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I'm in the design stage of making a bench for my RAS saw and chop, which I would like to have a common fence and most likely will utilize the Kreg precision trak and stop kit as I've heard a lot of good things about it.

I was lucky enough to find a free 10' bench with laminated top on Craigslist, which has a few drawers already and is already plumbed for power for multiple tools.

The one thing I did not consider was the handle for lowering and raising the RAS. This may cause the RAS to sit more forward on the bench than I was initially thinking, as well as the final top to the table. I could put the RAS on a platform to allow clearance for the handle on the saw. I'm curious to see what other members have done as I know this is a great resource for ideas and I'm great at copying good ideas! I just don't want to build it and than wish I had done it a different way.

Thanks in advance for any ideas.

Here are some picks of the bench:



 

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Can't tell from the picture….
Does the height adjustment handle come out the front, under the table?
If so, can you add a length of threaded rod to extend/move the handle???
 

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Figure out how wide the bench needs to be for the RAS, make the whole bench that wide. If you don't want overhang in the front, build up the back side. Don't let that space back there go to waste, maybe a laydown lumber rack or some other storage.

Use some hardboard for the replaceable cutting surface, so you're not cutting the table.

Just a few thoughts…
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
DIY-
That's a great idea, but I'm not sure about changing the crank…if you can. I'll look into this as an option for not raising the bench any higher.

Hairy-

I thought about this to and this may be the way I go. A frames out section out of 2×4's so I can clear the handle of the RAS and put it exactly where I want to.

Thanks again and keep them coming!
 

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Go to my Blog, look under Woodshop Pictures #2, and you'll see how it's done…...It's the third picture down…....The table you have is gonna be kind of hard to work with, but it can be done….I've commented on this before when you asked previously, but said you had a bench located…..By building iy tourself, you get exactly what you want, and how you need it…....Withe the table you have, you'll figure it out….....
 

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The stroke on a RAS is not that long and having it sit forward will not be a problem. Just make sure you make use of its entire stroke.

If you want pictures on how to set up your fence, you can find them in my workshop photos.

You will also want to be able to cut long pieces like baseboards and quarter round. I suggest having your bench placed so you can bring in long pieces from outside and set them on the bench. Some stock is 12" long or so so just keep that in mind as you bring it in the shop and place it so that it can be crosscut and moved.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Timbertailor-

For some reason I've convinced myself I need the RAS pushed back a little, maybe leaving a little room for the DC in the back. I suppose I could have it forward, which was cause more overhang in the front, but I must admit, I'm not following what you meant by "the stroke on a RAS is not that long." If you're referring to the yolk, I guess I would call it, one option I was looking into was making it longer.
 

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I was referring to the cross cut capacity. I think mine is called an 18" but with my fence set up, I would be lucky to cross cut more than 13". Your fence will have to be in front of the blade and that chews up real estate.

So, if you cross cut capacity is like mine, you can be 13" from the front edge of your bench and still have full cross cut capacity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Okay, that makes sense, and I'll keep that in mind while coming up with a plan. As of now (still 12 in on a 48 hour shift), I'm leaning towards framing a shelf out of 2×4's than layering it with a sheet of plywood and building a fence to match the tools.

The only reason I'm leaning towards this route is that the bench is around 34" and I could handle having it a bit higher!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Does anyone know if there is any reason you shouldn't position the support rails for the RAS table in there more rear position? I'm in a position where I need to raise my RAS more to clear the handle in the front or push the table back some, to avoid a huge amount of overhang.

I noticed the table with other pieces is much wider than the reach of the saw. My idea would bring the blade closer to the front edge of the table, which may be considered more dangerous.

Thank you,

 

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I don't see why not. The "extra" table space, IIRC, is for when the saw is setup to rip wide stock(or perhaps for other operations with accessories). Since most people won't use that feature, the "extra" table space is wasted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks DIY-

I figured it was okay, but I wanted to make sure as I'm new to the RAS. I'm already going to have the saw a little more forward than I would care to so shaving off the extra will help.

Unless I come up with a way to extend the yoke!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well last night I tried the rear position for the table rails but it will not work. The thumbscrews are not long enough to reach the wood and clear the main collar of the tool!

It's a bit of a last ditch effort, but simply cut an area for the handle out of the table so I could rotate it!

It cost me one of drawers I was going to make, but I still have a cubby!

 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Here's what I've got so far. The bench ended up being a little higher than planned (46") but I'm actually starting to like the height, especially with a back history. I picked up the Kreg precision trak and stop but I haven't put on the stickers yet as I want to make sure I'm happy with the fence!

The openings are all going to be drawers. I've got the hardware installed but I need to build the boxes. I also layered the whole thing with a 1/4" melamine hardboard so as it gets rough looking I can replace it easy! Thanks for the help. I'll try to post a final image when I'm done.



 

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This is my simple setup.

I plan to rework it some time soon, but it works pretty well - just not as flat as I would like.

