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  • Radial arm saw question

    I've got the 10" Ridgid RAS and it works well for crosscuts. However, it aggressively pulls the work through when ripping. I changed the blade to a rip blade, but the problem persists. I thought of a fingerboard, but since the fingerboard is in the pre-cut position, I just think that when the work clears the fingerpoard, the problem will still occur. The fence is true to the blade. Any ideas? Thanks,
    Steve

  • #2
    Re: Radial arm saw question

    For ripping push the wood into the blade,
    (the arm saw is one of the few saws that cut with the direction of the blade when cross cutting, one reason that they have fell out of favor in the safety area),

    but nearly ever other saw the wood is fed in to the saw against the direction of the blades rotation, there should be some safety fingers and a guide that slides down off the guard that is used to keep the board from jumping up and kicking back),

    USE PUSH STICKS when applicable

    yes the arm saw is a do all saw, but it is best keep for cross cutting,
    picture from WOODWORKING PROCESSES
    Attached Files
    Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
    attributed to Samuel Johnson
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Radial arm saw question

      sbrown,

      It sounds like you are feeding (rip) from the wrong end of the blade... for "ripping" on an RAS, you must rotate the carriage and feed the stock into the back of the carriage, and into the rotation, NOT with the rotation.

      This is EXACTLY like a table saw feeds! If you look at the mounting of the blade and feed direction on a table saw, the teeth move into the stock. IF it is a carbide blade, the "carbide" is facing the stock. If you then examine the RAS, you will see exactly the same thing... the carbide teeth are facing the stock as it is fed. I have included two photos below so you can see what I mean.

      (Notice the "Danger" printed on my RAS upper blade guard, which warns against feeding from the right in that picture.)

      Also, when setting up the RAS for ripping, you MUST adjust the anti-kickback pawls and splitter so they can do the job of keeping you safe. On my Craftsman (1973-vintage) these are integral. The splitter should rest slightly below the top edge of the stock, so the splitter itself is in the kerf (cut) and the pawls, are riding on the surface, ready to gouge into the stock should any movement "back" occurs. To that end, the pawls must be kept sharp and adjusted so they will "bite" into the surface.

      On my RAS, there is also an adjustable "chute" located in the upper guard on the feed side (during ripping) that should be lowered to just above the stock. Basically this will keep sawdust from being blown toward you during the rip process and it will also keep the stock from lifting, should it be grabbed by the blade. (On crosscuts, I keep that "chute" adjusted higher up in the guard, so it clears the fence.)

      Lastly, but certainly important, is the blade must slightly cut into the table about an 1/8-inch or so (I use a sacrificial, easily replaced top). In my picture, the blade is above the table only because I don't use it for ripping anymore... and I wasn't going to cut the table just for the sake of this picture!

      On "cross-cuts", (which my RAS is now dedicated to), the blade must also cut into the table (in order to complete the cut depth and also to prevent tear-out). The carriage is placed behind the fence, the stock placed against the front of the fence, and the cut is made by pulling the blade forward and through the stock, only enough to complete the cut (the rear of the blade does NOT have to clear the stock). On completion of the cut, the carriage is returned to the rear, behind the fence, and the motor is turned off, before ANY removal or movement of the stock is attempted!

      When "pulling" the cut, you must physically control the feed, as a normal blade angle (like I use) will very much want to self feed, especially on thicker or harder stock. For that reason, many recommend using a blade with a "negative" hook angle.

      BHD,

      I don't like that illustration, in that it shows the anti-kickback pawls on the wrong side of the feed. The anti-kickback mechanism must be on the outfeed side of the blade, thus holding the stock from kicking backwards into the blade; just like on a table saw!

      I hope this helps,

      CWS

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      Last edited by CWSmith; 10-14-2012, 02:49 PM. Reason: edited "chute" and guard statement

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      • #4
        Re: Radial arm saw question

        Originally posted by CWSmith View Post
        sbrown,

        BHD,

        I don't like that illustration, in that it shows the anti-kickback pawls on the wrong side of the feed. The anti-kickback mechanism must be on the out feed side of the blade, thus holding the stock from kicking back wards into the blade; just like on a table saw!

        CWS
        I agree with you the kick back and lift bar are improperly drawn, (but it was one of the few pictures that showed a board being riped, and blade in the lumber, and really did not notice the inaccuracies of the drawing, I could find that showed the board being ripped, your pictures are good thank you for make it clearer),
        Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
        attributed to Samuel Johnson
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

        Comment

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