How to Make a Replacement Table for a Radial Arm Saw If You Don't Have the Original
A radial arm saw is designed with a sacrificial wood fence and table. This allows for the replacement of the fence and table after the table becomes worn from repeated use. By using MDF (medium-density fiberboard), you can cut a new replacement top for little cost. With the use of a few basic woodworking tools, any do-it-yourself handyman can replace a table for a radial arm saw that is missing its original top.
Unplug the radial arm saw from any electrical outlet. This is to prevent accidental starts of the saw while you are working on it.
Elevate the saw head assembly by turning the hand crank. This will provide room to work on the new tabletop.
Measure the frame of the radial arm saw using a tape measure. Write these dimensions down on a piece of paper. Add 16 inches to the length and 9 inches to the width.
Cut the new tabletop to the dimensions with the added inches from the previous step. Use a table saw or a circular saw to cut the tabletop material. MDF (medium-density fiberboard) is a good and inexpensive material to use for the tabletop.
Place the new tabletop on the radial arm saw where it will be installed. Use a black marker to mark the underside of the tabletop with the locations of the predrilled holes in the base of the radial arm saw frame that are used to attach the top. Use a drill with the appropriate drill bits to drill holes at these spots through the tabletop.
Use a 3/4-inch spade bit to widen these holes on the top side to a depth just slightly more than that of the bolt heads. This will enable you to countersink the bolt heads below the tabletop's surface. Attach the new tabletop to the saw base using nuts and bolts that can be tightened down using a pair of wrenches or a socket wrench.
Jim Wildman served in the United States Marine Corps as a Communication Chief for 10 years. After his tour of duty in Desert Storm he attended Oklahoma State University receiving his Bachelor of Architecture. He worked as an architect for 10 years before starting his own design/build company. He began writing in 2009 for Demand Studios and published on eHow.