See how I attached the legs and cross bracing for the base of my mitre saw station bench, and the issues I ran into, and how I coped with them.
Plus, see how I securely attached the casters to the legs.
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It’s all about my mitre saw station build
A transcript, photos, and links are below the video too!
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Transcript, Photos, and Links
Now that I have each leg built I’m ready to build the frame for my mitre saw station.
See the previous posts and videos in this series for how I built the individual legs shown here.
Pocket Holes for Casters
Before I assembled each leg frame side, I drilled the pocket holes at the bottom of each 2×4 that I would use later to mount the casters.
Unfortunately, the legs were too thick to use my K4 Kreg Jig.
But, the K3 Kreg Jig (on the bottom) worked perfectly.
I positioned the K3 so that it was not too close to the edge and held it in place with the clamp while I drilled the first hole on the left entry hole of the jig.
I found out really fast that I needed to hold the clamp and jig in place to keep it from slipping around.
And then I moved the jig over just a bit and drilled from the other hole entry, about the same distance from the edge on the other side.
I repeated these steps for both sides of the leg bottoms.
Assembling Each Leg Frame
Next, I laid two of the legs on the floor, notch side up.
Then I laid the 6’ apron 2×4 into the notches and ensured it was square on both sides.
Now it was time to drill the pilot holes.
I used my Ryobi impact driver for this task and wow did it ever get those screws in fast!
This is the star bit I used for driving the 2 1/2″ construction screws.
And here are the 2 1/2″ construction screws I used.
Here’s one of the finished leg frame assemblies.
Now on to build the second leg frame!
I’m going to jump ahead in the build a bit to show you why I decided to turn each bench leg so that the notched area faced outward.
This setup yielded maximum width on the bottom shelf and top.
Assembling the Frame
Now I’m ready to add the stretcher boards to connect the two leg assemblies together.
I leaned one against the pole support in my garage workshop and tied it with a little cord.
And then did the same for the one on the right, using my saw horses as braces.
I had already drilled pocket holes into each end of the stretcher boards.
As you can see above, they are being held in place with clamps on three corners.
And then I have a special Kreg Right Angle Clamp in the lower left corner.
There is just no better way to hold two boards together when attaching pocket hole screws!
Once I had one screw in, above the clamp, I removed it and installed the 2nd screw.
Then removed the regular clamp on the right and repeated the process with the Kreg clamp to ensure it was squarely held in place.
Then it was just a matter of repeating the process for the top stretcher boards on the ends of both sides.
It’s starting to look like a bench frame!!!
But take a good look at the top apron board on the left.
It was warped and bowed out.
Damn green lumber!!
Here’s another shot of the nearly 3/4″ gap on the middle stretcher.
Without having long enough bar clamps to pull the opposing stretcher boards closer together, I had to get pretty inventive with how I was going to fix this.
And here was my solution
I flipped the frame on its side and put a 2×4 directly under the lower side of where the stretcher would attach.
Then, I sat on top of it and leaned over to put my whole weight on the bowed apron board.
Let me tell you, it was not at all easy to line up where that stretcher should be, keep it square, and drill the pocket hole screw in!!!!!
But, once I had the first one, the apron board was not as bowed and that made the second one easier.
This is the completed base turned upside down and ready for me to install the casters.
The plan was to cut rectangles of scrap 3/4″ plywood to mount onto the bottom of the legs and then mount the casters on the other side.
That way I would not be drilling the caster mounting screws directly into the end grain of the legs, which is the weakest way to connect that particular piece of the whole assembly.
(See my leg build video for why you don’t want to drill into the end grain, and why I chose pocket holes instead.)
Mounting the Caster Base
That Kreg Right Angle clamp sure came in handy again for this step!!
It was a cinch to drill the pocket holes through the bottom of the legs into the 3/4″plywood base.
I used 1 1/2″ pocket hole screws.
Caster Lag Bolts
Here’s how I chose my caster bolts.
First, they had to fill the entire hole of the caster mount so there would be little chance of wobble.
Regular wood screws are too thin for this, hence the need for a lag bolt, aka lag screw.
Second, I only wanted the tip to pierce the end grain of the leg, else the lag bolt could hit the pocket holes.
Actually, on two of the legs, that did happen, but only on one bolt each. So I have two casters that only have 3 bolts fully tightened down, and that’s fine.
Next, I taped the bit I would use to pre-drill so that I wouldn’t go too deep with the hole and avoid hitting the pocket hole screws.
I didn’t bother with exact measurements. I just eyeballed the center placement for the caster mount.
Then I pre-drilled one hole, put in a lag bolt and secured it, to hold the caster while I pre-drilled the hole diagonally across.
Once I stuck a screw into that second hole, the caster wouldn’t move while I finished the other two holes.
Here’s a closeup of the finished lower frame with the caster.
And you can also see that mounting my stretcher boards on the inside made it super easy to install the plywood for the lower shelf.
I didn’t have to cut a notch for the leg.
And here’s the finished frame, with that lower shelf installed.