Folding Miter Saw Table

Equipped with a great stop system, this folding miter saw table is adaptable for use on a workbench or as a freestanding work table.

As most woodworkers know, it is difficult to use a miter saw without some sort of table to support the workpiece and restrain the saw. In many large workshops, you’ll find a miter saw against a long wall, with a work surface at the same height as the saw's bed. But for most of us, this isn’t an option because of space constraints. 

The miter saw table you are about to build offers a solution to that dilemma, as well as mobility. It can be used atop a workbench (legs folded in) or as a stand-alone table (legs folded out). The design employs a simple angular wedge block that permits the legs to fold neatly in for storage, travel or bench-top use; and to rotate out, forming a stable, sturdy platform. 

The two-part stop system includes an upper stop for cutting to 44" and a sliding stop for cutting to 83". As you’ll see, the “flip design” of the latter is great for cutting multiple pieces to the same length.

Getting started

Begin construction by cutting the table side beams (A) from standard 1"x 4" clear pine. Rout a ¼" rabbet to fit the ¼" plywood top (B). Glue and screw the three bulkheads (C) in the locations shown (Fig. 1). The end supports (F) are glued in place to support the plywood edge, and the end caps (G) are added to complete the table.

Machine the wedge blocks (D) from poplar (or other hardwood) to the dimensions shown (Fig. 3). Add the pilot holes as indicated. Note that the blocks are drilled with the 9/32" pilot hole, 90° to the 18° surface. Two blocks have the holes on the left side and two have the holes on the right, thereby making left-hand and right-hand blocks. It is important to drill these holes before installing the blocks because only a 6½" space separates the side beams, limiting drill access. Pilot holes are essential for proper installation of the 3/8" lag bolts. When installing the blocks, the 9/32" hole must be 2" from the edge that fits against the bulkhead. The 2" location and the bulkhead bottom edge set the leg-opening angle. The wedge blocks are glued and screwed in place, against the bulkheads (Fig. 4). 

Attach the legs

The legs (E) are made from standard 1" x 3" poplar stock. Taper the legs as shown (Fig. 2). Make the footpads and glue them in place. The legs are attached to the table with 3/8" lag bolts and washers (Photo 1). The legs are installed with the footpads facing the center of the table for clearance with the table side beams when folded. When installing the bolts, I put a drop of cyanoacrytate adhesive in the hole to lock the bolt in place. After final assembly, the legs/footpad lower surfaces are trimmed parallel to the floor. Rubber bumpers can then be added to eliminate slipping.

The table provides a work surface that is 32½" from the floor, which is a good workbench height. If a taller table is desired, the legs and the table need to be made longer as appropriate. 

Rear shelf/saw attachment

The rear shelf design is shown in  Fig. 4. The Delta Model 36-075 10" compound miter saw used here is 39/16" high, 177/8" wide and 10 5/8" deep. Determine the width and depth of your saw and modify the dimensions as necessary. The shelf (EE) and bracket (FF) are made from clear pine and attached to the table using #10 x 1½" RH screws (Photo 2). Make sure the shelf top surface is even with the tabletop, for a flat saw mounting plane.

Prepare the platforms

The platforms’ essential function is to provide a surface at the same height as the miter saw. After determining your saw height, cut the eight bulkheads (M)  ¼" in height less to allow for the top panel. Add the notches as shown in Fig 4. to accept the top edge member (J). Glue the top to the edge members. This assembly can now be added to the bulkheads. The long platform has four equal spaces between the bulkheads. The short platform has two. I used small finishing nails and glue to attach the top to the bulkheads.

With the miter saw attached to the table, it is now possible to add the platforms. Make sure that the saw table and the platforms are at the same level. If adjustments are necessary, add shims as required to achieve a flat plane. Leave a 1/16" gap between both platforms and the saw, and attach the platforms with screws, up through the tabletop (B) into the bulkheads (M).

The saw could be simply lag-bolted to the table using the saw tie-down holes. If you intend to keep the saw attached to the table at all times, this would be the way to go. However, in my shop I store the table on a shelf and the saw in another location. For easy removal and portability, I designed a method for quick attachment of the saw to the table using clasps (Photo 3). I have used clasps on several projects with excellent results. Clasp elements interlock, providing a positive, indexing, locking device that resists force in all directions. As illustrated in Photo 3, the Delta saw base includes a cavity inside the two front mounting lugs, below the upper clamp holes. I machined a left-hand and right-hand block to fit inside the cavity, with the bottoms of the blocks in plane with the saw base. The upper clasp elements are attached to the blocks, and the lower parts are attached to the table, using the supplied screws. By using the clasps, no other attachments are necessary to retain the saw. As every miter saw is different, if you want to include this feature on your table, you have to fabricate custom blocks to fit your saw.

