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New old RAS gloat

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  • New old RAS gloat

    I just picked up a 1969 Sears Craftsman RAS that was in pretty good shape. The guy had it for sale for $125 and included the original manual and a planer attachment in the original box. He'd owned it since it was new. I spent some time cleaning it up and practice ran some calibrations on a scrap piece of birch ply in the shop tonite. I've yet to see one sell for less than $225 anywhere, so I feel like I got a great deal!

    If anyone has any tips about calibrating this saw (especially how much movement in the arm is acceptable) please send them along.

    I wil be contacting Emerson about the blade guard replacement/upgrade..I found the address on a Google search.
    New RAS
    Kelly C. Hanna<br /><a href=\"\" target=\"_blank\">Hanna Woodworks</a>

  • #2
    Nice acquisition, Kell. Wish I had enough extra space to add something other than basic, must have tools.

    Buy American....if you can


    • #3
      Congratulations Kelly. I know you have been wanting a RAS for quite some time.

      RAS's are tempermental beast, but like all beast; tameable. You just have to learn the finesse they desire to do your bidding. Once you have learned that, you world will have 2 suns shinning down on you.

      Email me if you have any problems, and I'll try to help you out with any difficulties you have.
      John E. Adams<br /><a href=\"\" target=\"_blank\"></a>


      • #4
        Kelly, Sorry but the replacement gaurds are for 1977 and newer saws. I checked into it and they will only offer a $100 dollar refund on older models. Mine is a 76. Oh, and to get the $100 bucks you have to take the power head off of the saw and send it to them. I told them to drop dead, my saw is worth a lot more than 100 bucks.
        info for all: --- "I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me."


        • #5
          Congratulations on your purchase. You will love it.

          I don't know what year my Craftsman RAS is, but it is the same generation, and still going strong. Did all my cabinet making with that saw, without a table saw until I got the 3612 last year. I was going to "upgrade" from the RAS to a compound miter saw, but I'm not sure it is an upgrade except in the dollars.

          I heard there is a new blade guard, but I have not seen it, and some of the new "government recommended" guards that I have seen look terribly dangerous. So I even have the original guard, much like yours. And my wife feels safer using the RAS than the Table Saw.

          Now that I have the table saw, I don't need the wide rip capability, so I built a replacement table, narrower (along the garage wall, that is important), and with a 1/2 inch MDF cover as the sacrificial top.

          If you have the manual, you should be set about alignment. But take it in sequence - level the table first, based on the funky way they move the arbor over the surface. Then go on from there. A good framing square and an hour or two make the job go smoothly. And the unit should continue to work well - just like any tool made by Emerson.

          If you have specific questions, drop a note.


          • #6
            I got the saw set up with it's new Birch ply and aromatic cedar trimmed table (20"x5'). I also got it squared, but have one little problem that I'm not sure I can get fixed. Even when everything is tight and the arm is locked, I have a little play in the arm. Thankfully the saw can be squared for the cut easily, but when the arm is lowered or raised one must make sure the arm is all the way to the left before cutting. I adjusted it several times until I realized this play is not going away. The original owner (who had the saw since new) probably wore it out over time and the adjustment doesn't seem to be able to eliminate it. So at the worst, I check the framing square every time I move the arm or raise/lower the carriage.

            I will be using the saw mostly for crosscutting and dados for bookshelves and entertainment center building, so the arm will move very little.

            I really didn't need the guard anyway, so that's okay they won't send it. I'm not a huge guard person anyway...none of my TS guards are installed.

            I love the saw, but it created 2 days work (1 down 1 to go) to get it in the shop, set up and a new storage system around it to replace the 8' rolling cart I had where the saw is going to rest!

            [ 06-30-2003, 01:52 AM: Message edited by: KellyC ]
            Kelly C. Hanna<br /><a href=\"\" target=\"_blank\">Hanna Woodworks</a>


            • #7
              First, check to see if the upper half of the column is moving when you wiggle the arm. (The manual suggests holding your finger on the joint between column halves, and wiggling.) If so, then the problem is in the adjustment of the column tightness - I got a fairly good description in my version of the owner's manual, if you need it.

              If the arm is wiggling but the column is not turning, then it is probably in the angle adjustment. The arm lock that is out front has two parts, a big "Arm Lock Knob" that needs to be loosened 1/4 turn and retightened each time you turn the arm, and the "Arm Lock Lever" behind it that you pull forward to pull the "arm lock pin" out of what feels like a v-groove. If the problem is here, it sounds like the pin behind the lever isn't being seated properly - you are supposed to push the lever back in before tightening it, but somebody may have oiled it, and it gunked up so isn't going back right.

              If you are playing the double knob/lever game right, I bet the groove that the pin seats in has come loose. I haven't taken mine apart to check that, but there is an adjustment procedure in my manual, if you need it.