Miter Station - Rolling or Fixed Position? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 05-15-2017, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
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Question Miter Station - Rolling or Fixed Position?

I am going to start the build of a miter station and I've seen all kinds of different ones. However, I'm not certain I will be in this house the rest of my life so I'm considering building it in several pieces and using casters on each section. What are the downsides to building it this way? Potential alignment issues? Thanks in advance!

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post #2 of 22 Old 05-15-2017, 12:11 PM
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Nothing wrong with casters. Everything in my small shop is on casters.

I have watched many videos on YouTube that demonstrated the most complex set-ups with cabinets top and bottom, cubbie holes and shelves, several drawers with 16 feet or more of table including dust collection to the simplest place to just mount a saw and a place to rest the stock.

The gamut of options is available to be sure.

Setting up 3 cabinets with casters and leveling screws is a fine option.

That said, why buy or build with casters now? Three sets of casters could cost $100. If you don't plan on moving this around the shop in any form or fashion and are only worried about moving it somewhere down the road, I would can the caster idea.

I would still build it modular. A center unit and a right and left unit.

My miter saw is on a 3 drawer cabinet with casters. I have the most simple fold down wings on each side with no fence. I do plan on adding better wings in the future but that is the set-up today.

I look forward to your decision whatever you decide and a look at the build.

Good luck
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post #3 of 22 Old 05-15-2017, 12:16 PM
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Do you change you shop often?

I don't see a need for it to be "mobile" unless your space requirements demand it. My RAS is mobile, but it's only 48" long. When I cut longer planks I use roller supports. As a rule, the longest pieces I like to deal with are 8 ft or less. They don't require a real long table.

Casters are not the most stable as they all have some wiggle to them even when locked. My table saw is on casters BUT I have very heavy duty leveling pads when I need it to be stable, I just crank them down. It may make sense to maker the unit in 3 pieces and then bolt them together. Each end piece could be the same with storage drawers or doors. The center piece would support the miter saw and also have storage underneath. Keeping the width of each unit to a reasonable amount will make the drawers easier to build and install.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #4 of 22 Old 05-15-2017, 12:57 PM Thread Starter
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I really have no reason to have the sections be "mobile". I simply thought if I were to move, it would be easier to get them onto the truck. However, a dolly is quite easy to use also.

Attached is the starting layout of the garage for reference. As you can see, the miter station is slated to use the entire (East) wall. Although it probably won't since no one needs a 24' long miter station.
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post #5 of 22 Old 05-15-2017, 03:37 PM
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I'd be all for the idea of making it modular just so you can move it if you have to move. Caster never seem to have that solid feel I like so I would nix that idea. I have my drill press and band saw on caster and regret it almost every time I use them. If I do caster in the future it will have to be more complicated that allow the stand/bench to sit directly on the floor when not using the casters.
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post #6 of 22 Old 05-15-2017, 05:57 PM
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I have my table saw & miter station built into the same table and I used 4 locking wheels and it's solid as a rock when locked down, same for my router cabinet I built. Both have 4 locking swivel wheels and once I lock things down it feels just like a solid piece of furniture.
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post #7 of 22 Old 05-15-2017, 08:42 PM
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I very much like the idea of building in modules on casters. Your modules can be "locked" to each other if needed or separated and rolled as needed. Using the height of the table saw as the standard, try to build all your tables the same height. This makes it easier on you when working long pieces.
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post #8 of 22 Old 05-16-2017, 08:38 AM
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Your modules can be "locked" to each other if needed or separated and rolled as needed.
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post #9 of 22 Old 05-16-2017, 11:38 AM
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If you have small or multi-use space that requires that your tools be moved regularly casters are the way to go. If you think you are going to have to possibly move the tools at some point in the future I would build in a manner that would allow for disassembly and moving with a dolly.


Just because something has casters on it does not mean it will be easy to move. We park in our garage so when I decided to get bigger/better tools had the idea to put all my tools on rolling work tables, I bought a utility trailer with a ramp and thought I could take about 30 mins to convert my garage to a workshop by bringing all my rolling tables home from our mini storage.


With the table saw it worked great.



I could roll it up and down the ramp with no problem. I could leave my house get to the storage unit and back to the house and have the saw in my garage is 15 mins.


