I'm thinking of replacing the table on my DeWalt 1501 Radial Arm Saw as I am
in the process of restoring it to its former glory.
The current table is MDF (and has been since '92) but the saw sits in a
garage which is prone to damp (hence the refurbishment!).
I'm not sure what to use for this since it needs to be immune to warping
etc. and am considering plywood. Would this be a good choice or should I
stick to MDF or even HD chipboard (which I believe the original one was)?
My RAS came from the factory with a 3-piece MDF top that I've
replaced with a 3/4" (18mm ?) plywood main surface and two oak
boards (plus an oak strip for the fence).
I extended the table width to four feet and have been watching
closely for any sign of sagging. It's still flat after nearly two
years of use.
A suggestion: take careful measurements and file away a drawing
of the original top - you may want to refer to it again one day.
I built a pool table some 30 odd years ago. I used 1" particle board
for the bed. I applied several coats of some sealer, the name of which
escapes me, on both sides and edges, with light sanding between coats.
I've had stuff spilled on it, balls bouncing on it, even some guy passed
out on it. I took it apart 5 years ago, resanded, and put a couple
coats of poly on it. That thing is still flat today.
It has never lived outside, so the range of humidity doesn't vary that
much inside a So Cal house. But with all the abuse...
Splurge on a copy of the Mr. Sawdust Book "How To Master The Radial Saw" by
Walley Kunkel. He shows how to make a very stable table for the RAS. It's
the best book available for the RAS. It's a steel reinforced table.
See: http://mrsawdust.com /
Radial Arm Saw Forum: http://forums.delphiforums.com/woodbutcher/start
I have and older Sears RAS that I refurbished about 3 years ago. For the
table I used MDF and sealed all 6 edges about 4 times with a GOOD sealer
and a light sanding between coats. I then used a 1/4 sheet of Oak
Plywood on the table top and attched it with small wood screws around
the edges, be sure you don't get any screws in the blade path. After it
was attched, I applide about 4 coats of Gloss Coat Polyethylene with
light sanding between coats. Finely I hand rubed two coats of Johnson
Now the table not only looks good but the 1/4 plywood keeps me from
cutting into the MDF and is easy to swapout when it needs it.
The Old Goat
On Thu, 24 Jun 2004 15:25:06 +0000, Ian James wrote:
I use 1" MDF, but no matter what you use, you should attach a 1/4"
sacrificial top to the front table and _never_ kerf the sub table. This
also allows you to adjust for miter cuts and from crosscut to rip cut and
back without raising or lowering the arm if you make the standard kerfs in
the sacrificial top.
"If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange apples
then you and I will still each have one apple.
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