Instructables
Picture of Sears Radial Arm Saw--Homemade Table Clamp
On a radial arm saw part of the table is bolted to the mounting rails under the table.  But, the fence and the back portion of the table are loose until clamped against the edge of the main portion of the table.  Since posting my guide to the radial arm saw, several have mentioned they recently acquired a Sears Craftsman radial arm saw vintage 1970s.  The table clamp for holding the fence and the back table in place was pathetic on some of these saw.  This Instructable will show how to make a very good table clamp very simply and very inexpensively.  The photo gives you a good clue as to what I have in mind.  This Instructable will be useful to anyone who needs a good replacement for missing, or poorly designed table clamps.
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: The way it should be

Picture of The way it should be
Shown are two table clamps traditionally used on radial arm saws of all makes.  I ordered these through a Sears parts depot less than a year after buying my saw.  Parts for Sears Craftsman radial arm saws are often available on eBay.  You may be able to find some there.  You could always try to get them through a Sears parts depot. 

Step 2: What came on my saw

Picture of What came on my saw
In some sort of economy move, my saw came with a square steel washer on each side instead of machined screw clamps of the type seen in the previous step's photo.  It was practically worthless and did not hold the back table or the fence securely. 
rimar20003 years ago
Very good idea, Phil.

I need something like that to not deal with rubber bands every time I glue two or more tables by its edges. I could do something like this, directly on the workbench. I could make two rows of holes all along the table, to insert into them turned wooden 12mm bars, or maybe metal threaded rods 1/4 inch that serve as a stop on both ends of the board, lifting them when be needed, leveled when not.
Phil B (author)  rimar20003 years ago
You are correct, Osvaldo. I have seen wooden wedges used before when clamping for the assembly of panels or table tops. It would help you to use two identical wedges pointing in opposite directions so their outer edges remain parallel. Peg holes in your workbench would make this versatile for gluing many different sizes of panels. I manage in this application with one wedge because the square wooden block can pivot.
fretted Phil B1 year ago
I'm with ya i'm not giving up my saw i worked to hard on it to keep it nice I only use it once in a while any way most of the time i incorporate the compound miter it does the trick my saw was made mid 60's it had no bed the swivel mechanism was locked up as well as the angle compound mechanism and they put a regular lights witch on top where the toggle switch should have been i still have the light switch in place it works ok but the plate that holds the original toggle is gone so i may retrofit something later on right now it works fine .

I have to admit that spinning open blade is intimidating you could lose a digit or two if you aren't paying attention to what you are doing .
Phil B (author)  fretted1 year ago
There is a video to accompany the recall information. The video shows the operator's hand planted firmly on the saw table right in the path of a crosscut. Even one of America's Dumbest Criminals would not be so stupid as to put his hand in front of the blade's path.

Keep some watch on eBay. Frequently someone is parting out one of these saws. You might be able to find the missing part.
fretted Phil B1 year ago
Lol my wife runs from the shop when i start up the saws it's funny they scare her the idea of a sharp spinning blade makes her blood run cold but she sure loves the stuff i build she say's shedon't understand how guys can get their fingers within a few inches of something that scary i told her it's because were manly men not scared of losing limb to do what we love .

But truth be told were more carecul with a spinning saw blade than anything else we operate safety first i narrowed it down to the sound that she really don't like and she has gotten to know thesounds of different densities of woods when i cut them it's funny what you can learn by just hearing without seeing .but i'm off subject .

I'm going to take pics of my table soon and post them here it's just another idea with no protruding metal and i don't have to deal with wedges or clamps ! i do use wedges to glue table tops together though they work great almost better than my clamps !
fretted1 year ago
Great Ible

I have the exact same saw i used a solid sheet of plywood and routed a 3/4 groove along the back for the fence and straight edge glued blocks and cross drilled the blocks through the base so no metal is protruding through the top of the saw table i only use this saw once in a while but when i do i'm happy to have it one of the best 25 dollar junk buys i ever made !
Phil B (author)  fretted1 year ago
You did wonderfully to get one of these saws for $25. You may hear there is a recall on them for a safety guard over the exposed blade. However, the saws made in 1972 and before are too old for the new guard. Officially, we are supposed to cut the electrical cord and mail the 60 pound motor to Emerson electric for a $100 refund. I say, "No thanks." I will simply keep my hands a safe distance from the spinning blade.
Thanks, Phil...

Luckily, mine has the table clamps.
Holding so far...