A Radial Arm Saw (RAS) consists of a table surface that needs to always be in good condition.
The table surface needs to be replaced often because the saw blade cuts lightly down into the tabletop, which makes the table surface to have grooves from the blade.
The Radial arm saw table has three pieces, which are; a wide-open expanse of tabletop, a vertical fence, and a narrower section of the tabletop. All these components have their functions, they are responsible for effectiveness in operation.
You need a good tabletop for your Radial Arm Saw(RAS) and all you need to know about Radial Arm Saw table are written in this definitive guide. Sit back and enjoy it.
Table Of Contents
- How To Replace The Table Surface On A Radial Arm Saw?
- 5 Radial Arm Saw Table Plans (Free)
- Radial Arm Saw Table Dimensions
- Radial Arm Saw Table Thickness
- How To Level The Radial Arm Saw Table?
- How High Should A Radial Arm Saw Table Be?
- How Do You Set A Radial Arm Saw Table?
How To Replace The Table Surface On A Radial Arm Saw?
Just like we discussed in the introduction, your table surface needs to be replaced often due to grooves from the saw blade.
Here are simple step by step guide to replace your table surface without stress and cost:
- Remove the existing tabletop
- Cut pieces of MDF into equal sizes with the front tabletop
- Follow the same pattern of counter board holes as drilled in the existing table, drill your horizontal pieces the same way
- Make sure the table surface is parallel to the bottom point of the blade and ensure the fence is perpendicular to the vertical plane of the blade along with the cross-cutting position
- Place shims beneath the MDF surface until it sits on the frame rails, bolt it down after a little adjustment
- Install the fence; it can be attached to the horizontal piece alongside some MDF screws that will be screwed into the edge of the front tabletop from the back of the fence
FUrther Read: Radial Arm SAW
5 Radial Arm Saw Table Plans (Free)
There are different radial arm saw table plans and ideas, which you can do yourself. As a woodworker, you don’t have to spend much to get a new tabletop.
A radial arm saw table requires constant replacement due to the grooves from the saw, you will not want to keep buying a new table from the shop each time your table wears off.
Here are a few plans you can adopt to save cost and time.
1. Combination Table
You can build a combination table that consists of a three-level back truss(two pairs) in combination with a supporting frame assembled. The steps are listed below:
Make a frame of 2x4 dado glued and screwed together for lap joints
Tie four ¾” plywood gussets located on the backside to the vertical supports and horizontal arm
Cover the bottom frame on each side with particle board that the top is coated with melamine
Make sure the top level also has truss arms for proper bracing of the frame, the top level is about 94” in length, 36” in height and 24” in depth with trusses
Set the height of the center section for cutting the surface of the radial arm saw
Use the adjustable levers to keep up to 90 board feet on the bottom
The setup will be easy, do it
Build The Surface In Front Of The Blade
You can decide to build the surface of your table in front of the saw blade to a depth of about 24”, which will make it accommodate the sheet stock that you have cut in two passes.
Make use of long sections of aluminum angle (11/2" X 11/2" X 1/8") and glue or screw them to the fence top in the right and left direction of the saw blade. Shimmer at the needed place until they perfectly align with each other.
Replacing the Table
You will need nuts, bolts, and washers to get this operation done.
Place your MDF board on the top of the table and affix the wood, attach the nuts on the bottom of the table, and make sure the bolts are recessed inside the board.
Tighten the bolts to hold your tabletop firmly and secure.
Installing the Table
You can easily install your table without stress and cost at your convenience.
All you need to do is to place the table on the support rails, align the four bolt holes, and make sure you bolt the saw table to the rails.
Adjust the front of the table to make it exactly 90 degrees to the movement of the motor and the yoke attached to the saw arm. Make sure the tips of the screws ride in the opposite direction to the frame of the saw bottom.
When you want to make this type of radial arm table, the bench will be made up of a mortise and tenon frame of 1x4 ash rails and six 4x4 ash posts, coupled with two wing table surfaces of 30" square on both sides of the actual saw table. Build to a height of 40", so that it will be easy to use on the back. It will also consist of two drawers on sliders attached to either side adjacent towards the saw undercarriage.
Separate the rails about 6" off the floor, rout and paint 4X8 sheets of plywood for a back and attach your metalworking vice on one of the wing tables some distance behind the fence's line. Pin all joints and bolt the top
Your radial arm saw may not come with a table when you acquired it, you can make one for yourself by this method. You will need a piece of ¾” MDF or plywood, four 3/8” diameter holes.
Drill into each 3/8” diameter holes to make a countersink for the bolts, it should be deep for safeguarding from the blade during operation
- Set the first pair back from the edge at 1 1/8” on the table center
- Set the second pair back from the second edge at 11 1/8” on the table center
- Add a fence of dimension 3/4” x 1 ½” x 36”
- Attach a support piece of dimension 3/4" x 5” or 6” x 36” behind the fence
Make use of 3/4" birch ply to build a bench and extend the table to 8 feet. Your old table can be used to make a hole pattern, then place your old table on top of the new table and drill.
Eliminate the filer strip to get a deeper cut. Screw the fence to the ply edge, the fence is about 3/4" x 2”, a 1” hole saw will be used to countersink.
You will need an adjustable wrench, framing square, drill bit, and a sheet of 3/4" MDF( medium-density fiberboard).
Remove the old top, cut the new top to size making use of the old table front as a template, drill the holes to align with the old top.
Install the rip fence and rear table by attaching the new tabletop to the steel frame.
Make sure the table is flat, adjust the saw blade until it contacts the front table
Glue two pieces of MDF, cut the strut channel using a jigsaw, mark the holes beneath the frame, assemble front-to-back channels, and left-to-right channels.
Then, drill twelve holes up to 8mm, adjust the height of the frame to fit the table, bolt the table into the frame.
Screw a 9mm plywood skin table to serve as your sacrificial table.
Do well to place boards between the fence and the back table to keep the fence rigid and to make it easy when expanding the table for ripping.
There are diverse dimensions for a radial arm saw table, this depends largely on the radial arm saw model. These are actual dimensions of tables:
The front table is 40"wide by 16" deep
The fence is 40" wide by 2 3/4 X 3/4" in thickness
The first rear board is 40" wide by 4" deep
The second rear board is 40" wide by 7" in deep
Most radial arm saws have a table height of 42”, you can adjust the height to make it comfortable for you. A tall person wouldn’t want a short table.
You should be able to see where the blade is cutting and your arms should have a straight pull.
Don’t choose a table height that will put you at a mechanical disadvantage. I will suggest a 35" table height for a 5'7" tall person and 36" table height for a 5'6" tall woodworker.
We have discussed the importance of having a good stable surface for your radial arm saw and how to replace your RAS table.
There is no definite size of a radial arm saw table because RAS is made by different manufacturers in diverse models.
Finding the right stable size for your RAS depends on the model. You can learn more about your radial arm saw by reading the users' manual.