Tools #5: Radial Arm Saw base from filing cabinets.

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Blog entry by PASs posted 03-19-2014 11:46 PM 4542 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Table saw outfeed table Part 5 of Tools series no next part

Yes something else involving filing cabinets.
I have an old Craftsman RAS that I can’t even sell for $75 on Craigslist, so I keep it for cutting dados for card and phone holders. It has the standard spayed leg stand where I kept a couple of empty tool boxes, but not really anything else.

I got two 2-drawer cabinets a few weeks ago for $5 each, about half what I’m willing to pay for good ones.
As they were a matched pair I had the opportunity to join them together to make a base for my old Craftsman RAS.

First I rolled everything out of the way so I could work in the shop under the chain hoist so I didn’t have to wrestle the saw around too much. Then I put the two cabinets side by side next to the saw to get a visual on how it would look.

The final height was going to be almost the same as the initial height so everything was looking good.
I knew I wanted to join the two cabinets together so I pulled the drawers and slides out and laid the two cabinets on their sides.

I have a BUNCH of 1/8 inch rivets so I figured about a dozen of them would do the job holding the cabinets together. I used 1/8 inch aluminum rivet washers to make sure the back sides couldn’t pull out too easily.

I also made sure to put rivets along the edges where there was a double thickness of sheet metal.

That was the easy part.
I scooted the RAS under the hoist and lifted it up until the legs were just off the floor.

I started unbolting the mounting bolts from underneath but realized I’d have to take the table off anyway to drill the mounting holes in the filing cabinets, so I popped the tables off to finish removing the table.

I got the stand off with no problems and moved the twinned up cabinets underneath the RAS.

I centered the RAS where I wanted it on the cabinet tops and drilled 5/16” holes for the 1/4” mounting bolts off the old stand. All went well.

It was a pain getting the bolts on the back of the RAS bolted in (one man operation) but a ratchet wrench worked well as an arm extension to hold things in place.

Got the drawers back in place, table top reattached, and everything scooted back into position.

Best of all, no leftover bolts (mechanics nightmare.)!!!

The base is just as sturdy as the stand was and although the footprint is a few inches more narrow the addition of 50 pounds of turning blanks and other stuff in the drawers dropped the center of gravity down quite a bit. Also, since this is a special purpose saw it never sees wood that sticks out past the end of the table.

On a side note, the drawers now hold:
Gloves in various sizes and shapes
Knee and elbow pads for crawling and kneeling.
Turning blanks for handles in wood I actually paid money for
A dozen or so tubes of caulk in different flavors plus a half dozen caulk guns.

The original stand didn’t have wheels and I didn’t put any on the cabinets. If I decide I want it more mobile later I can put some rollers on the back side.

Comments/critiques/suggestions always welcome.

-- Pete, "It isn't broken, you just aren't using it right."

5 comments so far

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10963 posts in 5177 days

#1 posted 03-20-2014 12:26 AM


Those filing cabinets worked GREAT for that deluxe Saw Stand!


Are you going to eventually get some wheels on it?
... looks like it could be pretty heavy…

Great JOB!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View nonickswood's profile


567 posts in 3512 days

#2 posted 03-20-2014 12:40 AM

That’s pretty Slick! Pete, much more versatile than the old stand.
Great use for those filing cabinets.

-- Nick, Virginia,

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4459 days

#3 posted 03-20-2014 09:05 AM

Great idea Pete. You get a lot of extra storage with that solution. I bet it won’t be long before you mount wheels on it!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View PASs's profile


603 posts in 4223 days

#4 posted 03-20-2014 01:14 PM

Mike, you’re right, I just have to get the right one.
I had an all-plate steel lathe stand that weighed about 200 pounds by itself so I put non-swivel casters on the side plate of one end. If I lifted the other end up a couple of inches it engaged those rollers. Worked pretty good so I might do that on the back of the RAS. I just don’t want to add any height to it as both the RASs (I have two) are each a couple of inches higher than the main workbench between them.

-- Pete, "It isn't broken, you just aren't using it right."

View Roger's profile


21054 posts in 3929 days

#5 posted 03-22-2014 12:31 AM

Nice one Pete. And the bonus of no extra parts. lol

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

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