Pallet Cut Station
Two long pallets make a stable bench to support long, floppy siding lengths.
The Boral TruExterior lap siding we used on the house bends a lot when held horizontally. We knew it would be tricky to handle the pieces when cutting, so Bruce made up a 35-ft.-long cut-station bench. At first I thought it would take him hours to put something together, but he had an idea.
Some TruExterior siding came delivered on 2-ft.-wide by 16-ft.-long pallets. The pallets were stiff and straight, so Bruce positioned four sawhorses on a fairly level area in the front of the house with a 3-ft.-space between the two pallets. In that space he fashioned a drop bench for the miter saw to rest on. Then he screwed some sheathing scraps to the top of the pallets for an even surface to slide siding and trim on. The top of the bench matched the miter-saw table height so that stock could slide straight through for precise cuts.
To simplify aligning the siding and trim boards to the miter-saw fence, Bruce screwed a 1-1/4-in. aluminum straightedge to the bench and matched it to the miter-saw fence. The straightedge also doubled as a stop guide for repeat cuts, using a simple clamp locked onto the fence.
So why such a long workstation bench? Ordinarily we’d set up a long bench on one side of the miter saw and a short one on the other to support fall-off cuts. But the factory ends on the TruExterior materials weren’t precisely square. This meant that even when installing full 16-ft.-long pieces, we had to trim both ends square. With a full 16 ft. of bench on each side of the miter saw, we didn’t have to turn the boards end-for-end to trim each end.
It took Bruce less than an hour to put together the cut-station bench. And it saved a multitude of hours cutting the more than 1000 pieces of siding and trim around the house.