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Radial Arm Saw table top advice.

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Forum topic by mrjinx007 posted 07-21-2014 05:24 PM 583 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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mrjinx007

1828 posts in 513 days


07-21-2014 05:24 PM

Hi,
I just inherited a Black and Decker radial arm saw (B&D deluxe Saw Shop) with no table top. After searching the web for few hours to no avail, I thought someone here could help me out. First question is, is this thing worth holding on to? I already have 10” miter saws. 2nd, I have absolutely no idea how these tables are made so, an step by step directions with some pictures would be great. The metal table top frame has 5 holes on each side and that is about it. From the search I’ve done so far, it looks like the wood table top is made with 4 pieces of MDF including the fence.
Thanks in advance for your help.

-- earthartandfoods.com


10 replies so far

View unbob's profile

unbob

465 posts in 649 days


#1 posted 07-21-2014 05:36 PM

It sounds like your saw is missing the metal bars that go between the saw base and table.
Those bars have leveling screws, and screws at the rear to hold the fence. Those back screws work by pushing a back strip of wood to more or less hold the fence by pinching it against the main table.

View timbertailor's profile

timbertailor

1090 posts in 170 days


#2 posted 07-21-2014 06:09 PM

If you have the space for it and the blade does not wobble while running, then it might be a nice addition to your shop.

I grew up using one so I find them very versatile. The top I built for it is serviceable, and doubles as a work bench when not in use.

A large bench is a big plus for long pieces of wood that need crosscutting like face frames, base boards, trim, quarter round, etc.

See “My Workshop” for more photos of my bench. It has a 36” fence with a built in stop and measuring tape for repeat cuts.

-- Brad, Texas, https://www.youtube.com/user/tonkatoytruck/feed

View bigblockyeti's profile

bigblockyeti

1788 posts in 466 days


#3 posted 07-21-2014 06:15 PM

The best tops I’ve seen are from two or three sheets of 3/4” particle board, toped with tempered Masonite as a sacrificial cutting surface. Whether or not it’s worth keeping is going to be different for everyone and depends heavily on how much spare shop space you have. I can get a nice older Delta Milwaukee from my grandma that my grandpa bought a long time ago and never got a chance to set up. I just can’t justify the space it would take up right now, given its sentimental value, I will go get it if after reorganizing my shop I find enough room to put it along the wall.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

2033 posts in 1239 days


#4 posted 07-21-2014 06:21 PM

A little more info would be useful, particularly which exact saw that is (model number). There should be a tag somewhere on it with it. The tag can be on the column, but more likely on a later model saw it may be on the frame. I’m a huge RAS fan, and won’t be without one in my shop again. But it needs to be a “good” one. The older Dewalts are all “good” ones. The table had a few different ways to mount to the frame. Some of them had flat bars that screwed to the table, and fastened to the frame with jack screws which were use to align the table. Some of the later ones just had what amounts to a piece of angle iron on each side of the frame. The holes mounting those pieces to the frame were slotted for adjustment, the top piece of the angle iron was bolted to the table. But there’s only 2 bolts on the frame to hold the angle; so I’m not sure about the 5 holes you see. The later B&D models may have had a different setup. In the absence of a model number a couple of photo’s might help.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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mrjinx007

1828 posts in 513 days


#5 posted 07-21-2014 06:35 PM

Thanks guys,
thishttp://vintagemachinery.org/photoindex/detail.aspx?id=13582 is exactly what mine looks like:

-- earthartandfoods.com

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

652 posts in 945 days


#6 posted 07-21-2014 06:46 PM

You don’t have to go stock.. you can just slap a piece of MDF on there and screw on a fence to get you going. I had an old Craftsman RAS that I got with a badly falling apart table top.. a scrap piece of 3/4 plywood bolted on and a 2×4 fence served me well for a couple of decades. If you want to go original, you need to find the model number and then look up the parts diagram to see how they were fitted (ereplacementparts.com or similar sites should have the diagram if you can’t find a manual).

The design you describe (4 pieces of MDF) is pretty typical on most C-man and other saws. There is a main table which is bolted in place. Behind it are 3 separate pieces of mdf, with one standing on end to form the fence. The rearmost MDF board typically has a pair of thumbscrews behind it (mounted on the frame) that allow it to be moved forward to pinch the fence between the other table pieces. The extra board in the middle allows the fence to be positioned either forward or backwards allowing for wider material to be cut. The fence can be placed either in front of, or behind, the middle section. Only the main table is bolted down.. the other pieces are all left unattached so they can move.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

View timbertailor's profile

timbertailor

1090 posts in 170 days


#7 posted 07-21-2014 06:47 PM


Thanks guys,
thishttp://vintagemachinery.org/photoindex/detail.aspx?id=13582 is exactly what mine looks like:

- mrjinx007

I just replace the top to my RAS yesterday. Here are some pictures. It is the same as yours, mounting wise. Just bolt on a top after drilling some countersunk holes, shim, shim again, shim a few more times, done. A Wixey digital angle gauge makes this process less of a pain and makes sure that the surface is perpendicular to the BLADE, as well as, the fence.

I would take it off its base and build a table like mine.
I used a 3/4” piece of left over marine grade plywood that was laminated to make it easier for the wood to slide over. The last one was some left over laminated chipboard. Worked great until I spilled a soda on it. Wrinkled up like a Shar Pei puppy!

I change them out fairly often so sagging is not a real concern. They just do not see a lot of weight.

-- Brad, Texas, https://www.youtube.com/user/tonkatoytruck/feed

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

2033 posts in 1239 days


#8 posted 07-21-2014 06:55 PM

That saw can be very serviceable, though it isn’t generally considered among the “best” Dewalts. It’s worth trying to bring it back to life and judge for your self. In the pic you see the 2 angle iron pieces fastened to the frame? That’s what the table bolts to…so that’s the 5 holes you have? The original tables were made with multiple pieces to allow the user to move the fence toward the rear of the saw increasing rip capacity. If you don’t intend to rip, there’s little reason to make so many pieces, though it can be argued that also increases cross cut capacity for thinner pieces of wood. The cross cut can be in the area of 13” (+/-) with a 2 piece top, and if you have a table saw there would be very little reason to rip on the RAS. Do you want the multiple piece top, or would just the 2 pieces serve your needs? BTW, in searching for help, I guess you didn’t discover the Dewalt RAS forum over at Delphi. Great group over there, and they know just about everything about these saws (you will have to excuse the antiquated software platform).

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

2743 posts in 1097 days


#9 posted 07-21-2014 06:58 PM

I made mine w/ a sheet of 1/2” birch plywood sandwiched between 2 sheets of 1/4” MDF. It has held up well. I might add that I saturated the top w/ a 50/50 mix of spar varnish and MS. That added some durability to the MDF.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View mrjinx007's profile

mrjinx007

1828 posts in 513 days


#10 posted 07-22-2014 03:23 PM

Thank you very much guys. I have one more question that require me to take a picture to get an explanation. There is this U shape piece of metal on the left/rear hand side of the table with the U’s legs facing the front of the table. Will take a picture of it and post.
Fred, Since this thing rips and cross cuts, I wouldn’t mind dedicating it as a dado instead of using my table saw. I will check out the link, thanks.
timbertailor, like your setup.

MrUnix, I got the owners manual, both short version and long version printed out.. Unfortunately, neither one provide much info as to the dimensions of the boards and installation. The plywood/2×4 solution make sense… Thanks
Bondo, so, the 1/4” MDF’s are replaced as needed and the 1/2” plywood is protected by them?

-- earthartandfoods.com

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