A miter saw is a must-have for any really serious woodworker who wants to add true precision and quality to their finished products.
They can accomplish so much that other saws just aren’t capable of. It’ll help you cut precise angles from any project quickly and easily and square imperfect ends. The only thing is they’re quite large and require a stable, ergonomic stand strong enough to hold the saw safely, without restricting your working ability.
You can buy these stands in-store, but you wouldn’t be the first woodworker to see the irony in buying ready-made wood products from a store, especially as in most circumstances it’s going to cost you a whole lot more than the price of the raw materials, as you’re paying for someone else’s labor.
So, to help you save some money and set you off on a really enjoyable and fulfilling project, I’m going to discuss the various options you have when it comes to choosing a DIY miter saw stand plan.
Miter stands come in all different styles, shapes, and sizes, and - as you’ll find with any project - there are varying difficulties depending on the complexity of the design. This is why it’s important to pick a plan that you’re going to be reasonably comfortable undertaking.
If you are a beginner and you still want to try your hand at a slightly more advanced stand plan because you feel you need a particular stand or just fancy a challenge, then, by all means, have a crack at it. Just try your best to get to grips with the scale of the project before you start, to make sure it’s what you want to do.
If a plan is very complicated, it’s best to steer clear if you’re a beginner. You can always revisit it in the future once you’ve honed your skills.
Beginner - Intermediate Plans
Beginner plans tend to be smaller and require fewer tools to craft. They’re less likely to have facilities such as on-board dust collection setups, and a moveable fence, and they won’t have as many storage options.
One great thing about following a simpler plan is that they’re easily tweakable, so if you find a fantastic one that won’t quite fit your space, your saw, or lacks something you’d like to add or enhance, then you can do that fairly easily. A top tip when coming up with your own ideas for a piece is to write them down formally as if they were part of the original plan.
This’ll mean you’re less likely to make a mistake as you go or forget something important and have to start again after some fiddly backtracking.
Here’s an example of a beginner-friendly design so you can size up the task at hand.
Advanced plans will normally have far more adjustable components than others and are likely to be much larger, and thus, a more expensive and time-consuming build.
An advanced plan might, for example, give instructions on how to make a height-adjustable base for the saw to sit on, which is a really cool feature, but no easy task to craft.
DIY Miter Saw Stand Plans Guide
Obviously, one of the best things about building your own stand is that you save some money, but you still might end up spending more than you’d expected on materials for a large or complex plan.
It’s a great idea to carve out a rough idea of what you’d like to spend. No matter what your skill level or ambitions, so you can focus on realistic designs and get started as fast as possible.
I’m assuming if you’re reading this that you already own or are ready to pull the trigger on a particular saw, and are aware of specific measurements of said saw. Knowing accurate dimensions is essential when it comes to choosing a stand plan as they will be designed for a particular size saw.
It’s not the end of the world if the plan you like the look of is designed for a slightly different sized saw. You may be able to alter it slightly to accommodate bigger or smaller sizes; however, the more complex the plan, the harder alterations are going to be.
You’re also going to want to have a pretty clear idea of how much room you can spare in your workspace as these things can run pretty big, and we know a lot of you have been relegated to pretty confined areas as it is.
There are some really great free DIY plans available with some clever space-saving features like fold-away wings that you can fit with hinges to the sides of your stand,
Here’s an example or space-friendly design
And for those of you with expansive workshops, here’s an example of a much larger design.
No matter how simple the plan you go with is, you’re going to find it way more difficult if you haven’t got a fence to use when you’re working with your boards.
If you don’t have one ready, you can find plans out there that include instructions on how to build large, sturdy fences.
Now, this ties in with a bunch of the other considerations on this list, but it’s a helpful thing to think about when choosing a plan.
There are a host of different styles when it comes to miter saw stands. A lot of the more straightforward designs will have a simple desk look, whereas you can find others that are shaped more like a grill cart, or a fancy piece of furniture you wouldn’t mind having in your dining room.
Have a dig around and see what appeals to you.
Here’s an example of an innovative and unique style plan.
Miter saw stand plans will almost always come with a materials list so you know exactly what you’re going to need.
If you already have a stack of material you were planning on using, just make sure it’s an appropriate swap for the suggested materials.
One of the great things about miter stands is how versatile built-in storage space can be. Some plans will have spacious cabinets, various hooks, or other under desk storage ideas. Some plans will feature numerous drawers or even an elongated workbench that can hold your other larger appliances such as belt sanders or a drill press.
Of course, the more storage options in the plan, the harder it tends to be to make, and the larger the final product will be. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, you can build something really spectacular with uses that go far beyond holding a miter saw.
Here’s an example of what’s possible with a plan with expansive storage options.
Another great feature included in a lot of plans are wheels, so you can get your heavy miter saw from one end of the room to the other on a regular basis without throwing your back out.
There are quite a few beginner and intermediate plans that have a pair or four wheels, so don’t worry if you’re not an expert but would still appreciate some mobility in your design.
If you do plan on using a fully mobile four-wheel plan, make sure you install foot brakes to stop any unwanted movement during your work.
Although woodworking is definitely an exercise in patience, you should probably consider how long a certain plan will take you to finish.
If you have a fairly good skill level then you might be able to knock out a simple but quality miter stand in around four hours. The more expansive and complicated plans available are likely to take even a skilled woodworker days to complete.
Getting stuck on a project for a really long time can be exceedingly frustrating, and frustration and power tools simply don’t mix. It’s best to pick a plan you’ve got plenty enough time for. The most important thing is enjoying the project and keeping the project safe for you.
Building your own miter stand is easier than it’s ever been.
There are loads of really great, free plans available online. It’s an immensely satisfying experience, and every time you use your miter saw from then on out, you’ll feel a great sense of pride and well being, and then once you’ve mastered it, you can even come up with your own entirely custom miter stand plans; how cool is that!
It does seem kind of silly forking out for an expensive ready-made stand if you have the equipment to do it yourself. It’s sort of like teaching a man to fish then seeing him in the store the next day buying a smoked haddock, but if you don’t feel up to the task, that’s fine.
We recommend having a look at some free plans anyway, as you can still learn a lot, and hey, maybe something will jump out at you and change your mind.
For a full list of great plans to match any skill level or budget, check out the link below.