Perfectly Aligned Cuts On Wide Stock
With a little ingenuity, you can cut your sawing time in half. Learn how to cut through stock using a radial-arm saw without spending forever in the shop.
My radial-arm saw can crosscut stock up to 12" wide. But, by flipping the piece over and cutting from the opposite edge of the workpiece, I can double the length of the cut and crosscut stock up to 24" wide. In the past, I'd make the first cut, flip the stock edge-for-edge, and bend over and eyeball the blade with the first cut made. While I was usually within a 1/16", the cuts didn't always align perfectly. To solve the problem, I unplugged the saw, pulled the blade portion of the saw out as far as possible, and then used a framing square to extend the outside edges of the blade on the tabletop to the tabletop's front edge, as shown in Step 1.
Now after making the first crosscut, all I have to do is flip the wide workpiece with the marked cutlines on the saw top, allowing me to make the second cut perfectly aligned with the first cut, as shown in Step 2.
- Marlen Kemmet, WOOD® magazine Managing Editor