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Got an RS1000 RAS! Some Questions!

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  • Got an RS1000 RAS! Some Questions!

    So after some deliberation, I decided to buy a RAS, which are inexpensive used. Given that nearly everything in my shop is RIDGID, the obvious choice was an RS1000.

    I managed to find one for $200 on CL, and talked the guy down a bit to $185. It's in very good condition, no rust or damage, cleaned up to be almost new looking, and so far, works really well. Certainly more accurate than the (non RIDGID, but still TTI) SCMS it is replacing in the shop.

    So, the blade it came with is some junky 28T table saw blade. I'm thinking of the Freud 60T 5 degree negative hook angle blade for it. Is there a better choice? I will use it for cross and miter cuts. No sense trying to do rips when I have three perfectly good tablesaws for that.

    The other question... It is the old gray and red color scheme, except the motor rotation (into rip position) handle, and the circular miter indicator, which are orange! So the question is, were the very last of the RS1000s orange? It looks to me as though they were preparing to change over, and ran out of red mouldings. Seems very odd. Minor issue, but still, I'd like to know why.

  • #2
    Re: Got an RS1000 RAS! Some Questions!

    I may be wrong with this, but I don't think so. I do know that the "orange" color scheme came about when TTI took on the manufacturing and marketing of the "Ridgid" brand of power tools in 2003. Before that time, the color scheme was as you described, gray with red trim.

    With the introduction of the new TTI/Ridgid-brand power tools (all the hand-held tools, which there were none under the old Ridgid gray), the stationary product line were re-branded with the new color scheme. They included the table saws, thickness planer, jointer, drill-press, bench-top belt/drum sander, lathe, band saw, and the RAS. The scroll saw was dropped.

    I do recall seeing the Ridgid (orange) RAS as late as 2005, but it and the lathe sort of disappeared that year, as I recall. Generally speaking, it appears that Home Depot is the decision maker in what stays or what goes, as it has exclusive retailing rights here in the U.S..

    From my point of view, the lathe and RAS simply did not fit into the "contractor market" for which Home Depot seems to be centered.

    I hope this helps,

    CWS

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    • #3
      Re: Got an RS1000 RAS! Some Questions!

      Thanks CWS. So perhaps my suspicions are right, there would have been some machines made with all orange parts, and mine is perhaps from the changeover period. Were the legs and frame orange or dark gray (like the BS stand)?

      What blade to use though? I only have $185 in the saw itself, so I can't justify spending more than $65 or so on a blade. I read horror stories about the blade climbing toward the operator, and I could feel that last night when I fired it up. I understand the "low or negative" hook angle aspect to this, but wonder exactly what "low" is defined as? I could get a 15 degree 80 tooth blade from HD for not very much, but I am concerned that the 15 degrees is too much.

      Any thoughts out there, or real life experiences?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Got an RS1000 RAS! Some Questions!

        congratulations on the RAS acquisition. like CWS, i have an old craftsman (CI column) RAS and recently got it dialed in to an extremely accurate crosscut saw. it dates from the early to mid 60s (~1965), so it's just broken in at 45 years old .

        i've read a lot about negative hook angle blades for RASs but when selecting blades for my saw, i only made sure i wasn't using a rip blade with a fierce positiove hook angle. i've used an 8" dado blade to notch 4x4 posts for a deck and found that even with that much cutting surface, the saw carriage was always controllable. since the arm on the RAS is fixed, the blade can't trully "climb" like it can on a SCMS, where the saw carriage can actually lift up towards the operator.

        BTW, if that saw was made by emerson electric for ridgid, it could be one of the ones that is guaranteed for life. also, how about some pics of this impressive find?
        there's a solution to every problem.....you just have to be willing to find it.

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        • #5
          Re: Got an RS1000 RAS! Some Questions!

          Here ya go. The orange knobs can be seen in the last pic. I think it may be one of the guaranteed for life ones. I borrowed my 50T RIDGID R1050C off one of my tablesaws, and it cuts beautifully, though does still "grab" a little.
          Attached Files

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          • #6
            Re: Got an RS1000 RAS! Some Questions!

            Roadster,

            Very nice RAS!!! (looks like you just took it out of the box).

            Regarding your blade question:

            The popular opinion is that you use a 5-degree "negative hook" and the Freud LU-series (sorry, I don't know the number) is the blade of choice.

            However, I use a standard 40-tooth Ridgid thin-kerf blade on mine and have always used a similar combination blade, since I bought my Craftsman (Emerson-made) in 1974. I first learned to appreciate the RAS in my 1961 "Advanced Woodshop" class in high school, using a big DeWalt.

            Very much the successful and appreciated use of the RAS comes from understanding it's design points, it's strengths and weaknesses, and most importantly "the forces" of it's blade action. The so-called "climb" effect is certainly real enough, but I prefer to call it what it is... "self feeding!"

