DIY Miter Saw Hood Dust Collector Tent
Boy, do I love to build and create with wood. I think I come by it honestly because many in my family line are carpenters or just enjoy the craft. However, what I do wish would disappear is DIY glitter…sawdust…my nemesis. I love seeing it fly in the air because it means something good is about to happen. However, cleaning up said goodness gets old. Today, I’m over-the-moon excited to show you my latest upcycle – a DIY miter saw hood dust collector (say that five times fast…tsk).
Yes, your eyes are correct, that IS a sun tent for a baby. Before you jump to conclusions, the only babies around here are my tools. Over the last few years, I’ve tried purchasing a dust collector for my workshop. They are kinda pricey and I was looking for used. I still aim to get one, but thought I could get away with just getting a saw hood. Well…those run around 200 smackers too. Ouch.
Just as I am about to purchase one after saving my pennies for a time, I did a quick internet search to compare costs. That’s when I found a GENIUS tutorial by The Handyman’s Daughter. I literally did a head-smack when I saw it because I kept using bed sheets or other spray tents without success. The sheet did the best job, but I knew there was a better way, and less expensive too.
First, let me say that I everything I use to create this is from what I have on hand. If you want to know the steps to do this from scratch, see The Handyman’s Daughter tutorial linked above. For me, I knew I could whip this up quick with scrap and remnant parts. When we built my workbench it was supposed to be just for that…a workspace. However, I was gifted my miter saw not long after and have used it for mainly that since then.
Ultimately, my future goal is to build a table just for that with out-feed and also a spot for my table saw. Coming soon!! Until then, this suits my needs. Never-mind the mess, k? We’ve been building our patio sectional, remodeling our dining area, and so much more.
Also, you can see from the back side that there is a layer of dust. This isn’t the half of it though as I had a piece of cardboard up to deflect most of my messes. Plus, I just recently cleaned. oy! So you can imagine what it’s like after a few weeks of building.
Next, in order to get this set up working to suit my needs, I attach two brackets leftover from my boys’ bedroom remodel. This won’t be the permanent place for my saw, so I’m making this easily removable.
Then, I found a perfect size piece of leftover flooring from our garden shed remodel last summer and attach it to the brackets.
Here’s the key to dust collection…while the board supports the tent, there’s one more step that The Handyman’s Daughter did as well. She used a special ducting part, while I’m using my shop vacuum’s flooring attachment. I use it to trace a hole then cut with my jigsaw slightly wider to fit the attachment.
Once the hole is cut, I place the tent on top to know where to make a hole. I take my sewing scissors and snip an “X” just a hair smaller than the hole. Say…AAAHHHHH. hee hee hee!
Here it is with the vacuum hose attached from underneath.
Finally, if a gal’s gonna add some function to her workshop, she might as well make it cute, eh? I just love Moriarty! Yes, I named him and the hilarious thing is the name came to me and suited him. But, I also looked up the meaning of the name and in Irish it means “Sea Warrior”. PERFECT!!
Isn’t he adorable?! Complete with teef (my littlest used to say that), eyes, blowhole on top, and…the best part… a tail. eep!
So, I spent 20 bucks on a tent, used all materials I have on hand, and I’m officially saw dust freeeeee! Here is a peek after cutting a 1 x 4″ piece of lumber. Nothing compared to what I normally fuss with.
Oh, and I also used a scrap pool noodle from my pool noodle upcycles to keep myself from bruises. Anyone else always on the move with constant battle wounds?
Got questions? I’m eager to answer any and offer help. This was such a fun and rewarding project for me. I’ve already purchased plans for building mobile lumber storage and building another table for my saws.
In addition, do pin and share my DIY miter saw hood dust collection system. Let’s make DIY even more fun!
Up next, this vintage find is ready for a refresh. See the new look OVER HERE!
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DIY MOBILE MITER SAW STAND with Wheels // How To Build. Woodworking
Learn how to build this DIY mobile miter saw stand, complete with wheels and an extension wing, and it’s way better than a jobsite miter saw stand!
How To Build A Mobile Miter Saw Stand:
Step 1: Break Down OSB
The first step in building this miter saw stand was to break down the sheet of OSB I was using into more manageable chunks, and having this workbench with a drop down miter saw made this super easy.
After dropping the miter saw down and sliding on the sheet of OSB, I could crosscut the panel using my track saw. This crosscut was at the final length of the miter saw stand, which was 76 ½” in my case.