Next up was my miter saw station and I built this monster.






It worked great in the garage and while it was cumbersome I could move it around the garage as needed.


Then came the time to put it on the trailer and take it to storage. It was too heavy to push up the ramp. Even after I bought a winch for a boat trailer it took me over an hour to get it loaded on the trailer.


It was a lesson learned, so about 2 months after building the miter saw/drill press/band saw/ sander table I took my circular saw to it and it is now 3 smaller carts.


I have more invested in casters that I do in the wood to build the cabinets. So if you don't need to move the tools regularly I wouldn't use casters if for no other reason than cost.
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post #10 of 22 Old 05-16-2017, 12:48 PM
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TTOKC

Innovative to be sure. Storing the equipment off site.

I have watched lots of YouTube stuff about small shops. Many, if not all, have equipment on casters. Some of them have modular setup that can be broken down and set up easily.

I haven't seen any where a piece of equipment was built on the large side and then moved from site to site. Your table saw is an example. It isn't small or what some might call transportable.

I expect if the move is down to some simple arrangement and in your view it isn't that much trouble then it works.

All I can say is well done.
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post #11 of 22 Old 05-19-2017, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TTOKC View Post
Next up was my miter saw station and I built this monster.



I'm sitting here trying to think of a reason I shouldn't build something like that. I've got a small shop (separate room) in the back of my garage (which in turn is the front of my barn) and that would solve a lot of space issues. We don't park in the garage. Well, not the cars, anyway. But I'm thinking that that would be nice to stick the floor mounted drill press, the miter saw, small belt sander, etc in... I shall have to think on this some more.

Thanks for posting the pix.
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post #12 of 22 Old 05-19-2017, 11:15 AM
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I'm sitting here trying to think of a reason I shouldn't build something like that. I've got a small shop (separate room) in the back of my garage (which in turn is the front of my barn) and that would solve a lot of space issues. We don't park in the garage. Well, not the cars, anyway. But I'm thinking that that would be nice to stick the floor mounted drill press, the miter saw, small belt sander, etc in... I shall have to think on this some more.

Thanks for posting the pix.


It was really handy, if it weren't for the issue of loading it on the trailer I would have kept it as is. It was heavy but with the 5inch heavy duty casters it was movable without any difficulty.


All the tools were plugged into a power strip so I just had to plug in the cord to fire up all the tools. I installed a shop vac underneath and plumbed all the tools with hose and blast gates. The power strip was plugged into an activator outlet so the vac started up when any tool was turned on, I just had to make sure the blast gates were open.








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post #13 of 22 Old 05-19-2017, 11:24 AM
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Questions re "the monster" ...

I think you have some wasted space above the drawers here. It looks like there is a 4" thick top above them and then 2 side risers on top of that. That would create a lot of storage if it were accessible or hollow.
I also do not see a long fence on either side of the miter saw, is there a reason for not having one?

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 05-19-2017 at 01:09 PM. Reason: typo
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post #14 of 22 Old 05-19-2017, 12:22 PM
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I think you have some wasted space above the drawers here. It looks like there is a 4" thick top above them and then 2 side risers on top of that. That would create a lot of storage if it were accessible or hollow.
I also don not see a long fence on either side of the miter saw, is there a reason for not having one?


The initial build was the base cabinet to the height for the tools on the other side, then added the riser to get the miter saw to a comfortable working height then the additional side risers to create the wings for material support. All 3 risers are hollow and open on the ends for storage. Currently just open storage but with drawers coming soon. The extended fence with t-track and stop blocks is on the to do list also.


