Radial Arm Saw Tabletop - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

 
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post #1 of 14 Old 02-24-2010, 05:01 PM Thread Starter
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Radial Arm Saw Tabletop

I am a beginner a=t Fine woodworking and I am currently setting up my shop. I recently purchased a used radail arm saw and it has no tabletop. I know it sounds like a pretty fundamental project, however I am not sure exactly how to build it right the first time. Is there anyone out there who can help me?
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post #2 of 14 Old 02-24-2010, 05:38 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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Consider this

After years of owning several radial arm saws, RAS, which I really like for 90 degree cross cutting only, I came up with this extended table. The table is secured from the bottom to 1/4" x 2" angles that run along the front and back of the saw, 5 ft long each. The left side is extended 38" from the blade and the right side 26" for a total length of 64". This makes cutting longer boards a cinch! Simply attach the angles, level them, mount the top, and start the saw by lowering it into the top about 1/8" slowly. That's your reference cut. Make certain the arm is locked securely in the 90 degree position!

Next, make a long straight fence from 3/4 or thicker stock. Locate it so the the blade will be behind the closest portion of the fence, so when you place a board to be cut, the blade will clear the board. Square the fence to the initial cut, clamp it, then screw it down and push the blade through slowly. You now have a 90 degree set up great for cross cuts. You can check your set up for square by making a cut across a 12" wide board, holding the same edge against the fence, flip the board end for end and make another cut It should be parallel to the first cut. Very slight adjustments to the fence may be necessary to get it right on the money. I know this from experience!
You can make a dust collect box at the back of table and set a shop vac underneath with a hose to the port in the bottom of the box actually the top of the table, and another to the blade guard port.
Make certain the saw is locked in the 90 degree detent before starting this! bill
BTW I don't recommend RIPPING on the RAS.
EDITED to correct dimension from the blade!
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The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specfic. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo

Last edited by woodnthings; 02-25-2010 at 10:36 AM.
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post #3 of 14 Old 02-24-2010, 10:44 PM Thread Starter
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Dear woodnthings,

Thank you so much for taking the timne to write me back and for sending those fantastic photos. I feel so confident in building this top now. Again, thanks a million....you da man.....
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post #4 of 14 Old 02-25-2010, 09:53 AM
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Bill,
That is a nice setup. I might copy it if you'll allow me to. How high is the top of the table from the floor? And what kind of plywood is the top made out of?

Bud

"Veggie burgers aren't bad if you put enough meat on them"
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post #5 of 14 Old 02-25-2010, 10:17 AM
where's my table saw?
 
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Thanks Bud

Copy away! It's 40" tall overall allowing for welded leveling pads on the bottom of the angles and 3/4" Aruca plywood, if I recall. A good grade with no voids about $34.00 per sheet. It may be hard to tell in the photo, but after the saw kerf gets a little worn I just mix up some Bondo, fill it in, and cut a new kerf. This allow me a cut line reference closest to me as well at at the fence, for easier and better accuracy and sometimes I mark the wrong edge of the board.....
BTW every woodshop needs a MIG welder
OMT If I forget to turn on the shop vac there is a cloud of dust in a big hurry! If I wanted to cut various angles the dust collector box would have to change radically to accommodate that.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specfic. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo

Last edited by woodnthings; 02-25-2010 at 10:21 AM.
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post #6 of 14 Old 02-25-2010, 10:30 AM
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Thanks Bill. I put that Arauca plywood, 1/2", on my floor. Nice stuff but a little soft at the surface. Thinking of painting it just to make it feel a little nicer on the feet. Right now it feels like I am wearing it down everytime I walk on it.

Also, I have a better way to square up a RAS. I take a piece about 16" square and make a cut. Then put the cut side against the fence and cut again. Do this until all 4 sides are cut. Then maesure the squareness of the first cut against the last cut and adjust by 1/4 of the amount it is out of square. Do the cut again and check. Basically, if the first cut is square to the last cut, your RAS is dead square.

Bud

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post #7 of 14 Old 02-25-2010, 10:32 AM
where's my table saw?
 
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I use the same method

Or a very similar way as a Check after using the square. I underlined it in this thread. Great Minds think alike...or somethin'. bill
This one has some good advice from old skool;
Radial arm saw adjustments

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specfic. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo

Last edited by woodnthings; 02-25-2010 at 10:40 AM.
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post #8 of 14 Old 04-25-2011, 09:16 AM
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I just bought an old Dewalt RAS that did not have a top on it and I searched a while before I found this thread. The tops that they had to begin with seem pretty worthless to me, it eould be difficult to cut a long piece without an out rigger to help hold the stock. I made a stand and am in the process of making my top now, I will post pics later.
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post #9 of 14 Old 04-26-2011, 07:18 AM
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my top was 1 1/4 thick , make sure you can readjust your saw to sit on something lower
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post #10 of 14 Old 04-26-2011, 08:26 AM
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The RAS I bought also was missing its top and my neighbor gave me a piece of 3/4" MDF he didn't need and I made a simple top with it. I have the pictures of how I got it all started but never took any completed shots.

Essentially I cut a large piece of the MDF and then attached it to the saw base with bolts. I then set the arm at 90° and the blade at 90° and scored the base to set the line by which the fence would be set later on. The fence was about 3” tall and glued and screwed to the top from underneath (be careful not to add a screw where the blade may go but be sure to glue that section well).

When it was completed I moved it over to my work bench and adjusted the height of the saw cabinet to allow the table to match the workbench so I could rip long pieces.




But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. James 3:17
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post #11 of 14 Old 04-26-2011, 09:05 AM
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my 2c... cut a small rebate on the bottom of the fence, that way when you push your work up against the fence there's no bit's and pieces of timber throwing the 90 degree angle off.
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post #12 of 14 Old 04-26-2011, 09:25 AM
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Just another for you to look at... I've since added a DC box with 4" outlet...

Works well for me.

~tom
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post #13 of 14 Old 04-26-2011, 04:05 PM
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If space is an issue, you can always make one that is smaller.



This is made from 3/4" particle board, the main table is screwed into the base from below, and the section behind the fence is held in place only by the OEM clamping screws. The fence is simply captured by the main table and the rear section. Dimensions are :
Main table... 18" deep by 36" wide
Rear table... 8" deep by 36" wide
Fence... 2" by 36"

I'll need to make a new one soon as this one has been on the saw for many years and being outside on the carport lets moisture get to it, its beginning to show signs of separating which causes the top to not be as flat as it should be. The two main things to make sure of is the squareness of the fence to the blade and the flatness of the main table top.

The ones posted so far are built on craftsman saws. Mine is a Dewalt and the handle to raise and lower the saw is on top of the arm, not below the table as the others. I made a drawer under my table to hold things I use a lot near this saw, like tape measures and squares.

The plywood surround was added as an after thought to catch saw dust.

If Woodworking is so much fun why isn't it called WoodFUNNING?

I've made a few videos
http://www.youtube.com/user/johnnie52

Last edited by johnnie52; 04-26-2011 at 04:29 PM.
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post #14 of 14 Old 04-26-2011, 10:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firemedic View Post
Just another for you to look at... I've since added a DC box with 4" outlet...

Works well for me.

~tom
BTW I should have given credit where due... the DC I mentioned I added to it is a lose interpretation of woodnthing's... He originally suggested it to me... Thx pal... I should have updated ya on it... I'll send ya a pict when i think about it...
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