Miter Saw Station #2: The Shelf

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Blog entry by Lenny posted 03-03-2014 03:26 PM 3250 reads 2 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Cabinet Construction Part 2 of Miter Saw Station series Part 3: Counter Tops »

With the cabinets in place, I turned my attention to the shelf that would be placed between them, on which the saw will sit. Because I had some questions about attachment of the fence, I contacted Fine Woodworking magazine and obtained Bob O’Brien’s e-mail address. I asked him for specific info regarding the fence. He sent back a detailed response that included how he made and installed the shelf. Bob made his from a buildup of ¾” MDF and phenolic plywood and wrapped it in a border of solid maple. To jump ahead a bit, the counter tops are made the same way. Phenolic plywood (available at Woodcraft and Rockler) is not cheap. I planned to make the counter tops from it but decided to cut my expenses a bit by not using it on the shelf. After all, the saw simply sits on the shelf. The counter tops will be what take a beating. Instead, I used two layers of MDF, painted it and once the maple border was attached, I used spray can polyurethane to finish it. The shelf is roughly 35” wide and 21” deep. I left room at the back for a dust collection hose.

The saw has to sit on the shelf such that the bed is level with the finished counter tops. Here is the method Bob used and that I (for the most part) followed: I used 1-1/2×1-1/2 inch steel angle iron bolted to each of the side cabinets. The horizontal leg of the angle iron sits roughly ¼-inch below the bottom of the presumed location of the saw platform. Four ¼-20 hex socket cap screws are located in each angle iron. The two outer screws are for leveling and the angle iron is tapped for the screws to thread into. The two inner cap screws are to secure the shelf. They go through untapped holes in the angle iron and into threaded inserts recessed into the shelf bottom. You bolt the saw to the shelf, position the saw and shelf front-to-back, level it with the four outboard screws and finally, lock it in place with the four inboard screws into the inserts. I added a nut to jam against the angle iron and hold the cap screw in place. I had never tapped for screws so I contacted my buddy Paul. He is a fellow LJ (Harleysofttaildeuce). Paul is a machinist. He visited my shop with tapping tools in hand. With, the “feed a man a fish…teach a man to fish” theory in mind, he tapped the first hole, then taught me how to do the rest. Thank you Paul.

I am going to stop here and cover the counter tops in my next blog.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

9 comments so far

View patron's profile


13640 posts in 3545 days

#1 posted 03-03-2014 03:36 PM

coming allong nicely lenny

i have a similar build for my saw too
but rather than bolting the saw itself to the shelf
i got it secure with corner stop blocks
so i can remove the saw
for job site use

then just drop it back in
when i need it in the shop

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Woodenwizard's profile


1347 posts in 3247 days

#2 posted 03-03-2014 03:49 PM

Lenny, I love your work. Great Looking. Can’t wait to see the rest.
Need to come out for a visit soon.

-- John, Colorado's (Wooden Wizard)

View Roger's profile


20952 posts in 3008 days

#3 posted 03-03-2014 04:07 PM

Gonna be a nice miter station

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View Lenny's profile


1616 posts in 3731 days

#4 posted 03-03-2014 10:21 PM

Thanks David. Nice that you made yours portable. This saw is a beast, at least in terms of weight. I have no intention to bring IT to a job. The job will have to come to it. Thank you John and Roger.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View blackcherry's profile


3338 posts in 4027 days

#5 posted 03-03-2014 10:40 PM

Lenny nice work on your miter station and agree on how heavy this saw is since I have the same beast. I do have to take it to job site once in awhile for larger size crown molding installation. Great work on the extra storage units can never have enough, enjoy your new station… BC

View Lenny's profile


1616 posts in 3731 days

#6 posted 03-03-2014 10:55 PM

Hi Wilson. Thank you.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18394 posts in 3880 days

#7 posted 03-04-2014 12:47 AM

Nice work. Interesting blog. You must be planning on seem serious WW ;-)

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Lenny's profile


1616 posts in 3731 days

#8 posted 03-04-2014 01:53 AM

Thanks Bob. I don’t know that my future woodworking will be any more serious than my past. I just saw the potential of the space and I am seeking to maximize it.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View Napaman's profile


5530 posts in 4281 days

#9 posted 03-31-2014 01:51 PM

looking good…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

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