Radial Arm Table

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I'd like to replace my radial arm table and fence, it's been a long time.
Any suggestions? I'm thinking of finding a cheap hollow core door (because they are generally true and not warped) and putting either MDF or masonite on it.
Some other idea?
Jeff
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Jeff Thies wrote:

Guess that could work altho most RAS aren't designed for such a thick table.
I simply use the 3/4" MDF w/ a sacrificial 1/4" surface layer that can be replaced easily.
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On 8/23/2010 7:41 AM, Jeff Thies wrote:

It's been a long time, but the last time I resurfaced a radial arm saw I put a layer of plywood down on top of the old surface. I suspect that actually replacing the table would be best done with a piece of MDF. I don't think a door would last very long, plus it would be awfully thick.
Bill
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3/4 mdf with a 1/4 ply top. A hollow door is not suitable.
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I'm with you. A hollow door is *not* suitable. There is no way to cut them to size or mount. They're, um, *hollow*. Lumber-core would be better, but still not good, IMO.
MDF is the way to go, though 1" would be a lot better. Hardboard (Masonite) may be better than 1/4" ply for a sacrificial top. Getting either flat enough may be a problem. MDF is cheap enough replace periodically.
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keith wrote:

Well, other than the thickness which I mentioned earlier, it's not that bad an idea. They are reasonably flat in general and, particularly for the weight, relatively rigid.
They're not _totally_ hollow; they have a honeycomb core the veneer faces are glued to. It's a trivial exercise to cut one to size and glue in edge/end pieces to replace the originals.
It wouldn't be difficult to work out a mounting as well; a moly from the bottom or a tee-nut in an inserted block or similar would work just fine since any access on the latter would be covered by the proposed surface sheet anyway.
It seems like more hassle than gained, and the thickness could be an issue depending on the actual saw under discussion but I could see it being done. Particularly if one were thinking of building a large table around the saw and used the door as the surface for it -- a cutout in the middle to make the distance to the front rail end the desired distance would leave a rear portion for support during ripping or cross cut of long stock (the primary use of my 14" RAS which is in an 14' table of similar style using the stock table in the middle cutout set into 5/4 (rough before planing) solid stock for the table surface).
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It's a completely stupid idea.
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Complete nonsense. Without the band of wood around the edge they're not much more rigid than a piece of cardboard. Their strength is much like an airplane wing. Cut the skin and they'll fall apart completely.

Have you ever cut one in half?

Utter nonsense. The door will simply crush or the fasteners ('t'- nuts) will pull right through. Hollow core doors are fairly strong over a large area but *not* over a small area (where there is no support).

Of all problems with this (stupid) idea, why would the thickness matter? RASs can usually be cranked up much higher than the blade (minus motor) depth anyway. A solid-core door might work, but a hollow-core door is an idea doomed to fail. Neither can be warped to adjust for flatness, though. MDF is still the best solution.
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keith wrote: ...

Certainly, many times I've cut larger ones down for smaller openings or made a Dutch door out of a full-length one. Why, do you ask?

Not if you place the fastener through the bottom ply or add a local blocking or a sleeve. As noted, (read next sentence again :) )it seems like more effort than what could be gained but don't see any reason it couldn't be done...

As noted, would mostly depend on the arrangement for the fence mounting not the table itself. Generally w/ smaller saws of the DeWalt/B&D/Craftsman ilk which one would presume is what OP has the fence mounting is simply a couple of thumbscrews that are at height of the thickness of a 3/4" table. W/ the thicker table, that would tend to be too low and let the fence lean more easily since would need wider fence to gain the desired height above table surface. The actual thickness itself wouldn't make much, if any difference, on the column height, no...

Oh, I'm sure I could come up w/ something there as well... :)
I'd still recommend as before it would be simpler to use ply or MDF or similar, but certainly can see the OP's thinking of it. W/ the sacrificial top, as long as don't go thru that, the hollowness would be totally immaterial.
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On 8/23/2010 3:47 PM, dpb wrote:

Old Craftsman 10".