After crosscutting, I could then rip the larger piece into more pieces, the first of which would make up the bottom panel of the miter saw stand. This OSB, which is leftover subfloor material, has a tongue and groove, so I first ripped the bottom panel oversized and then ripped it to final width, removing the groove at the same time.
Next, I ripped another panel to the same width of 18”, and the top panels, along with the sides of the miter saw stand, would come from this piece.
Finally, I ripped two strips, which would be the stiffener rails, which will help keep the miter saw stand from sagging in the middle under the weight of the miter saw.
Next, I moved back to the track saw and crosscut the two top panels to final length and, once that was done, I could rip the sides, front and back pieces to width.
Step 2: Layout The Design Of The Miter Saw Station
With that, most of the pieces were cut to size, so I could move on to laying everything out. I started by placing the top panels on top of the bottom panel, and then I added my miter saw just to double check that everything was going to fit correctly.
Thankfully, the space between the top panels was a good fit for the saw, but I did need to mark out where the miter saw would contact the top panels when turned to its outermost miter positions.
I marked out these areas with my speed square and then I could get my miter saw on this workbench set back up to make the angled cuts in the top panels.
I made both of these cuts at 45 degrees, even though this DeWALT miter saw will swing to 60 degrees in one direction, and this was just for ease of assembly. I just made the angled cut a little deeper on the right top panel to account for this additional clearance.
Step 3: Cut Parts To Final Size
Next, I got the back pieces cut to final size and then I could start cutting the angled ends on the front and inside side pieces, where they meet up with that angled corner on the top panel.
Rather than trying to measure this, I just marked where the pieces intersected the top and cut to my line. I find that trying to measure beveled pieces like this accurately is really difficult and cutting to a line, especially with the assistance of something like a laser line on the miter saw, is much easier.
After making the cut, I could test the fit and it looked great. Also, I ended up adding one more filler piece between the front and inside side panels, but I waited until later on in the build to do this, since I figured it’d be easier to fit the piece later in the assembly process.
Step 4: Cutting The Openings
I repeated the same process on the left side of the miter saw stand off camera and then, once all of the pieces were cut to their final size, I could move on to cutting the openings in the front, back, and side pieces.
This miter saw stand is based on a design by Ron Paulk, and Ron is pretty famous for the torsion box design with rounded rectangular openings he uses on most of his workbenches and shop projects.
Cutting these openings can be a little tedious, but they really help to both reduce the weight of the structure and also open up the inside for storage.
I had considered using a router with a template bit to make these cuts, but since most of these pieces were a different size, I decided to just manually cut the openings with a hole saw and jigsaw.
All of the side, front, and back pieces had a matching piece, so I was at least able to pair the pieces when drilling the holes, which saved a lot of time on layout.
After laying out the hole locations and taping a pair together, I drilled the four corner holes with a 2” hole saw, which made quick work of this process. Also, I did flip the pairs once I got through one of the pieces, to avoid blowing out the other side.
Once all four holes were drilled, I could mark a straight line connecting the edge of each hole and then cut to this line with the jigsaw. I initially tried cutting through both pieces at one time, but this resulted in an extremely slow cut that ended up with a pretty severe angle, so I switched to cutting one piece at a time, which went much more quickly.
After cutting, I was left with the trademark rounded rectangular opening that these Paulk-style workbenches are known for, and next I just needed to cut this opening on the other five pieces.
Step 5: Drilling Holes For Assembly
With the openings cut, I could move on to assembly. I decided to use holes to assemble the sides, back, front, and top panels. To avoid confusion when drilling the holes, I marked out where I needed to drill the holes while the pieces were dry fit, and this made things a lot easier.
Next, I got my hole jig set up for ¾” material and then I could start drilling the holes, again drilling holes where I had marked for them.
Step 6: Assembling Mobile Miter Saw Station
Once I drilled all of the holes, I could move on to assembling the pieces, which was simple enough. Before attaching the pieces, I made sure to clamp them together securely, as screws have the tendency to push pieces out of alignment otherwise.
I just worked my way around the perimeter of the sides and then, once those pieces were assembled, I could set that assembly onto one of the top panels to get it attached.
As you can probably see, this piece of OSB had a pretty good bow to it, so I really took my time during assembly here, making sure all of the edges were lined up and well clamped before driving in the screws, and this resulted it a really nice, flat and square finished product.
I repeated the same process on the other side assembly and then I could move back to the bottom panel.
As I mentioned while breaking down the pieces for this stand, the bottom panel has a pair of stiffener rails attached, which help to keep the stand from sagging, since it will only be supported by a pair of saw horses.
