Try Your Hand at Building Your Own DIY Bench Saw

If you need a bench saw, and are looking for a new project, why not kill two birds with one stone?
Christopher McFadden

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If you are fed up with cutting wood and metal using a hack saw or hand saw, why not invest some time in making a simple tool to help you out? If this sounds interesting, then follow this simple guide to making your very own mini-miter saw.

diy miter saw complete
Source: Polkilo/YouTube

As you can imagine, like any project of this nature, you'll need some tools and materials before you get started. 

Materials and gear needed

Step 1: Make the base and handle

The first step is to cut a small block of wood to 1 and 37/64 inches (4 cm) by 3 and 5/32 inches (8 cm). This piece will form the main mounting point for the handle hinge to the base.

Next cut another piece of wood 1 and 31/32 inches (5 cm) by 11 and 13/16 inches (30 cm). This will be used as the main handle for the miter saw.

Then cut another piece of wood 7 and 7/8 inches (20 cm) by 11 13/16 inches (30 cm) to form the DIY miter saw base.

Take your smaller block and glue it slightly off-center to one end of the wooden base.

diy miter saw glue small block
Source: Polkilo/YouTube

Ensure it is perfectly aligned with the base, and then clamp it into place until the glue is fully cured. Once the glue is dry, take two of your linear shaft supports and screw them into place on the smaller block. 

Next, take the other two supports and screw them into one end of the length of wood to will form the handle of the DIY miter saw. 

diy miter saw supports
Source: Polkilo/YouTube

Turn the handle over so that the supports are facing downwards, and connect the supports together using a length of steel rod to form a hinge. 

diy miter saw hinge
Source: Polkilo/YouTube

Before fully threading the rod through the hinges, be sure to add a spring in the center of the hinge. 

diy miter saw hinge spring
Source: Polkilo/YouTube

Step 2: Complete handle and add motor

Next, remove the handle, and mark out its length on a strip of hollow rectangular tubing. Cut the metal down to size using a hack saw. Clamp the extruded aluminum strip to one side of the handle, and screw it firmly into place. 

Rinse and repeat for the second length of metal tubing and attached it to the opposing side of the handle. 

diy miter saw handle metal sidings
Source: Polkilo/YouTube

Next, mount your DC motor bracket to the handle towards the hinge end. Ensure it is square with the main handle before fully committing to screwing it into place. 

diy miter saw motor mount handle
Source: Polkilo/YouTube

Then, take your motor, and mount it to the bracket as needed. 

diy miter saw motor mounted
Source: Polkilo/YouTube

With that complete, take one of the timing belt pulleys and firmly attached it to the axle of the motor.

Step 3: Add the blade mounting axle

Next, take your timing belt and attach it to the pulley.

Pull it tight and mark out the position of the axle for the circular saw disk axle on the handle. Next, take your ball bearings and insert them into the ends of the linear motion bearing. 

Squeeze them together using a clamp if needed. 

diy miter saw motion bearing
Source: Polkilo/YouTube

Then, take another length of the rod, mount another timing pulley to it, and thread the rod into the linear motion bearing, as required. 

diy miter saw blade mounting axle
Source: Polkilo/YouTube

Take the assembly, connect the timing pulley, and mark out the mounting position needed on the reverse side of the handle to the motor. Screw and mount the assembly to the handle as needed. 

diy miter saw mount blade axle
Source: Polkilo/YouTube

For best results, add one screw to check the position of the axle relative to the motor. If the timing pulley belt is not tight, adjust and reattach. 

Once happy, fully mount the assembly to the handle underside. When complete, add the circular saw blade mounting hub to the exposed end of the rod as needed. 

diy miter saw blade hub
Source: Polkilo/YouTube

Next, mount the circular saw blade and attach it to the hub. With that complete, take the blade guard and mark out where it needs to be mounted on the handle. 

diy miter saw blade guard
Source: Polkilo/YouTube

Drill holes through the guard and handle as needed, and mount the guard to the handle. 

diy miter saw mount guard
Source: Polkilo/YouTube

With the guard in place, remove any protective coverings to your blade, and secure it to its hub. 

Step 4: Add the activation button

Next, mark out on the handle where you want the activation button to be situated. Once happy, countersink a hole through the handle to accommodate the button.

With that complete, remove the side metal rod, and drill a hole at 90-degrees to the button hole to feed the button's wiring through. 

diy miter saw button wire penetration
Source: Polkilo/YouTube

Drill a matching wiring penetration point into the side metal bar, and feed the button's wiring through the assembly. 

diy miter saw wiring
Source: Polkilo/YouTube

Take the exposed wires at the button end of the tube, and feed them through the penetration in the handle. Then solder the wires to the push button, as needed. 

diy miter saw wire up button
Source: Polkilo/YouTube

Once complete, reattach the side rail to the handle. 

Step 5: Wire up the button, motor, and power supply

With that complete, wire up and solder the other end of the push button's wiring to the motor, and the motor to its DC power connector. 

diy miter saw wire up motor and button
Source: Polkilo/YouTube

Once the button is fully wired, sink it into its hole as needed. Next, take the DC power adaptor and mount it to the hinge end of the handle. 

diy miter saw dc power adaptor
Source: Polkilo/YouTube

Step 6: Complete the saw handle

With the main electronics completed, take the entire handle assembly and reattach it to the base hinge. As before, do not forget to add the spring to the hinge.

diy miter saw reattach handle
Source: Polkilo/YouTube

With that complete, test the action of the handle, and adjust where needed. It should move freely but with some resistance thanks to the spring. 

Next, pull the handle down and mark out where the blade meets the base. Route out a hole to accommodate the blade so that you can cut through things later. 

diy miter saw hole for saw base
Source: Polkilo/YouTube

If you have not already done so., cut a small length of aluminum tubing and attach it to a protractor to make the miter adjustment assembly. With that complete, keep the blade depressed, and mark out where you need the miter adjustment to be placed. 

Drill holes and mount the miter adjustment as needed to the base. 

diy miter saw miter adjustment
Source: Polkilo/YouTube

The miter adjustment should rotate freely but be able to be secured in place when in use. Reset the miter adjustment so that it is perpendicular to the saw blade and mark a reference point at 90-degrees on the base of the board. 

diy miter saw 90-degrees
Source: Polkilo/YouTube

Rinse and repeat for various distances from the blade as needed. 

diy miter saw other distances
Source: Polkilo/YouTube

Next, take a wing nut, washer, and bolt, and produce a locking mechanism for the miter adjustment on the base. 

diy miter saw locking mechanism
Source: Polkilo/YouTube

Step 7: Stain the base

With that, your DIY miter saw is basically complete. Now you can make it look nice. 

Take some wood stain or lacquer and treat the exposed wood on the miter saw. Rub in using a clean rag. 

diy miter saw treat wood
Source: Polkilo/YouTube

Do the same for the handle. 

Once the stain has dried, your DIY miter saw is now ready to be put to work. Perhaps you could use it to make some other interesting woodworking or metalworking projects? 

How about a DIY dropbox for your home

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