What To Do With Old Radial Arm Saw?

Got an old radial arm saw lying around and don't know what to do with it? Well, for starters, why not give it away to someone who needs it? Just in case you don't want to depart with your old pal, you can do all sorts of things with it to make it usable to you.

Repurposing a radial arm saw by converting it or using its parts is a great idea. If you have something in mind, then do it! Or, if you don't, then you can follow this article and bag some creative ideas.

Woodworking enthusiasts have a lot of ideas about what to do with an old radial arm saw. Some are more complicated than others. Take a look at the recycling options!

Want to learn the differences between a miter saw and radial arm saw?

1. Converting It to a Dovetail Cutter

You can easily convert your old radial arm saw into a dovetail cutter by attaching a router with the motor. Follow the simple steps below,

  • Attach a router with the motor

  • Turn it around

  • Use clamps to stick boards vertically under it

Voila! Now you have a cutter to get big dovetail cuts.

2. Converting It to a Slot Mortice Cutter

Just like a dovetail cutter, you can turn that old saw into a mortice cutter if you want. The steps are similar,

  • Put a router in it, but this time it should be set horizontally

  • Attach a table

  • Introduce a mechanism that will make the table move in and out so that you can cut slot mortices

3. Converting It to a Drum Sander

Do you remember the very first Performax sander? It was simply a radial arm saw attachment. So, it’s not a surprise that you can convert your old saw into a sander.

Put a drum under the arm, a motor, and belt on the table beside the pillar, and there you go! You now have a drum sander.

4. Convert the Saw Motor into a Grinder

Why not utilize the powerful motor of the saw? A few caveats, it might need some calibration to get the accuracy right, and it won't be for industrial purposes.

Take a grinding stone and attach it to the motor. Grinding belts are optimum options to get the best results, although you won't get the accuracy you'd normally get from a real grinder.

5. Use the Miter Gear Set to Make a Drill Press Lift

Your old radial arm saw has a gear set for miter cuts. This can come in handy to make a drill press lift.

Take out the miter gears, rods, and misc handles from your old radial arm saw. Repurpose them to get a nice working drill press lift.

6. Turn It into a Horizontal Boring Machine

Radial arm saws are a perfect machine to be used as a boring/dowelling machine. It has the necessary adjustability and motor to accomplish the job.

You just have to mount a drill holder to the arbor of the saw motor. And the work support platform can be added next to finalize the process.

7. Converting an Old Radial-Arm Saw to an Overhead Pin Router

You can convert an old radial arm saw into an overhead pin router. A radial arm saw provides a very useful platform for installing a router. The arm is adjustable along the height, and the motor can be fixed on any position. You can even tilt the motor if the need arises.

Some radial arm saws like the Sawsmith have a high-speed spindle, which is appropriate for a router collet chuck. Routing, rabbeting, and circle cutting, all of these are possible with a make-shift overhead pin router.

8. Make a CNC Router from a Radial Arm Saw

If you're a tech-savvy science lover, then you'll love this idea. The idea of making a CNC router from a radial arm saw isn't new, but not many have done it in practical life. It's complex but doable.

You'd need to have some other important things such as a computer with good computing power, router parts, electronic components such as circuit boards, and a whole lot of science.

9. Repurpose It into a Bar Height Rolling Accent Piece

You can repurpose your radial arm saw into a bar height rolling accent piece. It isn't a working machine, of course, but it would nicely complement your man-cave. Also, you can use LEDs on the radial arm.

Design a custom Butcher block top by burning in saw blade accents. Attach a magnetic tool holder, so you don't lose your small metallic tools.

You have the option to add a large storage cabinet below, which can be retrofitted as a mini-fridge, shelve, or whatever that comes into your imagination. Let your imagination drive your design sense.

Final Words

These options are full of creativity. Recycling old parts is a great thing for the environment rather than dumping them as waste products. It saves money as well!

If nothing pleases you, then sell it! Yep, the obvious last suggestion.

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