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Forum topic by 75c posted 02-14-2021 05:19 AM 976 views 0 times favorited 58 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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75c

208 posts in 80 days


02-14-2021 05:19 AM

I tripped across a.good price on an older like new radial arm saw. It retailed 20 years ago at over ten thousand. So it was a high dollar well built unit in its day. Money is not a problem to purchase it but many people have told me how dangerous a radial arm saw is. Should this scare me away? I have never used one. I have a couple of shapers and people talk like they are really dangerous as well. Like any.power tool you have to understand them and give them respect but I am not in fear running a shaper. Do I have to be afraid of a radial arm saw? Regards Tom


58 replies so far

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SMP

3798 posts in 958 days


#1 posted 02-14-2021 06:02 AM

I had an old Craftsman for years and used it all the time. I am still here to tell the tale. They really only get scary when making rip cuts or using the shaper attachment without the guard, etc. I replaced it with a sliding compound miter saw. I don’t think one is more dangerous than the other.

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75c

208 posts in 80 days


#2 posted 02-14-2021 06:05 AM



I had an old Craftsman for years and used it all the time. I am still here to tell the tale. They really only get scary when making rip cuts or using the shaper attachment without the guard, etc. I replaced it with a sliding compound miter saw. I don’t think one is more dangerous than the other.

- SMP

Ok thank you. I know three people who got hurt on tablesaws and no one that got hurt on a radial arm saw. But I keep here the dangers! Thank you again


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Robert

4521 posts in 2533 days


#3 posted 02-14-2021 10:35 AM

Radial arm saws are not any more dangerous than a table saw, maybe in some respects safer re: moving wood over blade vs. moving blade over wood.

My question is how big is this saw? I don’t know of any radial that would cost that much other than a huge industrial machine that is most likely too big for most shops and 3 phase.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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tvrgeek

1754 posts in 2702 days


#4 posted 02-14-2021 11:26 AM

Crosscuttings are no different than a sliding miter saw.
Ripping is where I did not like my RAS,
Dust collection is virtually impossible
Big molding heads were too scary and not fast enough as an overhead router.

Bigger and heavier is better. Big industrial jobs are actually woodworking machines where a miter saw is not. Even the old Craftsman 12 inch was used by many cabinet shops. . I improved my 10 inch by reinforcing the base there the post bolted and supported the table with an aluminum plate. Kind of wish I still had it.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6921 posts in 3546 days


#5 posted 02-14-2021 11:47 AM

That sound like it might be Northfield Unipoint. If so, that’s my Mega Millions Lottery dream saw (off topic, the odds are vey low that I’ll win…I’ve never bought a lotery ticket). The RAS has an undeserved bad rap. I have an older Dewalt in my shop, the 5th or 6th RAS I’ve owned and my shop will not be without one. While I don’t see them as the only tool you need they are extremely useful.

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

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75c

208 posts in 80 days


#6 posted 02-14-2021 12:04 PM



Radial arm saws are not any more dangerous than a table saw, maybe in some respects safer re: moving wood over blade vs. moving blade over wood.

My question is how big is this saw? I don t know of any radial that would cost that much other than a huge industrial machine that is most likely too big for most shops and 3 phase.

- Robert

A 14 inch 3.5 HP single phase

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75c

208 posts in 80 days


#7 posted 02-14-2021 12:05 PM



Crosscuttings are no different than a sliding miter saw.
Ripping is where I did not like my RAS,
Dust collection is virtually impossible
Big molding heads were too scary and not fast enough as an overhead router.

Bigger and heavier is better. Big industrial jobs are actually woodworking machines where a miter saw is not. Even the old Craftsman 12 inch was used by many cabinet shops. . I improved my 10 inch by reinforcing the base there the post bolted and supported the table with an aluminum plate. Kind of wish I still had it.

- tvrgeek

Except you pull the blade towards you instead of pushing it away. Correct?

View RClark's profile

RClark

113 posts in 3238 days


#8 posted 02-14-2021 12:16 PM

My first RAS was a Craftsman my dad bought new in 1974. I inherited it about 2000 or so. I tried ripping on it exactly once. Never again after that experience. I had the saw in service until 2015, when I turned it in under that Craftsman RAS recall. I quit using it because it wouldn’t hold adjustment, at all.

I found a local guy selling a Delta Rockwell Super 990 Turret-style RAS; manufactured in 1962. Bought it for $75 and eventually rehabbed it. It’s in my shop today and ti does great. Rock solid and holds accurate settings.

I, too, heard all the stuff about how dangerous the RAS can be. I’m not a fan for dadoes, moulding head cutters, and ripping; there’s other, easier, much safer ways to do those actions. But cross cuts and miters on wide boards are great. I think the old iron, turret style saw also looks cool, so there’s that “eye-candy” aspect to the saw as well.

-- Ray

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6921 posts in 3546 days


#9 posted 02-14-2021 01:03 PM


Except you pull the blade towards you instead of pushing it away. Correct?

- 75c

Absolutely!

