Do you really need a miter saw table? If you have to brush cobwebs off your miter saw each time you use it, probably not. If you consider it an important part of your workshop, however, and you haven’t been using a miter saw table, you don’t know what you’re missing!
With miter saws, it’s all about angles. Especially if you’ve got a compound miter saw, the geometry on these tools can be mind-boggling. If I cut down here at 35 degrees, and then I cut across here at 45 degrees, what will that look like and will it fit into the corner there? It’s enough to drive a napkin-sketcher made! With the right miter saw table, all of this angular business can be a snap. Get a table with predefined angles, or mark your own using an indelible marker (just wipe it off with alcohol when the project’s over), You can clamp waste pieces to mark beginning and ending points, creating your own fences and featherboards wherever you need them. This goes double if you’re cutting multiple pieces: with a good miter saw table, you can measure once and cut again and again and again.
Another stress-relieving feature of a good miter saw table is the ability to accommodate long pieces. Part of the beauty of these specialized tools is that they don’t take up a lot of real estate. Unfortunately, this comes at the cost of having to awkwardly square, support, and feed pieces of timber that can extend quite a ways past the ends of the fences and the built-in “saw table” (more like a saw surface). But if you get the right miter saw table for your purposes, it’ll do all the squaring, supporting, and feeding for you with extended table surfaces, fences, rollers, and adjustable stops. All you have to do is the fun part, measuring and cutting.
If you have limitless space in your shop (I wish!), you can ignore this next tip. Those of us mortals who are confined to our basements or garages or sheds, though, have storage considerations to think about. Miter saws aren’t any bigger than any other shop tool, but a miter saw table does need a lot of length in order to support the long pieces you want to run. Here’s the trick: fold-down extension wings. You can mount your miter saw onto a small table with wheels that tucks into a corner when not in use and extends six feet, twelve feet, or more when you need it.
There are plenty of commercial tables available ranging from substantial in-shop units with storage to light aluminum skeletons designed to take on the job, and you can even build your own cabinet if you’re inclined. Either way, a dedicated miter saw table won’t set you back that much and is essential for getting the most out of your miter saw.