Once I zero the stop (after changing the blade, for example), I can cut any length I want to 1/32" - and come back 6 weeks later and cut another one exactly the same length without measuring, marking, eye-balling the line etc.

http://lumberjocks.com/Ocelot/blog/22656

-Paul
 

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Hey there Medickep, I like your great, free bench and use for the RAS station. Before you get too much done on the set up, I highly recommend that you go visit the DeWalt RAS Forum on Delphi Forums . This forum is a great radial arm saw resource to say the least, and the very first thing you should do is to check out their FAQ's, which will guide you in producing a new and better top for your RAS (keep the original as a template). In short, they explain how to create your own super flat, super strong, and super stable RAS table top AND the right ways to tune it to be a wonderfully accurate, highly capable, and pleasurable wood machine. I routinely use my 2 RASes (I got rid of the giant cabinet saw) for ripping, dadoing, jointing (don't have the space for one of those), and moulding. The RAS can also be easily used for planing and as both a disc and spindle sander.

If you follow the forum's suggestions, many of your questions about sizing, positioning, and successful use will be answered; you'll also end up with a tool that can do everything the sliding compound miter saw can do, plus a lot more. After a good tuning, you'll be able to do far more with your RAS than your SCMS can pull off, and you may decide to just reserve the SCMS for mobile project situations and NOT include it your bench plans. That would be a great thing, because while a SCMS fence stays put, the RAS's fence is regularly shuffled around to accommodate things like ripping wide and narrow stock.

The key to success on the RAS is to build a proper table top for it, and the site explains the why's and how to's. A very important characteristic is that the saws are designed to have a series of different width back boards which are shuffled about so as to allow the fence to be placed at various distances away from the front edge of the RAS which helps the ergonomics and safety for performing various crosscut and ripping sizes.

1 CRITICAL concept: Zero-clearance kerfs, and that means the fence and the table top skin are both consumable and moveable. Having a crisp and precise kerf is a great tool for quickly showing exactly where the workpiece/cutline will be cut, and of course it yields tearout free cuts. So start by rebuilding your RAS table top as a reference grade foundation and then complete it with an easily replaceable skin. I prefer to use a non-attached skin (a thin piece of scrap) so that I can slip it this way or that, and flip it over to repeat on the back side, in order to always have a crisp kerf. For most of the guys on the RAS Forum, they tend to tack their skins down because it looks nicer, but then getting a nice fresh kerf is always more of a chore, uses more material, and that all will lead to laziness about the kerf and less precise and rattier workpieces.

If you follow these ideas, the idea of having both the RAS and miter saw in the same top will take some more thought. For instance, the MS wants a fixed fence and the RAS wants a moveable one-the MS and its fence will quickly get in the way of cutting long and wide material on the RAS. If you choose to use a fixed fence w/ the RAS, then you will be choosing to loose a huge part of the RAS' capabilities and it will be just a larger duplicate of your MS, an unfortunate compromise indeed. Incidentally, the MS benefits from a consumable fence too for the very same reasons, but making bevel cuts on either tool will quickly kill the standard crosscut attributes of the fence and that's one reason to change out that section of fence.

This is pointing to using separate fences for each tool, and that's fine because you have the space. You'll just need to figure out how to move one or both saws so that the MS doesn't conflict with the RAS's fence action in its rear-most position. Have fun with the new toys!

-Bradley
 

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I wrote my previous post right before (and during) sleepy time, so not sure if my following additions made it into that post. Sorry if this is a duplicate.

....If you follow the forum's suggestions, many of your questions about sizing, positioning, and successful use will be answered; you'll also end up with a tool that can do everything the sliding compound miter saw can do, plus a lot more. After a good tuning, you'll be able to do far more with your RAS than your SCMS can pull off, and you may decide to just reserve the SCMS for mobile project situations and NOT include it your bench plans. That would be a great thing, because while a SCMS fence stays put, the RAS's fence is regularly shuffled around to accommodate things like ripping wide and narrow stock.

The key to success on the RAS is to build a proper table top for it, and the site explains the why's and how to's. A very important characteristic is that the saws are designed to have a series of different width back boards which are shuffled about so as to allow the fence to be placed at various distances away from the front edge of the RAS which helps the ergonomics and safety for performing various crosscut and ripping sizes.

1 CRITICAL concept: Zero-clearance kerfs, and that means the fence and the table top skin are both consumable and moveable. Having a crisp and precise kerf is a great tool for quickly showing exactly where the workpiece/cutline will be cut, and of course it yields tearout free cuts. So start by rebuilding your RAS table top as a reference grade foundation and then complete it with an easily replaceable skin. I prefer to use a non-attached skin (a thin piece of scrap) so that I can slip it this way or that, and flip it over to repeat on the back side, in order to always have a crisp kerf. For most of the guys on the RAS Forum, they tend to tack their skins down because it looks nicer, but then getting a nice fresh kerf is always more of a chore, uses more material, and that all will lead to laziness about the kerf and less precise and rattier workpieces.

If you follow these ideas, the idea of having both the RAS and miter saw in the same top will take some more thought. For instance, the MS wants a fixed fence and the RAS wants a moveable one-the MS and its fence will quickly get in the way of cutting long and wide material on the RAS. If you choose to use a fixed fence w/ the RAS, then you will be choosing to loose a huge part of the RAS' capabilities and it will be just a larger duplicate of your MS, an unfortunate compromise indeed. Incidentally, the MS benefits from a consumable fence too for the very same reasons, but making bevel cuts on either tool will quickly kill the standard crosscut attributes of the fence and that's one reason to change out that section of fence.

This is pointing to using separate fences for each tool, and that's fine because you have the space. You'll just need to figure out how to move one or both saws so that the MS doesn't conflict with the RAS's fence action in its rear-most position. Have fun with the new toys!

-Bradley
 
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