            The "clock-wise" rotation of the blade forces the stock down and back against the fence as you pull the blade forward into the stock (starting and ending point of the saw carriage is always behind the fence). The reaction to that down and back force against the stock, is for the blade to want to advance forward as it bites into the stock. The blade will literally want to use the stock as a point of "traction" and therefore self-feed or as most people put it, "climb"!

            The key to using the RAS is to firmly grip the carriage and thus control the advance feed rate. If you simple grab the handle and "pull", the blade with bite into the stock and want to rush forward and most likely jamb and stall. Using a "negative-hook" will certainly lessen that tendency. But, good handling/control will also prevent this from happening too.

            As with a table saw, the feed-rate is very important to getting a great cut. While the blade choice is undoubtedly the key, if you overfeed, the cut is still going to be rough. The primary advantage of the RAS is it's cross-cut capability (straight, angle, or compound angle) and through such operations it is very easy for the operator to control the cut, by properly handling/controlling the carriage along the arm. And, ALWAYS... return the carriage to the rear, behind the fence before you move the stock or turn off the motor.

            So Yes, the popular choice is a 5-degree negative hook angle; but, it is not essential, as long as you understand the forces and actions of the RAS! (The "negative-hook" angle is also a popular choice for SCMS and CMS users too, but none of these saws are fitted at the factory with such a blade, AFAIK.) So, for about $40 you can fit your Ridgid RAS with the Ridgid Titanium 40-tooth combination and have a pretty decent cross-cut blade with nice smooth cuts (slow feed). For me, there is no local source for "negative hook-angle" blades, and the Ridgid blade has worked well; but I fully understand those who prefer otherwise.

            I hope this helps,

            CWS

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Got an RS1000 RAS! Some Questions!

              WOW, that RS100 looks so much like my 1984 Craftsman RAS its not funny. Except for colors they are practically clones, which is not a surprise since they were both made by Emerson.

              I was thinking that maybe the reason for the two colors might be that the previous owner had upgraded the guard and related parts in the RAS recall, and the replacement parts were not available in the original colors.
              ---------------
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              ---------------
              “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
              ---------
              "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
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              • #8
                Re: Got an RS1000 RAS! Some Questions!

                Originally posted by Bob D. View Post
                WOW, that RS100 looks so much like my 1984 Craftsman RAS its not funny. Except for colors they are practically clones, which is not a surprise since they were both made by Emerson.

                I was thinking that maybe the reason for the two colors might be that the previous owner had upgraded the guard and related parts in the RAS recall, and the replacement parts were not available in the original colors.
                There ARE Craftsman machines that are all but identical, but reading into the recall, I believe these issues were resolved by the date of my saw. Certainly the guard mechanism on mine is substantial, I believe this was the main issue, though replacement fence and tables were issued too. If I could get a free new table, I would do so, 1 inch MDF is uncommon!

                That said, my "new to me" RAS had put smiles on my face this week. I had to partially disassemble it to get it home, and realised that the guy I bought it from had such a nice shop that it would have been zeroed in. So when I reassembled it, I zeroed the table & fence to the saw, not the other way around (as per a virgin assembly). So far, no need to change ANY of the other adjustments. It cuts dead-on 90 degrees, and cutting two separate 45s (not 2 x 45 from the same piece), and mating them into my squares makes them sit beautifully. In fact, I realised one of my squares was off, because it fitted three of them and not the fourth!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Got an RS1000 RAS! Some Questions!

                  Congrats on your find, that is a nice looking saw.

                  The negative 5 degree blade is the way to go for RAS and SCMS. I have a Craftsman RAS, that I can use for rough cutting but never got it to keep consistently tuned for dead on 90 cuts, but it works very well for non critical stuff.

                  I bought a Makita LS1016L SCMS this past spring and it does come with a thin kerf negative 5 degree blade that is surprisingly good for a factory blade. Still on the saw, but I have a Freud of same specs waiting in the cabinet when needed.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Got an RS1000 RAS! Some Questions!

                    roadster.. thanks for the pics. that is a beautiful saw. much good luck with it. i had a chance to get one NIB @ the local HD in '03 or '04 when they were transitioning from emerson to tti for $250 and i passed it up. always kind of regretted it. all you need is a herc-u-lift and that will mobilize it easily. i think you are correct about the guaranty, but a quick call to ridgid CS will confirm it as the responsibility for honoring the gray tool guaranty now rests, i believe, with tti/owt.
                    there's a solution to every problem.....you just have to be willing to find it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Got an RS1000 RAS! Some Questions!

                      Funny you should say that, Finer. I have too many machines in my shop, and I'm thinking of selling my TS3660. If I do so, I'll take the herc-U-lift off it first. I don't think that will devalue it too much. I don't really want/need the money from it so much as the space. I'm just struggling with parting with what has been an excellent saw for me. Still, the R4511 is much improved in many areas over it. I originally went with two table saws so that one would be for crosscutting, but the RAS so far is much superior in that operation, and the R4511 is great for ripping.

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