I haven't taken any pictures since I cut the whole thing in half but will do so and post them over the weekend .
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post #15 of 22 Old 05-19-2017, 12:30 PM
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I keep my shop in one bay of a 3 car garage because cars live in two bays at night. Therefore everything but the bench rolls into place to use it. This keeps my dust collector runs short. I build a 32 inch cabinet for my miter saw and put it on casters for the above reason. The cabinet has access through the back for a big ship vac which the miter saw operates through a vac switch. The shop vac handles the short duty cycle better than a bigger dust collector motor and the shop vac is easy to pull out when I need it for other duties. I used roller stands to support long boards and after several years of collecting data, I realized how seldom I need to support really long pieces. I just completed putting wings on the cabinet which makes constant access to rollers and their setup unnecessary. Given how I use a mitersaw, I'd recommend the caster approach and not overbuild the ajoining pieces unless you are going to be cutting long pieces routinely. As for caster instability mentioned, I agree that it can be a problem. I am fortunate to have a relatively flat floor in the garage. If I roll to a spot where the miter saw cabinet wobbles, I just roll it to a place where it doesn't wobble.
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post #16 of 22 Old 05-19-2017, 02:08 PM
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I've never tried building drawers - I'm very definitely a "just enough to work" kind of woodworker - but I'm looking at this and thinking I need to share it with my wife. (She's the one who built our chicken coop, and her jelly jar cabinet (that she claims was just something she threw together, not really knowing what she was doing) is better work that I've ever done in wood. She also made a couple of gun racks for our business (we're a kitchen table FFL) and she's threatening to build built-in bookshelves for my office and the gun closet.
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post #17 of 22 Old 05-19-2017, 02:34 PM
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I've never tried building drawers - I'm very definitely a "just enough to work" kind of woodworker - but I'm looking at this and thinking I need to share it with my wife. (She's the one who built our chicken coop, and her jelly jar cabinet (that she claims was just something she threw together, not really knowing what she was doing) is better work that I've ever done in wood. She also made a couple of gun racks for our business (we're a kitchen table FFL) and she's threatening to build built-in bookshelves for my office and the gun closet.
There are others on this forum whose wives get very involved in their projects.
I think you guys are super lucky to have wives who share your interest in woodwork.
My daughter was more interested in WW while growing up than my son. But now as parents themselves, I think they both wish they had spent more time with WW. There's always ideas for more projects.
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post #18 of 22 Old 05-19-2017, 05:37 PM
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TTOKC

Innovative to be sure. Storing the equipment off site.

I have watched lots of YouTube stuff about small shops. Many, if not all, have equipment on casters. Some of them have modular setup that can be broken down and set up easily.

I haven't seen any where a piece of equipment was built on the large side and then moved from site to site. Your table saw is an example. It isn't small or what some might call transportable.

I expect if the move is down to some simple arrangement and in your view it isn't that much trouble then it works.

All I can say is well done.

With my original set up all my bench top tools were stored in a closet. It would take at least 30 mins to convert from garage to workshop.



When I started working with something besides pine and got into hardwoods the small tools just wouldn't cut it (literally at times). Upgrading to more powerful tools meant figuring out a way to store them and keep the garage for its intended function. It was actually my wife that suggested a trailer but she thought of a mobile workshop that I would work in, that would be kept in storage when not in use. I didn't want to be crammed into a trailer but liked the idea of keeping the stuff in storage.


It now takes less than 30 mins to set up (or storage unit is a few blocks from the house) and I have all full size machines.
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post #19 of 22 Old 05-20-2017, 10:27 AM
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It was really handy, if it weren't for the issue of loading it on the trailer I would have kept it as is. It was heavy but with the 5inch heavy duty casters it was movable without any difficulty.


All the tools were plugged into a power strip so I just had to plug in the cord to fire up all the tools. I installed a shop vac underneath and plumbed all the tools with hose and blast gates. The power strip was plugged into an activator outlet so the vac started up when any tool was turned on, I just had to make sure the blast gates were open.








Pictures are great for passing on ideas to others. But pictures can also allow others to see a project in a different light. We can see other possibilities based on the picture. Not to be critical, but I think there are ways to make improvements to the stand shown in the picture. Steve sees wasted space or at least space where additional drawers could be added. An extended fence would be very beneficial. I think it would help to change sides with the bandsaw and the sander. The drill press would not interfere with the bandsaw if the bandsaw were on the right side. The vacuum hose would not have to make a U-turn if the sander were on the left. No matter what the shop project, it's rare that it can't be improved on.
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post #20 of 22 Old 05-20-2017, 11:11 AM
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Despite planning I doubt very few of us have designed a complete shop, or even a workbench or tool stand for that matter, where we don't see ways it could be improved upon as we put it to use.

I have worked in small shops for short times out of necessity and found that individual compact stands, or at the most a flip top with two tools attached seem to work best, that way I can get what I am not using out of the way and have floor space to work on the project.

Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something -Plato

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