I’ve been wanting to change up my miter saw bench for a few years now and since I’ve recently acquired two radial arm saws I’ve really been itching to incorporate them into my own ultimate miter saw bench! Once I settled on the layout, I got to work making my vision a reality and am really happy with the results! Thanks to my friends at Kreg Tool, I’ve made the plans for this bench available on their site for free!
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Here are the tools and items I used to build my ultimate miter saw bench.
- 3/4″ Melamine, 4’x8′
- 3/4″ MDF, 4’x8′
- 1/2″ Plywood, 4’x8′
- 1/4″ Plywood, 4’x8′
- Pocket hole screws 1-1/4″
- Pocket hole screws 2″
- 18 gauge nails
- 3/4” screws
- Universal Benches
- Production Stop
- Swing Stop
- Precision Miter Gauge System
- Heavy Duty Trak
- Combo Trak
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How to Build the Ultimate Miter Saw Bench
- Layout benches
- Fence location
- Radial arm saw work surface (right side)
- Miter saw bench top (left side)
- Making the fence
- Mounting the miter saw
- Making and installing miter saw bench drawers
- Accessories to increase productivity
- Get the plans!
It may sound obvious, but the first thing I did (after assembling the Kreg universal benches) was to layout all of the benches and make sure that what I’d been planning on was going to actually fit once everything was in place. With the layout confirmed I took to the task of leveling each one of the benches and radial arm saws. Once I was finished, all of the bench tops were coplanar and the radial arm saws were exactly 3-1/2″ higher than the top of the benches (this will make sense later).
The next thing I needed to determine was exactly where I wanted the fence to be located. With a radial arm saw you have a bit of freedom as to where you want to locate the fence. I determined where I felt the belt location was for the types of materials I’ll be cutting most often and made sure that the fence’s location would also work well for the miter saw. Once everything was figured out, I took a ton of measurements and headed over to the CNC to start cutting out parts!
Radial arm saw work surface (right side)
With the work surface for the radial arm saw side of the bench drawn up, I programmed the ShopBot and crossed my fingers that all of my measurements were accurate. I cut two layers. The bottom layer was cut from MDF and the top layer was cut from black melamine. All of the cuts and holes that were drilled with the CNC can absolutely still be made with the standard array of tools you’ve seen me use before. Having the CNC just allows me to get through projects faster so that I can move on to the next job as quickly as possible!
Thankfully all of the measurements were right on the money and I secured both layers of the work surface to the mounting bars on both radial arm saws. I then cut a few pieces of Kreg’s Combo Trak to length and screwed them into place.
Miter saw bench top (left side)
The first thing I needed to do on the left side of the bench was to attached a base layer. This gives me something to build off of and will also be the plane that the miter saw sits on. Since I’m building a large bench, I had to crawl under the benches to screw the base layer on.
Next up I cut out the two layers for the top and drilled pocket holes in the risers.
I screwed the risers to the base layer with 1-1/4″ pocket holes screws and spaced them 12-1/8″ apart.
Then I placed this assembly on the underside of the top layer and screwed the two sections together with drywall screws.
I then flipped the work surface over and ran 2″ pocket hole screws through the base layer and into the risers.
Making the fence
To make the fence I used Kreg’s Heavy Duty Trak. This requires a structure to be bolted to, so for my project I made a small “L” shaped piece that I screwed together with 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws.
I drilled a handful of holes in the vertical piece of this fence support so that the Heavy Duty Trak could be fastened to the fence support with 1/4-20 bolts.
I then used the laser again to alight both sections of the fence and secured it to the work surfaces with 1-1/4″ pocket hole screws.
Mounting the miter saw
To make sure the miter saw fence was in line with the fences already attached to the bench, I used a 4′ level and clamped it to the fences on the left and right of the miter saw. I then pushed the miter saw up to the level and screwed it to the base layer of the bench.
Making and installing miter saw bench drawers
With all of the negative space between the base layer and work surface, I thought it would be good to make a handful of small drawers. I wanted to figure out a way to make these drawers without the need for drawer slides and I wanted the fronts to be as low profile as possible. Here’s what I came up with. There is a counterbored slot down the sides of the drawer that the head of a pocket hole screw slides in and the drawer fronts have an undercut slot routed in them with a dovetail bit.
Once all of the parts are cleaned up on the router table, I take to assembling them with just glue and a few 18 gauge brad nails. The drawer bottoms are also glued and nailed into place, but the drawer front are secured with two 3/4″ screws and a bit higher than the drawer bottoms so that the drawer fronts are centered in the openings.
To install the drawers I run a 1-1/4″ pocket hole screw through the counterbored slot and into the riser. This keeps the drawer from falling out and also provides a stop so that the drawer front is flush with the front of the bench when closed.
Accessories to increase productivity
In addition to the Production Stop and Swing Stops I’ve added along the fence, I will be utilizing the Kreg Precision Miter Gauge so that I can cut angles with the radial arm saws while still leaving the saw set perpendicular to the fence. I plan on using the large radial arm saw for long cross cuts and the smaller radial arm saw for cutting dados in pieces that would be cumbersome to handle on the table saw.
Get the Plans!
Follow the link to head over to Kreg’s website and grab the free plans!
As always, if you have any questions or comments just let me know. And until next time, have fun making something!
Kreg Tool provided me with product and/or monetary compensation as a sponsor of this post. All opinions are my own and are not influenced by the sponsor. All expressed opinions and experiences are my own words. My post complies with the Word Of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Ethics Code and applicable Federal Trade Commission guidelines.
Products specifications are sourced on each product page linked above with each item.
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