Step 1: Aligning the Saw
Step 2: Cut-offs or Crosscut Sawing
When cutting many pieces to the same length, some like to make a movable stop that clamps to the saw's fence. While most of the Instructables linked in this Instructable are mine, this particular one is not.
A radial arm saw normally requires swinging the arm to the right or left in order to make 45 degree miters. A stationary miter sled makes cutting accurate miters more sure and much easier.
Step 3: Rip Cuts
The radial arm saw motor has an in-rip and an out-rip position. Choose the one that is most comfortable for your job. The in-rip position places the blade end of the motor closer to the fence. The out-rip position places the blade end of the motor nearer to the front edge of the table.
The front edge of the table can be used as a saw guide for special ripping operations, as when the edge of a panel needs to be made true.
Step 4: Eventual Wear That Ruins Accuracy
Step 5: Grinding
I use my radial arm saw to sharpen my lawnmower blade to a very uniform cutting angle. One of my favorite tricks is to grind something on my radial arm saw while it is chucked and spinning in an electric drill. It is a type of improvised lathe. See step # 2 in this Instructable. Sometimes I make a special wooden jig to hold something just right so I can grind it rather precisely. (The photo with this step of this Instructable is part of the Instructable linked in the preceding sentence.) I improvised a way to cope metal tubes for welding at a right angle. It uses a cutting wheel on my radial arm saw and a small wooden table I made to elevate the work so it is nearer to the level of the motor's shaft. While my method worked for me, since I have learned about another Instructable that would be easier and even better for the same task. I also use my radial arm saw when I use a special jig to sharpen drill bits.
Step 6: Sanding Drum Operations
I do not have a planer/joiner, but learned of a way to use a sanding drum and a fence to joint wood so precisely that the eye has a difficult time finding the glue line. I use the sanding drum and the small wooden table mentioned in step 5 for thicknessing wood to a precise dimension. Whereas my sanding drum's face is only 3", the pieces I thickness almost need to be no wider than this size. This process may not be quite as good as if I had commercial machinery designed for just this sort of thing, butit has allowed me to glue up panels, as you would for a tabletop.
Step 7: Concentric Drilling
I developed a way to do concentric drilling on my radial arm saw. I have not needed this often, but it has come in very handy a couple of times, and the results were very precise.
I have also done some precise drilling by using the little table shown in previous steps and clamping a fence guide to it. The choice is the user's as to whether to pull the motor into the work or push the work toward the motor and the bit.
Step 9: Pin Router
Step 10: Curved Molding
Step 11: Rotary Planer
Step 12: Replacement Switch
Step 13: Missing Table Clamps?
Step 14: Adapting Blades to a Sawsmith
Because radial arm saws are no longer as popular as they once were, you can find some really good deals on them at sales, on eBay, and on Craigslist. They make a great main tool for any workshop.