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Discussion Starter #1
I have received several questions about my RAS T-track top while posting pictures on other topics within the forum. So in order to better try & describe the RAS top, I'm going to post several stages of the table top building here.

I didn't go by any set plans, It was more or less a trial & error type of process!
Originally I had planed to make a drop-leaf style table for the right-hand side, But during the build I changed my mind. That's the reason some of the pictures in the beginning stages show a off-set style top.

I knew I wanted to install the T-tracks & I also wanted a nice solid top that wouldn't warp or twist after it was built. What I ended up with was a modified version of a MR. Sawdust style top.
It has the normal 1/8” X 3/4” wide pieces of steel running from side-to-side in-between the front section, But I also installed two 3/8” X 3/4” steel pieces that run front-to-back. These thicker front-to-back pieces were installed flat 3/4” wide & recessed 3/8” deep into the bottom of the table. These front-to-back pieces also serve as a mounting surface for a new 12- point leveling base connection set-up.

The old flimsy table mounting brackets & base connections were replaced with 1/8” thick 2” X 2” angle-iron. The new angle-iron brackets have (6) holes each that were drilled just under 5/16” which allows me a little wiggle-room for adjusting the table which has (12) 1/4” bolts.

All things considered it was probably a lot of “Over-Kill” on my part!
But I was given the saw for free & I pretty much had most of the materials on-hand. So it didn't really cost me much to put it all together.

Doug
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Here's a few pictures of the top with the T-track.

Doug
 

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Discussion Starter #3
My latest addition is a sliding table that lets me cut/square-up live edge lumber & make tapered cuts.

Doug
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Here's some pictures of the various set-ups I've came up with.

Doug
 

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Nice table Doug. Next time I have to redo the table on mine I think I'll use some of your ideas, looks like it could save having to redo it again.
 
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Doug, you continue to edify - thank you.
Two questions:
1. Any reason why you have used twin-T-track, except for the combo track at the front?
2. The placement of the transverse track near the fence could cause problems with some rip-cuts (I don’t see the usual furrows from the blade in the rip position on your table). How did you determine where to locate it?
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Any reason why you have used twin-T-track, except for the combo track at the front?
I already had it on hand, It was left-over from a all plywood workbench I built awhile back.
I basically followed this PLAN But I added an extra sheet & supper track to the top.

Originally planned to use the twin track on the bench but I went with the supper track instead.

Doug
 

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Discussion Starter #8
(I don’t see the usual furrows from the blade in the rip position on your table).
That's just me being picky & not wanting to mess-up the top anymore than is needed. :)
On stock 1" & under I usually adjust the blade to where it's just barely touching the top of the table.

With thicker stock I usually adjust the depth of cut to roughly 2/3rds. of the boards thickness & then make 2 cuts, Flipping the board end-to-end for the second cut.

A closer pic. shows a light mark where the blade's teeth just barely make a mark.
Also shows were I needed to cut into the fence a little while making a odd bevel cut.

Doug
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Another benefit of being able to clamp the stock to the table is while making dado cuts!

Dado cuts on a RAS are usually pretty limited as far as the depth of cut goes since the normally action of pulling the blade through the stock will try to grab/dig-in pushing the motor towards the operator.

With the stock securely clamped to the table!
I'm able to push the dado blade into the stock (With-out fear of it lifting-up) which can happen if you try this on a stranded RAS.

Here's some pictures of dado's I've made using the push-through method (Sorry didn't think to take "set-up" pics)
These dado's were made at full depth (aprox. 1-1/4") using a 8" Freud supper dado stack, 3/4" wide set-up.

Doug
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Here's a couple of unusual set-ups I have used this RAS & T-track system to cut metal!

First one is shown HERE where I re-cut some teeth on a cast-iron gear.

Here's some pictures of a set-up I used to cut some slots in a piece of 1/8" thick aluminum, The plate is a top/cover for a 20" Walker Turner drill press I'm working on.

Doug
 

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Years ago I had a Craftsman RAS and I was terrible. I could not keep it adjusted. I still used it for several years and sold it and bought my first table saw, a Craftsman. I was a happy camper. You are making me want to buy another RAS.

What are the holes in the fence for? Doug, you have come up with some great ideas on your custom table.
 

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I gave my Dewalt RAS for a miter saw about 15yrs age. I have regretted that decision for about 14 yrs. Doug, really like what you've done with your saw!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Years ago I had a Craftsman RAS and I was terrible. I could not keep it adjusted.
I believe one of the biggest problems with keeping everything adjusted & squared-up has to do with the old flimsy style table & mounting system.

On my set-up with the steel reinforced table & all the adjustment points it really keeps the top level & square. I may have also gotten lucky getting the saw I did, Since it didn't look to be used much!

I also took my time making sure everything was dead square when setting it all up, Including adding .010" ~ .015" shims to the base of the column mounts! I actually used a dial indicator & machinist set-up blocks in the alignment process.

What are the holes in the fence for?
Dust collection!
There's a 4" dust port located next to the column, But it's currently reduced to 2-1/2" for a shop-vac connection.
It works ok for crosscuts & miter-cuts, But it's not much help for rip cuts.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Doug, really like what you've done with your saw!
Thanks!

I gave my Dewalt RAS for a miter saw about 15yrs ago. I have regretted that decision for about 14 yrs.
I actually have a 12" DeWalt T-1533 2HP 3-phase that's currently disassembled & waiting to be rebuilt. Being I was given the Craftsman for free, I figured I would tryout my table ideas on it first!

The Craftsman really surprised me on how good & strong it runs so I'm not in any hurry to start rebuilding the DeWalt.
I did start on reinforcing the base, Since I really believe that's one of the weak spots on most RAS.

Here's a picture (not mine) of the type of DeWalt I have.

Doug
 

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Hi Grant and welcome. I'm not sure if he'll answer right away. His last activity was about 3 weeks ago.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I'm not sure if he'll answer right away. His last activity was about 3 weeks ago.
Haven't been doing to much woodworking lately!
I've been tied up with some metalworking equipment I recently bought from a machine shop that went out of business.

I also just added a 60 amp sub-panel & some 240V circuits to my garage, It involved a quite a bit of moving things around to install the new circuits.

Doug
 

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Doug,

I just discovered your series of posts from a couple of years ago, about your Radial Arm Saw setup. That is the most amazing and complete system I have ever seen. I see a lot of elements from various internet sites, but here all combined into one system. And with even more.

My Craftsman RAS is about the same vintage as yours. I can't exactly remember if I bought it in the late 1970's or early 1980's. The main difference is that mine is sitting on a steel cabinet that Sears made for it.

For several years I have been gathering ideas for better tables and dust collection solutions. I think what I see here is close to what I want, although I'm not certain about the sliding table yet. I like your improvement on the Mr. Sawdust table, with the additional steel bars running front to back.

Question 1: the bolts coming down from those steel bars on the bottom of the table: I would like to verify a couple of assumptions. First, I assume those bolts are coming from the top side of that bottom sheet of plywood. Second, I assume that there are unseen nuts on the upper side of the steel L-section mounting beams, so the table is held firmly instead of relying on its weight.

Question 2: I noticed the port on top of the dust collection shroud that can be connected to the blade guard for ripping. Is that more effective (or even just as effective) as connecting a shop vacuum?

Question 3: how effective is the dust collection? Does it actually capture most of the dust, with little or no dust bypassing it?

I think seeing your system is a strong prompt to me to get started on the realization of my long delayed planning. Thanks.



Graeme
 
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