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Chairman of the 'Board
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a rather congested 1200 square foot workshop I call "NetDoc's Grotto". As an automotive mechanic for thirty years, with a 4 year stint in a machine shop, most of my tools are made for dealing with steel and mechanical objects. Also, since I am an avid Scuba Diver, Instructor and make a living as the owner of the world's largest website devoted to all things Scuba, I have a large portion of it devoted to being a dive locker as well having a regulator rebuilding and test bench. I'll post pictures in a bit.

About a quarter of this space is devoted to a bunch of wood (mostly oak) that seems to be left from taking out a bunch of cabinets, and in front of that are my table and cut-off saw. I just added a planer and am in the middle of creating a woodworking bench. As I am looking at the one wall, I am thinking that I could make it far more usable if I turned it into a bench for routing and added a radial arm saw. That, or I need to replace my Delta compound cut-off saw with with a sliding version. I also need to do something to make my Ryobi 10" saw a bit more mobile as well as get rid of some of the clutter. I mean, who really needs to have 6 servers and an audio housing sitting around? I need to get rid of them and now.

So, what are your thoughts about a cut-off saw compared to a radial arm saw?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
I am semi-retired, and don't do this for a living. However, I am using my talents and tools to benefit ScubaBoard, so I guess I can call it work. I love to work with my hands and Tim Allen has nothing on me when it comes to loving tools. I think I've always loved the Radial Arm Saw. It has something to do with seeing them in my friends' garages growing up. I don't think they used them much, but boy did they make a statement. Right now, I want to be able to cross cut long boards easily. Often, on my 10" COS, I am flipping the board over to get the last part. It's never, ever perfect, and that's not good enough for me. I kinda like the idea of keeping the radial saw locked at 90 and using the table saw for all the fine stuff. I'm also tired of the wood mess keeping me fro utilizing that wall. I saw a nifty wood rack for the wall that would get it up and out of the way and allow me to have this bench along the wall. I have fifteen feet or so to work with.

Edit: So, I only need one of each tool. I don't need/want multiples. I think I own three routers, and really, two are in the way. I have my CCOS set up on a tool cabinet that contains mostly woodworking tools. That cabinet should up against the wall somewhere and not in the middle. It hogs the room and makes it hard to use my table saw, which simply needs more space.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
OK, I've been looking for a nice radial saw since I began this thread. I really didn't see anything out there that I would spend as much as the seller wanted. However, yesterday I just happened to see a Craigslist ad for a radial saw and a free generator. Yeah, I don't know how they connect, except that this guy is moving off of land on to his 50ft Morgan. It's been sitting under a tarp and the table has floofed with the damp here in the Keys. I just downloaded the manual and ordered the hand wheel that raises and lowers the saw. The saw cost me $20 and the time it took to drive to Geiger Key, so I'm sure I wasn't taken... much.

Now I need to build a table for it. Can anyone give me a clue here? How big? How do I attach the fence? Do I make it out of MDF? I'm going to raise it to match my cut-off saw and make a unified bench for that and incorporate a router table in there as well. I'll post a picture tomorrow of the work area as it's progressing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
No advice on the table? I was really hoping to get an idea on how to proceed before I jumped into the process.

So far, I have found this article: http://woodworking.about.com/od/dealingwithproblems/qt/RadialArmTable.htm and I have also bought a 24"x 48" 3/4" MDF sheet. I know I need to put in a fence of some sort, but where is up in the air. Just in front of the blade? Is there a sweet spot that will give me the longest cut for most boards? Should I dado a groove for the fence to sit in? Should I use hardwood for the fence or just a strip of MDF? How high should the fence be? Should I make it easily replaceable, or should I just replace the entire top when it gets ratty?
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
You have a big place as compared to my one car garage with a lot of stuff stored in it and some woodworking tools.
I am finishing up a miter saw station and so far, it has worked out great. I put the Kreg precision measuring system on it.

I still have to finish up the cabinets and put the drawer fronts on.

Here are a few pics.
That's beautiful. I see that it's on castors. Can you lock it down so it doesn't move?
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
I did the recall thing at least 2 times and got the new tables both times as well as the guards. Shipping that heavy particle board may be the issue, I donno?
Well, they don't state that they include it, but every reference I have seen says that they do. Let's hope it's so!
Yes sir. It is nice and sturdy.
So, what's the mechanism entail? Is it a simple castor lock or do they retract somehow?
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Ok, I will have to do more than just add a table to make this saw work. The mechanism to make it go up and down is not functioning. On disassembly, I was able to determine why:



















 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
All the parts are soaking or in the vibratory cleaner right now. I'm about finished with lunch, so I am going back downstairs to rinse off the soaked pieces and dry them off with compressed air. The stuff going through the vibratory cleaner will be taken out in the morning. I was very happy that I was able to break the raising screw loose. I wire brushed it on the bench grinder and will be doing the same for the shaft that goes forward to the crank as well as the cylinder that moves up and down. The bevel gears look to be in great shape, so I should be OK when it's all cleaned up.

