Cruising the internet the other day I came across a local county department that was auctioning off an older DeWalt / Black & Decker radial arm saw…
Listed as in fair condition, with a 2 HP, 3-phase motor. Based on the photos it was hard to tell the exact model, but I could tell that it was an early to mid 1960s saw. I put in a bid and won it for $60 (well, $70 after a $6 fee and $4 tax). Once I got it home I determined it was a model T1533 12" saw. Based on what I've been reading, this saw does not represent the peak of DeWalt tools (produced during the 1950s) but is still a solid, industrial-duty saw built before B&D started to seriously compromise the quality of these tools.
I haven't started it up yet, but all of the adjustments and saw travel appear to be smooth and accurate. I've got some experience with a RAS from high school wood shop, but I'd like to find a few more references for setting one up and adjusting it for its different capabilities. I'd also really like a copy of the manual for any parts that I might need. Any advice, pointers, or even just pointing me in the right direction will earn my thanks.
I've been debating the usefulness of a RAS in my shop as it would need to do more than just sit there given the floor space it would eat up. I can probably get one for free that my Grandpa bought at an auction and never got set up. The only thing that I can see it really being able to do that can't be done by another tool more efficiently is cross cut dados. While I can currently do this with a router, the saw would be much faster and if needing a specific width, it could be dialed in with a stacked dado head instead of multiple and sometimes tedious passes with a router.
Agreed with BigBlock. I had my Dad's which was pretty similar to Dylans and ended up donating it. if you have a huge shop and want to use it to cross cut to rough length the are great. and really they are very versatile - they'll do about anything you need to do - but set up and adjustment is fussy, dust collection is a challenge, and then the whole safety debate about them.
BTW Dylan - Wolfe Machinery is a good source for parts and manuals.
Actually, that saw has what is most important in the "good" Dewalts, a solid cast iron arm. Cleaned up and tuned it will be a precision cutting machine. I have a PDF on tuning the Dewalts that would be of use if you need it. It was written bu Roger Hill, one of the true Dewalt guru's over at the Dewalt RAS forum and the method will get the saw laser accurate (and repeatable). Most RAS naysayers base their opinion on events with a Craftsman RAS, which was the one that killed the category (IMHO). A well tuned Dewalt can really earn it's keep in the shop, and your is a good one. If you want that PDF I can email it, just PM me your email address. You might check OWWM for a manual, they have a lot of copes of uploaded manuals, that one might be in there. My shop will never be without an RAS again, currently I have 2. Don't misunderstand me, I don't see them as replacing a TS…but being complimentary.
They can be a great tool. I had a Delta RAS, sold it, regretted selling it until I replaced it with an old DeWalt. I only do crosscuts operations, I can rip easier and safer on a table saw. My opinion. My opinion is the only 1 that counts when it's my fingers. http://lumberjocks.com/topics/53094
Thanks for all the advice and references. Some I knew about, others I did not. I've spent a little time with the saw over the last couple of days, and decided I will need to rewire it before I can plug it in and try it out. After 50 years, the insulation on the wires just crumbles every time I bend the cords. I'll get that fixed up, and maybe go through a few other items while I have the time. Check back for a blog post or two if you want to follow along.
I had one of these saws it was great! I donated it to resource when I moved. I bought it at an auction for $60.00.
I sorta wish I kept it. I figured that it was cheaper to get rid of it than move it. I picked up a Craftsman of the same vintage. I preferred the older one. I came across the paperwork/manuals for it if you want them let me know…
Great deal on the Dewalt RAS. My first RAS was a Craftsman I bought 65 years ago. I then owned a Sawsmith around 1975 and finally I picked up a B&D about 15 years ago. That saw completes my array of saws I can use for any type of cut; RAS miter saw, band saw and cabinet saw. I passed on a 14" Delta 15 years ago because it was 3 phase.
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