Sunday, January 18, 2009


I like to devote much of the time I spend on a project to the design, wood selection stage and the latter stages , referring to board preparation, joinery and detail work. The intervening part about cutting boards to length and ripping these boards I leave to my machinery. This methodology also allows me to perform a better job of selecting parts of planks with which to incorporate in my project, since the laborious part about slicing and dicing the planks is done with safety and ease. I recently completed a sliding miter saw station to assist me in cross-cutting long, wide planks into more manageable pieces.

In the past, I would, through use of either a handsaw or smaller circular saw, try to accomplish this with varied degree of success. I had a miter saw station in mind for a while, and decided recently to go ahead and build one with certain criteria in mind. The station needed to have some portability since permanently attaching to a wall is out of the question for the time being for numerous reasons. The length ( 7 ft.) should allow me to safely and easily manage planks up to eight or nine feet in length and the height is sufficient for me not to need to crouch or bend down. With this in mind, the station also needed to be rugged to handle the heavier hardwood planks. I also needed to be able to work either on the left or right side of the sliding blade with appropriate adjustable flip stops and solid stops.

The sliding miter saw itself has all the features I need.. dual bevel, 10-12 inch wide capacity and 3-4 inch deep cut capacity. The station is composed mostly of baltic birch plywood with hardwood fences. The portability is there through use of two workmate type stands which can be folded and the whole unit with the saw removed can then be moved around. These stands easily handle the weight of the station and saw and any planks I need to cut and are rock solid. The station itself is attached to two large, wide planks spanning the workmate type stands. Having used the station for a week or two so far, I'm very satisfied with it as it meets all my criteria.