I first marked out the location of these rails on the bottom panel, and then I could cut the rails to final length at the miter saw. I also cut a small angle on each end of the rails, which will just allow me to reach into the sides of the stand without running into a sharp corner.
To attach the rails to the bottom panel, I once again called on screws, so next I needed to drill holes along the length of each of the rails.
After drilling the holes, I clamped one of the rails in place then drove in the screws.
One note here, I ended up clamping this assembly to my workbench, which I didn’t realize has a very small sag in it. This sag was then transferred to this miter saw stand because of this. Instead, I would recommend just clamping the rail directly to the bottom panel, as the rail should be straight and will pull the bottom panel straight.
Anyway, I repeated the process for the second rail, and then I could set the top assemblies in place to mark where I needed to notch them around the rails.
This interference between the top assemblies and the rails is the one kind of funky part of this design, but I think having the rails on top of the bottom panel, rather than on the underside, does keep the whole thing more compact and makes it easier to slide the whole unit into the back of a truck or up onto sawhorses.
Miter Saw Dust Collection, simple and extremely effective! (LINK TO TEST & TEMPLATE IN DESC) / EP44
Anyway, I notched the pieces with my jigsaw, purposely cutting the notches slightly oversized to avoid interference during assembly.
The last piece to fit was the little filler piece, which I cut from one of the offcuts. I attached this piece using a little glue and a few brad nails and, while this piece probably wasn’t completely necessary, it definitely gives everything a more finished look.
Next, I could flip everything over and get the top assemblies attached to the bottom, and I used trim head screws for this. I would have used screws here, but I wouldn’t have had access to drive the screws and, since these screws are on the bottom, they won’t be visible in the finished piece.
Once again, I made sure to take my time here and clamped everything together tightly before adding the screws, and I also predrilled the holes to avoid splitting the OSB. As you can see, the bow was pretty severe in some of these pieces, but clamping them in place before adding the screws solved the issue entirely.
Step 7: Test Fit Miter Saw
Once everything was screwed together, I could flip over the unit and test fit my miter saw, which thankfully fit really well. This saw measures just over 3 ½” from the bottom of the feet to the bed of the saw, which makes for simple work support alignment using a 2×4 on edge.
I just sized my stiffener rails and side panels with this measurement in mind and ended up with the miter saw bed just proud of the sides, which is exactly what I want, so the work piece is always referencing the saw and not the stand.
With the fit confirmed, I removed the saw and got the spacer pieces cut to size using the table saw and miter saw. Also, I left these a little oversized, so that I could use them again if I ever swap to a different saw in the future.
I attached the spacers to the stiffener rails with a few screws, and I would double check where the mounting holes on your saw are before adding screws here because, as luck would have it, one of these screws ended up directly below one of the mounting holes for my saw and I consequently had to remove it.
Step 8: Chamfer Edges
With that, the stand was assembled, so next I cleaned things up a bit by giving the stand a quick sanding, removing all of the printing on the OSB and knocking off any splinters.
As you’ll know if you watch any of my shop project videos, I hate leaving sharp edges on these kinds of projects, as you’ll inevitably catch a knuckle on that edge in the future. Because of this, I decided to chamfer all of the sharp edges and used a Whiteside chamfer bit from Bits and Bits for this.
I chamfered the top and bottom edges of the stand, but most importantly I chamfered the openings in the sides, since I’ll be reaching into those openings when storing items in the stand. Also, I’ve gotta say, I definitely miss the dust collection on my Festool router when using this little trim router, and I was covered in dust after adding these chamfers.
Step 9: Adding Wheels
With that, the stand was pretty much done and it would definitely be useable in its current state, but I decided to try a few kind of quality of line add ons, starting with adding wheels to the stand.
Now, this wheel assembly is something I came up with after roaming the aisles of my local big box store for half an hour, but I think this should work well and all of this hardware came to a grand total of 30, which I think is well worth it to make this stand mobile.
I found these replacement 8” lawnmower wheels, which have integrated bearings and a ½” shaft diameter, and I figured ½” threaded rod would make for the perfect shaft, since I could add nuts to keep the wheels in place.
I added a fender washer on either side of the wheel, with a lock washer and hex nut on the inside and a locknut on the outside, to keep the wheel on securely.
After adding the locknut, I tightened the hex nut on the inside of the wheel until it was just snug, and then I could attach the whole assembly to the underside of the stand.
