Radial Arm Saw Table - Help, please

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I have seen RAS mounted on long tables and finally brought my old Craftsman RAS up with the idea of building a long (10') table to mount it on.
Please, I want to do this so spare me tha comments about altenatiives like buying a sliding mitre saw, etc.
I began by building a frame out of 4 x 4 legs and 2 x 10's to form a "table." unsing 1 x 3 "stretchers" near the bottom - to support a planned "shelf" as well as tie the legs together.
So, I have this table frame 10' long and 26" deep and, now, need to figure out how best to mount the saw to it.
I "discovered" the height adjusting crank last night and realized I would have to extend it through the front (2x10) support member. So this is an issue - how to best do that.
I also want teh table top to be all in one plane, but want the section the blade will travel to be removable (when I cut too deep and scar it - or plow slots into it!
Ideas, plans, pictures of someone else's table would be appreciated. (Links to same?)
Thanks in advance.
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wrote:

You NEED to cut deeper than the piece that you're cutting, just as you adjust the blade height on a table saw higher than your work..
You'll find that if you don't "pre-shape" the cutting area by rotating the blade, (not safe in MHO), you'll develop a 90 degree cut in the table and possibly a 45 degree cut, though most folks leave the head at 90 degrees and unless ripping, and use a jig to keep the work at a 45 degree angle..
If you keep your saw tuned, you'll find yourself using the saw kerf(s) in the table as guides to where the blade passes.. YMWV
BTW.. On my RAS, the elevation handle slides over the rod and locks with a pin in the rod and slots in the handle.. I extended it with a piece of water pipe with matching holes and slots and it worked fine for years.. (I recently gave the saw to a friend)
mac
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Hoosierpopi wrote: ...

I simply cut an opening in the table the size of the saw's sacrifical table--in reality, I actually just butted the table tops to it on the sides and left it proud at the front by about 6" or so.
To mount the saw I used angle iron (1-1/2 x 1 x 3/16) and drilled (the 1" side) for mounting using the provided holes in the saw for its stand. Mounted the angles so that had room for a nut on either side of the bolts to use for leveling the saw to the table.
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I probably wouldn't have responded but for that remark. Hilarious. I have noticed that when a lot of questions are asked around here sometimes, the answers have absolutely nothing to do with a solution.

That is good so far. I have owned a couple of the old Sears RAS, as they were the rage years ago. Before the offered bases for them, we always built a strong square box on which to mount the saw and base. We found the best solution was to make two smaller tables to fit on either side of the saw's table, making it easier to align and level.

I am thinking that your saw base already has some holes in it so that you can lag or bolt the base to a wood frame.

See mac's post above.
> I also want teh table top to be all in one plane, but want the section

The tops on these saws are easily removed. You can replace it easily. Also, a lot of folks never knew that most of these had room in the hold down bolts to shim the top level. This was something we did often as the tops were a low quality MDF on our saws.
With the adjustable screws on the back of the top, you can also bring the backstop on the saw into square with a framing square and some patience.
Ours always looked a lot like this, where you can see the original equipment (note the bolt down holes in the top) mated to two tables:
http://tinyurl.com/6m3hd7
Easy to imagine this one with a couple of tables flanking it:
http://tinyurl.com/5nvuml
I still have my radial saw, but never really use it as it goes out of adjustment so often. But when I was building bookshelves, etc., it was nice to have a machine ready to go that would make an 11" cut with no fussing after a quick alignment. I could cut out the sides, shelves, and molding in no time for built ins. For me, it was also impossible to beat for shelf dados on those cases. I liked putting the blade on the mark and buzzing out the dado with no fixtures or fuss.
I keep it thinking one day I might do it again, so that's why it is around now.
Robert
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wrote:

Thank you for the "on-point" responses. Eveyone was serious this time out!
I'll have to take some pictures of what I'm working on / with so far but I gleaned several ideas for these responses.
Particularly interesting was the combination of the mitre saw into the same table as the RAS. I have a 12" Combination Mitre saw that I could fit into this project to kill another bird with the effort.
Thank you (all).
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Particularly interesting was the combination of the mitre saw into the same table as the RAS. I have a 12" Combination Mitre saw that I could fit into this project to kill another bird with the effort.
I don't know if you can get pictures/illustrations of Norm's setup on the Old Yankee Workshop. His table goes a considerable distance down the side of his workshop/barn. He includes both his radial arm saw and the miter saw in the extended tables. They are in two different locations. But both use the same table. He has some extensive storage underneath the tables as well.
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Lee Michaels wrote:

FWIW, he rebuilt that table a while back and did a show on the building. You can order the video and measured drawing for 40 bucks. <http://www.newyankee.com/getproduct.php?0201
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"J. Clarke" wrote

I don't know what I was thinking. Nahm has been around so long that I must be thinking of him as an ancient history woodworking guy. Hence the OLD yankee workshop reference.
I wonder what that makes me??
Reminds me of that old George Burns line. When asked how it was to be so old, he replied that he would rather be 18.
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Wow, nice bench Norm's got there. Sorry I missed that show! Sorrier, too that he wants $40 bucks for the plans! After all Public TV did for him!
Budget demands preclude contributing further to Norm's net worth!
I've been shopping at Habitat for Humanity Re-stores to get cabinets. My shop will never look as neat as Norm's (or you fellas') but it should approach the level of functionality.
Who was the fella with the INSTEON Switch? That was intriguing. I use X-10 stuff to control lighting, but have yet to use the feedback features or computer interface thing effectively. Would like to know more! Thanks for all the +feedback. Feel free to add more - I'm a sponge.
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<<Wow, nice bench Norm's got there. Sorry I missed that show! Sorrier, too that he wants $40 bucks for the plans! After all Public TV did for him!
Budget demands preclude contributing further to Norm's net worth!>>
I assume you are just being facecious here and that you do realize that the 40 bucks goes to PBS and not into Norm's tool pouch (and that the New Yankee Workshop belongs to the producer, not Norm himself).
Lee
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Lee Gordon wrote:

