Radial arm saws are available in various sizes. A stand should be tailor-made to a specific model, but all stands must be sturdy and rigid. In use, a radial arm saw's center of gravity changes and the size of the wood being sawed can also affect stability. Therefore, the stand's design must allow for the maximum size of timber to be cut and the traveling distance of the saw blade. Providing storage space in the stand also lowers its center of gravity, which increases stability. Securing the stand to the floor or another bench further stabilizes it.
Things You'll Need:
- 2" X 2" Planed Timber
- 1" Plywood
- Wood Chisel
- Countersink Bit
- Wood Glue
- Angle Brackets
- Tenon Saw
- Marking Gauge
- Drill Bit
- Nuts, Bolts And Washers
Design and Preparation
Design the stand. Calculate your ideal work height for the saw and size of base required for maximum stability. A simple design would incorporate a plywood top, a plywood shelf, four legs and six cross-member supports. The sides would be "H-shaped," the front and rear a square "A" shape. The height of the cross-members should be staggered in pairs from the top.
Mark out and cut the plywood and timber to size. This would equate to two plywood pieces of equal size, four legs of equal size, four long cross-members and two shorter cross-members.
Lay two legs and two long cross-members in designed position and mark out where joints occur, shading waste wood to be removed. Position the shelf about six inches above the ground. Repeat for second pair of legs and long cross-members, and with legs and short cross-members. For rigidity, T-halving and corner halving joint construction should be the minimum requirement. Use a marking gauge to indent center lines.
Joint Cutting and Dry Assembly
Secure the wood and saw halving joints at one end of each leg and at both ends of every cross member.
Cut the eight T-halving joints. Saw vertically to the center line and remove the waste wood gradually, using a mallet and chisel.
Assemble the stand dry, mark and name each side of every joint to ensure identical re-construction after dismantling.
Dismantle. Drill two clearance holes and countersink the outside of one side of each joint.
Assembly and Fixing
Glue, assemble and screw the stand together matching the marked joints. Remove any surplus glue. Leave the stand to dry.
Cut two-inch square recesses at each corner of the plywood shelf, assemble then mark the best dry fit. Remove the shelf and drill and countersink three holes, one inch from correct two edges. Glue, reassemble and screw the shelf into position. Repeat for the stand top without cutting recesses. Remove any surplus glue. Leave the stand to dry.
Drill and screw angle iron to base of feet and floor or neighboring bench.
Position your radial arm saw on the finished stand. Mark securing holes. Drill holes and bolt the radial arm saw to its stand.
Practice marking out and cutting halving joints on scrap wood. Use a chisel to clean up the joints.
More experienced woodworkers could cut mortise and tenon joints.
Avoid cutting joints on knotted timber.
- Stagger cross-members at least six inches apart to eliminate possibility of splitting timber.
Ian Brown began writing in 1970. He has over 26 years of writing experience within the education system, including reporting, creating syllabi and formulating policy documents. He graduated from the University of London with his teaching degree.