I purchased these ½” EMT conduit straps for this, but they were pretty loose on the threaded rod and I was afraid this would end up with too much play in the finished connection. That’s when I realized that the strap would fit over the hex nut nice and snug, and this would keep everything securely in place.
I used some large washer head screws to attach the straps, making sure I was driving the screws into the sides of the stand so the connection would be stronger.
Next, I repeated the process on the other end, threading on a hex nut and attaching that end with another conduit strap, and then I added a few more straps to the center of the threaded rod just for good measure.
Before installing the other wheel, I dry fit the parts and marked where I needed to cut the rod, which I did using a reciprocating saw with a metal cutting blade. This left a bit of a burr and, unfortunately, I somehow don’t have a metal file here at the house, so I ruined a piece of sandpaper to clean up the burr.
Finally, I added the wheel and tightened down the locknut, and then I could try out the wheels to see how they worked. To my surprise, they actually worked really well, although I think I’m going to adjust the positioning of the wheels and add a block to the end of the stand so I can stand the unit up vertically without it tipping over.
Step 10: Install The Miter Saw
With that done, I could finally get the miter saw installed, which was as simple as marking hole locations, pre-drilling holes, and attaching the saw with some washer head screws.
Now, I don’t plan to remove and re-install this saw regularly, but you could certainly use threaded inserts and bolts here instead, if that’s something you’re planning on.
After reinstalling the saw, I once again double checked the fit and everything looked great. One awesome feature of this design is the full nine inches of support in front of the fence, which will make cutting wider boards no problem.
Step 11: Adding An Extension Wing To The Miter Saw Station For Longer Material
The last thing I wanted to add to this miter saw stand was an extension wing, which will help support longer material. I used the offcut from the same sheet of OSB for the bottom of the wing, but I used a strip of OSB roofing material for the back, which really just serves to keep the wing from sagging.
After ripping the back strip to width and cutting it to length, I could attach it to the base, first tacking it in place with brad nails and then adding more trim head screws.
To support the extension wing at the edge of the stand, I first whipped up a quick little support block using more of the offcuts, but this wasn’t an ideal solution. I replaced this with a thicker block, which allows me to attach the extension wing further from the end, which would better resist chipping out the end of the wing.
To attach the wing to the support block, I first countersunk and drilled a pair of holes through the wing into the support block and then installed threaded inserts in the support block. Finally, I threaded the machine screws through the wing into the threaded inserts, and the wing was securely attached, with the other end supported by a roller stand.
With that, the miter saw stand was officially done, for now at least, so I could roll it out into the driveway and get it set up on some sawhorses.
Power Tools for Beginners: How to Use a Miter Saw
Want to get started with power tools and building things for your home but have no clue where to start? Let me help! Here’s a quick briefing on how to use a miter saw (and what a miter saw is!). This post was originally published in March of 2018, but has been updated!
A few years ago, I decided that I wanted to learn how to use power tools. I had been writing this blog for six years, but I hadn’t actually built anything on my own. Ever!
So, I set out to learn how to use all of the basic power tools that we owned. And guess what my first lesson was? How to use a miter saw! That’s right – this was the very first tool I ever learned how to use. It’s a great tool to have around if you work with smaller wood often (mine can cut wood up to 12″ wide) and it’s so versatile!
What sorts of projects do I use a miter saw for? Here’s a quick rundown of a few projects where my miter saw was the star of the show:
You can use a miter saw for almost any DIY project you have up your sleeve. It’s a must-have for crown molding, and it’s useful for literally everything from making a picture frame to building a house. Seriously – it’s that versatile!
If you’re wanting to get into woodworking, it should be one of your very first power tool purchases.
What is a Miter Saw?
A power miter saw, also commonly referred to as a chop saw, is a tool that’s used to make crosscuts and angled cuts in wood.
There are a couple of different types of miter saws. If you want to understand the difference, you’ll need to know a few key terms:
- A mitercut is an angled cut made across the width (or face) of a board.
- A bevel cut is an angled cut made through the thickness of a board
- A cross cut is a straight cut across the face of a board.
Any miter saw can make either kind of cut, just depending on how the wood is laid on the saw. If it’s laid flat (with the wider side on the base of the saw), it’ll make a mitered cut. If it’s laid on its side (with the shorter side on the base of the saw), it’ll make a beveled cut.
Once you understand the terms, it’s a little easier to understand the different types of miter saws. Let’s break it down:
- A standard miter saw has a base that swings to create angles. It can make miter cuts and bevel cuts, but not at the same time.
