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How to eliminate RAS arm wiggle

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Forum topic by crizal posted 07-31-2018 11:08 AM 929 views 1 time favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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crizal

3 posts in 390 days


07-31-2018 11:08 AM

Topic tags/keywords: ras repair adjust

I was just given a old Craftsman RAS with bunch of accessories. I got it set up and running over the weekend. After a few test crosscuts, I noticed that wherever the arm is locked at, the arm wiggles a couple of degrees.

I spent a good chunk of time trying to find something to tighten/adjust to remove the wiggle, but nothing worked. I’ve never owned a RAS before, looking for any experienced user with suggests on what to do.

Thanks in advance.


18 replies so far

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

2839 posts in 2751 days


#1 posted 07-31-2018 11:30 AM

What year is the saw? If it’s a newer model (the digital ones) they are just made more cheaply than the older ones from the 60s and 70s. Most people use a RAS for crosscutting and dados so once it’s locked in at 0 degrees they just leave it there.

View Bill Berklich's profile

Bill Berklich

882 posts in 843 days


#2 posted 07-31-2018 11:44 AM

Get a “Mr. Sawdust” book. (~$40) It is THE resource for Radial Arm Saws. The book is focused on DeWalt but everything can be used on any RAS. Depending on what’s slopping around it’s arm to base or carriage to arm. You can fix/tighten either. If it is flex in the arm it can’t be corrected but that usually isn’t too much.

-- Bill - Rochester MI

View GR8HUNTER's profile

GR8HUNTER

6348 posts in 1167 days


#3 posted 07-31-2018 01:29 PM

this is same reason mine is sitting on trash pile there is NO adjustment to fix this problem believe me I had it tore down 2 times to try and fix this problem NO LUCK
sorry I dont have better news for you … this is also why they are on CL for 50.00 bucks :<((

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5647 posts in 2948 days


#4 posted 07-31-2018 01:57 PM

It’s what GR8hunter said. The problem is the way the arm locks. It has a wishbone type of clamp, and it gets spread apart over time, when this happens to most folks they just tighten the front knob a little more, which only makes the matter worse. The older Dewalt saws didn’t have such a design, making them a little more stable.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View bilyo's profile

bilyo

780 posts in 1557 days


#5 posted 07-31-2018 02:46 PM

I have an old Crasftsman RAS from the mid-late 60”s, it think. On the back side of the main support column there is a groove with tapered sides. In the base column support is a wedge that rides in that groove and it has a set screw that adjusts how tight the wedge is in the groove. You will need to balance the tightness of the wedge to minimize the side to side motion with the ease of cranking the column up and down. Also, make sure that the horizontal track arm is secure to the main column.

You may be able to find a manual for it at the Old Woodworking Machines site ( http://www.owwm.org/ ).

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5216 posts in 4415 days


#6 posted 07-31-2018 03:23 PM

Bilyo has the trick. My 1978 C’man RAS had this setup. Once I had it dialed in the prob went away. I used that saw for everything under the sun w/o issue once it was properly adjusted. Sold it due to lack lack of room in the new shop.

-- [email protected]

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

16172 posts in 3073 days


#7 posted 07-31-2018 04:36 PM

Great thread that exhibits the best and not-quite-best on LJs: solid tips and insight alongside pontificating. Love it. Kudos to bilyo and bill.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View bilyo's profile

bilyo

780 posts in 1557 days


#8 posted 07-31-2018 08:47 PM

Smitty & Bill. Thanks for the kind words.

View KTNC's profile

KTNC

97 posts in 711 days


#9 posted 08-01-2018 12:08 AM

Hi Crizal:

If the arm is actually locking to the column and you notice the end of the arm is moving anyway, I think that means the column is not tightly connected to the base. Depending on which model you have the means of correcting that is different. I recently restored/repaired two Craftsman RAS. One from the 60s and one from the 90s. Post a picture of your saw and the model number and I might be able to help more.

If you mean the arm moves side-to-side a bit after the zero or 45 degree index engages and before you engage the lock, that’s slop in the index. That is normal, but there should be no side to side movement once you lock the arm to the column.

If you want to get your saw running well, get a copy of “Fine Tuning Your Radial Arm Saw” by Jon Eakes. He goes through tune-up on three saws, one of which is a 1980s Craftsman. He also explains how to get precision from your RAS even though the miter, bevel and yoke rotation indexes and elevation all have slop.

You’ll need the user manual also. You might be able to get it at sears.com or vintagemachinery.org.

regards, Kerry

View crizal's profile

crizal

3 posts in 390 days


#10 posted 08-01-2018 12:25 AM

For those who have asked for more details. I have a manual, more marketing hype than manual, with a handwritten note identifying the owner and dated 1959. The model number is 113.29003. One the base there’s a label that says Radial 100.

View ohtimberwolf's profile

ohtimberwolf

934 posts in 2807 days


#11 posted 08-01-2018 01:08 AM

crizal: See this site. Many others may want to see it also. larry

http://www.drosera.f2s.com/RAS/RadialArmSaw.pdf

-- Just a barn cat, now gone to cat heaven.

View KTNC's profile

KTNC

97 posts in 711 days


#12 posted 08-01-2018 01:21 AM

Hi Crizal:

That’s exactly the model I have. I got it from my father in law about 15 years ago and totally restored it a couple months ago. I took many pictures as I worked on it. I use it all the time and am very happy with it.

Here’s the user manual:
http://vintagemachinery.org/pubs/222/609.pdf
https://www.manualslib.com/products/Craftsman-Accra-Arm-113-29003-2034458.html

Your column to base tightness is set by the column tube key. That procedure is shown on page 9 of the user manual. They show it being pushed it with your finger. That will not work. Instead put a clamp on it as shown in the picture below. Once you clamp it tight, tighten the set screw with an allen wrench to hold it in place. If you get it too tight, it will be hard to crank the column up and down. Too loose and the column will rotate in the base.

Below are some pictures of the column tube key removed from the column. It’s got a wedge shape that meshes with the groove in the column.

Note: This adjustment is for getting the column not to rotate within the base. If your trouble is with the arm rotating about the column, that’s a different adjustment.

regards, Kerry

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

2839 posts in 2751 days


#13 posted 08-02-2018 11:25 AM

In the future give details. “Old” doesn’t give anyone the information to make an informed comment.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

16172 posts in 3073 days


#14 posted 08-02-2018 01:58 PM

^ See Post #10 above, the OP did add details.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

2839 posts in 2751 days


#15 posted 08-03-2018 12:09 PM

Yes – ten comments in. In the original post is best. It’s called not wasting people’s time on speculation.

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