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Custom Scroll Saw Stand

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Build an inexpensive stand for maximum comfort and efficiency

Standard scroll saw tables require you to stand or use a high stool or chair. I find both of these options uncomfortable after just one hour at work on the saw. To increase my productivity and allow me to work comfortably for extended periods of time, I designed a scroll saw stand to my own specifications.

The first stand was designed for my Dewalt DW788. I designed it to be the right height for me to work while sitting in a comfortable chair. I made a similar stand for my RBI Hawk G4 saw. The G4 has an enclosed base that is more difficult to attach to the stand. Both versions use readily available 2x4 studs and ¾"-thick plywood.

Step 1: Determine the optimum height. Sit in the chair you plan to use at the saw. Hold your arms at a comfortable sawing height–your arms, from elbows down, should be close to horizontal. Have someone else measure the distance from the floor to the bottom of your arms. For me, it was 33". Enter the measurement in Box A.

Step 2: Determine the length of the table legs. Measure the distance from the base of the scroll saw to the top of the saw table. Enter the measurement in Box B. Enter the thickness of the plywood to be used for the top of the stand in Box C. Add Box B and Box C together and record the measurement in Box D. Subtract Box D from Box A and record the measurement in Box E. My sample calculations are listed in the chart.

Step 3: Cut the legs to size. Cut the eight legs to the length recorded in Box E. Nail or screw together the four pairs of 2x4 legs to create four 4x4 legs.

Step 4: Determine the size of your table. It should be 24" wide. The length can vary from 28" to 32". Cut four 2x4s that are 3" less than the length of your table for the long stand supports. Cut four 24"-long pieces of 2x4 for the short stand supports.

Step 5: Attach the long table supports to the legs. Place two of the legs on the floor with the 3" width facing you. Position one long support across the legs on one end. Use a large square to ensure that the top of the long support is square to the legs. Nail or screw the long support to the legs. Use the same technique to attach a long support to the other two legs.

Step 6: Attach the long supports to the bottom of the legs. Make a mark 4" up from the bottom of both legs. Place the lower edge of the long support on the marks and attach the support to the legs with nails or screws.

Step 7: Attach the short supports to the legs. Match the ends of the short supports up with the ends of the long table supports. While the long supports end at the edge of the legs, the short supports extend to the outside edge of the long supports. Make sure the supports are square to the legs and nail or screw all four short supports in place. Work on one end first, then flip the stand to attach the other two supports.

Step 8: Fasten down the stand top. (If your saw has an enclosed base, proceed to step 9.) Cut the plywood to size, based on your stand. Nail or screw the plywood to the legs and supports. Place the saw on the table and use a pencil to mark the mounting hole positions on the plywood top. Drill holes through the plywood, then bolt the saw down using the largest bolts, nuts, and washers that will fit through the mounting holes in the saw base.

Step 9: Cut any required holes in the bench top. Some saws, such as the Hawk G4, require you to cut a hole in the top for the motor. Cut the plywood to size, then determine the location of the motor, and transfer the measurements to the plywood. Drill a ¼"-diameter bladeentry hole and use a saber saw or jigsaw to cut out the required area. Nail or screw the plywood top to the legs and supports.

Step 10: Make the mounts for an enclosed base saw. Position the scroll saw on the stand and trace around the perimeter of the saw with a pencil. Remove the saw and glue four 2x4 scraps inside the four corners you just marked. Place the scroll saw in position before the glue dries to ensure a perfect fit. After the glue dries, attach the scroll saw to the blocks with four 1"-long wood screws.

Stand Measurements

Stand Measurements

Materials:

  • 2 each 2x4 x 8' studs (legs)
  • 3 each 2x4 x 8' studs (supports)
  • ¾" x 24" x 28" to 32" (top)
  • 10d (2 7/8" long) nails or #8 x 3" woodscrews (2x4 construction)
  • 6d (2"-long) nails or #8 x 2" wood screws (bench top)
  • 4 each bolts, nuts, and washers (mounting scroll saw on bench top)
  • 4 each 2x4 stud scraps (enclosed basesaw mounting)*
  • 4 each #10 x 1" long wood screws (enclosed base saw mounting)*
  • Wood glue (enclosed base saw mounting)*

Tools:

  • Circular or table saw
  • Hammer or cordless screwdriver
  • Tape measure
  • 16" x 24" square
  • 12" square
  • Pencil
  • Saber saw or jigsaw*
  • Drill with ¼"-diameter drill bit*

