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I'm planning a garage work bench, watching a lot of YouTube for inspiration. I have noticed a common theme - a lot of people sink their miter saw below bench level which I plan to do, but have seen people position the saw slap bang in the middle of the bench.

I hope I'm missing something very obvious but given a finite width of workshop does that not limit the size of the timber you're cutting? Lets say the workshop is 4m wide, saw positioned at 2m you only ever end up with a max length of 2m?

Why do people position the saw in the middle why not at one end with a small overlap on the short side

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    Old-fashioned approach - two little doors in the walls so a board can go right on past the wall if it's too long. New-fangled approach - heavy locking casters on the bench, drag it outside if need be, or at least where the garage door will let the long bits stick out. – Ecnerwal Oct 22 '17 at 0:25
  • Be sure that you have a good [stand][1] for your miter saw [Edited out spammy link] – rs st Oct 19 '18 at 10:40
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Putting the saw in the middle maximizes the size of the pieces you can create from your offcut. Say you put the saw 1m from the end of your shop. Now you've got a 4m board and you need to create 2m work pieces.

With your setup you are unable to fit the offcut between the blade and the wall. You would have to cut a scrap 1m piece, then another scrap 1m piece and wind up with only 1 work piece from your board instead of two.

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  • I'd recommend setting up your miter saw in the middle and if you need to break down stock into pieces longer than 1/2 your shop width just use a jigsaw, circular saw, or track saw. – SaSSafraS1232 Oct 6 '17 at 23:42
  • I hadn’t realised this obvious point thank you. I would say though it also means you can’t create any piece over 2m with this setup. I think to combat this I’m going to put the saw in the middle as you say but put the bench on casters. – Rob Oct 7 '17 at 6:32
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    Mine's slap-dab in the center-ish of my workbench. If I need to cut longer pieces, I wiggle out the pair of bolts that simply drop through manufacturer holes in the saw base and into holes drilled in the table top then carry the saw outside and set it on my portable workbench. With that arrangement, I can cut a 75' piece of lumber right down the middle. :) – FreeMan Oct 11 '17 at 19:28
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Why do people position the saw in the middle why not at one end with a small overlap on the short side?

Part of the reason people put the saw in the middle is so that they can cut miters from both sides of the blade.

If you have a piece of molding, it's very hard and inaccurate to cut both miters from the same side, since that requires flipping the piece over to rest on the non-flat face when cutting.

However, if you only use the miter saw for 90-degree cuts, there's no real reason you can't bias it to one side of a bench.

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I'm in a similar situation with a 14' (4,25m) wall. I don't recommend setting up your miter saw in the middle.

I believe it depends on your usual stock length. For me, it's 8' (2,5m), so I have it that one side is 8' (2,5m) and the other is the left over. This way, I can just cut a few inches from my 8' (2,5m) stock. Which I do frequently to start with a straight edge or to remove a cracked end. With the "in the middle setup", I wouldn't be able to do it. I would need to cut a longer piece right away and then cut the other edge; which is two measures instead of one for a single piece.

To be honest, I wouldn't buy a 14' stock to cut it in two. I would buy two 8' (2,5m). It's cheaper. If it's some atypical stock (8'+ hardwood), I would just use the two measures strategy (with a single piece or more), but that's not my every day scenario.

I've been setup this way for 2 years and I'm pretty happy with it.

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  • Great to get another perspective. Most of the stock here is 2.4m. So it feels like if I set up the blade at 2.5 then it would be better. Or I decide to setup at 3m to allow for bigger stock. Maybe I’m overthinking this. – Rob Oct 7 '17 at 12:20
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    If most of your stock is 2.4m, I would go with 2.4m. – Maxime Morin Oct 7 '17 at 12:28

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