- A compound miter saw is able to make both miter cuts and bevel cuts in the same cut. The base of it can swivel to create mitered angles, and the blade itself tilts to create beveled angles. You can purchase single bevel compound miter saws (which only tilt in one direction) or double bevel compound miter saws (which can tilt in both directions).
- A stationary (basic) miter saw can only swing up and down and does not move out at all. It will be able to cut boards up to about 8″ wide.
- A sliding miter saw allows the blade to slide outwards as you cut. This allows for wider cuts up to about 12″.
Some miter saws combine these features – for example, the one we own is a double bevel sliding compound miter saw.
How to Use a Miter Saw
Super obvious disclaimer: I’m not an expert, I’m just a girl who has a husband who taught her how to use a miter saw. Power tools are dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. Be careful, my friends.
First up, let’s dive into the video. It’s one I created a few years back to teach you everything you need to know about how to use a miter saw, and it dives in deep to all of the different parts and details.
Okay, now that you’ve seen the video, let’s break down some more details a little bit. This is where we’ll really get into the nitty gritty of how to use a miter saw!
This is the part that cuts the wood. Duh. The blade guard will slowly move away from the blade as you lower it down, and will cover it back up as you release. Don’t get your fingers anywhere near this section…unless you want to lose one.
The miter saw blade will need to be replaced on occasion, just like with any tool. If you find it’s not making accurate cuts or it’s harder to get through your wood, check to see if the blade needs replacing.
The fence sticks up from where you set the wood – it’s what you want to push the wood up against to make sure that your cuts are straight and even. If you don’t remember to push the wood against the fence, you could end up with a weird, angled cut, or the wood could go flying because it’s not being supported on both sides. You should always use one hand to firmly hold the wood against the fence, and the other to operate the saw. Alternatively, you can use a clamp to hold the wood or workpiece in place.
This is how you operate the saw. When you press the trigger button up on the handle, the blade starts spinning. And, when you let go, it stops. Pretty basic!
Remember that it will take a minute for the blade to stop rotating after you let go of the trigger. Be sure to allow it to come to a complete stop before you allow your hands to go anywhere near it!
Miter Gauge and Bevel Gauge
These parts have pre-measured angle stops so you can rotate the base and the blade to create different angled cuts.
Miter Gauge: If the little red notch is pointing to 0, you’re creating a straight (90-degree) cut. If it’s at 45, you’re making a 45-degree angle. And so on and so forth. You use the lock handle that sticks out from this to rotate the table and get the right angle. We only showed straight cuts and 45-degree angles in the video, but you can make just about any angle your little heart desires! If you look at the picture above, you’ll see a few notches in the miter gauge – these are places where the base will automatically stop and lock into place for commonly used angles. You don’t have to just stick to those, though. You can manually tighten the knob at the base to achieve any angle you need.
Bevel Gauge: This helps you see what angle you are at when you’re rotating the blade to create bevel angles. It doesn’t have stops like the miter gauge does, so be sure to move slowly and pay attention to what you’re pointing at, because it won’t stop automatically.
So, now that you’re familiar with the parts, you basically know how to use it. Seriously – it’s that simple!
How to Make a Cut Using a Miter Saw
Start by measuring to find the length you want and mark it on your wood. Then, you’ll want to line your wood up along the fence and test the placement of the blade.
You’ll do this by lowering the blade down to see where it’s going to hit the wood, making sure it will hit exactly where you’ve marked.
One thing to remember: when you are measuring and lining up your wood, don’t forget to factor in the width of the blade itself. If you line it up on the inside of your cut, you’ll end up with a short piece of wood because of the blade. The first time Corey explained this to me I had no idea what he was talking about. But, the first time I lined it up wrong it instantly clicked in my mind.
So basically what I’m saying it, tuck that in the back of your mind, and it will all come back to you the first time you inevitably make that mistake.
Once you’ve lined it up and confirmed the wood is in the correct spot, hold it firmly in place (or clamp it). Then, raise the blade back up, pull the trigger, and slowly bring it down to cut the wood.
You may find that you make your cuts slightly too long or slightly too short. This happens to me even after years of using a miter saw on the regular. Slight adjustments may need to be made as you work. I always recommend erring on the side of cutting too long, then cutting off tiny slivers of the wood until it is exactly the right size you need. When you’re working with a miter angle, it’s particularly important to get the length exactly right, so take your time with it.