Further, it's 16 for the plans, the 40 gets you the show (two episodes) as well.
One hopes that Nahm gets residuals.
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I just finished doing the same thing. Here are pictures of the construction of the bench, mounting the metal frame and crafting a new adjustment knob. Haven't done the final tuning yet and I don't know how effective the dust collection will be.
http://www.mike-land.com/Woodworking/Paso_Wood_Shop/Workbench/workbench.html
Mike Brown.

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On May 30, 6:24 pm, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Mike - I like your website. Nicely done!
Robert
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Hey thanks Robert!
Mike Brown
wrote:

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On May 30, 7:24pm, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

That looks good. Nice pictures and descriptions. One thing I may help with-YOU WROTE
Now that the bench is in place, I can go back and complete the installation of the Radial Arm Saw. It's a 1960's vintage Craftsman model, that I bought in Austin for $50 at a garage sale. I switched the motor to 220V, and installed new round black wire. The height adjustment shaft just sticks through the front of the bench, but the stock handle doesn't have enough clearance to turn, so I had to come up with the different plan. I bought a 2" diameter pulley, a small V belt and a octagonal-shaped PVC end cap. I cut a section of V-belt just the right size to fit around the pulley, then epoxied it into place. I then epoxied the end cap and pounded it down onto the pulley - the V-belt acts as a gasket of just the right size to make everything fit tightly. The new adjustment knob then fits onto the end of the shaft."
I had similar concerns and investigated the shaft. On My (Vintage Craftsman) it is 1/2" in diameter plain steel rod. It can easily be removed from the saw. My intention is to cut it underneath the saw base and add a longer section to it using a steel 5/8" O.D. 1/2" I.D. bit of steel "tubing" from Lowes' hardware drawers - about 1.25" long and either sweat it with the brazing torch (or solder it) or drill two small holes through the (Lowes) sleeve and rod (one in each section) and use cotter pins to hold it together. I found an old store display hook thing that employed a fitting designed to hold the 1/2" chrome hook in the end of the rack's square tubing and will use that fittin (about 7/8" x 7/8" x 2.5" as a collar/bearing for the adjusting rod as it comes through the bench frame.
I am torn, now that I see all the benches built on cabinet/drawer bases! I was using old salvaged (from construction sites) lumber to build the frame (2 x 10 x 10' and four 4x4's) and, now have to decide to dismantle and rebuild or try and slip cabinets under!
Thank you again!
I am still working on the base leveling system - I liked that approach - and have gathered some all-thread and he appropriate nuts.
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I got lucky with the length of my shaft. Wow, that sounds really wrong! :^)
I think your plan will work. Just make sure the joint is strong, as it takes a bit of strength to raise and lower, but you shouldn't have to do it very often.
Mike Brown

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On Fri, 30 May 2008 16:24:45 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I agree with Robert, nicely done.
Your shop screams for representation at ShopTours.org (http://www.shoptours.org ). Want me to add it?
email me: LRod at pobox dot com
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I looking at building a similar wall of cabinets incorporating my RAS, possibly with flip up tables for my bench top planer and scroll saw. Since I may want to rearrange the shop at some point I will probably build individual cabinets with leveling adjusters. Like yours, some of my inspiration came from Norm's workstation.
I hate to mention this now, since I can see you have a lot of work invested in your bench, but I can see problems with it for RAS use.
Where is the fence? To use a RAS safely you have to have a solidly mounted fence, which can be easily shifted and replaced, and which will maintain alignment with respect to the saw arm.
Mounting the saw base directly to the table top means that you have no way to align the top parallel to the saw arm.
The top surface of a RAS table should be considered sacrificial, as the blade has to cut into it in order to cut through the work piece. Replacing yours looks kind of involved, and putting another piece on top means you lose the benefit of a long uninterrupted top.
It has been a while since I watched my tape of norm's project, but I think he left the RAS on its own base, and aligned the workstation with the saw... Hmm... didn't he extend the fence onto the workstation? How did that work? Guess I'll have to find that tape...
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All good points Larry and I have put some thought into them.
I was planning on adding a fence which will be tightened down with wingnuts or something, through oblong holes, allowing for a certain amount of freedom of alignment.
I was planning on making the saw arm parallel to the table top using thin metal shim plates. The only reason to have it *dead* parallel is when doing dados - I see Norm do that a lot but I wonder how much I will.
Replacing the top is most problematic. I'll likely cut the "retired" section out and lightly glue another into place. The hardboard sits on a 3/4" ply sub-base. I've seen some more complex ideas (Shopnotes #16) but I could go years without feeling the need to replace it.
Mike Brown

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On Mon, 2 Jun 2008 21:36:08 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

How firm are your plans for how and where to attach the saw?
Can you mount it 1/4" higher?
I allow a bit over 1/4" on all my benches, work stands, etc.. then use a "cap" of 1/4" hardboard for the actual work surface.. Most are held down with double-sided tape, but the RAS top was 3/8" ply with leveling screws..
mac
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