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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I "inherited" (the price was right anyhow :sold: ) one of those old Craftsman Radial Arm Saws. Yup the old killler made by Emerson :eek: . While it isn't beat to death by far I'm sure it has seen a better day or two. I have a (cheap) TS but I'm thinking about using the RAS as a dedicated Daido unit (I have a 1/2 decent stack set). I would appreciate your thoughts, or experiences on RAS's and especially on use for daido's.
BTW the RAS (at least mine) really sucks for ripping.

TIA
CB
 

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CB, I am sure you will find that the radial saw is out of adjustment. If you have the original paperwork go through the set up proceedures. If not get a copy from Sears. As far as poor ripping, good chance that is because of your blade. The cross cut blade that is used most with the saw has too many teeth and not enough chip clearance for quality ripping. If you want a decent blade for both cross cutting and ripping try the Freud 50 tooth combination blade. This thin kerf blade amazed me when I first tried it. Fast clean cuts either way. I bought this blade from the bulk stack at either Loews or HD for $27. You just have to spend a moment to be sure there are no chips in the teeth if you buy a bulk blade.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
aniceone2hold said:
CB, I am sure you will find that the radial saw is out of adjustment. If you have the original paperwork go through the set up proceedures. If not get a copy from Sears. As far as poor ripping, good chance that is because of your blade. The cross cut blade that is used most with the saw has too many teeth and not enough chip clearance for quality ripping. If you want a decent blade for both cross cutting and ripping try the Freud 50 tooth combination blade. This thin kerf blade amazed me when I first tried it. Fast clean cuts either way. I bought this blade from the bulk stack at either Loews or HD for $27. You just have to spend a moment to be sure there are no chips in the teeth if you buy a bulk blade.
While I will agree with the adjustment part of your post I have a new 40 tooth carbide ripping blade on the RAS. Trust me you had best not be in any rush the way it is.

Thanks
CB
 

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Hi Canuck:
I also have one of those old Craftsman RAS, about the same vintage . I have used it
for years, I set it up as Cross cut only, I added a good fence. It's also used for datoes
with a stacked dato set, and it does a decent job. Since you have nothing to lose
that's what I would do with it.

Woodnut65
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Woodnut65 said:
Hi Canuck:
I also have one of those old Craftsman RAS, about the same vintage . I have used it
for years, I set it up as Cross cut only, I added a good fence. It's also used for datoes
with a stacked dato set, and it does a decent job. Since you have nothing to lose
that's what I would do with it.

Woodnut65
Thanks Woodnut! It's great to hear about first hand experience. :D I called around about the recall and finally found a lady who knows what's going on in, get this ... Craftsman shop vac's :confused: . Mine was not part of the recall and Sears is sending me an owners manual in the mail (no charge WOO HOO!). Hey for a 10+ year old saw that's pretty good! I'll give it the tune up recommended and see how the old girl does after that.

As for the daido use really how often do you dado more than 2 feet? If need be I'll just spin the saw if it's only 15 or 20 feet of run. I also think I'll add fold up "wings" to the sides of the table to get 7 or 8 feet of support (total) when needed. It's a lumbering beastie, but I think I'll keep'r. ;)

Thanks for the input,
CB
 

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I've used simular craftsman saws but I'm guessing yours is newer then those. When I worked as a carpenters helper back in the late '60 that was what we had on the job sites. We did everything with it including ripping...... that thing would cover you in sawdust. The thing was always out of adjustment and a real pain to square/level and keep that way.

My brother still has one of about that same age, and I think he still uses it. At least as a storage bench. No just kidding, he does use it and it still works and he has cut a lot of wood with it.

One think that the old saws lacked was a restrant so when the blade contacts the wood it pulls the saw into the wood, YOU the user had to push back. This is much worse with dado blades doing wider cuts. It is easy to get in trouble so make sure you are extra alert when playing with this type. I don't know if this applies to your model??

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ed wrote "One think that the old saws lacked was a restrant so when the blade contacts the wood it pulls the saw into the wood, YOU the user had to push back. This is much worse with dado blades doing wider cuts. It is easy to get in trouble so make sure you are extra alert when playing with this type. I don't know if this applies to your model??"