*To mount enclosed-base scroll saw to table top

See the image gallery for an exploded assembly drawing

DVD - The Scroll Saw - A Beginner's Guide   Acorn Workbench

Image gallery
Assembly Drawing
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Comments (11 posted):

georgewoodie on 08/26/2009 12:08:54
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I bought my [first] scroll saw several months ago and one sales outlet was kind enough to explain why one manufacturer had theirs built on a slated stand. Being new to scroll saw work at that time, I eagerly listened to all information. The answer was simple, so that the operator could easily see the cutting action by looking directly down on that part of the saw's cutting surface. I was advised to build my stand at a 23 angle and so I did. Works great for me. The manufacturer's booklet advised mounting on a sponge type of interface to absorb vibration. I included a small shelf at the bottom, away from my feet. There I store some heavy items to aid in the stability of my stand. While I was at it, I added an arm to hold a small blowing fan and a swing arm lamp, also both welcome. I then added a small box with the top surface drilled to hold narrow plastic tubes where I store my blades. I built a drawer under the surface and a clamp to hold a vacuum hose. It is all at a height that allows me to sit comfortably at the work. I added a small clip board to record the hours I spend on the saw in order to service it at the required time. I would sure hate to ruin the saw from lack of care. To make the work slide easier, I added a clear plastic surface on top of the aluminium one that is part of the construction of this saw. Before mounting, I took out the center insert so that I could better see the lower blade clamp. I installed a set of casters for easy movement around my shop and for pulling the saw into place after I sit down to it. Sorry, I am not yet savvy on including pictures. Woodie.
ubgoofy2003 on 08/26/2009 13:09:59
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Hey, Woodie, sounds like you have the scrollsaw business down pat ! You may just be beginning, but, you are very sharp on what you need, before even getting started. Good work. You might even consider a foot switch, if you sit while cutting. I ordered mine on line & it really is nice. It will solve a problem with your on-off switch getting full of dust & not working properly. Mine did, on my DeWalt 788. Turning it on and off all the time was a problem with dust collecting in the switch. No problems now. Just leave the switch on & tape over it to keep the dust out. Any time you feel you need advice or info of any kind, just ask and someone will jump in to help you. What brand is your new saw? Perk
Jim Finn on 08/26/2009 13:28:58
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I also had to replace the switch on my DeWalt and installed a foot switch. The foot switch died of the same dust problem. In this photo you can see the plastic I have covering the switch. You may also notice I have a seperate light in use because the one that came with the saw has also died. I built this base with drawers and it works well with this fine machine. I like the DeWalt but not their switches.
on 08/26/2009 17:57:51
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Hey Jim, What do you do with your knee's when you are cutting????? Tom
Jim Finn on 08/26/2009 21:58:39
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close the drawers and the saw sticks out far enough over them to work just fine.
ubgoofy2003 on 08/26/2009 23:43:37
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Hi, Jim. Nice stand & drawers too. I wondered about the knee thing too. I had the switch problem too, but, installed the foot switch & haven't had any trouble since. I really like the foot switch, but, it doesn't work well when standing. Great saw though. Perk
qlty on 07/03/2010 17:52:30
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I made a saw table/stand out of a big old consoleTV wooden cabinet,took out the electronics,put a slanted wood top to suit my taste use a lab type adjustable stool with a back rest.My legs and feet go inside the thing with a foot switch and I'm sort of hovered over the saw & work.Just like being back in grade school.Just have to be careful I don't fall asleep.John aka qlty
Haggard3230 on 07/04/2010 19:42:46
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I built two stands like those right after I saw that article. Having spinal stenosis and PAD in my legs, I needed to sit while sawing.
OldDonkey on 06/19/2011 18:11:28
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I was advised to build my stand at a 23 angle and so I did. Works great for me. Can you explain the purpose of the 23 angle and in which direction it is? The manufacturer's booklet advised mounting on a sponge type of interface to absorb vibration. Is it best to insulate the saw on some foam, or anchor it to a heavy solid bench?
evilbadger on 06/19/2011 19:23:17
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Old Donkey The 23 angle is elevating the back of the saw. It makes it easier to see when cutting. The foam will help if your saw vibrates a lot. Carpet padding works pretty well for this. The more expensive saws are built heavier so there is not much vibration to begin with and therefore no padding is required. My Dewalt I never had it anchored before I made my tilting base for it and the vibrations were not bad at all. Here is a link to what I did with my saw [url=http://www.scrollsawer.com/forum/info-exchange/37668.htm][url]http://www.scrollsawer.com/forum/info-exchange/37668.htm I am going to mount a block on the back of the base to tip the saw forward somewhere around 23.
OldDonkey on 06/19/2011 19:41:04
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Great, thanks!
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Gary MacKay
Gary MacKay is a designer and box maker who lives with his wife, Helen, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. He
has been designing, making, and selling boxes in craft galleries for more than 20 years.

Gary first started woodworking during his high school years when he used a jigsaw to make an end table from pine. After buying a band saw in 1985, he sold band saw boxes through consignment shops in northern Vermont. Now, he concentrates on designing and making wooden items that can be cut on a scroll saw. He is currently juried through the South Carolina Artisans Center, one of the craft galleries where his work is on display.

Gary likes to use his scrap wood to make snowflake ornaments and intarsia projects. Whenever he is not working in his woodshop, he can be found out on the golf course or in the vegetable garden. Gary is a frequent contributor to Scroll Saw Woodworking & Crafts magazine. more