Radial Arm Saw #1: New Table for my Radial Arm Saw

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Blog entry by hjt posted 11-14-2013 11:00 PM 10522 reads 3 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Radial Arm Saw series Part 2: Dust Collection for the RAS »

This saw was my dad’s pride and joy. It a B&D DeWalt R1350 built in 1968. The family gave it and many other woodworking tools to me when he died several years ago. I tuned it up and put a simple table on it back then (2009.)

I reassembled and built wheels on the stand.

Some say don’t use WD40 – use liquid graffite. After I got all done, I read another book the said, never use liquid graffite – ONLY use WD40.

The sign “2nd table” I scraped the first one I used immediately in ‘09. So this photo shows the table I’ve used for the past many years. Below is the newest (and I hope last) table I need to build.

Over the years, the table warped. So this time I decided I’d buy the “Mr Sawdust” book that all RAS enthusiast consider to be the RAS bible. In it, the author describes the “Best-Last Table” you’ll have to build. Unfortunately, my table developed humps – I could not get it level. I fellow (who happens to be local to me) and a member of the Delphi RAS forum came to my rescue. Hank spent a lot of time with me and built a Torsion Box using biscuit joinery. The box was then covered top and bottom, mounted, tuned to the saw and finally a sacrificial top was added.

Bottom side of the Torsion Box covered

Hank fine tuning the baby

Ready for saw dust!

Hank is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to RAS and other woodworking tools and builds. He also has an incredible quick, dry sense of humor. Check him out on you tube.

-- Harold

12 comments so far

View Woodwrecker's profile


4239 posts in 4180 days

#1 posted 11-15-2013 01:20 AM

Wow, nice job Harold !
That saw looks like it’s ready to go for a long, long time.
Great knowing a guy like Hank, who can come over and dial you in.
A RAS is one of the tools I don’t have and I wish I did.
And I think that torsion box was the way to go.

View hjt's profile


904 posts in 3743 days

#2 posted 11-15-2013 02:37 AM

Eric- Hank can hook you up. He buys them and restores them to showroom look and performance. I drool when in his shop!!

-- Harold

View Jeremy Greiner's profile

Jeremy Greiner

568 posts in 3376 days

#3 posted 11-15-2013 05:15 AM

That looks great, you know it’s funny I was just given my uncle’s radial arm saw, it’s an older craftsman model it’s got a bunch of rust on the metal pipe in the back, I hope I can get mine looking as nice as yours :) I really like the top, since I have a miter saw my plan was to stick a dado stack in the radial arm saw and use it as a dedicated dado machine for tenon, half laps (I really like halflaps because they’re easy and strong), and even cross cut dado’s :)

-- Easy to use end grain cutting board designer:

View Tugboater78's profile


2788 posts in 2796 days

#4 posted 11-15-2013 01:14 PM

Looks nice, I have a 70s era craftsman RAS that I need to put a new table on. This gives me a better idea of what I need.

-- "....put that handsaw to work and make it earn its keep. - summerfi" <==< JuStiN >==>=->

View hjt's profile


904 posts in 3743 days

#5 posted 11-15-2013 05:38 PM

Good to hear from you Jeremy. With your talent you will learn to love the RAS

-- Harold

View AngieO's profile


1267 posts in 2752 days

#6 posted 11-15-2013 06:03 PM

Looks great!

View ScottKaye's profile


773 posts in 2557 days

#7 posted 11-24-2013 11:25 AM

Im in the process of rebuidling my Fathers old Rockwell Super 990-10 that he bought new in 1962. I grew up with this saw so naturally I have a lot of fond memories of my Dad and I putting a lot of time on her. I know what it means to restore something that probably doesnt have as much real world value as you think it does but holds infinite value in memories. Your saw looks great, awesome job!

I have a couple of questions for you, what was the final determination on the WD40 vs. liquid graphite and How did Hank attach the dial guage to the carriage assembly as in picture #7



-- "Nothing happens until you build it"

View hjt's profile


904 posts in 3743 days

#8 posted 11-24-2013 11:34 PM

Scott – you are right, I have lot’s a fond memories of this saw growing up. It is most certainly my most prized possession in the shop. As for the WD40 vs Graphite; I used the graphite during my initial rebuild in 2009. Personally, I think it did a great job. The WD40 is what I used this time (2013) and I think the graphite did better. I feel the bearing do not roll as smoothly as I’d like. I will take it apart in the future and rework those bearing found at the “head” which roll in the arm of the saw.

As for Hank and photo #7… Hank is a genius I think. If he needs something, he makes it, as he did here. He has the gauge on a metal bracket which is attached to the screw that is other used for the blade cover while the saw is in normal operation.

-- Harold

View Ocelot's profile


2375 posts in 3243 days

#9 posted 11-24-2013 11:40 PM

That’s really cool! I understand. My Dad’s old 1961 Craftsman RAS is the main image of “saw” in my mind. I still use it and recently put new bearings in it.

You have inspired me with your table.

View hjt's profile


904 posts in 3743 days

#10 posted 11-25-2013 12:39 AM

Ocelot – glad you have been inspired. Hope you check out the Delphi forum. A wealth of info there. I’ll check out your postings.

-- Harold

View NormG's profile


6501 posts in 3608 days

#11 posted 11-25-2013 05:10 AM

I wish I had space for one, great rebuild

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View hjt's profile


904 posts in 3743 days

#12 posted 11-26-2013 03:59 AM

Norm – make it happen! I sometimes just hit the start button just to hear the motor sign! It’s a beautiful thing.

-- Harold

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