Intro: Bombproof Shop Storage - Miter Saw Station Base
This miter saw station base is designed to be used as the base to my Modular Miter Saw Station or as a stand-alone workbench and storage unit. Each unit is 3' wide and can be added or subtracted depending on how much room you want to each side of your saw, or how much storage you need. This could also be easily divided up into smaller units. The drawers are extra deep for tons of storage, supported by 28" full extension drawer slides.
The set of vertical drawers that live below where my miter saw is located are the focal point of the cabinet. These were made to be a go-to location for my most used electric and pneumatic hand tools. They are easy to grab because they are grouped by category and each of the vertical drawers can be rearranged to fit different or changing stocks of tools.
An even further in-depth set of plans for this build is available here: http://bit.ly/mitersawstation
Step 1: Materials & Tools
- (9) 3/4" plywood sheets: https://thd.co/2lAtaKe
- (4) 1/2" plywood sheets: https://thd.co/2xGcpPs
- (2) 1/4" plywood sheets: https://thd.co/2xHP2VK
- (17 pairs) 28" full extension drawer slides: http://amzn.to/2gRpxdB
- (8 per slide) drawer slide screws: http://amzn.to/2zkjute
- (16) 4" lockable swivel casters: http://amzn.to/2zkkdus
- Misc. drywall/wood screws for cabinet/drawer assembly (1-1/4", 2", 3")
- Small wood screws for cabinet back panels: http://amzn.to/2iiOpLz
- Wood glue: http://amzn.to/2kID2jI
- Finish (I chose lacquer for quick dry time): http://amzn.to/2rwh9HU
Tools (Not all of these are required, but this is what I used for the build)
- Table saw: http://amzn.to/2j4bvVU
- Glue spreader: http://amzn.to/2rwnnYk
- Drill & Driver: http://amzn.to/2wy5wSZ
- Router table: http://amzn.to/2pY0lFs
- Rabbeting router bit: http://amzn.to/2A2I3rQ
- Gluebot: http://amzn.to/2zkqh69
- Pipe clamp: http://amzn.to/2jkLLbO
- F style screw clamps: http://amzn.to/2k4EvjT
- Wood rule: http://amzn.to/2gdizmg
- Hammer: http://amzn.to/2oDRFEj
- Random orbital sander: http://amzn.to/2jrwsJC
- Miter saw (of coarse): http://amzn.to/2j614UM
Step 2: Sizing the Plywood
This all started in my previous workshop where I built my miter saw station storage unit on top of an existing workbench that was in the space. It was all built in modules that you see here stacked up in the new shop. I did this because I move pretty frequently and wanted my storage to be very adaptable to different shop situations. I knew when I left that shop the old workbench would stay and that I would have to build a lower unit to go along with the uppers -- so now is my time to shine!
This was all built out of a mix of 3/4" thick, 1/2", and 1/4" Purebond hardwood birch plywood. I went to Home Depot and loaded up my trailer with the goods and backed up to the shop. This was actually super smart and I definitely did it on purpose because I could lift the sheets directly onto the table saw and cut them down to size with now fuss.
I made build plans ahead of time to make the process easier, so I knew exactly what cuts to make. I first ripped the sheets down to width, and then I turn them 90 degrees and carefully cross-cut them down to size. I did this for all 3/4" sheets for the main structure, 1/2" sheets for drawer bottoms and fronts, and 1/4" for the back of the cabinets.
With the pieces cut down to size, I start the assembly! I decided for my design I want to make these mobile to make it easier for my next move, and also this will let me pull it away from the wall if I ever need to access the wall behind it while I'm here. Because I'm adding casters to the bottom I decide to reinforce it to make sure that it's strong enough. I do this by laminating 2 sheets together with wood glue and then screwing them together.
Each of the 4 sides of the main cabinet boxes then move over to the router so I can cut a rabbet out of each of them where it will accept the back panel. The bottom piece is the only one that I laminated, which is nice because this is a beefy piece to be moving around. For the bottom and top pieces I make a stopped rabbet to keep it from being visible from the side of the cabinet.
Step 3: Assembling the Cabinets
Now I can actually start the assembly. I use these corner clamps to help hold the pieces square and in place while I apply glue to the joint. I just use simple butt joints for this application since it will be more than enough once all of the pieces are in place.
