I made two six-sided enclosed end tables for our home and wanted a decorative feature on each table's two doors. I wanted to use molding to make a raised design. The photo shows the top portion of the design. The smaller radius molding was done on a lathe. But, the larger piece of molding has a radius of 8 inches, and my lathe cannot handle a faceplate almost 17 inches in diameter. Bending straight molding after steaming it was a possibility, but with complications I wanted to avoid. I found a way to make the larger radius curved molding I needed on my radial arm saw.
Step 1: A few accessories
One of the handiest things I have for my radial arm saw is an auxiliary table to raise work about 4 inches above the regular table surface. I use this auxiliary table to hold things I want to drill with the spindle on the rear end of the motor.
Also shown in the photo is a set of molding head cutters. You can see the knife I used for the curved molding on my end tables. It is called a clover leaf and screen mold pattern.
Step 2: Begin the setup
I installed all three knives in the molding head, secured the Allen screws that lock them in place, and fixed the molding head on the saw shaft. I turned the radial arm saw's motor to the inrip position. The saw's fence has been removed and the back table piece has been secured to the saw's frame with "C" clamps. The motor is locked down on the saw arm so the center of the molding knives is 8 inches from the center of the saw's column.