In the Shop #1: Grandpa's RAS gets a new top

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Blog entry by Hoakie posted 01-11-2011 05:59 AM 1400 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of In the Shop series Part 2: The Entrance »

Instead of adding a new project for the things I do around the shop, I thought I would start a blog about the upgrades as I make them. Over the past two years I have done a lot to convert the unfinished part of my basement into a woodworking shop. If you want to see some before shots you can visit the bt3central forums (probably need to register to see pics, sorry i’ll post them here soon)

The beginning
Upgrade 1

You can see what it looks like now in My Workshop in my profile…

Anyway, the point of this first blog entry was to showcase the new top I put on the radial arm saw I inherited from my Grandpa. Until today I have used it as received but realized that the top was pretty chewed up and if I wanted to clean cuts without chip out I needed to start with a clean slate. I used 3/4” hardwood ply and a 1.5” jointed ash fence. I also extended it deeper, behind the post than the original to make it easier to attach a dust collection hood (in progress). After replacing the top, I tuned it up and now get beautiful cross cuts. I haven’t messed around with 45 degree cuts or bevel cuts but with my table saw and some jigs, I may dedicate this for cross cuts for now.



Thanks for looking.

-- John H. [To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk. ~Edison]

5 comments so far

View twokidsnosleep's profile


1130 posts in 3987 days

#1 posted 01-11-2011 07:31 AM

Looks good. I am glad you were able to restore old machinery…much better made than new stuff.

My bro in law ‘borrowed’ my dad’s RAS over 20 yrs ago while I was away in university. He left it uncovered under a deck and it warped the top and rusted it to hell. I had my eyes on it since I was able to walk.
Maybe I should go over and re-borrow it and start a renovation project of my own.

-- Scott "Some days you are the big dog, some days you are the fire hydrant"

View Hoakie's profile


307 posts in 5049 days

#2 posted 01-11-2011 04:39 PM

yeah I was pretty fortunate to get this. Aside from the table top, it was in outstanding shape I really didn’t need to do anything other than align it.

-- John H. [To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk. ~Edison]

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 4741 days

#3 posted 01-11-2011 06:15 PM

nice table. have you considered a sacrificial top for it so you don’t wear it out? Maybe you already have it and I just can’t see it from the pictures. I like the dust collection at the back.

View DaddyZ's profile


2475 posts in 4053 days

#4 posted 01-11-2011 06:26 PM

Hand me down tool are the greatest !!

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4347 days

#5 posted 01-11-2011 08:08 PM

Great job on the new table John. These tools must last forever. I recall my brother talking about them back in 1950 about how amazing and versatile they were. It seems there are still many RAS fans out there. Maybe you will be handing down yourself some day.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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