Mine is a model 27362 BTW. I haven't noticed any "pulling" in either rip or cross cut to date, it all seems pretty normal with exception of ripping being really slow (about 5 feet per min. on 1 1/2" spruce) with a fresh 30 (I think?) tooth ripping blade. Good thing I'm not in prodution huh? I'll be extra careful when I put the dado stack on this old girl though.

Thanks for the heads up!
CB
 

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Push Away

I have the same control problem, especially with a aggressive combo blade. If I am cutting narrow material I just pull the saw out, set up for the cut, and push through the wood to make the cut. It is a little hard to feed the wood behind the blade, but if you are making dados in shorter pieces of wood, it seems to do very well. And the rotation of the blade pushed the material tight against the fence. My father gave me the same saw you are speaking of, and yes I did have to go through the entire tune up process - I found the information on a really great set up in an old Shopnotes magazine listed as "Radial Saw Tune Up".
 

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I've got a 70's vintage Craftsman RAS with a seven foot wide table. I cross cut in the push mode with the wood between the fence and the blade. I mounted it on top of a Craftsman 12 drawer metal workbench on casters. It has a dedicated shop vac connected to the blade guard for dust collection. It handles all of my 2x pressure treated lumber like a champ and I wouldn't be with out it. If you are not happy with your RAS...you are doing something wrong..... I also have a Grissly G1023ZX with the sliding table and a original Shop Fox fence for finish work.
 

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"When croocutting, the saw should always be started while in back of the front fence---and should be returned there before the work is removed. Never feed work to the (stationary) blade for crosscutting as the blade will"hog" the work unless it is against the fence."

Ripping ".... feed work to the blade along the fence-- from your left to right (never from right to left)."

Or so says the good book.... Now get out there and be safe.

Ed
 

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Radial Arm Saw Experience

I have had radial arm saws for nearly 30 years. The biggest weekness, in my experience, is that the alignment MUST be checked regularly -- table saws have a big advantage there. Of course, the old Montgomery Wards and Sears saws have not been the kind of tanks that never have to be touched.

Jigs have always been a big thing for me -- I spend more time making tools than using them. :confused:

I never had much trouble ripping with any blade I used. About 20 years ago, I bought a hold-down that has spring loaded wheels that pull the wood against the fence. I made a separate fence for ripping with it. It needed a thicker base to work against anyway. A key for ripping with any saw is top be aware of how the wood is feeding. Keep it slow enough that the motor does not bog down -- but not too much faster.

I think I loved about the old MW is that it had a 10K (?) 1/4" collet for router bits at the shaft end opposite the blade. I replaced that with the Craftsman which is not HS. I finally bought the jig that holds a router but I have nbot gotten around to tryimg it.

Good luck!

Dave

CanuckBeaver said:
I "inherited" (the price was right anyhow :sold: ) one of those old Craftsman Radial Arm Saws. Yup the old killler made by Emerson :eek: . While it isn't beat to death by far I'm sure it has seen a better day or two. I have a (cheap) TS but I'm thinking about using the RAS as a dedicated Daido unit (I have a 1/2 decent stack set). I would appreciate your thoughts, or experiences on RAS's and especially on use for daido's.
BTW the RAS (at least mine) really sucks for ripping.

TIA
CB
 

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Just my 2 cents :)

I have had one for a long time and use it all the time,,

It can be just a bit trickey to remove 1/16" off a board that's only 2" sq. and I just about ways cut my stock a 1/8" longer than it should be cut and the RAS can do that job very well,,,I also like it to rip with,, most come with a hold down device on the blade guard and a anti kick back device built right in...most can't get the hang of running the boards backways so to say..but if it's done right it's safer than the table saw..

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I have had radial arm saws for over 30 years, my present 10" DeWalt, the same as Bj's, for over 20 years, and would find woodworking without it very difficult. There are of course things that I have learned by experience, ripping is as has been mentioned, VERY messy because they UP-CUT in rip mode, sending sawdust everywhere. Once the arm is moved for mitres etc, it is necessary to re-check the accuracy once it's put back at right angles to the fence, in spite of the click stop. For this reason I never move the arm, I use jigs when an angle cut is required. For dados I simply make multiple cuts, if of course dados were going to be a regular operation, I would use a dado set, or as we say here a trenching set. My current blade is a Bosch 80 tooth which gives a great finish but is the noisiest blade I have ever come across. I suppose it's as they say,"what you've never had you never miss", but believe me guys, once you have one, you'd rather part with you're wife than the RAS!
 