I have to make a decision at some point. Do I raise the radial arm saw or lower the chop saw? I really, really like the chop saw on top of that cabinet. It's been there for years, and the steel legs for the RAS are missing the levelers and two of them are missing the plate to even put the levelers into. My initial thought is to build a base that raises it and that gives me some of the functionality as MT Stringer's set up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
BTW, I am thinking about using a moly grease or an anti-seize like coppa-slip for the raising screw. There were no woodchips down the tube that protects it, so I don't think I have to worry about accumulating crud. Most of the other sliding parts will be getting a coat of the teflon spray we use on Scuba Gear: Sail-kote. Anyone see any problems with that?
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
That looks like a job for a Ford mechanic!
Thirty years in automotive come in handy. I found myself stamping the caps so I can get them back in the same order. Probably overkill since there are no revolutions involved, but you can't be too careful. Shining up the pole is taking a lot of effort, but you guys already knew that. :eek: :eek: :eek: fortunately, it seems to be cleaning up down to the metal fairly nicely. I'm sure I'll have a stain or two, but maybe not. I just cant afford to reduce that diameter or I'll introduce slop.

I did a few other projects today in the shop. Made a couple of holders out of oak for my t-handle hex wrenches.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Well, I've got a lot of sweat equity in this one so far and I'm not even sure I'll like a RAS. I'll finish this one up and see what comes up. For $20 and a third of a tank of gas, I got this and a generator. The one thing I really don't understand is how people on Craigslist say something is "perfect" and it's covered in rust. That wasn't the case here, but most of the saws people wanted money for were just in horrible condition. When I lived in a small house I had my tools stored in a warehouse. Sure enough, they all had a light coating of rust. You would be hard pressed to find a rusty tool in my shop after a month out of storage. Yeah, there is one drawer of "crap tools" that have some rust on them. These are my beater, open to be modified tools. That's one reason I put in AC in the Grotto: to keep rust at bay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 · (Edited)
Here are pics from today's fun in the Grotto:



An almost perfect finish on the pole. The wire wheel was taking way too long, so I tried a roloc. WOW, that was fast and it didn't remove the underlying finish. I can still see the machine marks. I think it only took me ten minutes to get to that point. The compressor kept up, so I just kept at it until it looked good.



The tumbled bolts look acceptable. I lost one E-clip during disassembly, so I'll have to replace it. I might even have one here.



The motor cradle is about to be disassembled.



Rust and grunge on the tracks have to be cleaned up



This is more than surface dust. I'll put all these into the course tumble media for the next 24 hours.



All this is coming apart to be cleaned. I'll be putting the elevating pole together while the other stuff is cleaning.

OK, first hitch. I have the two pinions assembled and they turn easily. I can move the pole up and down until I put the caps on. I guess I'm going to disassemble everything but the pole and make sure I can slide it up and down easily first. Anyone have an idea on this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
You know, I remember working on a few model A engines many, many years ago. You have to scrape the babbit on the bearings to fit them to the crank. While I shouldn't have to do that here, we did tap the cap to make it go "square". I ruined a couple of bearings by over scraping them when the problem was bad alignment of the cap to the block. Modern automotive engine bearing caps are pinned, or the bolt has a proper shoulder to keep the cap aligned with the block or connecting rod. I noticed that these had a lot of play as I assembled them, so maybe just a tap is in order. I'll check it out tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
Wow, I went back down to the grotto after I took a shower and tapped on the bolts and now I can at least move it by pushing and pulling. I don't think it's smooth enough, but I want to reassemble the screw mechanism and see. I'll do that tomorrow. We have dinner guests coming over.
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
I loosened the side pieces up completely. That's the four hex driven bolts that are used to zero the 90 degree cut. I didn't see an adjustment on these bearing caps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
I start with a coarse pyramid looking media and finish up with walnut shells. It's a vibratory tumbler. You have to be patient with it. I tumble in 24 hour segments. The rust was harsh on this last batch, so the first run was over 36 hours.

FWIW, I have spent a lot of time on the arm height adjusting mechanism. It is anything but smooth. What a pain.
 
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