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Thread: Radial arm saw placement

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    Vermont
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    291

    Radial arm saw placement

    I have a question for you guys with radial arm saws. I have a large vintage Delta MX2 series saw (12" or 14" blade) that I want to set up along the long wall of my shop. I will be using this primarily for cutoff/crosscut work and it will always be set at 90. For those of you who use a RAS in your own shop, how much space do you have to the left and right of the blade, and have you done anything to optimize this space? For example, I don't really want to leave 12' of open bench to the left of the blade if I could place a couple of deadmen roller stands instead and use the space for mobile machines when I'm not using the RAS. I guess I'm looking for ideas. I have been using a 10" SCMS on a folding portable stand for 20+ years now, haven't used a RAS since high school 30+ years ago and I want to utilize this machine instead. The videos of people who have RAS or SCMS in their shop always seem to show 10-12' to the left of the blade and 4-6' to the right and it seems like such a huge waste of space.
    Jon Endres
    Killing Trees Since 1983

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    McKinney, TX
    Posts
    1,801
    I have 8’ table to the left and 6’ skinney table to the right. Both tables are a couple feet off the wall and I use that space for vertical lumber storage
    Steve Jenkins, McKinney, TX. 469 742-9694
    Always use the word "impossible" with extreme caution

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Landenberg, Pa
    Posts
    425
    My setup is quite similar to the New Yankee Workshop. Saw set up to the side of my mitre station (10ft long) and uses that as support, and shares the fence. Works great. I have on-wall storage of stuff above the mitre station and RAS so no loss of space.

  4. #4
    I would want a cutoff stop at least 8' long on the left and space intermittently available for at least 12' but it depends on the work you do. Shorts can be stored vertically behind the bench. We had a rolling bin for drops back there at my old gig. I have a Euro workbench to the right of my cutoff saw at the same height against the back wall. To the left my table saw right side extension is at the same height so stock is supported for either saw. Horizontal lumber racks above.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Los Angeles, California
    Posts
    425
    Quote Originally Posted by William Chain View Post
    My setup is quite similar to the New Yankee Workshop. Saw set up to the side of my mitre station (10ft long) and uses that as support, and shares the fence. Works great. I have on-wall storage of stuff above the mitre station and RAS so no loss of space.
    +1 for this set up. I do not share a fence though, as I find it more convenient to be able to pull the RAS out for serious work, like long 4x4s. But the table height is the same as the adjacent bench.
    Regards,

    Tom

  6. #6
    I have about 10' clear to either side of the RAS blade. So easy to arrange.

    "Anything seems possible when you don't know what you're doing."

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Upland CA
    Posts
    4,717
    Not too long ago, I posted a pic of my setup, which allows use of most of the area for other things. I am a computer idiot, but it is in my previous posts somewhere.

    Sorry, I am swamped right now, and cannot spare the hours it would take me to find it. I don't know what happened to my computer, but pics are hidden somewhere. Took hours to take a pic, and get it on craig list yesterday. Ended up getting help.

    PS: OK, I felt guilty, and looked for it. The post is titled 'My radial arm saw station', dated 3-1-20. I don't know how to do anything else with the post though. Gotta hit the bed, it's almost two, and I need to be up by 7.
    Last edited by Rick Potter; 01-17-2021 at 5:52 AM.
    Rick Potter

    DIY journeyman,
    FWW wannabe.
    AKA Village Idiot.

  8. #8
    I built cabnets under my saw and tables. For the tables i used melemine over ply wood.with t tracks to adjust the back stops. The back stops are 80-20 aluminum from Acuright Technologies for Pro Scale stops. the area behind the wood stops is used for storing cordless tools, chargers and that kind of stuff.

    With the 8 foot tables and the Pro Scale stops the saw is much more accurate and repeatable than I or the wood will ever be.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    56,112
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Jenkins View Post
    I have 8’ table to the left and 6’ skinney table to the right. Both tables are a couple feet off the wall and I use that space for vertical lumber storage
    If I were going to put this kind of tool in my shop, I'd do like Steve and maybe even have shorter work surfaces supplemented with temporary material supports if something long needed to be processed. I, too, would be reluctant to dedicated a large run of wall space unless it had multiple purposes embedded. Having portable work supports benefits other tools, too. Flip up extensions work for some folks in the same light.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    1.5 hrs north of San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    779
    The 12 feet on the left is used all the time, with clear space for 16 feet (above compressor and below storage); however, it is very rare that even 3 to 4 feet is used on the right. I designed it for 8 feet on the right, followed by the drill press, and the outside door.

    Were I to do it again, I would stop with 3 to 4 feet on the right, and provide for alternate support beyond that.

  11. #11
    My solution was quite simple. By locating the RAS just to the right of my table saw, at a right angle, it allows the table saw extension and offcut table/workbench to be used to support material to the left of the RAS blade. To the right of the blade are located two drill presses, whose columns lie behind the RAS back fence.
    "Anything seems possible when you don't know what you're doing."

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Dickinson, Texas
    Posts
    7,443
    Blog Entries
    1
    Mine sits on a drawer unit. I have door hinges on the sides. I have a ledger low on the the sides of the case and I prop up the the 36" 1x12 leaves up with 2X4 that have 45 degree bevels. This leaves me 72 " of extensions to the saw table. The drawer unit has casters to rollout of the way if necessary.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    728
    If just rough cutting to length, then squareness and accuracy are not important. If that is the case, portable stands will work.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Rochester, Minn
    Posts
    162
    Mine is on a small cabinet with drawers (repurposed bath vanity) with castors, and I carefully set it up to be the same height as the workbench, one the right side, and the carriage of the sliding table saw, on the other. For 9 our of 10 cuts it stays against the wall and I need neither support. Otherwise I pull it out about 12" to clear a wall cabinet.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
    Posts
    10,459
    When I had a RAS in a 16x16 shop I put it on one wall with about 10-12' to the left. To the right was the door so if needed I could open the door for more room on that side.

    JKJ

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