Miter Saw Safety Tips
Let’s talk about a few super important things to keep in mind when using a miter saw:
- It’ll create a lot of sawdust. It’s not great for your lungs to regularly breathe in that much dust, so it’s wise to wear a dust mask while you work. You can also hook up a shop vacuum to the back of the miter saw and run it while you cut to have it automatically collect the mess for you!
- The saw should be unplugged when not in use, and it should be bolted or clamped to a stable work surface at all times when you are using it.
- Don’t wear loose clothing when operating a miter saw, and pull back long hair if you have it.
- Ear protection and eye protection are always a good idea when working with any power tools!
One more thing to note – we have this mobile stand for our miter saw, and I couldn’t possibly love it more! It folds up and rolls out of the way when it’s not in use, which gives us tons of extra space in our garage.
We used to have a dedicated spot on a workbench for the miter saw. That was a great system, but I find that I much prefer being able to scoot it over to the wall when I’m not using it.
Learning how to use power tools on my own has been the most empowering and useful things I’ve ever learned. I love that I’m able to tackle any project I want all on my own. And it’s such a good feeling to have things in my home that I created with my own two hands!
What projects do you think you’ll take on now that you know how to use a miter saw?
Power Tools for Beginners Series
If you love this post and want to learn more, I have good news! I have an entire series of posts all about how to use power tools and accomplish other super basic DIY tasks.
DIY Miter Saw Station with Automatic Dust Collection | 45
I’m a big believer that no question is too basic when it comes to DIY, so I try to answer them all around here. Click here to see the full list of beginner-level guides I’ve published. And, be sure to let me know if there’s anything you’d like me to add!
The Best Miter Saw Fence Systems For Your Saw
There are few miter saw upgrades better than adding a miter saw fence system. From quick one-time cuts to series of dozens or hundreds of cuts a fence on your miter saw workstation is a huge time saver.
And, a miter saw fence will improve the accuracy of the cuts.
- All-in-one fence systems from major manufacturers
- DIY components
- Combination miter saw stands fences (mobile or workshop)
- Features to look for in a fence system
- Review of the Kreg KMS8000 fence
Lastly, while it’s tempting to build a DIY fence, the value and accuracy of an all-in-one system is generally worth the cost.
Professional stand fence:
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What is a Miter Saw Fence System
A miter saw fence system is an add-on to your existing miter saw that provides an integrated fence with stop blocks and a measuring system. Using the measuring system you can put away your tape measure and pencil while making cuts. And, using the stop blocks you can quickly cut 5, 20 or 500 cuts with the same precision on each cut.
Who Makes Miter Fence Systems
Not surprisingly, this niche of products isn’t widely covered. But you will find fence systems from the following well known tool suppliers:
What’s the most popular miter fence? Arguably, the Kreg KMS8000 as it’s sold by Kreg (the makers of dozens of woodworker helping jigs) and it’s market longevity. In fact, for over a decade, this model has changed very little.
Alternatives to a Miter Fence System
Not sure you want to invest in a complete system? There are a few options, but you’ll give up some flexibility, speed and very likely precision:
- DIY miter fence tracks can be made using t-track and a custom wood block. But, what you save on cost, you give up accuracy of the custom-made rails found on purchased kits.
- Custom wood fences are the “old school” solution with a self-adhesive ruler and custom stop blocks
- Or, something I’ve used a few times, a simple wood stop block pounded into the bench. Not exactly a fence, but an effective stopper. It’s just slow and good for 12″ cuts on most benches where you miter saw is integrated into the bench.
Best Miter Saw Fence Systems
Perhaps surprisingly, there are NOT a lot of suppliers of miter saw fence systems. So, with that, there are both all-in-one systems and DIY kits to economically expand your saws capabilities.
New in 2022, the StealthStop resolves a few of the biggest complaints about the Kreg jig: ability to firmly lock in the stop. and maintain pre-sets.
However, Woodpeckers (a top brand in woodworking) went further and created a unique flip-up design that allows for multiple pre-sets to be made. And, when you’re done with that cut length, simply fold it away and use the saw with other stops.
Editor: I decided to replace my Kreg Miter Saw System with this after I upgraded to a Festool Kapex. I’ll update this review the results soon.
A Made In the USA product, this precision track and stops will allow or industrial grade cutting without needing to worry about the flip stop moving or flexing.
The primary drawback of this fence? Well, versus the Kreg or like your table saw, the stop doesn’t directly connect to the measuring tape. So you’ll need a combination square to link the two. A bit slower if you are making dozens of different length cuts.