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

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75c

208 posts in 80 days


#10 posted 02-14-2021 01:11 PM



My first RAS was a Craftsman my dad bought new in 1974. I inherited it about 2000 or so. I tried ripping on it exactly once. Never again after that experience. I had the saw in service until 2015, when I turned it in under that Craftsman RAS recall. I quit using it because it wouldn t hold adjustment, at all.

I found a local guy selling a Delta Rockwell Super 990 Turret-style RAS; manufactured in 1962. Bought it for $75 and eventually rehabbed it. It s in my shop today and ti does great. Rock solid and holds accurate settings.

I, too, heard all the stuff about how dangerous the RAS can be. I m not a fan for dadoes, moulding head cutters, and ripping; there s other, easier, much safer ways to do those actions. But cross cuts and miters on wide boards are great. I think the old iron, turret style saw also looks cool, so there s that “eye-candy” aspect to the saw as well.

- RClark

Yes I have two shapers and a moulding machine no need for a moulding head. Lol and I have a table saw so no need for ripping with one. Basically I would use it for cross cutting. A good heavy one in good shape would that stay true or as true as a sliding mitre saw? I have heard a bunch of story’s about them going out of alignment! Is that the case on a good one as well or is that a problem of the entry level ones? I find that on many entry level machine s that is the main reason for paying a bit more is to get machine s that stay in alignment.

Regards Tom

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75c

208 posts in 80 days


#11 posted 02-14-2021 01:12 PM


My first RAS was a Craftsman my dad bought new in 1974. I inherited it about 2000 or so. I tried ripping on it exactly once. Never again after that experience. I had the saw in service until 2015, when I turned it in under that Craftsman RAS recall. I quit using it because it wouldn t hold adjustment, at all.

I found a local guy selling a Delta Rockwell Super 990 Turret-style RAS; manufactured in 1962. Bought it for $75 and eventually rehabbed it. It s in my shop today and ti does great. Rock solid and holds accurate settings.

I, too, heard all the stuff about how dangerous the RAS can be. I m not a fan for dadoes, moulding head cutters, and ripping; there s other, easier, much safer ways to do those actions. But cross cuts and miters on wide boards are great. I think the old iron, turret style saw also looks cool, so there s that “eye-candy” aspect to the saw as well.

- RClark

Yes

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75c

208 posts in 80 days


#12 posted 02-14-2021 01:18 PM


Except you pull the blade towards you instead of pushing it away. Correct?

- 75c

Absolutely!

- Fred Hargis

So how do you hold the work piece?

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Fred Hargis

6921 posts in 3546 days


#13 posted 02-14-2021 01:41 PM

There is actually no need to hold it since the blade is forcing it into the fence (crosscut), but I use my left hand to hold it in place while I pull the saw through the cut. If the piece is too small to hold safely with my hand I had a push stick I use to keep it secure while I cut it. There is a commercial version you can buy. I had one and sent it back, I like my shop made version better. The alignment stories you’ve read are almost certainly all related the Craftsman saw that were introduced as a “one tool does everything”. They were notorious for not holding zero, and I blame Sears/Craftsman for killing the category. I had 2 of them, and no amount of tuning would get them to the point of holding zero. Others, like the Dewalt (until the mid 60s or so), Delat/rockwell, and the commercial ones like the Unipoint are dead nuts accurate once they are tuned…though you may from time to time have to re-tune them.

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

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75c

208 posts in 80 days


#14 posted 02-14-2021 02:02 PM



There is actually no need to hold it since the blade is forcing it into the fence (crosscut), but I use my left hand to hold it in place while I pull the saw through the cut. If the piece is too small to hold safely with my hand I had a push stick I use to keep it secure while I cut it. There is a commercial version you can buy. I had one and sent it back, I like my shop made version better. The alignment stories you ve read are almost certainly all related the Craftsman saw that were introduced as a “one tool does everything”. They were notorious for not holding zero, and I blame Sears/Craftsman for killing the category. I had 2 of them, and no amount of tuning would get them to the point of holding zero. Others, like the Dewalt (until the mid 60s or so), Delat/rockwell, and the commercial ones like the Unipoint are dead nuts accurate once they are tuned…though you may from time to time have to re-tune them.

- Fred Hargis

Ok I heard that as well that the blade pulled the workpiece into the fence. I was also told not to bend the elbow with the hand on the saw to move your body backwards never to bend your elbow. What do you think of that and why?

Regards Tom

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menuisierJC

18 posts in 87 days


#15 posted 02-14-2021 02:30 PM


Ok I heard that as well that the blade pulled the workpiece into the fence. I was also told not to bend the elbow with the hand on the saw to move your body backwards never to bend your elbow. What do you think of that and why?

You need to select a blade that is not agressive. I switched to a Forrest Woodworker I on my 10” RAS and it made a world of difference. The prior blade wanted to run up over the wood and required extreme operator control (don’t bend the elbow, etc.). With the correct blade, you won’t have this problem.

-- Jeffrey

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