What about MDO? Is that better than MDF for this or for counter tops? What about MDO on the bottom and a sacrificial MDF?
I like to rip 2x4's, and cut up plywood. I'm thinking of a table about 4' long (current is 8'). How should I set up the workspace? Roller stands and a support table on the feed end?
I usually make the fence out of fir bolted to some angle stock (bedframe). MDO/MDF fence or something else? I've been leaving a little space between the fence and the table for the sawdust to fall through.
I'm moving the saw to a more open workspace and I'd like to get it set up right instead of the half assed way I have it now. I don't know anyone who has a home wood shop so I'm fumbling around a bit...
Jeff

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Jeff Thies wrote: ...

Either w/ the sacrificial would be fine. There's really no great need for the MDO's extra cost w/ the sacrificial surface.

I use the RAS almost exclusively for rough cutoff and ripping -- but I have a 14" Delta instead of just 10" -- but I started w/ nothing other than an inexpensive 10" B&D. I had the room so I had it in an 8' overall table w/ about 3' on the infeed side and the remainder on the outfeed. That eliminated need for the rollers, etc., on 90%+ of the stock which is, imo, a great boon. If you have the room, I'd do something on that order. You could undoubtedly devise other ways to use the space to build in the portable planer, etc., etc., to make more use of the space as well.

For more suggestions, I'd suggest posting the last question to rec.woodworking; there are a number of quite helpful folks there as well w/ specific woodworking experience both hobbiest to fulltime and everywhere in between. (There are a few who will insist the RAS is the devil's spawn, but... :) )
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On 8/23/2010 10:53 PM, Jeff Thies wrote:

RAS is set into the bench about a third of the way back from the door. That way I have plenty of space to feed long pieces. The saw table is aligned so it is level with the bench top. Of course to use the bench for feeding long stock I have to clean off the work bench first. For some reason it keeps getting cluttered up with tools and stuff.
Bill
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Bill Gill wrote: ...

Indeed...similar to the arrangement I described. When shop was in the garage, I built the bench/RAS such that the rip fence would let work pass by the open door for long pieces. The saw was set towards the open end to get clearance the other end rather than in the middle of the wall as "normal" placement to have same distance either way would seem to suggest.
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On 8/24/2010 9:40 AM, dpb wrote:

More space on the feed side than the out side?
Jeff

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Jeff Thies wrote:

In my case I chose it that way relative to inside wall and (closed) door, yes. I picked heading outside for rip direction instead of in; one could do either.
It's just a consideration of what's the best configuration for any given shop space and work habits and sizes of work one anticipates handling. In my case if I had placed it in the middle and against the wall I'd have been constrained to something under 8-ft on both ways; the way I did it I had 12-ft or thereabouts w/o having to move the (heavy) saw table or other machinations. It's a "salt to suit" situation...
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I used to have an ras but I switched to a sliding miter and a table saw, both on fold up rolling stands. Using a ras for ripping was just a pain.
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jamesgangnc wrote: ...

That's what the RAS in the table alleviates (as well as having a hefty-enough one, of course :) ). And in garage area, can usually work it in the wall side and leave in place rather than the roll-around hassle of the TS and associated table(s) for it for long/sheet goods. Ideal, of course, is both which I'm lucky enough to have and have room for w/o moving either...
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I had a similar arrangment once with a big ras in our garage on a workbench. We had changes, added a boat to the 2 car garage and then the acqusition of a lake house, that made me switch to the portable setup. I usually roll out onto the driveway at home and that cuts down on the sawdust in/on the boat and when I'm doing something at the lake house I can roll both saws into the back of the pickup using ramps and take them out there.
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On 8/24/2010 9:56 AM, jamesgangnc wrote:

My brother was a carpenter. He used a station wagon as his work vehicle. He had a small RAS he kept in the back of the station wagon. At the job site he would open the back and pull the RAS out onto the tail gate.
Bill
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On 8/24/2010 10:36 AM, dpb wrote:

That's what I'll do. I have a 16' floor to work with. I think, about 9' on the feed, the out end opens into the outdoors. A small table on the RAS and ~ 7' tables on either side. How do you match heights?
I have a basement workshop about the same size (14 x 14), The ceiling is a little low and I'm a little tall and I have to stand between joists. Lumber went out the window and plywood was hard to handle and impossible to cut a full sheet.
I'm excited!
Jeff
rather than the roll-around

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