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I wouldn't be without my '70's vintage Craftsman RAS (see post #9). Here are some photos. But I feed the blade into the work pushing forward like a skill saw and not pulling back. The fence has been moved several inches closer to the column. The blue line indicating the standard position. Now I am able to cross cut from the standard 11 3/4 inches up to around 15 inches and rip up to a little over 22 inches. The shop vac connected to the blade guard sucks up 95% of the dust.

The blue truck in the background is a completely restored 1935 Ford. http://www.peterspirito.com/pickup.htm
 

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If wrong I'm man enough to apologise but I really do feel that up-cutting across the grain on a RAS is a very dangerous thing to do, sure, you may have gotten away with it for years, but that's how serious accidents happen, it appears to have been a safe method, then bang, an "accident" only it wouldn't be an accident, it would surely have been caused. Can we please have some expert opinions on this matter. Possibly even from RAS makers as well.
 

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I will agree with Harry on this one..:)

"very dangerous thing to do"

It's true the blade is pushing the stock back to the stop board but it's also trying to lift the stock up at the same time unlike the safe way by pushing the stock back to the stop board but it's also push the stock down to the table top....

Also it looks like it's time to replace the top of your table top,once the top has all the material removed from under the blade it's unsafe ,small parts can drop into the cup so to speak and can jam into the blade ..if you see cut off parts take off like little rockeys it's time to make a new top...this is a real tip off. just a old time users 2 cents..
I replace my top about 4 times over the years :) the top I have is not the norm, it has snap in Alum.bars to cut stock from 0 deg.to 90deg.without moving the head stock...great for making frames,etc. left and right side thing quick and easy without moving the main head :)

Here's just one little tip,,make a stop block for the column this will stop the blade from going to deep,,,,,I use a block that's in place with a big hose clamp on the column,,if you want to see a snapshot of the block ,just ask and I will post one.

Just one more note about the RAS,,, it's great tool to cut 4' X 8' plywood stock :)
I have a flip up table top (1 1/2" x 40" x 7' ) right next to the RAS that can hold the plywood for ripping...and I use ( 2 each) roller stands that's on the out feed end of the RAS to pickup/hold the ripped stock...

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harrysin said:
If wrong I'm man enough to apologise but I really do feel that up-cutting across the grain on a RAS is a very dangerous thing to do, sure, you may have gotten away with it for years, but that's how serious accidents happen, it appears to have been a safe method, then bang, an "accident" only it wouldn't be an accident, it would surely have been caused. Can we please have some expert opinions on this matter. Possibly even from RAS makers as well.
 

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I personally don't have a RAS but my dad does. He bought it around mid-1960's. It was a major purchase for him at that time. He has done everything you can imagine on the saw....everything from using it to build rooms in an unfinished house to trim and cupboards on his boat.

I think he kinda loves that old thing. When I saw your table top, it reminded me of his saw. He also changes the top when it gets 'groovy'.

Ed......:)
 

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Here's Mine

karateed said:
I personally don't have a RAS but my dad does. He bought it around mid-1960's. It was a major purchase for him at that time. He has done everything you can imagine on the saw....everything from using it to build rooms in an unfinished house to trim and cupboards on his boat.

I think he kinda loves that old thing. When I saw your table top, it reminded me of his saw. He also changes the top when it gets 'groovy'.

I guess I'm kinda like your Dad Karateed, I bought mine in 1955 second hand. It was used as a demo unit at a hardware store. Cost me $250.00. Best buy I ever made. It has done everything your Dad's did plus a 40 ft wingspan motor glider, furniture, bookcases etc.
I have it connected to my dust system via the backboard and when I do a rip cut, I connect the elbow on the blade guard to my shop vac and that grabs al the dust.
I kinda love it too, it has served me well and still going strong.

Mo.
 

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Hi Maurice,

Yes, he's done all that except the glider....don't think that one will ever happen. He's never used it inside....wherever he's (and sometimes me) have lived he's used it outside, even in -20 deg F up north (even furthur than Squamish).

My grandfather used to build houses and my dad used to help him. It's a shame I'm just getting the 'bug' these last couple of years....I remember my grandfather building dad a garage (grandpa was retired and loved doing it). When he was done, every single corner was absolutely square....he was a master at it.

Anyway, glad to see that others love that tool. It has fond memories for me even though it was dad using it.

Ed......:)
 
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