I need to replace the table on my radial arm

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  #1  
Old 05-18-05, 08:07 PM
lantyr
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I need to replace the table on my radial arm

I need to replace the table on an old Craftsman radial arm saw and I'm trying to decide what kind of wood or material would be the best choice, and how thick it's supposed to be. It has old particle board now, and it has absorbed moisture and is not at all flat. I figure I'll replace it with either MDF or hardwood plywood but I don't know which would be the best choice, or what is used on the new saws. Also, the particle board on mine is 3/4" with a 3/8" particle board tacked on the top of it. Is it supposed to be 3/4", 1", or what???
 

Last edited by lantyr; 05-18-05 at 08:08 PM. Reason: correction
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  #2  
Old 05-18-05, 08:19 PM
Sawdustguy
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I would use 3/4" and then put formica on the top of it. If you don't know how to do laminate work, then I'd use 3/4" melamine, which can be purchased at home depot for about $25.00 a sheet. If you have the space alloted, you can double up the 3/4" and make it 1-1/2" thick.

Another option is to use raw MDF, which can also be purchased at Depot

Stay away from plywood or solid wood as it expands and contracts too much. You need a nice flat working surface.
 
  #3  
Old 05-18-05, 09:22 PM
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Best bet is to use 3/4" MDF and then a piece of 1/4" Masonite (smooth both sides) on top. The masonite is sacrificial material - ie: it's intended to be scored by the saw blade and replaced periodically as needed.

If most of your work is straight cross cuts, you can make an insert that's beveled and slides in between two fixed pieces that are beveled the other way to form a dovetail - these should be cut at 22 degrees. That allows you to replace the center piece easily when it gets too scored. The other pieces can be attached with carpet tape and can be screwed in place close to the fence where the blade doesn't reach.

Make sure you seal the MDF with polyurethane so it doesnt swell and so that when you remove the masonite the tape will release without damaging the MDF.
 
  #4  
Old 05-18-05, 10:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Sawdustguy
...Stay away from plywood or solid wood as it expands and contracts too much. You need a nice flat working surface.
I just want to add that mine is plywood and solid wood and my surface is no longer flat
I will be building another one soon
 
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