Build fences

The fence parts (N) and (P) are cut from ¾" clear pine. Machine the gussets (T) to the dimensions shown in Fig. 6. The five gussets for the long fence include a 33/64" x 33/64" notch providing clearance for the sliding stop bar. Glue (N), (P), and (T) together. The fence top piece (R) includes a 3/8" x ¾" rabbet for the 

T-Slot extrusion, and a 1/32" x ½" dado for the self-stick measuring tape. Glue on the top piece (R) to complete the fence. Do not add the tape at this time. Cut the T-Slot track to length and screw in place. Cut and assemble the short fence in a similar manner.

On the long fence, add the clamp support block (U) as shown. Sand a slight taper to the block as shown in Fig. 7 before gluing it in place between the two gussets. Make the clamp plate (V)  as shown in Fig. 8, and install the ¼"-20 hanger bolt. Use two nails to keep the clamp plate in place, loosely over the bolt. Add the  wing knob to complete the assembly. The clamp should permit the stop bar to slide freely unless the knob is tightened. 

The fences can now be attached to the platforms. Note: As shown in the photo, I added a 3" high wood fence to the miter saw to increase the surface area and to make the saw fence even with the table fence. Align the fences with the saw in place using a long straightedge clamped to the saw fence extending across the platforms. Place both fences against the straightedge, and screw the fences to the platform. The fences are attached using #12 x 1½" RH wood screws and washers into the platform bulkheads. The oversized holes in the fences allow for slight adjustments, if necessary. With the fences installed and the saw in place, add self-stick measuring tape to both fences. Using a scale against the saw blade and fence, carefully mark the 10" point on the fence and add the tape to both sides. On my saw, the tapes start at the 9" dimension, since the saw is 177/8" wide (18" with the gaps, or 9"/side).

Add sliding/flip stops

The sliding stop (W) is a simple hardwood block attached to a sliding bar. The stop is attached with a single screw. The stop stores behind the fence, and when needed, is rotated 180° for use. Make the block, as shown in  Fig. 5 and Photo 5, including the drilled and countersunk hole. The sliding bar (X) is made from standard, white, ½" square aluminum extrusion that is used with wire shelving and available from most supply centers. Make a plug about 1" long to fit tightly into the end of the tube, and to retain the stop screw. Sand the plug for a tight fit into the tube, and install the stop and screw. I used a Sharpie pen to mark divisions on the bar in ¼" increments and hand lettered the digits. The divisions on the bar continue from the divisions on the measuring tape which start at 49" and go to 83".

The flip stop carriage (Z) is machined from a poplar block. I cut the lug profile on the bandsaw, and then cut away and sanded the extra material. Add a guide strip to keep the block straight in the track. The stop (AA) is made in a similar fashion by cutting the profile, and cutting out the space between the lugs. The lugs must be a tight fit with no play. Drill the hole in the stop first. Position the stop lugs over the carriage lugs, and drill a hole through the carriage for the hardwood pin. Add the ¼"-20 bolt and wing knob to complete the assembly. For complete details, see the rigid stop and flip stop in Fig. 5, and portions of the original engineering drawings in Fig. 8 below. If you feel the flip stop is unnecessary, the hinge design can be eliminated and the stop attached directly to a 2" long carriage. Whatever stop you make, be sure the edge of the carriage and the edge of the stop are even for accurate reading of the tape.

 A carry handle was added for portability. Bend one flange to a 90° angle to fit the corner of the table. Add the handle after attaching the saw to determine the balance point.


Since this is a utility-type project, use whatever type of finish you have on hand to seal and complete this project.  I finished my table with two coats of shellac, sanding between the coats. 

Editors Note: Included here are details taken from Sonny Varisco’s original engineering drawings of our featured project.  For those hungry for still more details, log on to our Web site for downloadable pdf pages of the complete plan.

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Tools used in this project

Table saw, router, drill press, clamps, socket set, screwdrivers, straight edge


The following are available at any hardware or home center:

 3/8" x 2" lag bolts (4)
3/8" washers (4)
#10 x 1" FH wood screws (48)
#12 x 2" FH wood screws (12)
#10 x 11/2" RH wood screws (3)
1/4 - 20 x 11/2" FH wood screws (2)
1/4 - 20 nut (2)
#18 x 7/8" nails (2)
#12 x 11/2" RH wood screws (5)
1/4" washers (5)
#10 x 11/2" FH wood screws (3)
#17 x 3/4" finishing nails

Carry handle and screws, #00D81.70


Clasp (13/4" x  3/4") and screws (2), #85H96
T-slot track (24"), #142804
T-slot track (48"), #142805
Right-to-left tape, #08Y42
Left-to-right tape, #08Y41
1/4 - 20 wing knob (2), #85J95
1/4 - 20 hanger bolt (1), #130234
1/4 - 20 T-bolt (1), #130435


Sonny Varisco

Sonny Varisco is an aircraft structural design engineer, retired after 35 years at Gruman Aerospace. He has been an active woodworker for 45 years, designing and constructing furniture, cabinets, built-ins, toys and woodworking aides.

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