Ten Foot RAS Table Ideas

I've owned this SEARS RAS for close to thirty years and had it mounted on the "factory" stand for a while, then on a shop built stand that allowed me to wheel it about the shop by stepping on a pedal. Now, in a new location, after selling off the wheeled stand, I've decided to mount it into a 10-foot long home built "work table." The table is constructed of 2-2x8x10 foot boards (front and back) with 2-2x6x29 inch boards (left and right) all mounted onto 6-4x4x36-inch "legs" which were notched (dadoed?) to accept the boards, above, and again to hold some 1x2 boards that support a bottom "shelf"of 7/16 OSB at the perimeter a foot or so off the floor.
My first thought was to mount it and my 12" "chop saw" into the table so that their "platforms" would be in the same plane and the cutting guides would line up as well. The idea was that I could use the same table for long stock with either tool.
"A woman falls into the path of an oncoming train at eleven" OT - but the quote was from a TV News station that interrupted Jay Leno as I was writing the previous paragraph. If Jay heard it, he didn't say.
First issue was getting the height adjustment handle extended through the front (2x8) of the bench. I managed this with a bit of half-inch steel rod and a half-inch i.d. steel sleeve drilled and pinned to allow me to put it back the way it was should the need arise or the project fail ;)
I installed a "shelf" of 2-by material to support the sheet metal channel base flush with the to of the table framing - and did the same to support the Craftsman 12" "chop saw" with 4 bolts underneath through fixed nuts that were designed to allow me to "level" the base should the need arise.
The "factory" setup and table consist of three sections. A large "table" piece about 24 by 36 inches, a 1-inch "fence" as wide as the "table" and another 36-inch section behind the fence that is held in place with two thumb screws mounted to the metal base at the rear of the saw.
My idea was to have a solid bench top 3/4-inch thick across the entire bench and another layer of the same thickness in sections so that I could replace the section under the RAS blade from time to time as needed.
The fence has me stumped at the moment. The thumb-screw bolts that presently hold the fence in place will have to go once the two thicknesses of table top are applied. And the fence (I presume) should be "replaceable" - somehow.
I recall seeing Norm using a long table with (I thought) a RAS center- mounted. But I can't build it too well from vague memories and thought to check in here to see if anyone can offer a good suggestion or point me to a (public domain, please) plan for something similar.
The next issue will be incorporating the Chop Saw into the bench. I can remove its "factory fence" easily enough, but integrating it with whatever "fence" that suits the RAS looks to prove "problematic."
I may try removing the Chop Saw, but leaving a "hole" to fit it into - replacing a section of the table with the saw and the saw with the section of table as that tool is required.
If a picture of what I have so far would help, I can post them to my website. (I don't understand how to add images here).
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My own shop was built with a similar idea in mind. The RAS was set with the blade in the center of a long counter, plus unsupported overhangs at each end. I could cut to the center of a 24' length. To the right was a depressed area where my chop saw sat. It was not firmly mounted, but on runners that permitted it to moved or slid back out of the way. To the left of the RAS sat my undermounted router.
Something I did differently was to mount the entire counter out 6" from the wall, with the gap between counter top and wall filled in with a "V"-shaped collector. At the center of the "V" was the 6" opening from the dust collector, complete with a blast gate. The system worked out very well for me. I'll try to find and post a photo in the binaries group.
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Nonny

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Photos were located and posted to the binary group. Sorry that the shop was so messy.
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Nonny

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I'm planning on doing the same thing. I'll pay attention to this thread for ideas.... and post any if I get 'em.
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-MIKE-

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-MIKE- wrote:

I thought you got rid of the RAS?
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Steve Turner wrote:

It's a daily battle. Every time I want to free up some room in the shop, I'm tempted to craigslist it.... but then I find myself making several cuts on it every day.
That's why I'm considering incorporating it into a wall bench. There's a lot of room underneath the thing that is unused, because I have wheels on it. Right now, I usually have the shop vac underneath. If it's in the bench, I can use it for permanent storage, *plus,* I literally save about a foot in floor space by getting rid of the angled legs that push it out so far from the wall.
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-MIKE-

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Hoosierpopi wrote:

Well, it's not exactly a "plan" but you're welcome to look over what I did with my RAS. None of it is particularly elegant, but it's worked fairly well for me.
Photos at http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/Projects/RadialArmSaw /
I screwed a piece of 1/8 x 1-1/2 x 1-1/2 aluminum angle flush with the edges where the three table sections join - and the sections are held together by 1/4-20 stainless button head cap screws and stainless Nyloc nuts through the facing angles. Three four foot sections give me a 12' table.
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Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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Hoosierpopi wrote:

bench. I built the work bench with a piece missing where the RAS goes, then built a lower platform for the RAS to be mounted on. I carefully set the lower platform down low enough so that the RAS table was below the work bench top. Then I adjusted it by putting washers under the RAS mounts. That way I can easily (well, fairly easily) adjust the RAS so that the table is level with the bench top.
To get really fine adjustments you will need to find some thin metal stock and cut shims out of it. That isn't a big problem. Just drill a hole the right size through it and cut it out square with some tin snips.
Bill
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BillGill wrote: ...

