig saw or band saw
- Drill/impact driver
Screw the four 630mm lengths of structural pine to the four 720mm lengths:
Make the top of the table frame by screwing two of the 1200mm lengths of pine to the two 300mm lengths:
Screw the top frame to the legs:
Screw another two of the 1200mm lengths to the bottoms of the legs from the underside, to form the base.
Strengthen the base by screwing 2 x 460mm lengths to the inside of the legs and top of the base pieces. And there you have your frame!
Slot in the plywood base. I haven’t even bothered to attach this, but you could glue, screw or nail.
To make the table top, screw the remaining five 1200mm lengths on to the frame. You will have to screw from the top; but this is fine because you will be covering these up with the mitre saw and the side supports (step 8 and beyond). Space the lengths out evenly – don’t worry about any gaps.
Put the mitre saw in the middle of the table and screw/bolt it in place. From here, you need to work out what you want your side supports to look like. I wanted mine to hang off the back of the table, so that when I pushed the whole unit up against the wall, it would be as deep as my other benches/tables. This has also allowed me to be able to use the saw without having to pull it away from the wall. Plus, it’s given me a nice gap to build my dust catcher in to one day.
Measure the distance from the top of the table to the cutting plate. Measure the distance from the edge of the saw to the edge of the table (on both sides of the saw, in case you didn’t bolt it exactly in the middle!) Double check the thickness of your ply.
- Subtract the thickness of the ply from the vertical distance
- Subtract double the thickness of the ply from the horizontal distance/s
- Subtract the thickness of your ply from the depth of the table (460mm).
These measurements will give you the dimensions for the base, sides and back of your side supports. Cut the ply to size, so that you end up with 2 bases, 4 sides and 2 backs. Hold a side up against your saw, and rest another piece of ply on top, to make sure that it is level with the cutting plate of your saw. If you’re happy with it, glue and screw the pieces together with the small screws:
Here’s how I glued, clamped and screwed:
Screw the table raisers to the table from above.
Cut 2 final pieces of ply to the distance from the edge of the saw to the edge of the table, and the depth that you chose. Screw from the top:
Finito! For now. Dust catcher coming soon 🙂