Radial Arm Saw Table - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 02-20-2017, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
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Radial Arm Saw Table

We have discussed RAS's in another post in great detail. I want to re-make my table/stand for my Craftsman Radial Arm Saw. This will be the 3rd and last table for this saw in 43 years.
I want to improve the containment of sawdust behind the blade. I now just use a flat backstop of 1/4" Plywood.
I want to add a new aluminum rail I bought at Rocklers to the fence, complete with a adjustable stop-block.
I want to add new left and right tape measures I just bought at Rocklers.
I will use MDF for the table top.
I want to improve what I now have. I will probably put the table on locking rollers.

Many of you probably have very nice set-ups. Any comments/suggestions or pictures you can provide will be helpful. I've seen several pictures on Pinterest for ideas.
Thanks in advance. I'm looking forward to hearing back from you.
My new stand will cost more than the old saws worth, but I'm committed to this new project.
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If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #2 of 17 Old 02-20-2017, 12:44 PM
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Think about the height of the saw table. Is it the right height for you?
I raised mine up, so long boards hanging off the table clear my workbench, with up to 4" high pile of stuff on it. The other side is above my oss.
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post #3 of 17 Old 02-20-2017, 12:50 PM
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I made a box behind mine just behind the fence which has a board on a 45 degree angle directing the sawdust down. Then below it I made a big wooden box like a drawer to catch the dust. I think it catches about 90% of the of the dust created. About the only improvement I think I could make is to attach some kind of dust control to the saw guard.

As far as tape measures for the fence I normally keep every broken tape measure I have so the blades I use for that application. Then for a stop use a L shaped block and clamp it to the fence with a hand screw.
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post #4 of 17 Old 02-20-2017, 02:34 PM
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I made a 'hood / shroud' using 1/4 ply - 45' 'wings' to each side that went to the full width of the saw table itself, 45' top pc that cleared the blade guard in the 'fully back' position. the bottom extended forward to the back of the fence pc so nothing 'fell thru'

drilled a hole for a shop vac in the top at the 90' cut position. it caught (near) all the sawdust - but sometimes the sawdust will accumulate in the corners - especially at angle cuts. not a big deal, plunk the rectangular suck'em'up fitting on the end of the vac hose and clean it out as needed.

I have the RAS mounted to the right of a 60" workbench - lots of fiddling&futzing needed to get the saw table at the right ht plus level to the saw arm travel, but oh well....

the theory was to use a 10' length of aluminum angle - slotted for 1/4-20 threaded inserts in the maple top - as an 'extended' fence. makes for nice when cross cutting - long long fence. but I wanted to use it for creating the first 'true edge' on rough cut. putting the (if any, HAH!) concave edge on the super-long fence, ripping any 'excess width' off the convex edge to produce the first straight edge.

neat idea, but good implementation requires a long long fence on both the infeed side and the outfeed side. outfeed side in my setup is "nuttin' but air" - sigh.

so, depending on what all you do - you may need a long fence on both sides - but for general purpose RAS - a long fence on one side is a real boon.

oh, if you drill your bench for thread inserts, get some (1/4-20) set screws to put in the inserts when they are 'idle' - keeps the saw dust / dirt out and saves 30-40 minutes of painstaking vacuum sucking while needle dirt dislodging . . . .
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post #5 of 17 Old 02-20-2017, 07:16 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pirate View Post
Think about the height of the saw table. Is it the right height for you?
I raised mine up, so long boards hanging off the table clear my workbench, with up to 4" high pile of stuff on it. The other side is above my oss.
I have my height the same as my table saw. I've tried to get the height on most of my tables the same in my shop. I'm more interested in seeing or hearing of table designs from other members who have mastered dust collection or utilize the table design below the saw in special ways.
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post #6 of 17 Old 02-20-2017, 07:22 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
I made a box behind mine just behind the fence which has a board on a 45 degree angle directing the sawdust down. Then below it I made a big wooden box like a drawer to catch the dust. I think it catches about 90% of the of the dust created. About the only improvement I think I could make is to attach some kind of dust control to the saw guard.

As far as tape measures for the fence I normally keep every broken tape measure I have so the blades I use for that application. Then for a stop use a L shaped block and clamp it to the fence with a hand screw.
Thanks Steve
I need to build a boxed design like you've described. My backstop now is just 1/4" plywood standing tall behind the saw. It does nothing to channel the sawdust and will actually bounce the dust all over. I also plan to make a real tight seal around the yoke of the saw. For years, the gapped spacing between the fence and the back has allowed sawdust to drop into the cabinet below. I'm determined to seal this and stop it.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #7 of 17 Old 02-20-2017, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomCT2 View Post
I made a 'hood / shroud' using 1/4 ply - 45' 'wings' to each side that went to the full width of the saw table itself, 45' top pc that cleared the blade guard in the 'fully back' position. the bottom extended forward to the back of the fence pc so nothing 'fell thru'

drilled a hole for a shop vac in the top at the 90' cut position. it caught (near) all the sawdust - but sometimes the sawdust will accumulate in the corners - especially at angle cuts. not a big deal, plunk the rectangular suck'em'up fitting on the end of the vac hose and clean it out as needed.