I did very similar to this except mounted the RAS by using 3/8" angle supported by the bench just below the required mounting height then used the mounting bolts thru the angle as the height adjustment as well by using a nut above the angle as well as below--just turn the nut as need to adjust height at all four corners, then lock 'em down...no shims needed. :)
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dpb wrote:

Bill
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OK, question remains, using a solid top with a sacrificial 1/4 inch hardboard surface, how to install a fence that lines up with both the RAS and CHOP SAW (installed in a "shelf" built so as to align the CHOP SAW surface with the top of the Masonite.
I would like a fence that allows adding an aluminum extrusion affair to hang stops and such from. If anyone can provide a URL to an image or two (of how others have done it) I would be appreciative.
I am on DIAL-UP and searches can take me hours loading pages that "sound" great but dissapoint after they fully load!
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Hoosierpopi wrote:

I personally wouldn't want the chop saw and the RAS in line as one of the things I specifically made the long table for is ripping and wide stock occasionally (even w/ the 14" RAS) means putting the fence in the rearward position (the reason I suggested leaving access to the thumb screw locations). If the chop/miter saw were that far back it would be inconvenient most of the time. But, if that's something you'll never do or you're ok w/ moving it when the time comes, ok; just so you've thought it thru.
See the link Morris just posted on his use of t-track. Not a bad thought; typical Morris...very neat! :)
I don't have anything permanent; w/ the size of the RAS fence I rarely really need a longer one for it. On the miter saw table, I just use a piece of scrap 3" angle scavenged from the local metal supplier one time when I saw a couple ends in the offcuts pile one day while there for something totally different. They're just mounted in a set of slots in the surface that allow them to be moved at will and locked. If I need end locks I generally just use a clamped block or tack a block directly into the surface at the position for the current job; I don't do enough repetitive production work to need multiple ones at a time set or go back to repeat something days/weeks/months later; if I'm cutting the rails/stiles/muntins/whatever for a set of doors/windows/whatever, I'll do 'em and that particular task is likely to never come back again so there's no need for anything except the simple...
ymmv, of course...
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dpb wrote: ...

Those are Al angles, btw so they're straight (enough) and light...
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I personally wouldn't want the chop saw and theRASin line as one of See the link Morris just posted on his use of t-track. I don't have anything permanent; I rarely really need a longer one for it. I just use a piece of scrap 3" angle scavenged from the local metal supplier
I, too, visit an Aluminum Guy to buy scrap by the pound and found the Architectural Angle great for shop jigs (as opposed to the Structural stuff).
I did visit Morris' page and saw the images referenced. But that idea is one to be incorporated after I figure out the fencing issues.
My RAS is but an extra piece of equipment I can't see selling for what it might bring on a good day and, thus, putting it to use - if not optimally as your approach did - offers significant benefits relative to the Yard Sale alternative.
Incorporating the Miter Saw (on a lowered shelf to the right of the RAS) makes good use of the longer table that I (finally) have room for as it does the old "double duty" while not restricting the Mitre Saw to the table (it shall be "removable" as needed outside the shop on a portable stand, perhaps).
In this exploration I did come across an idea for a Miter Sled Jig to use with the RAS which would allow 45 degree cuts w/o moving the arm and would allow for a fixed (not sacrificial) fence approach.
Your response gave me the idea of a two-part "fence" approach with the fixed fence as far back as possible - aligned with the Miter Saw's fence - and an additional "fence" that would sit against and in front of the fixed fence for most cuts.
Thanks for the feedback!
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Hoosierpopi wrote: ...

I'd stick w/ the original idea of keeping the RAS table sections separate for replacement--they _WILL_ get cut up and need it from time to time. If you want the top layer fine; just don't make it solid into the whole bench.
On mine, I didn't make the whole surface double, I simply mounted the RAS a little lower and use a sacrificial piece of 1/4" ply as the top surface. It's held in place by some strategically-placed #4 (brass, just in case) flat-head counter-sunk screws so it's easily replaced when time comes.
As for the fence, just leave the cutout where the thumb screws are--you'll want to be able to move the fence and replace and occasionally readjust it as well. I suppose you could make some inserts as fill-ins to help keep sawdust from falling thru so any dust collection has a better chance; I don't bother as there's a sloping tin collector to the rear (similar idea to another poster's suggestion) that goes to the dust collector area although there's no fixed connection.
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On mine, I use a sacrificial piece of 1/4" ply as the top surface.
I have some 1/4-inch Masonite for the sacrificial layer you suggested and I, too, will be using small screws "strategically-placed" - as are those fixing the first two layers to the bench frame.
I started with 3/4" melamine coated particle board (I had some salvaged stuff laying about) and added a Ping Pong Table top (cut down to size) acquired from the local Habitat Re-Store ($4.00 for 5 x 9' aged plywood top plus a neat leg/apron support of the same material). I carefully measured the screw placement so as to be certain I didn't attempt to screw a succeeding layer over a screw holding the one below.
So, I should have a most sturdy bench top when done.
Which leaves the decision of how to add a fence.
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you could make some inserts as fill-ins
Did that. Tight to the RAS elevating post all around. Not as tight to the rear of the Miter Saw, but close enough. Thinking of incorporating your dust collection idea when I add the sacrificial top surface as the part behind the saws will not need replacement and can be used to affix a flexible trough to collect the errant dust for vacuuming out from time to time as I have no dust collector in place and no plans save one that might incorporate one of my shop vacs.
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Look at what Norm did a few years back.... and I built one...
http://home.att.net/~mboceanside/wsb/html/view.cgi-photo.html--SiteID-773459.html
I don't have a RAS but the table can be configured for a very nice setup.
http://www.newyankee.com/getproduct.php?0201
Hoosierpopi wrote:

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On Mon, 9 Nov 2009 20:29:01 -0800 (PST), Hoosierpopi

Here are some pictures of how I built my miter saw and RAS table. The table I built ended up being about 11 feet long plus the length of the RAS table. The only way it will get out of the basement is in pieces.
http://s692.photobucket.com/albums/vv290/dobripw/Miter%20Saw /
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