- 96 inches of total track
- Four stops
- Mounts horizontally or vertically
- Stops flip away
- Micro-adjustment built into stops
From the popular Kreg Tools comes the Precision Trak system that offers both miter saw and drill press fences up to 96″. And with Kreg’s track record of providing durable products that last, this is a fence system to seriously consider.
Using a decade-plus old design this system operates in combination with a wooden fence to offer a left and right hand fence setup that installs in just a few hours.
And, of course, with this being part of the Kreg lineup of products there are instructions included on building the fence system with the popular hole system from Kreg.
Editor: After needing a miter saw on my own saw, I ultimately chose the Kreg and have installation instructions and a further review below. I chose it because I wanted ALL of the pieces in one package. And I liked the wide ruler and two stops.
- Includes two stops for production use or swing-away functionality
- Precision lens for clear view to your cut length
- 8-feet of track in 2-foot lengths
- 2 self-adhesive measuring tapes that can be cut to length
Review. Kreg Miter Saw Fence Stop System
By giving you a complete box of all the parts you’ll need, Kreg lets you decide your configuration. And, includes the stops, measuring tapes and short lengths to allow you to setup equal fences on both sides of your saw. Or 24″ to the right and 72″ to the left. Or…you get the picture.
After installing this system one of the features I really liked was the tension adjustable swing-away stopper. Since sawdust inevitably pushes its way down the fence you can lift the stopper off the fence and let the dust slide by. Thus preventing an inaccurate cut.
- 96 inches of track
- Two stops (production swing away)
- Locks in place rigidly
- Easy to adjust and set length
- Design your own fence
Along the similar lines of the Kreg, but allowing for flexibility in length (and reduced cost), the Rockler system lets you buy shorter lengths and customize your track.
With this 36″ DIY kit you’ll be able to make left or right handed systems by adding in your own tape measure and stops (sold separate, also from Rockler).
- 36″ overall length
- Double T-Track design for a stop and tape measure
- Aluminum construction
- Pre-drilled holes for easy installation
Review. Rockler Miter Saw Fence Stop System
Where Kreg packs everything you’ll need into one box, Rockler has taken a different approach and lets you buy a shorter length of double T-Trak. And, by adding on extras of your own choosing you can custom build your stop system to your saws needs.
- Shorter lengths of track to DIY design
- Less cost vs. Kreg KMS8000
- Slide-in T-Track tape measure
- Optional flip-stop with lens
- Tape measure not as clear to read as Kreg
- Assembling more than 3 of these systems equals the (larger) Kreg kit cost
- Best for a single extension
For a tighter budget, the POWERTECH system offers up a double T-Track kit that includes the track, measuring tape and plastic track. However, the POWERTECH flip stop is optional but an economical add-on.
- 36″ overall length
- Double T-Track design
- Right and left measurements
- Extruded aluminum
- Pre-drilled holes for easy installation
Review. POWERTECH Double T-Track Fence System
The biggest factor with POWERTECH versus similar offerings is it’s price.
If your view is 5 savings on the same product can be spent on a drill bit, then the POWERTECH miter saw fence system was built for you.
- Shorter lengths of track to DIY design
- Less cost vs. Kreg KMS8000 Rockler
- Slide-in T-Track tape measure
- Optional flip-stop with lens
Installing the KREG KMS8000 Miter Saw Fence System
After looking at the options, I decided to go with the Kreg KMS8000 as it had all the components I needed:
- One kit with all the components
- Enough for 48″ to the right and left of my miter saw (I chose 54″ right, 24″ left)
- While restricting double bevel cuts, I chose to install it as a zero clearance fence (more later)
- Single track with the BEST visibility to the Kreg left to right and right to left tape
It’s worth repeating and noting that. The Kreg system is a single track with the best visible tape system. You’ll thank your eyes later when you’re not squinting into a smaller T-track based tape.
Unboxing the Kreg Miter Saw Track
Kreg isn’t the leader in jigs by luck. So, it wasn’t a surprise when I opened the miter saw track kit and found everything neatly packed in a well thought out tray system.
All the pieces were separated during shipping, no dings, and no mars.
However, like any woodworker, your first reaction might be a reaction to the volume of parts that were shipped. But, in the end, it took more thought on designing the fence box system.
Choosing Your Fence Extensions. Longer Left or Right?
Even though my saw is a 15-year old Makita I didn’t think twice about building around it given it’s durability. So, the first order of business was setting up a 24″ left fence and a 54″ right fence.
