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  • Radial Arm Saw

    Hey guys,

    A good friend of mine has a Sears 10" Radial Arm Saw that he does not use and I have a computer that I don't use.. so we are thinking of trading even up. I had some questions about using a RAS...

    I have the TS3650 (which I like alot) but I want to use it primarily for ripping. I want to build some kitchen cabinets. I was going to use the TS to rip the carcase sides and I was thinking of using the RAS for cross cutting the carcase pieces. I figured this would be a convenient and efficient way to build the carcases (and I would not have to make a very large cross-cut sled)

    I see some opinions on the net that RAS are not very accurate, but I am wondering if it is because the saw was not set up right or it is not accurate by a design flaw in the saw (or it is just the way it is..)

    Thanks
    jason
    "A long journey starts with the first step and an understanding spouse."

  • #2
    Re: Radial Arm Saw

    jason, I don't have a RAS but like any other tool, it's only as good as the setup. Properly aligned and operated, I see no reason why a RAS couldn't make repeated accurate cuts.

    With the introduction of SCMS's, the RAS's popularity has taken a back seat in recent years but many still swear by them. And, one job a RAS can do that a SCMS can't is cut dados.
    ================================================== ====
    All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.

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    • #3
      Re: Radial Arm Saw

      I have a 1958 Craftsman RAS and this baby is repeatably dead on. Micro adjustment about every 3-4 years and I can do that from my table top w/winged bolts. Built a new surface this past spring and I find myself using the RAS a lot more then I used too.....
      Great Link for a Construction Owner/Tradesmen, and just say Garager sent you....

      http://www.contractorspub.com

      A good climbing rope will last you 3 to 5 years, a bad climbing rope will last you a life time !!!

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      • #4
        Re: Radial Arm Saw

        Thanks for the reply guys. I cannot pass up the deal

        For my carcase sides, I need to cross cut 18 1/4" so it sounds like I will have to cut up to the 12", then flip it over and complete the cut. This should not be a problem.

        Thanks again..

        Jason (generating a lot of sawdust)
        "A long journey starts with the first step and an understanding spouse."

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        • #5
          Re: Radial Arm Saw

          I have a 1974 Craftsman RAS that I purchased new, back then.

          It's still my favorite power tool!

          CWS

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          • #6
            Re: Radial Arm Saw

            My only major saw is a RAS, rip and crosscut, no issues with accuracy. Take your time and go through ALL the adjustment including table level to spindle. All the adjustments may take you the better part of a day first time through.
            Biggest issue with RAS is trying to use a TS blade with a large hook angle for crosscut, the blade tries to climb rather than cut the wood and stalls the saw. Look for a crosscut blade with a zero or slightly negative hook angle

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            • #7
              Re: Radial Arm Saw

              I have a 1981 Craftsman RAS to complement my TS3650. Most of the time I keep a dado on the RAS so I don't have to change out the TS. The old Craftsman is still going strong after all these years and accuracy is not a problem.

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              • #8
                Re: Radial Arm Saw

                I have a 1995 Chraftsman RAS and it takes up needed space in my garage for the little use it gets. Still love it though. Very versitile but needs constant tweaking to keep the cut dead on.

                Take Wbrooks advice on the blade. Being a plumber I knew nothing about hook angles. I put a heavy hook blade on my RAS and on the first cut nearly lost 4 fingers when it grabbed wood and pulled itself towards me. Scared the piss out of me. Sometimes I catch it looking at me hungrily.

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                • #9
                  Re: Radial Arm Saw

                  Ya well I did feed mine once . Make sure you have this kit on yours if it applies

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                  • #10
                    Re: Radial Arm Saw

                    I have a 84 Craftsman RAS which I bought new. It's still going strong and even though I have a SCMS I still use it. I got the free guard upgrade from the website that Wayne gave you the link to. DO GET THIS.

                    I keep my RAS setup with a dado blade. I do most of my my cross-cutting on the SCMS and ripping on the TS.

                    Sounds like between the group we have a RAS from just about any era over the past 40 years, so if you need a manual one of us should be able to help.
                    Let us know what year and/or model number it is once you get it.
                    "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" Bob D. 2006

                    https://www.youtube.com/user/PowerToolInstitute

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                    • #11
                      Re: Radial Arm Saw

                      Looks like I am in the minority of the Sears RAS fans. I had one for a year or two and was glad to be rid of it. It was a 1964 model that I bought at a garage sale from the original owner's son. It even came with the owner's manual. I paid $35 and that included delivery to my house. Though I tried, I never could get the thing to cut a perfect 90 degrees. I would align it and then as soon as I tightened up the bolt it would force its way back to being slightly off the 90 degree mark. I resold it at our own garage sale for $35 with a new (cheap) carbide blade. I was glad to be rid of it. Besides never being able to get an accurate cut, the highly exposed blade always gave me a strong sense of impending danger. I much prefer my 3650.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Radial Arm Saw

                        Undermidnight -

                        I owned both a RAS and TS many [many!] years ago and I thought I preferred the RAS over the TS. Then I sold all my tools when I moved to Texas.

                        So, a couple years ago I decided to get back into woodworking, and I bought a Delta RAS. Then last year I bought a TS3650. This second time 'round with woodworking, I think I musta had a bum TS back years ago. The RAS is nice, for what it does, but comparing the RAS and [a decent] TS are like comparing apples and oranges. Since you already have a decent TS, the RAS will be a nice addition to your shop, you can use it for long crosscuts like you said. But if anyone was trying to decide between a TS and RAS, I would strongly suggest a TS. The RAS is more difficult to keep aligned than the TS for square ripping. Hope that helps..
                        And definitely take Plumberscrack advice: the RAS is an aggressive eater.

                        Haven't heard from you for a while. It's been all work & dedication for me...no time to play... Did you get to see the eclipse the other night?

                        - djb
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                        A Democracy is 2 wolves and 1 sheep voting on what to have for lunch.

                        Restore the Republic.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Radial Arm Saw

                          Will do guys! Thanks again..

                          Jason
                          "A long journey starts with the first step and an understanding spouse."

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                          • #14
                            Re: Radial Arm Saw

                            Originally posted by djb View Post
                            Undermidnight -

                            Haven't heard from you for a while. It's been all work & dedication for me...no time to play... Did you get to see the eclipse the other night?

                            - djb
                            I sure did! Got some pictures too (I need to get them off of the camera). I am currently working on a new telescope project. A 12.5" ballscope. I am thinking of using MDF for this one because I will be painting it anyway. MDF is flat, dense, and appears to work so far. Plus it is cheaper than using the Baltic Birch.

                            Now that I am doing woodworking, my project list is getting longer from the wife.. heheheh. She wants some bookshelves done and I still plan to build cabinets.

                            Jason
                            "A long journey starts with the first step and an understanding spouse."

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