How to Make a Miter Saw/CNC Station
In my old shop, I had many large work areas dedicated to one function, after minimizing and working from the RV, I have a new perspective on space and efficacy. Today, I'm going to make a combined miter saw and CNC work station.
- Measure My Machine
- Cut the Components
- Assemble the Framework
- Cut the Table Tops
- Align and Secure Items in Place.
1. Measure My Machines
This project had to house my 10 inch DeWalt miter saw and my cut-down X-Carve CNC machine. The bigger of the two, the CNC, had a footprint of about 40x40 inches and would be the basis for the work stations overall size. The miter saw needed much less room, about 24x30 inches to include the rotating miter function. I also wanted a flat surface next to the saw as infeed, so it needed to be level with the miters saw's cutting platform. I would position the X-Carve's side rails lower than the miter saw's cutting bed so the empty vertical space could be used as outfeeld. So I had my design criteria, a 40x40 flat surface for the custom X-Carve, a dedicated infeed table, and a 24 inch platform between the two for the miter saw.
2. Cut the Components
I arranged my cut list using the dimensions from the Fusion 360 model I created. Because of the multi-tiered, odd-shaped platforms this stations has, I needed a lot of 2x4s in varying sizes.
- 39 inches x4
- 35 inches x10
- 34 1/2 inches x4
- 30 1/4 inches x4
- 27 inches x4
- 24 inches x4
- 23 inches x2
I also used a full sheet of 3/4 MDF for the table tops. I had the home center rip one sheet down to 40 inches wide which is the depth of the work station. I then crosscut the three table tops from that 40 inch piece.
- 30 inches (infeed table)
- 24 inches (miter saw table)
- 42 inches (CNC table)
3. Assemble the Framework
I joined all of the 2x4s together using pocket hole joinery. I didn't use glue incase I wanted to modify anything later. I assembled this station in two separate modules, the infeed section (that conveniently fit my Craftsman toolbox) and the CNC table, with some stringers connecting them that would become the mitre saw table. I made sure to align the top edges so that MDF tops would fit flat and not negatively affect the setup of the machines.
4. Cut the Table Tops
Using the pre-cut, 40 inch wide piece of MDF, I crosscut them to size using my table saw. I sat them on the assembled frame and secured them to the 2x4s below with some countersunk wood screws making sure to drive the head below the surface. I also added some side fences for the CNC table to protect the CNC rails from any droopy boards. These pieces were 4 1/4 inches high.
5. Align and Secure Items in Place
I sat the CNC in place and moved it as far back as I could ensuring that the drag chain that held the wire harness had enough room to curl at the rear. The side fences were short enough not to hit the stepper motors, but I gave them a little wriggle room anyway. On the infeed side, I sat the top half of my Craftsman tool box on the back half of the table. This left plenty of infeed room, but I had to ensure that the miter saw was close enough to the front edge to align the cutting platform. Once I had the miter saw in place and a straight board slid form the infeed table over the cutting bed and over the outfield/CNC tale freely, I screwed the miter saw to the table top.
I Love This Station!
Because it is so basic, yet so customized, I have plenty of room to add features like an attachment for my pocket hole jig to clamp onto, storage behind the infeed table for my air compressor, storage under the CNC for scrap bins, and dust collection for the two machines. I am very happy I was able to take an idea, create a 3d model to ensure proof of concept, and build the whole thing in an afternoon. I encourage you to find a way to maximize your space and double down dip on functionality. Now go give it a shot.