I have the RAS mounted to the right of a 60" workbench - lots of fiddling&futzing needed to get the saw table at the right ht plus level to the saw arm travel, but oh well....

the theory was to use a 10' length of aluminum angle - slotted for 1/4-20 threaded inserts in the maple top - as an 'extended' fence. makes for nice when cross cutting - long long fence. but I wanted to use it for creating the first 'true edge' on rough cut. putting the (if any, HAH!) concave edge on the super-long fence, ripping any 'excess width' off the convex edge to produce the first straight edge.

neat idea, but good implementation requires a long long fence on both the infeed side and the outfeed side. outfeed side in my setup is "nuttin' but air" - sigh.

so, depending on what all you do - you may need a long fence on both sides - but for general purpose RAS - a long fence on one side is a real boon.

oh, if you drill your bench for thread inserts, get some (1/4-20) set screws to put in the inserts when they are 'idle' - keeps the saw dust / dirt out and saves 30-40 minutes of painstaking vacuum sucking while needle dirt dislodging . . . .

Tom,
I really like your description of the hood you built for your RAS. This is what I'm wanting to build also. My old saw is mounted off-center on a table now with about 17" of fence on the left side of the blade and 26" on the right side. I also have a 5' workbench on the left of the RAS. So I can handle pretty long lengths when needed. Under my saw now is my power tool storage for tools that come in cases. I'd like to improve this space in my new design.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #8 of 17 Old 02-20-2017, 07:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toolman50 View Post
Thanks Steve
I need to build a boxed design like you've described. My backstop now is just 1/4" plywood standing tall behind the saw. It does nothing to channel the sawdust and will actually bounce the dust all over. I also plan to make a real tight seal around the yoke of the saw. For years, the gapped spacing between the fence and the back has allowed sawdust to drop into the cabinet below. I'm determined to seal this and stop it.
What I built for my saw is pretty simple. I didn't want to spend a lot of time on it.
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post #9 of 17 Old 02-20-2017, 07:55 PM Thread Starter
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Steve
Thanks for taking the time to include pictures. The picture clarifies your description of the box underneath. Now I use the space under my RAS for storage and I don't think I want to give that up.
I do have a drawer under my TS though and it works pretty good.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #10 of 17 Old 02-20-2017, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Toolman50 View Post
Steve
Thanks for taking the time to include pictures. The picture clarifies your description of the box underneath. Now I use the space under my RAS for storage and I don't think I want to give that up.
I do have a drawer under my TS though and it works pretty good.
On my saw I made a table about 20' long so I made bins on each side of the saw for storage. I mainly use it for scraps.
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post #11 of 17 Old 03-02-2017, 10:12 PM Thread Starter
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Radial Arm Saw Table make-over

I finished my re-do of my old Radial Arm Saw Table. I originally threw it together about 30 years ago.
I want to thank everyone who threw ideas at me when I asked for them.
I had been wanting to replace the old table for several years.
I posted a few pictures in my pictures if anyone wants to have a look.
Using mostly scrap I had on hand, it still cost me more than you would think with new tapes, stop and rail and casters. Approx $76 plus a lot of screws.

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post #12 of 17 Old 03-02-2017, 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Toolman50 View Post
I finished my re-do of my old Radial Arm Saw Table. I originally threw it together about 30 years ago.
I want to thank everyone who threw ideas at me when I asked for them.
I had been wanting to replace the old table for several years.
I posted a few pictures in my pictures if anyone wants to have a look.
Using mostly scrap I had on hand, it still cost me more than you would think with new tapes, stop and rail and casters. Approx $76 plus a lot of screws.
You know with no pictures it didn't happen. :smile3:
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post #13 of 17 Old 03-02-2017, 11:54 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
You know with no pictures it didn't happen. :smile3:
I did add a few pictures in My Photos. Take a look. It's nothing fancy but it took me several hours because I'm slow.

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post #14 of 17 Old 03-03-2017, 09:13 AM
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I use mine for 90 degree crosscuts only.... this is my very effective dust collection...
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post #15 of 17 Old 03-03-2017, 11:31 AM Thread Starter
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Oakworks,
I see you installed the tapes and stop also. Looks good.
I will need more details on how your dust collection system works.

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post #16 of 17 Old 03-03-2017, 04:00 PM
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Toolman..... The piece of plywood behind the blade covers a mini dust hood down to the top of the box....
This causes a wind tunnel thru the blade slot.... By pulling the saw thru the workpiece, the dust is
directed into the tunnel and pulled away by the dust collector...
I left a small opening just above the fence to allow a little more air flow ....
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post #17 of 17 Old 03-04-2017, 01:24 AM
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Toolman--

This one doesn't meet some of your criteria, but I'll offer it anyway. It's 8 feet long and not only gives great support for larger stock, but doubles as a work bench, especially if the saw is rotated to the side. The gray part is plastic laminate while the brown part is a sacrificial insert of 1/2" MDF. I have a hardboard pattern, so every couple of years I just make a new insert and drop it in. I have to replace the fence more often. The insert is three pieces to allow the fence to go in two different positions.

There is actually a gear motor behind the front panel that turns the height crank through a toothed belt for power up/down.

This setup is at least 20 years old and has had quite a few inserts and fences.

Ed

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For just a little more, you can do it yourself.
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