Upcoming projects and designs. #17: Mulling over miter saw bench ideas...

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Blog entry by dbhost posted 06-24-2011 08:49 PM 4709 reads 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 16: Considering design requirements for planter boxes / cages. Part 17 of Upcoming projects and designs. series Part 18: LOML complained about how messy the sheet goods in the shop are... »

As some of you may or may not know, I have been actually rather pleased with my Chicago Electric 12” Sliding Compound Miter Saw. At least since giving it a good adjustment, and throwing the OEM blade in the trash and swapping in a nice Diablo 80T blade. What I am not happy with is housing this monstrosity. The rails for the slide at full rearward extension means that there must be a minimum of 30” from the front mounting holes for the saw, to whatever is behind it. With that much movement, the Firestorm miter saw stand made for an unstable work platform, which I felt was dangerous, so I had to do SOMETHING….

That something meant I was looking for somewhere to put that poor saw where it could be solidly mounted, and not do a hula dance as I cycled through the slide action of the saw. The only place I had that didn’t frequently see other use was the Simpson Strong Tie bench, but it was a mere 24” deep… No problem I thought, I can fix this…

Now the solution I came up with was more of an act of desperation than anything else. And it is about as elegant as a sumo wrestler on stage at the ballet.

Now for the fun part….

LOML wants the freezer moved out to the shop…

The good part about that is, I have the go ahead to get the electrical and insulation done in the shop because, well I need power for the freezer don’t I? And of course we don’t want to overtax the poor freezer by trying to keep up with the heat in the shop, so if it was better insulated, therefore cooler in the shop, the freezer won’t struggle so much to keep up right?

Anyway, so the lip thing a ma bob that the strong tie bench sits on, will have to house the freezer, close to the door… Don’t want LOML traipsing through the shop all the way to get a frozen chuck roast do I?

That means the strong tie bench needs to..

#1. Get narrower width wise…. I need to bob it off from 8’ to about 6’. #2. Get deeper front to back. The freezer itself will be 28” from the wall to the handle of the door. So the fence of the saw actually needs to be at about 30” from the wall in case I need stock to pass in front of the handle… I figure this will put my overall depth at about 36” deep. #3. Remain the same height, I use this to catch long offcuts from the table saw. Chances are the table saw will move closer to the overhead doors as well, shorter infeed, but keeps outfeed length good, will just have to open the garage door to infeed long stock…

So now I am thinking. I use the StrongTie bench for storage as well as work space etc… I am wondering if I should go back with a 2×4 framed basic plywood bench, or aim higher, with a very deep face frame type cabinet carcass, and a multi layer plywood top.

I would also like to use this same bench / cabinet to hold my, not yet obtained mortising machine, I figure I will need to know depths of tables / fences and such before building that as well…

So I have a LOT of building considerations here, and nothing I am coming up with in Sketchup is looking worth a (expletive deleted)! I need ideas!

So what have you guys or gals done for problem solving miter benches? Any good advise you can give me?

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7 comments so far

View Richard's profile


1916 posts in 2717 days

#1 posted 06-24-2011 09:21 PM

I have the same saw and it works great for me after pretty much the same changes you made to yours. Don’t really know how to help on your problem but I saw a guy that made kind of a tunnel into the wall behind the saw and it worked out as a dust collection point for it as well and we know how much dust these things throw out. Of course you have to have the space in the wall behind it for this to work.
Good Luck with it and let us see the final result

View dbhost's profile


5726 posts in 3259 days

#2 posted 06-24-2011 09:27 PM

The other side of that wall is my laundry room…. Going behind it won’t work…

yeah these things pitch out a LOT of dust. One of the items that is on the agenda is a proper dust hood… This thing will bury the bench in sawdust with a couple of passes. And that is with the shop vac hooked up to it. I haven’t tried necking down the DC hose to the fitting though. I figured 4” to 1.25” was just too far of a reduction….

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View Elizabeth's profile


817 posts in 3170 days

#3 posted 06-24-2011 10:39 PM

Richard, do you remember where you saw the guy talk about putting a tunnel in his wall? That might actually be a feasible solution for me (I’m also working on miter saw bench options) because the wall it is against is a staircase with under-stair wood storage currently…

View Richard's profile


1916 posts in 2717 days

#4 posted 06-25-2011 12:59 AM

Elizabeth, I just saw it at his house a few years ago. Basicly he just cut out the drywall between the studs behind the saw and boxed it in about 8” to 10” deep behind the saw and also tapered it down from the top to help in directing the sawdust down to the DC hose connected at the bottom of the box. Sorry I can’t get a photo of it since he moved out of the area. It is pretty much like one of the Big Glup Hoods only built into the wall.

View dbhost's profile


5726 posts in 3259 days

#5 posted 06-25-2011 05:52 AM

I am thinking about attaching a big gulp hood to the back of the saw.

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View Cato's profile


701 posts in 3339 days

#6 posted 06-25-2011 12:52 PM

The big gulp hood actually works pretty decent. I have one behind my miter saw, as well as a necked down connection to the miter saw dust port.

All are connected to the DC

Like you, however, I need a better station as mine is sitting on the deck of my old craftsman RAS.

I need to build a dedicated stand and enclose a little around the big gulp to catch that little bit of side spray.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4179 posts in 3191 days

#7 posted 06-27-2011 06:07 PM

Brain storming….......corners are usually poorly used. If you keep the stand for the miter saw mobile you could do most cuts in place in a corner, and pull it out and swivel it for long pieces, using neighbor bench or tooltops for support? Just brain storming.

My TS moves around a bit for that reason. Actually, so does my RAS, but it is well situated for long pieces with the assist of support….........

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

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