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Thread: idea for RAS table

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Central (upstate) NY

    idea for RAS table

    I've had this idea tickling the back of my brain for awhile now. It's not implemented yet, so no pics, but I'll at least share the idea.

    First some background in order to build suspense. My RAS table is two layers of MDF underneath a layer of melamine with a cherry fence. Why a cherry fence? Because it was $0.15 per board foot because it had a knot on each side at a local(ish) hardwood dealer that guaruntees 100% clear face. It was my first trip to buy a (for me) large bit of lumber so I splurged on my RAS (which is my first stationary tool and thus my pride and joy ). The frontmost section of the bottom layer of MDF is bolted to the frame (I bought the saw used and it didn't come with those silly table leveller thingees - I shimmed the bottom layer with some bits of 30 gauge stove pipe and some pieces of a feeler gauge that I sacrificed to the cause). This bottom layer is in three sections - two before and one behind the fence, with 1/4" dadoes routed into the bottom to hold the 1/4" - 20 threaded rod used as table tensioners. The middle layer are in three sections - two in front and one behind the fence. Sometimes I move the fence forward of the middle section for extreme angle miter cuts (i.e. 60 - 80 degree miters - some of the very extreme miter cuts require plunge cutting into 2 by materials). The frontmost bottom layer remains bolted to the frame throughout this movement process - the middle and top layers are bolted to the bottom layer only and not the frame.

    The current melamine top is only one section, a big piece in front of the fence. I have a narrow section for extreme angle miters left over from my first table top that I have found again after (of course ) cutting some extreme angle miters for Ned's rafters.

    Now, the problem is that I use both thin and full kerf blades. My idea is to flip over the top section and drill two new sets of mounting holes into the melamine top layer, each drilled with the table offset from the base layers by an inch or two in either direction. This way I can dedicate one kerf on the top table for thin kerf, the other for full kerf and I'll just filp the table back over to the original surface for miter cutting. How does this idea sound?

  2. #2
    Mark, seems like WAY too much work just to keep the top "pretty". There isn't that much difference between the kerf widths, so I would cut through the fence with the wide kerf blade and then run the narrow blade when the job requires.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Between Aledo and Fort Worth, TX
    Have you tried what Jay said? I'm guessing the thought is to help with edge splintering when cutting ply? If it is a problem, then try your approach. I don't see anything wrong with your idea, it sounds like it would work fine. Jim.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Oak Harbor Washington on Whidbey Island
    So why don't you just make another 1/4" top piece to put in position & raise the saw the amount needed to use it?
    "Forget the flat stuff slap something on the spinny thing and lets go, we're burning daylight" Bart Leetch
    "If it ain't round you may be a knuckle dragger""Turners drag their nuckles too, they just do it at a higher RPM"Bart

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    The Heart of Dixie
    Ditto what Jay said. To much work for such little gain. Besides, the right side of the blade is always in the same place so you can still line up on that edge regardless of the blade.

    On my table I put a replaceable top because it is going to get cut up. The Saw will have be realigned from time to time. The fence will need replaced. It's all replaceable so why sweat it?
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Central (upstate) NY
    I've been having some tearout issues - I figure that if I have the two kerf lines, hopefully tearout will be reduced, kind of like a ZCI for a TS. Also, I cut on both sides of the blade depending on what I'm doing, so knowing that left is true in addition to right might be helpful - I do usually just move the fence a bit for a fresh kerf now and then.

    I should probably take the time to align the thing again before using it for fine work though. Maybe it's crept a little or something.

    Ok, I did some cutting with the saw for the planer mobile base and noticed that I am getting some pretty nasty bottom tearout / splintering. This is happening with a thin kerf blade in a full kerf groove in the table top - the splintering occured in a 2 by 6 that was jointed and planed. The cut performed was a crosscut using a Freud Diablo 12" 44 tooth ATB blade. Is it more likely that the chipout is being caused by too big a kerf cut or alignment issues? Or should I be looking into something else entirely?

    Last edited by Mark Kosmowski; 10-07-2007 at 01:38 AM. Reason: added a question

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