To hold the pieces together while the glue dries, I pre-drill and install some screws along the lengths of the joint.
The cabinet then comes out of the corner clamps once all 4 sides are installed and I can then put on the casters. These are fastened in place with screws, spacing the plate of the caster an inch off of the edge of the cabinet so that there is enough room for them to swivel next to each other and also so I won't end up kicking into them. Another bonus of having the double thick bottom is that I can use longer screws to really hold these in place well and not worry about through bolts getting in the way inside the cabinet.
I then bring the cabinet down on the ground to complete the assembly. The 4 corners that were cut with the router earlier are now squared off with a chisel and then I can install the back panel in place. I measure both diagonals to make sure that they are identical (which means the cabinet is square) and pull out any small inconsistencies with a clamp on the long dimension. Then I install a bunch of screws around the perimeter to hold everything in place.
Quick quality control check and stability inspection -- passed with flying colors.
Step 4: Attaching the Cabinets Together
I just have to move all of the old modules out of the way so I can put all of the new cabinets on the floor so I can put them together and then install the old cabinets on top -- it's like the worst backwards tetris game ever. To fasten the base cabinets to one another I clamp them together to hold the surfaces flush and then pre-drill at an angle and use some long screws to hold them together.
With the 4 base cabinet units fastened together, the old upper units are slid into place one by one and fastened down to the base cabinet with screws. These are fastened really well into the base unit, but also fastened to one another with a few screws. The plan is that next time I need to move these they will separate into 4 separate units that can be wheeled around easily and individually.
Nice for the star of the show to arrive! It's called a miter saw station, but the miter saw plays more of a minor role in the whole thing honestly. I move the miter saw into it's new home and screw it down into place.
Each of the cabinets to the right and left of the saw are installed and screwed into place. Lining everything up perfectly was a little tricky, but working my way from one side all the way to the other seemed to be the key. Another integrity test passed with flying colors! Time to move on to the drawers...
Step 5: Installing the Vertical Drawers
One of the main, and most unique features, of this storage unit are the vertical drawers installed in the cabinet under the miter saw. To do this I install some drawer in the top and bottom of the cabinet and for the drawers to the left of the first one, they are screwed into a cleat that is then screwed into the cabinet at the width I want each "drawer" to be.
I work my way from right to left when I figure out which tools are going to be stored in each drawer and thus how much room that drawer will need. With the first drawer installed in place, I can install the second set of drawer slides, one in the bottom of the cabinet and one in the top.
The vertical drawers are really just made of a single 3/4" panel. To install them in place I just use a 1/16" space below the drawer to give it some clearance and then screw the drawer slides in place starting at the front and working my way back with 4 screws total.
Once I determine the width for each of these drawers and get them installed, I can then determine the size of the drawer fronts and cut them down to size and get them installed. I cut them down small enough to leave a 1/16" gap on either side. I decided here to predrill with a countersink bit and plug the screw holes later. Pocket holes would have been a great hidden fastener solution but this was the best way I felt to get the faces in exactly the right spot. I use a spacer around all sides and screw it into place.
Next it's just a matter of installing the drawer pulls to complete this set of drawers. Of coarse I use some custom made ones with my logo burnt into them #forthebrand. The circular shape with the chamfer is actually super handy because you can grab it from any side. I pre-drill through the drawer face, center it using my wood ruler, and then screw it in place.
Step 6: Vertical Drawer Details
I put this to a vote with my friends and ended up setting on using a contrasting mahogany for the plugs. These were cut to size with a plug cutter and then glued and knocked into place with a hammer.
The excess of the plugs are cut off with a pull saw and then I use my random orbital sander to smooth everything out on the face of the cabinet. I was sceptical, but actually turned out to like the color of the plugs. They stick out, but in a nice organized way #ifthatmakesanysense.
Then it's just a slow process of going through all of my hand tool making holders for them and giving them a home. They're all just really different combinations of plywood that is just enough to hold them in place within the cabinet while opening and closing the drawers. This is the sander drawer and that sandpaper storage box is one of my favorites in this cabinet, it has adjustable dividers just like a filing cabinet and each is labeled for the grit of sandpaper in that section.
