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  • TS and radial arm saw feedback

    First let me say I'm a rookie at doing wood. That said I do have a table saw and have the chance to pickup a sears radial arm saw for $100 which is about 20-25yrs old which still works as new. I would like to have some feedback the pros and cons of each of what they do and don't do the best.

    thanks

  • #2
    Re: TS and radial arm saw feedback

    A radial arm saw (RAS) will take your finger off a lot faster than a table saw (TS) will.
    Well, not faster but its more likely to happen IF you are not careful.

    They both need your respect at all times but a RAS maybe a little more so just because of the way
    the blade is exposed.

    I'd say get the RAS, then search here for loads of info on these saws and most important BEFORE you
    buy go to www.radialarmsawrecall.com and see if the saw is elligible for a free guard upgrade.

    You'll need the model number and serial number of the saw to find out, so call and ask for those from
    the seller but I would not tell him why you want to know. Just say you want to compare to a
    friends saw which is roughly of the same vintage or something like that.

    The serial number and model number plate will be on the stand under the table top either on the front near the elevation crank or on the side of the stand again under the table.

    I think for $100 a RAS is worth having if you have the room. Some use nothing but a RAS. The only difficult task is ripping sheet goods which you can do on a pair of horses with a track saw or a circ saw and a guide.
    Last edited by Bob D.; 11-29-2012, 10:12 PM.
    ---------------
    Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
    ---------------
    “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?"
    ---------
    sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: TS and radial arm saw feedback

      radial arm saw are great for cross cutting, but do have there own element of danger, if used properly and carefully there great saws, and are nearly a true all in one saw,

      but you can do most of the normal things one uses the arm saw in general for (cross cutting and miters) a good miter saw, will do, no you can not rip or some of the other things one can use the arm saw for, but the table saw is better for riping and most of the other cuts a arm saw can do,

      If your wanting to do a lot of cross cut dado's then a radial arm saw is really a great way of doing that,

      but there are a lot of adjustments to make on a arm saw, and some may not hold that good, (some saws are easy to knock out of wack),

      I have a very nice Dewalt 12" arm saw and on it sets a Dewalt miter saw and the miter saw is used 98% of the time, about the only time I use the arm saw is for cross cut dado's or to cross cut 1x12s in one cut,

      for $100 you can't go to wrong, if it is not beat to death, and is at least a 10" blade capacity,

      If I was to start over with putting together a wood shop, I would most likely go table saw first, and miter saw, second, I most likely would not replace my arm saw if stating out again, unless I special need for the tool, but as a general use tool, I would pass on it, and third most likely a good band saw,
      (the list is for stationary power saws), in the mix some where I would want a jointer and probably a drill press of some type,

      that is my two cents,
      Last edited by BHD; 11-29-2012, 10:59 PM.
      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


      • #4
        Re: TS and radial arm saw feedback

        i wouldn't be without a RAS for crosscutting only. i ripped on it once and won't do it again.

        Attachment
        Attached Files
        there's a solution to every problem.....you just have to be willing to find it.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: TS and radial arm saw feedback

          Building homes in the 70s ,that's what We all used.I grew up with these so it all still works for Me. We have a grand table saw. Rad. saw sits lonesome across the shop
          I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: TS and radial arm saw feedback

            The radial arm saw is a good example of old dangerous technology. Some old timey tools really aren't as good as what's available today and the RAS is one of them. Personally, I wouldn't own one but that's just me.
            Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: TS and radial arm saw feedback

              This is a tool not for a rookie!
              As you have read even experienced wood workers have left the
              radial arm saw.

              Look at all the tool sites and note almost no radial arm saws are listed!
              This is because a good table saw and a miter saw make a safer/ better package!

              for your fingers and safety pass on the great deal!

              Cactus Man

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: TS and radial arm saw feedback

                when I first started to do construction I had thought of building what I called a Sea bees trailer, “portable carpenter's workshop” trailer, a tool trailer that had generator, radial arm saw and tool storage for job site use, Navy Seabees - Portable Carpenters Workshop the link take you to a modern version of it.


