Miter Saw Stand

When I built the shed, I realized how useful a 12" Compound Miter Saw would be.  Part of it's usefulness is the ability to bring it to the project, rather than running back and forth from the backyard to the garage workshop.  But the price of a sturdy portable stand can be almost as much as the saw itself.   I wanted to as much of my money spent on the saw and not the stand, so I bought the Makita LS1220 and built the stand myself.

The stand didn't cost much too make. I used steel which makes it a little heavy to carry but it's rock solid and strong.   I intend to use it in the shop and outdoors, and it rolls easily.  It's not collapsible, but that wasn't a requirement for me.  If I needed it to be portable I could have used aluminum instead of steel, but steel is less expensive, stronger, and I had some.

The two top rails are 7' sections of 2" steel angle (¼" thick).   The stand is 7' long for no other reason than I had the steel lying around my shop from a previous project.   I could have used thinner steel.  The rest of the stand's steel parts are 1/8" thick steel.  The two top rails are connected together at either end spaced 12" apart.   Since I had a 14" steel chop saw, I decided to get a little fancy.  The legs are angled at 15º and the ends of the top rails are trimmed the same way for looks.

I used two 5/16" Grade-8 bolts to connect each leg to the top rails.  All other connections use ¼" Grade-8 bolts.  I've given up using regular bolts because they break too often.  Lowes carries a good selection of those gold colored Grade-8 bolts.   The wheels are 8" steel lawnmower wheels with ball bearings. The axle is  ½" threaded rod.
That piece of plywood you see attached to the left legs opposite the wheels is just for stability.  The wheels aren't very far apart and this stand could be tipped.  This piece of scrap plywood will be replaced with somethign that looks a bit better eventually.

What makes this stand useful, is the saw easily slides along the top rails, so it can be shifted to the best position for a particular cut.

The shelf and saw platform are ¾" plywood.  The saw platform rests on three nylon gliders.  They are those gray furniture gliders are  the ones you can find at HomeDepot.

  There are some pieces of plywood underneath the platform that keep the saw "on track" as it slides along the top rails.  The saw platform clamps in place with a lock bar.  I used a piece of steel that is about ¼" longer than the inside distance between the top rails.  This lock bar sits underneath the platform, perpendicular to the top rails and is clamped in place with a plastic knob on a threaded bolt that passes through a T-nut on the top side of the plywood.  By loosing the knob I can twist the bar a little and lift the whole saw platform off the stand.

There are two stock supports at either end of the top rails.  They are just some aluminum angle and some aluminum bars I had lying around.  You can see there's a black plastic knob which allows me to quickly remove them if I don't need them.

To match the Makita saw, I painted the whole stand with Rustoleum aluminum colored paint using white primer underneath.

Here is the parts list, not including electricals:

Part Description Qty Material My Sources
A Top Rails 2 84" x 2" x ¼" (length, width, thickness) steel angle Local Iron/Steel Supply
B Top Rail Connectors 2 12" x 1½" x 1/8" (length, width, thickness) steel angle Local Iron/Steel Supply
C Legs 4 35" x 1½" x 1/8" (length, width, thickness) steel angle Local Iron/Steel Supply
D Leg Connectors 2 12" x 1" x 1/8" (length,width, thickness) steel flat stock Home Depot
E Shelf  1 40" x 12" x ¾" (length, width, thickness) plywood Home Depot
F Shelf Support 2 40" x 1" x 1/8" (length, width, thickness) steel angle Home Depot
G Axle 1 16" x ½" threaded rod, washers and lock nuts Home Depot
H Wheels 2 8" steel lawnmower wheels with ball bearings Home Depot
J Bolts 8 5/16" x 1" Grade-8 bolts and nuts Lowes
K Bolts 6 1/4" x 3/4" Grade-8 bolts and nuts Lowes
L Saw Platform 1 16" x 20" x ¾" plywood (based on your saw size) Home Depot
M Platform Gliders 3 2" round nylon furniture glides Home Depot
N Platform Guides 4 2" x 5" x  x ¾" plywood Home Depot
O Woodscrews 8 1½" woodscrews Home Depot
Q T-nut 1 ¼"-20  x ¾" T-nut Lowes
R Platform Clamp 1 ¾" x 3/8" x 12¼" steel bar Local Iron/Steel Supply
S Platform Clamp Knob 1 ¼"-20  x  2" plastic knob and bolt and nylon washer Lowes



CLAMPS (not seen in pictures) - When I discovered that Makita wanted $45 and $60 for the two hold down clamps, I shuddered. Then one day at HomeDepot, I noticed they were selling their discontinued Ridgid CMS clamps. They were marked down from $30 to $14.99, so I grabbed a couple hoping they'd fit. Well, they do. They fit very nicely and I only had to get two metric bolts to replace the standard ones that come with the clamps since the Makita table has threaded holes f or metric bolts. The clamps aren't as fancy as the Makita's and the one on the right gets in the way of the motor when cutting angles, but for that price they're great.

This stand design is copyright. If you are a fellow woodworker, feel free to copy the design to make one for you own personal use. You just can't make them to sell, or sell the design.

© 2008 Mark Goodall