One of my other favorite features is a fairly similar design used to hold all of my brad nails, finish nails, and finish staples. This is made to be adaptable as well and to hold a variety of different sizes. It's just a box made from 3/4" plywood with dados cut on the table saw and glued and screwed together. Each of the trays is a simple piece of 1/4" plywood that slides in these grooves and has a stop on the front and back to keep everything in place.
Each of the drawers is actually color coded depending on what air gun it pairs with and is also labeled with the size of the nail. The colored plate is just a piece of recycled PVC sheet and doubles as a drawer pull for each of the tiny drawers. Still plenty of room to expand below! This totally beats my last organization tactic, which was boxes of nails in the bottom of my tool bag that were spilled all over the place...
Step 7: Cutting the Plywood for the Drawers
Next I can put together the more typical drawers that will make up the other 3 boxes in the base of the miter saw station. I sized everything so that the off-cuts from the construction of the boxes would be perfect for the sides of all of the drawer units. I start by cutting them all down to width on the table saw for each of the drawers. 3/4" for all sides except 1/2" on the front (you'll see why later).
Each of these long pieces is then moved over to the miter (appropriately) and cut down to length. Each of the sides is the same length, and the front and back are also the same length as one another so the stop block really comes in handy.
The 1/2" plywood sheets get ripped down now to make the panels that are going to be the drawer bottoms. The cut-offs are perfect for the drawer fronts on all of these drawers.
To hold the bottom in place, I cut a dado in both of the side pieces a 1/2" wide, where the sheet will slide in. The front and back piece are just cut down to a width equal to the dimension from the top of the side pieces down to the top of the dado so that the bottom panel will be flush with the bottom of those pieces.
Step 8: Assembling the Drawers
Next is assembly of the drawers, done very similarly to the cabinet boxes. All 4 sides of the drawers are laid out in place on the corner clamps and held in place so that the top of all of the pieces are all flush (currently the bottom while they're in the clamps). Each corner is glued and screwed with a couple of screws to hold them together.
Then the bottom panel can be slid into place. You can see now a little better why I cut the front and back drawer pieces shorter than the sides, this allows for the drawer bottom to slide right over them.
This allows for a substantial surface where I can pre-drill and then screw the bottom in place. Adding the bottom and these fasteners really stiffens up these boxes significantly.
I ended up building a total of 12 drawers like this, and most of them are here in the inspection tower. The cat is even more of a stickler than me, but she still gave this batch her thumbs-up (that's funny because she's a cat...)
Step 9: Installing the Regular Drawers
Alright, time to get these drawers fastened in place! I drop all of the drawers into the cabinet units where they will live. This allows for me to make a reference mark on each side of the cabinet so that I can install the drawer slides at the top of each side of each drawer.
These drawers are a lot simpler to install (kind of) because the slides just install right into the sides of the cabinets. This unit has 5 of the shallow drawers in it, so I slide 5 slides into each side and get the screws ready to go. It's good to have a helping hand(s).
The marks I made before to install these in place horizontally. I use a cut-off of the 3/4" plywood I'm using to space the slide back from the front by that amount so that my drawer front will close flat with the surface of the cabinet later.
This is a similar process to the installation of the vertical drawers where I use my 1/16" spacer below the drawer (this time on both sides) while I screw it in place. I start at the front of the drawer and pull the drawer out little by little to install a total of 4 screws.
I continue this process working my way up, using the previously installed drawer to space up the drawer above it and do this until all of the drawers are installed.
The front of the drawers are only 1/2" because I now install the final drawer face which is a piece of 3/4" plywood. I pre-drill some holes in the face of the drawer and then use my 1/16" spacers to hold the drawer face in the right place and then screw it into place. I add in the same signature drawer pulls here as well.
Step 10: Applying Finish
I ended up decided to use lacquer for a finish on this for a nice durable coat and quick finish. I apply this with a brush to the front and sides of the cabinet, just leaving the inside of the drawers raw since it's just a shop cabinet.
Step 11: Vertical Drawers All Loaded Up!
Vertical drawer 1: grinder & routers
Vertical drawer 2: saws
Vertical drawer 3: sanders
Vertical drawer 4: nailers (the color coding gets me all excited inside!!)
Vertical drawer 5: drills and drivers
Step 12: Glamour Shots!
Thanks for checking out this build and the best of my organization porn :). If you enjoyed this definitely check out the build video for the full details and also check back in my catalog for the building of the original upper portion of these cabinets.
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