It’s worth noting, when you’re building the fence there is a bit of freedom here:
- Your bench may dictate which side has the longer fence (right or left)
- Or, if you’re like me, I’ve grown accustomed to feeding stock left to right. So while it could be easier to have the primary fence stop to the left, it would undo 25 years of cutting experience.
Making the Fence System Supports
First, you may notice from the picture that the 3/4″ plywood was pre-finished. For some reason, this plywood was cheaper than an unfinished sheet of the same B-grade. So, rather than spend time later on finishing I went with it.
For the fence supports there are all kinds of options. But, having been down the build path, I’d recommend:
- Well, first, read the instructions. Kreg offers up a simpler solution than I conjured up using their hole system. Of course.
- Make sure to plan the height of the box so it is perfectly flush with the miter saw.
- Remember to think of the overall fence length, and match the box to that length (plus overhang).
- Use glue and screws
Adapt the Fence Table and Stop to your Saw
While I chose to install the fence as a zero-clearance fence, I still needed the saw to move left and right to a full 45-degrees.
Which, you are probably guessing, means clearance to the right and left is required both for the saw AND your hands. So, be sure to plan this out ahead of time and make the proper adjustments.
Editor: Make sure to setup, test out your configuration, and adjust every part of the fence system before making final glue-ups and screwing.
The Biggest Fence Decision: To Extend or Overlap
If your miter saw is anything like mine, you’ll find you will have at least 10″ to the left and right that won’t have a fence stop.
Unless you take the (not so obvious) approach of installing the miter saw fence system IN FRONT of the existing fence.
So, while you lose a double bevel capability, you gain a much more accurate fence system with stops up to about 3″. And, this is where the the FastCap 10-million Dollar Stick comes into play. Holding short sticks next to a saw is an absolute DO NOT attempt.
The other option? Sacrifice a miter fence stop the first 10-14″ and start the system further away from the blade.
Installing the Miter Fence and Stops
Following the instructions, and after your fence blocks are built, simply install the Kreg T-trak on top of a 3/4″ thick fence block (you’ll need to drill the holes).
- On the left of the saw I only needed one 24″ track, and due to my saws existing fence had a 8″ setback before the fence stops could come into play
- On the right of the saw I had two joints where the 24″ rails butted together. Be sure to spend some time and PRECISELY align them…
- …or you’ll be catching the sliding stops on the tracks for years to come.
Choose Where Your Miter Saw Fence Stops Will Go (Carefully)
Interestingly, and something I didn’t think through first, the stops are made to be assembled for use on the left or the right of the fence.
So, take a few minutes and decide which miter saw stop you want on which side.
Personally, I like the swing away stop on the long side of the fence. If you adjust the tension correctly it can sit 1/4″ off the fence block base and allow sawdust to slide by.
Install the Adhesive Tapes
After the fence is setup, one of the last steps is installing the adhesive tapes. So, in this step the biggest trick is setting the tape EXACTLY in place.
With that, as you might have guessed, follow the instructions carefully as the tape will decide your long term capability.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you make a miter saw fence?
The best way to make a miter saw fence is to use a fence system. These systems come with either a single or a double T-Track that hold an adhesive tape and the miter saw stops. Then, simply build a fence to the specifications and attach to your bench.
Does a miter saw need to be bolted down?
Bolting or screwing your miter saw down is both an improvement in safety as well as improved accuracy. In fact, for sliding miter saws bolting it down is a necessity as the sliding action will pull the saw back and forth.
What is the best way to control dust on a miter saw?
For miter saws the best way to stop dust is by installing a dust hood that wraps around the saw and connects to your dust collection system. And, the best hoods are lighted to ensure the shroud doesn’t darken the cutting area.
With just a handful of miter saw fence systems on the market, the Kreg jumps out as a top solution for most. But, if cost and a smaller fence stop is your goal there are a couple of dual T-Track systems for your saw.
Last update on 2023-05-13 at 10:25 / Images from Amazon
Eric has been a professional woodworker for over thirty years and has worked in small cabinet shops making everything from kitchen cabinets to hand-made furniture. Now working from a home woodworking shop Eric is sharing his passion for woodworking, tool advice and how-to knowledge from his Minnesota-based woodshop.
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As a woodworker with over 30 years experience, 100 kitchens built and many other projects I’m sharing my tips, tricks and tool choices on this site. Be sure to check out my favorite woodworking charity Sleep in Heavenly Peace that builds beds for kids who sleep on the floor.
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