                I bought a cheap black and decker arm saw when I was just starting out about 18 years old, Black & Decker Radial arm Saw - WOOD Community (like the one in the link) it had a tubular metal frame, one of the major problems was the light tubular frame was not that solid, and one day the blade climbed up and over the lumber I was cutting nearly taking my hand with it, as apparently the tube twisted and the direction the blade took was not straight across the lumber,
                just missing my hand, and my hand was out of the way, by about 4 inches, (I have had my big saw plow through a piece or two as well, but never miss tracked like that light one did, and it did not climb up and over the lumber like the B&D one did,, the big one just cut through the lumber in a big hurry),

                the one inherent danger of the arm saw is that the blade climbs into the lumber being cut, (nearly all other saw operations the wood is feed into the blade)
                on the arm saw it would be like trying to cut lumber from feeding it into the back side of the table saw,
                the difference is the "kick back" is not lumber that kicks back it is the saws motor and blade, and it is coming at you,

                what I am trying to say is get a good unit a solid unit,
                I know there were a lot of sear units sold, but I do not know how solid they are, I am sure there better than the B&D unit I had, but the commercial units and the Dewalt had a heavy cast arm, making a saw that would not flex much, and weight of them helped in the control of the unit.

                all I am saying is get a heavy good saw, not a light weight unit, if your going to get one,
                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


                • #9
                  Re: TS and radial arm saw feedback

                  As you can see there is a mix of feelings on the prospect of adding a RAS to a shop now a days.
                  Since I have had mine for many years and would be lucky to get $125 for it I hang on to it.

                  I use mine seldomly and what I do use it for is dados. I keep a dado set mounted and set for 3/4" width.
                  When I need a wide cross dado I use the RAS. Doesn't get used for much else as I have a nice DeWalt
                  708 SCMS which is my go to cross cut saw. For ripping if I don't want to use the TS because it is setup
                  for another operation I use my bandsaw which works very well for ripping.

                  There are as was pointed out other tools you will want before a RAS in your shop as you build it up.
                  So if money is no object I still say it would not hurt to pick it up if in good condition. Otherwise
                  let it go and save your money for a tool which will do more for you day to day than a RAS will.
                  And if you are new to WWing then you may not be able to spot the things that would distinguish a
                  good running saw from a cleaned up sloppy piece of junk.
                  Last edited by Bob D.; 11-30-2012, 04:57 PM.
                  ---------------
                  Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                  ---------------
                  “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?"
                  ---------
                  sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: TS and radial arm saw feedback

                    1971 Boston union job Hi rise. I worked in the 2 man mill with an old Maniac. He was from Maine. One of our saws was a 16" 3 Phase radial arm. We had small blocks of plywood
                    with nails protruding. Tom would throw a sheet of 3/4" plywood on the table, slam down the gripper block and almost Run By the saw ripping it. We cut for around 80 carpenters. I learned so many tricks from this seasoned carpenter. He made up angled jigs for routine miter cuts. This kept the arm at 90 degrees. If You're a REAL carpenter,there is nothing to fear on this saw!
                    I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: TS and radial arm saw feedback


                      If You're a REAL carpenter,there is nothing to fear on this saw!
                      I don't think you have to be a carpenter, but you do have to know the
                      limitations and dangers of this machine and how to safely use it that's all.

                      I've seen plenty of 9 fingered 'real' carpenters.
                      ---------------
                      Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                      ---------------
                      “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?"
                      ---------
                      sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: TS and radial arm saw feedback

                        Originally posted by toolaholic View Post
                        ...If You're a REAL carpenter,there is nothing to fear on this saw!
                        tool, when I read that the first thing that came into my head was........


                        Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: TS and radial arm saw feedback

                          Originally posted by BadgerDave View Post
                          tool, when I read that the first thing that came into my head was........


                          HA HA, Thanks Dave. I needed that laugh, off to 24 hr fitness,I'm trying.
                          I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: TS and radial arm saw feedback

                            FOR NOT SO REAL CARPENTERS " 1st Rule of the Radial arm saw, While crosscutting, NEVER, EVER, CROSS YOUR ARMS ! " Although it could lead to a career change !

                            " THE FUGITIVE " Dr. Richard Kimble is still looking for that ONE ARMED MAN ! Let this be a lesson ! Tool
                            I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

                            Comment

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