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Radial arm saw for panel flattening

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Forum topic by bigblockyeti posted 180 days ago 787 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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bigblockyeti

1387 posts in 323 days


180 days ago

Has anyone tried using a planer blade on a RAS to flatten panels? I have a router jig set up flatten panels currently, but one or two recent threads about how often a RAS is used got me to thinking that it’s usefulness could be greatly expanded as a panel flattening machine. The width of work would be limited only by the extension of the RAS minus the diameter of the cutter, the length would be limited only by how long of a table the saw was mounted into. While this would require a fairly precise set up, it should in theory be able to spin a planning cutter with a diameter of close to 4.5” getting the surface speed to that of a router spinning at 22000rpm with a 3/4” bit.


22 replies so far

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gfadvm

10597 posts in 1293 days


#1 posted 180 days ago

I’ll be “watching” this thread to see if anyone has done this.

Then I’ll want pictures!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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tefinn

1199 posts in 1039 days


#2 posted 180 days ago

I know they used to make rotary planer attatchment for the RAS. Never seen one in operation though. From the pics I’ve seen, it looks pretty scary.

-- Tom Finnigan - Measures? We don't need no stinking measures! - Hmm, maybe thats why my project pieces don't fit.

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richardwootton

1093 posts in 558 days


#3 posted 180 days ago

This sounds scary as all get out. I think the one thing I would be concerned about would be the chips flying everywhere!

-- Richard, Hot Springs, Ar -- Galoot In Training

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bondogaposis

2446 posts in 954 days


#4 posted 180 days ago

I know they used to make rotary planer attatchment for the RAS.

I have one. It is called the Wagner Safe -T- Planer. It works quite well. I’ve used it to flatten cutting boards that are too wide for my planer. It was sold by Gilmore Pattern Works in Sand Springs, Oklahoma. It has has 3 cutters and even came with a little abrasive wheel that you put in the drill press to sharpen the cutters. I seriously doubt that they still make them. I bought mine new sometime in the ‘80s. I think the advent of lunch box planers rendered them obsolete. I believe the cutting action is somewhat similar to a router bit. The surface it makes not ready for finish but it levels it up so it can be sanded or planed easily.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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Loren

7264 posts in 2250 days


#5 posted 180 days ago

You can mount a moulding head on a RAS too. Sears sold
one, and there was a guard for turning the carriage
with the arbor facing down and using the moulding head
for edge profiling.

In addition to the saf-t-planer, which is probably the
better way to do it. You could use a moulding
head, perhaps grining a bevel on the outside of the
knives. The knives are wider than the head. The
width of cut might be constrained by the arbor nut
hitting the edge of the work, but I imagine work
up to 6” or 8” wide could be surfaced this way.

For that matter, if the moulding knives were ground
for a taper on one side so the arbor could be tilted
enough for the nut not the hit the work, boards up
to the pull capacity of the saw could be surfaced.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

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gfadvm

10597 posts in 1293 days


#6 posted 180 days ago

Bondo, Sand Springs is right across the river from me. I’ll keep watching for someone who has done this. I don’t want to be the ‘guinea pig’ here!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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jumbojack

1156 posts in 1227 days


#7 posted 180 days ago

There are a few of the safe t planers on ebay right now.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

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jumbojack

1156 posts in 1227 days


#8 posted 180 days ago

the ones I have now wont do it. I doubt the spare set will either. Balls

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

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Dodis

12 posts in 515 days


#9 posted 158 days ago

I can see the desire for using the planer attaachment to flatten a wider swath if one doesn’t have a router sled setup, but to just get a surface down to level and ready for just sanding, could just use a dado set to it’s widest, and make numerous crossuts. Then just sand from there with a belt sander. This would at least keep someone from having to build a router setup if they already have the RAS.

Could also make a ‘planer’ sled to mount the panel on to position it for flattening, then remove and flip to flatten the other side…

-- Mike "Dodis', TxCity, Texas Gulf Coast

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joeyinsouthaustin

1216 posts in 675 days


#10 posted 158 days ago

I have a router attachment for my radial arm saw. Best combination of both worlds. It is a plate that attatches to the saw body, but holds a router. This would be the best of both worlds. Using the travel of the arm lit a router sled.

Sears crafstman 32765

P.S. Thanks to LJ, this is how I obtained this saw from another member. It is set up now a working great.

-- Who is John Galt?

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bigblockyeti

1387 posts in 323 days


#11 posted 158 days ago

I was thinking that by using a face planer, much like the safe-t-planer you would be able to remove a much wider path per pass vs. anything that would be safe to put in even a large router. This would be with the added benefit of a motor with much greater torque over any hand held router. Between the additional torque and much wider path per pass, this should in theory be a least four times faster than using a router on a sled.

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

1203 posts in 972 days


#12 posted 158 days ago

From back in the days when you could put the words “Absolutely Safe” on packaging.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

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joeyinsouthaustin

1216 posts in 675 days


#13 posted 158 days ago

Right on!!

-- Who is John Galt?

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Richard

795 posts in 1293 days


#14 posted 158 days ago

Check with these guys at originalsaw.com , If anyone knows if they are still made they should since they are pretty much the only ones in the USA that still make RAS ’s today.

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SCOTSMAN

5272 posts in 2188 days


#15 posted 158 days ago

Steer clear of this idea ,that would be my initial thought. Sounds scary to me too.Why take a chance when there are other ways to have it done or do it yourself. Interresting thought though, if someone can throw some light on the safety of this.I find radial arm saws are not in keeping with the very latest technology in terms of accessories as they have been more or less supercided over the last decade or more by sliding mitre saw.All of course imho.Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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