Simple Solutions

How to Make a Portable Work Table for a Miter Saw

By: Joe Truini

When using a power miter saw outdoors, it’s important to have a long, sturdy work surface. A temporary work table is easy to make using an extension ladder and two sawhorses. Here’s how to go about it:

  1. Set up two sawhorses.
  2. Position an extension ladder across the sawhorses.
  3. Attach the miter saw to a piece of plywood the width of the ladder.
  4. Build two support blocks the height of the table on the miter saw from scrap lumber.
  5. Place the miter saw and support blocks on the extension ladder.
  6. A third sawhorse can be used for middle support if the ladder is too flexible.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information

Video Transcript

Sometimes it seems like you spend more time setting up your tools for a project than actually completing the project itself. That’s especially true when working with a power miter saw. Homeowners will often set up the saw on the floor or on the ground, but then you have to work on your hands and knees and that’s very uncomfortable.

In this case, this is a much better idea. I made an improvised work table out of an extension ladder and a pair of sawhorses. And then I cut a piece of 1/2” plywood to fit underneath the saw, just to support the saw itself.

Now, the nice thing about this rig is that it’s about 36 inches high, so it’s nice and comfortable. And then, to support the work itself, I simply made these. It’s just a one-by pine board with a two-by-four on top.

This height is the exact same height as the saw table itself. So when I slide the molding over, it holds up one end, so I don’t have to hold it up on the saw itself. Now, in this case I used a heavy duty extension ladder, and you can see it provides plenty of support.

But, if you’re using a lighter duty ladder, you may find that it flexes and bounces a little bit. So in that case, I’d recommend putting either a third sawhorse underneath, or just clamp a vertical two-by-four, and that ought to make it nice and rigid.


Please Leave a Comment

7 Comments on “How to Make a Portable Work Table for a Miter Saw”

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  • Michael Boyles Says:
    September 1st, 2018 at 9:33 am

    Very easy to set up & very practical.
    Thanks for the great idea!

  • Angela Godwin Says:
    June 22nd, 2018 at 3:01 pm

    hi my name’s Angela everybody calls me Rahrah I work at a scrap yard sometimes and I had this idea to make a portable table for the chop saw I just took a BBQ pit put it back together. left and drawers in it so you had work bench drawers .clear top on top of that bamm I now have a nice stainless steel portable table for the chop saw. then the reason I’m looking for the video it to see which way I should place the saw on the table and how deep I should have it inside the pit Ty RahRah

  • RM Says:
    January 5th, 2018 at 4:17 pm

    Hi Joe, what did you use to mount the miter saw to that piece of plywood? Great video!

  • Terry W. Says:
    November 12th, 2016 at 8:14 am

    Thanks! This is exactly what I was looking for. We are finishing a room and I really needed the temporary use of a miter saw stand. I don’t have the room to store a dedicated DIY stand and I didn’t want to buy a commercial one since I need one so infrequently. This is a perfect solution for me.

  • Carl Perkins Says:
    August 20th, 2016 at 1:36 am

    Joe, you just keep coming up with extremely useful techniques. Thank you so very much.

  • Official Comment:

    joe t. Says:
    January 30th, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    Hey Michael, Glad you liked the miter saw tip. It takes a few minutes to set up the ladder and sawhorses, but it’s well worth it for the comfort and safety it provides. This tip is one of over 260 Simple Solutions posted here at Look around, I’m sure you’ll find a few more useful hints. Thanks for writing and good luck!–Joe T.

  • michael hammond Says:
    January 30th, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    One of the best and most practical tips! Thanks

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How to Make a Portable Work Table for a Miter Saw