The compound miter saw is a versatile and handy tool. I use mine for many projects in my wood shop (a.k.a. my garage). The miter saw handles several different types of cuts, and as long as you have a good sharp blade, and a good quality miter saw, you’ll be able to make crisp, clean cuts every time for all your miter saw woodworking ideas!
This means you can use the miter and the bevel abilities built-in to the compound miter saw to create cool joinery and custom pieces at various different angles. You can use the miter saw to add furniture base molding to your desk project, crown molding to your china cabinet, or create clean miter joints for your picture frame.
Here Are Some Beginner Miter Saw Woodworking Ideas
I’m guessing you’re not looking for anything too complicated, and probably something kind of rustic? Or maybe something with nice clean miter joints? Well let’s dive right into some basic project ideas to get the wheels spinning.
Kids Tool Box
Here’s a toolbox I made for my son last year for Christmas. After this point, I sanded and spray painted it. Using stencils I added his name to the side. This is a pretty heavy duty toolbox and it goes great with the small workbench I built him last year.
Here’s a decent tutorial on a basic kid’s toolbox you can build in a couple hours.
This is one of my first “Rustic” projects. Once I realized you can build good quality, long-lasting furniture with basic dimensional lumber from Lowes, I got really inspired. I built this table plus a whole set of end tables, all from 2×6 pine boards. Stained them all dark and they look old, rustic, and they are heavy. We love them. But this particular coffee table was a challenge due to the large cross-width of the table top. This required a more complicated glue up.
For some inspiration with a really cool looking rustic coffee table tutorial, check out what Ana White did here.
I did this tutorial a few weeks ago. This was built using my miter saw and Kreg pocket hole jig. Miter joints can look really nice if they are crisp and clean. That’s what makes the picture frame a great miter saw woodworking idea. It’s nothing more than 4 miter joints and 4 pieces of wood. Of course, you can make it more complicated and fancy if you wish, but it’s still a basic project, it can be done in a couple of hours, and it serves a great purpose for your house – Hanging Your Pictures!
Go here to see my picture frame tutorial.
The old-style barn doors look really cool. Lots of people are recreating these doors in their homes, and they look really good. I know a guy that took some old barn wood, cut it down to size, and built a door just like this one. He attached wheels and hung it on a track just like a real barn door. He did this as an entry door into his dining room, and it turned out really great.
Check out this barn door tutorial over at This Old House. It’s very similar to the process I mentioned above, with a sliding barn door for inside your house. The look is different than the picture here, but you could make it look either way. The picture above is simple enough to figure out without any detailed plans. The tutorial I just linked to has a good walkthrough for doing the wheels and track.
Here’s a great way to really dress up your house. This picture is another rustic style project, and I think it looks really cool. Obviously, this look wouldn’t work on everyone’s house, but the idea is basically the same even with more modern looking shutters.
Here’s a really good detailed tutorial for shutters.
Gazebo or Pavilion
This is definitely a more advanced project. This is more like a weekend project that will likely cost you several hundred dollars. But how cool would it be to have a gazebo out in your yard, right? What a great way to make your backyard look nice and inviting for an outdoor get-together. You’ll have to build a stone patio or a deck as the base, then the gazebo over the top of it.
If you’re interested in building a pretty basic gazebo you can put up over a patio or small deck area, check out these plans here.
What Kind Of Miter Saw Should You Have?
There are a few different kinds of miter saws, and if you’re looking for the perfect kind for your projects, I can help you out. Depending on the cutting capacities you need, and the features you want, here I go into detail on which types of saw offer just what you’re looking for.
But let’s assume you’re in a hurry and you need to decide on a miter saw right away. Well, for the most part, you’ll probably get by just fine with a 10″ single bevel compound miter saw, like the Hitachi C10FCE2.
I personally would prefer a sliding model though, as it gives you much more cutting capacity, plus some come with a blade height stop that allows you to cut dados and rabbets. If you’re not sure what these are, it’s just a woodworking term for different types of grooves cut into the wood, without going all the way through. And being able to do this on a miter saw can be really handy, especially if you don’t have a radial arm saw or a table saw. For a great woodworker’s 10″ sliding miter saw, check out this Ryobi model.
Any Special Skills Required?
First of all, you need to learn all the safety guidelines for using your miter saw, so make sure you know and understand that.
But really, these tutorials I linked to are really good and any beginner can handle these projects. The gazebo would be the hardest one and take the longest, and would probably require some assistance from a helper.
But overall if you’re pretty good with tools, understand how to set up your miter angle cuts and bevel cuts, you’ll be fine. Just use common sense on these projects and don’t jump into anything without first understanding all the steps required to complete the job. Nothing is worse than getting started and buying material, just to find out you don’t have the capacity or the ability to complete the later steps of the project.
If you have any cool miter saw woodworking ideas, please share below in a comment.
My woodworking tools list
Hitachi C12FDH Miter Saw review