Miter Station

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Project by Tim Dorcas posted 08-14-2010 06:11 PM 4001 views 27 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

There’s a lot twists and turns on the way to making this Miter Station. I wrote about making it here. Essentially I was tired of crosscutting long pieces on my table saw and I wanted to practice making cabinets. The idea was to see if I could build something cheaper, faster and better made than medium grade kitchen cabinets. In the end, I’m not sure how much cheaper it was but I think I made the best of what I had. The shells are shop grade birch plywood. The drawers are poplar and the drawer fronts are maple. The ultimate goal was not to build a museum quality piece but to make something nice.

Some learning lessons:

1) It took a lot longer than I had hoped. I thought I could crank this out in about three weekends. It took a lot longer than that.

2) This was the first time I used water based stains and dyes. Let me just say, I don’t think I will be using anything else. I have been following Charles Neil in his weekly Mastering Woodworking series (a great subscription based tutorial program) and he advocates using water based products. I see why. If you look at my nightstands, I think I had to use four coats of Minwax black stain; not to mention the waiting time for everything to dry in between. With the General Finishes Ebony Dye (and in some cases Black Stain), I used two coats and I could apply both coats immediately. About the only bummer is that the black is so black you can’t see the tiger maple door fronts. Oh well.

3) This is the first project I used with a sprayer – more specifically the Earlex Spray Station Pro. It made top coating much easier. And again I used a General Finishes water based Gloss top coat. That helped to speed things up as well. It dried in no time so I could add layers fairly quickly.

4) I hate sanding! There is no part of the cabinet (even the drawers) that didn’t get sanded at least a couple of times. Even with the Festool ETS 150 which admittedly makes sanding a little easier, I can honestly say when I knew I had to sand something that day, I was unhappy. Lots and lots of sanding!

5) I cheaped out on the drawer slides. Next time I will spend the money and get full extension drawers for everything.

6) Black cabinets in the shop are a no no. This is probably the cleanest it is ever going to be.

The initial design was to have the middle cabinet roll out when I had something too long to fit in that space. Considering the amount of effort that went into trying to make all of the cabinet surfaces level and flush, I don’t think it’s going anywhere.

There are a few minor things left to do including making a dust collection system to contain the debris. However I really need to finish up another project so it will have to wait.

As all projects are…this was great learning project. And I’m at my favorite part of the woodworking process, sitting back and admiring what I have achieved.


-- - A Woodworking & Renovation Blog & - I make. You buy.

12 comments so far

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3258 days

#1 posted 08-14-2010 06:20 PM

congrat´s with a realy niiiiice mitterstation
but as you said enjoy your black work now …......LOL


View Ken90712's profile


17575 posts in 3331 days

#2 posted 08-14-2010 06:32 PM

Great station, I thought the same thing, black cabinets oohhh my! Like my Black car I have that I said I would never buy agian after the last one. Looks good on the showroom floor though. LOL Well done.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Manitario's profile


2631 posts in 3026 days

#3 posted 08-14-2010 07:29 PM

very nice, I love the black finish, despite the difficulty cleaning! What did you use for the mitre stop/measuring system?

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View Deborah's profile


3 posts in 2986 days

#4 posted 08-14-2010 07:40 PM

Very handsome piece. I like all the storage space you included. Wish I had this equipment and cabinet at my house!
Deborah, North Carolina

-- Deborah, North Carolina

View KayBee's profile


1083 posts in 3389 days

#5 posted 08-14-2010 08:14 PM

Very nice job! I thought just looking at those little thumbnails on the main page it was a bathroom vanity. lol
Is the saw cabinet itself angled in the front to match the tops?

-- Karen - a little bit of stupid goes a long way

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 4208 days

#6 posted 08-14-2010 09:02 PM

That is sweet and looks to be quite functional. Plenty of storage space is an added benefit. Well done.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View sedcokid's profile


2735 posts in 3741 days

#7 posted 08-14-2010 10:13 PM

Wow! What a sweet miter saw station! Looks great, but a bit to big for my shop however. Great job thanks for sharing!

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

View Div's profile


1653 posts in 3083 days

#8 posted 08-14-2010 10:43 PM

The prettiest miter station I ever saw! Looks more like furniture! But oh dear, the black will NEVER work in my dusty shop!

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View bigfish_95008's profile


250 posts in 3246 days

#9 posted 08-15-2010 05:07 AM

yeah they always seem to take longer than expected, but ya done good.

-- bigfish "I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it." Vincent Van Gogh

View twokidsnosleep's profile


1106 posts in 3116 days

#10 posted 08-15-2010 05:36 PM

Absolutely gorgeous. Really fine craftsmanship.
I love the black despite having to clean it more; the dust just tells you you have been busy.
I was thinking black accents for my shop cabinets and now will go for it.

-- Scott "Some days you are the big dog, some days you are the fire hydrant"

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 3916 days

#11 posted 08-19-2010 05:38 AM

Excellent job on the miter station. Beautifully done. Thanks for posting.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View Tim Dorcas's profile

Tim Dorcas

188 posts in 4001 days

#12 posted 08-19-2010 06:59 AM

I just wanted to say thanks for kind words. In actual use, it’s pretty awesome and certainly has upped the ante for the rest of the shop…

Manitario – I bought the basic system from Busy Bee Tools. I wanted to get the Kreg system but it was ridiculously expensive (and keeping costs down was part of the plan).

If you are looking at the project for the first time, take a second and let me know what you think. Thanks again!


-- - A Woodworking & Renovation Blog & - I make. You buy.

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