Radial Arm...router?

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Forum topic by JeffP posted 04-03-2015 02:38 PM 1176 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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573 posts in 1390 days

04-03-2015 02:38 PM

Topic tags/keywords: router

I was reading another current thread and this idea popped into my head.

After a little googling I find it is not a new idea, but also not a very popular one.

Here is an example of somebody who took a used RAS and replaced the saw-stuff with a router.

It seems like such a no brainer. Seems like it would be such a useful addition to a shop.

Wondering if some folks here can explain why it isn’t more common or even something that is a normal purchase at a home depot or woodcraft or harbor freight store?

Right off the top, you could use it for all kinds of dados with very easy setups.

Seems you could also rotate it to horizontal and use it for making mortises very easily.

So, why is this an uncommon “build one out of a RAS” item? Why isn’t a Radial Arm Router a “thing”?

-- Last week I finally got my $*i# together. Unfortunately, it was in my shop, so I will probably never find it again.

9 replies so far

View redSLED's profile


790 posts in 1891 days

#1 posted 04-03-2015 02:49 PM

That’s a lot of metal working to do woodworking.

-- Perfection is the difference between too much and not enough.

View WoodNSawdust's profile


1417 posts in 1175 days

#2 posted 04-03-2015 02:51 PM

Yes it can be done. I just wonder what advantage it would have over either a hand held router or a router table?

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

View JeffP's profile


573 posts in 1390 days

#3 posted 04-03-2015 03:01 PM

Seems to me it would be most excellent for doing what you might call “cross cut dados”. A router table doesn’t really lend itself to dados that go across a relatively long and narrow piece.

A little more google reading suggests that many people consider this concept to be very dangerous…though I wasn’t able to determine what aspect of its operation would make it so.

-- Last week I finally got my $*i# together. Unfortunately, it was in my shop, so I will probably never find it again.

View mtenterprises's profile


933 posts in 2691 days

#4 posted 04-03-2015 03:58 PM

At one time Sears offered a collet that fit their radial arm saw so you could router with it.

-- See pictures on Flickr - And visit my Facebook page -

View WhyMe's profile


1013 posts in 1559 days

#5 posted 04-03-2015 09:03 PM

At one time Sears offered a collet that fit their radial arm saw so you could router with it.

- mtenterprises

Yeah.. I got that crazy thing and used it a couple of times and that was it for me. Was just too fussy to mess with.

View runswithscissors's profile


2751 posts in 2024 days

#6 posted 04-04-2015 07:07 AM

I have toyed with this idea too. Tried a quick and dirty version with a HF router and a Ryobi RAS. The arm on the Ryobi was’nt robust enough for the task. The bit wanted to wander too much. Probably runout on the router didn’t help.

Sears’ collet on their saws would only take a 1/4” bit. I agree that cross cutting dadoes would be the right use for this, but I haven’t pursued it any further.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View rwe2156's profile


2925 posts in 1479 days

#7 posted 04-04-2015 12:01 PM

There are overarm routers or pin routers similar to overhead milling machines.

As far as an RAS goes, it will never be accurate enough for precision work.

I have the attachment for mine, and have never even taken it out of the box!!

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View dhazelton's profile


2767 posts in 2295 days

#8 posted 04-04-2015 01:50 PM

Seems like just making a sled of some type for the router would be easier.

You can use the old Dewalt MBF saws as shapers as the motor pivoted 90 degrees.

View MrRon's profile


4769 posts in 3242 days

#9 posted 04-04-2015 03:59 PM

The reason why RAS’s are not used as routers is because of the torque of a router at the end of an arm, it would be near impossible to keep the router from moving from side-to-side. Shopsmith had a RAS saw called the Sawsmith that could run router bits off the end of the motor at speeds up to 20,000 rpm. I had one and used it for routing, but keeping the cut going straight was not easy.

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