Guess what my husband bought me a couple weeks ago? YES!
A Dewalt 12″ Dual-Bevel Sliding Compound miter saw. Seriously guys, he’s the best. This is quite the machine. In fact, I feel a little silly owning it since I am just a beginning builder, but at the same time I absolutely love it and will be able to do as much mitering and beveling as I need to, or as my husband says, I’ll never outgrow it.
Did you know that if you give a girl a saw, she’ll ask for a table? Just like the mouse and the cookie. (See? I read books!) If you tell her she can have a miter saw table she’ll decide that she’s just going to make her own miter saw table and she’ll search and search through plans for the perfect miter saw table. At least, that’s what happened here. I finally found the ideal worktable designed by Ana White here: Ultimate Roll Away Workbench System for Ryobi Blogger Build-Off.
I decided to tackle this project in sections. First, I would build the actual tables, so the two tables that go on each side, and the center section which is slightly lower which the saw sits on.
I started by building the frame of the first table which would go to the left of the saw, checking for level, and luckily it needed no adjusting.
Next I build the second frame that would go on the right side of the saw. My shop was a little crowded at this point, and I had to get creative with how to store everything until I was ready for the next step, so when room is tight, go vertical!
I then cleared my shop out. See all of that wood? It was in the way because that’s exactly where this table was going to be placed, so I moved it all and put the table frames in place.
I then eyeballed putting them next to eachother and used a few boards to figure out when they were straight. This was actually harder than I thought it would be because it is such a large worktable with various parts. These two frames are about 4 feet wide each, so it makes it difficult to arrange perfectly. However, when I got them where I wanted them and where they looked mostly like they were right, I added the supports between that would hold up the actual saw itself. I had to make that section a bit wider than the original plan because my saw was a different brand than Ana’s.
Next came getting the thick plywood for the tops. My husband and I carried it inside and down to my workshop in the basement, and man, that stuff is heavy! I actually hurt my back a little moving it around and had to rest for a few days. Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll be fine, I’m just getting old. Ha. Here is a picture of the dry fit:
Everything fit perfectly until I tried to turn the miter angle turntable. The knob hit the front corners of the table! NOOOOOO!!! I was freaking out for a second that all of this work was for nothing, but then I realized that if I just pull the plywood under the saw forward a little bit, which I had luckily left longer than the plan called for, and it barely cleared the corners, so I was golden. It worked. It’s not perfect and it sticks out a little more off the front of the table than I had originally hoped for, but all in all it works great now!
To secure the tops to the frame the plan called for 2″ staples, but my stapler isn’t that heavy-duty and doesn’t do staples of that length, so I opted to use a lot of glue and some 2″ finish nails. It seems to have worked really well, as I’ve pulled with all of my might and nothing has even budged.
So, other than that front corner issue (seriously, crisis averted there) and the dimensions of the saw being different, I found Ana’s plan to be easy to follow and exactly what I needed.
My reward for finishing the table was that I would finally use my saw for the first time. I had been waiting for this moment for weeks! It cuts like a dream. It is seriously going to change my building life in so many ways. My first cuts:
Alright, so the roll-away storage carts, which are my favorite part of the plan, will come later. Somehow, being a mom of four, an active member of my church, custom crocheter, and keeping house seem to take up all of my time, especially at this time of year with all of the holidays, I never have enough time to do all that I want to do in the woodshop. So, I’m giving myself a break and have decided that the carts will be my project for January. Until then, I plan to give this table a ton of use while a build some much needed projects and a special Christmas project for our church program. Check back soon for more details!