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Thread: My 20" radial arm saw and my first flat table

  1. #1
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    My 20" radial arm saw and my first flat table

    I received all the items I think I will need to make my new router table but when I was telling a friend about it he exclaimed " I wonder if you'll ever finish it the way you "finished" working on you RAS.

    He was right. I use it a little but I never made a decent table for it and never made all the adjustments it needs. I felt kinda bad. So I forced myself to try and finish that project. finishing a project is not what I do best.

    I started making a table for it. I assumed it would not be flat because none of the tables I have made turned out flat.

    this one did.

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    I tried this once before but this time it worked. I jointed some 2x4s and ripped them parallel. then I put them on my work bench and shimmed them so they were as flat as I could make them in front, center, and rear as well as on the diagonals
    I made a variation of the Mr. Sawdust table with steel flats running on edge sandwiched between two 3/4" sheets of mdf (forgot to take a picture of that) The steel is epoxied into 1/4" deep slots in each sheet. Then I clamped the whole thing down and let the epoxy in the slots dry over night. The next day, while still clamped I put in a ton of screws. NO GLUE. Other than the epoxy for the steel flats I used no glue. I made sure there was no squeeze out from the epoxy either. I think the fact that I didn't slather an uneven spread of glue is why it turned out flat. I have my tiny 12" blade on there now and the guard is not on. you can see the old 20" blade in the back ground.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I was able to get the table very parallel to the arm in all position. hope it stays that way.

    I also discovered something I thought was very interesting about this saw. I was looking for some direction on finer adjustments. Off course, this saw is different than all the other old RAS's people have restored. I guess not to many people are crazy enough to want one of these. I was discouraged because I couldn't find any info on it. In desperation I went to the Original Saw Company web site and looked at some of there larger models to see if I could at least get some hints. Figured it was a long shot. I was wrong. From what I can tell so far the Original saw company just used the designs from the old commercial duty dewalts to build their new saws. So far they seem identical. Even the shape of the motor. I have a type 8 3553. Its the little 20" saw. the larger one has a 52" arm. mine only has the 44". Cost new is $8500. Doubt mine is worth any where near that but its nice to know.

    Just thought that was kinda neat. doesn't look like they changed anything.

  2. #2
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    those green saws were rock solid, and that is why the other company started making them after the old designs.. you had to really abuse one for it to give up the ghost..
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
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    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by larry merlau View Post
    those green saws were rock solid, and that is why the other company started making them after the old designs.. you had to really abuse one for it to give up the ghost..

    I'll say. I hit my head on the arm and almost knocked myself out. It felt pretty solid. thats why I put the black foam on the end.

  4. #4
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    My 20" radial arm saw and my first flat table

    Great saw. You're right... The Original Saw Company bought the rights to make excellent clones of the old Dewalts.


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  5. #5
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    That is a monster!

    I'm a card carrying member of the old RAS club as well. It's not as large as yours, but it's old!

    Red Star 30-a.

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Dowell View Post
    That is a monster!

    I'm a card carrying member of the old RAS club as well. It's not as large as yours, but it's old!

    Red Star 30-a.

    thats nice. If mine wasn't delivered for free and cost so little I would have one more like yours. what make is yours? I don't think I have seen one like it before.


    No one has a comment on my flat table? I thought that was a pretty neat trick

  7. #7
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    I think we were just overwhelmed by the size of the saw! That's a pretty nice trick for a flat table.

    The mr. Sawdust book is a pretty good one.

    My table is just a couple of sheets of MDF. Since it's not that big, I didn't have too much trouble keeping it flat.

    It's a red star model 30-a (with a 40-a blade guard, for some reason?)

    http://vintagemachinery.org/mfgindex/detail.aspx?id=685

    Red start was bought by Rockwell, who merged the red star line in with delta. I'm pretty sure this saw dates from the mid 40's. Still runs and cuts like a champ.
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Dowell View Post
    I think we were just overwhelmed by the size of the saw! That's a pretty nice trick for a flat table.

    The mr. Sawdust book is a pretty good one.

    My table is just a couple of sheets of MDF. Since it's not that big, I didn't have too much trouble keeping it flat.

    It's a red star model 30-a (with a 40-a blade guard, for some reason?)

    http://vintagemachinery.org/mfgindex/detail.aspx?id=685

    Red start was bought by Rockwell, who merged the red star line in with delta. I'm pretty sure this saw dates from the mid 40's. Still runs and cuts like a champ.

    Thats cool. I bet there are not many of those around anymore. Did you have to do a lot of restoration to it or were you lucky enough to get it as nice as it is now?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Milltown Indiana
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    This is my Dewalt RAS. It is about a 1970 model 16inch. When I replaced the table I leveled the table to the arbor by placing a magnetic based dial indicator on it and moved the arm around to different places on the table and used jack bolts to get the dial indicator zeroed. I think this is standard procedure for setting up RAS. It worked well.

    Last edited by Brian Brightwell; 04-03-2013 at 03:43 PM.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by keith Boutselis View Post
    I'll say. I hit my head on the arm and almost knocked myself out. It felt pretty solid. thats why I put the black foam on the end.
    Ok now that gave me a good laugh. I have an 18" Delta RAS the sticks way out. After banging my head on twice, I added foam on the end too.....Rob

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