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I have a radial arm saw, band saw, scroll saw, and 2 routers. What can I do with a table saw that I can't do now? Everything I see talks about using a table saw. Am I missing something?
 

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I would think that if you needed a tablesaw you’d know it! A lot depends on the kinds of projects you do. I have a tablesaw, a radial arm and a miter saw... some might think it’s overkill, but to me they are used for different operations:

I seldom do miter cuts on the tablesaw, and never on the radial arm, this is the primary use of the miter saw, plus it's faster to setup... but the miter saw (as does the radial arm) have a crosscut limit, so in those instances the tablesaw is a must.

Dados and rabits are almost always done on the radial arm, but again there is a crosscut limit, so in those instances the tablesaw is a must (unless I’m using a router to do them!).

Sheet goods are always cut on the tablesaw... there’s no way to do those with a radial arm.

Tenon and taper jigs are used solely with tablsaws, but if you don’t do projects that involve those kinds of things then you’d never miss that ability.
 

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Just my 2 cents

A radial arm saw can do every thing a table saw can do and sometimes a bit easyer and safer, most RAS can rip up to 26" wide, that's to say my saw can.
Some of the BIG RAS can rip at 46 1/2" and many of the big wood shops use a RAS /5HP 12" and 14" blades :) (see them at Tool King InterNet Web Site.)
It's a old 10" B&D /DeWalt made in the 60s,with a built in vac pick on the motor head unlike the table saw.
Ripping on a RAS is Safe, Most come with a hold down device (unlike most table saws) and a ant.kick back device all in the saw blade guard,but you must run the stock the right way under the guard,the hold down device will let you let go of the stock and move around a bit to grab the stock and pull it out and keep it true to the fence, I will some times use a guide block that's clamped to the top to get a true cut for cabinet /case work.
For a small shop the RAS is a good deal because of the small foot print.
And because the support head can turn and the saw motor can flip both ways it's a great tool for the wood shop.
Most are 120 volt unlike may of the high end table saws,the one I have can do a tri.compound cuts,that's to say the radial arm can move ,the motor head can move and the table I have has jig set up for one more setup.
I also have a router base bracket that bolts on the motor to help with the real hard router jobs.

http://www.routerforums.com/attachments/tools-woodworking/2417-mitering-madness-radarm-saw.gif

http://www.routerforums.com/tools-woodworking/2612-mitering-madness.html


Bj :)
 

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Well as some one else here said it depends on the projects you do and your needs. I just don't think I could be without a table saw myself. Many do though and use the bandsaw for ripping but you have to have it set up right. Many folks use some of the new guided circular saw systems for ripping and they can now do repeated cuts and with a miter saw and router they just don't have a need. Bob Noles here sold his table saw and uses a guided system just fine.

I for one would never do a rip on a radial arm saw. I don't find them safe for much at all. To much can happen with climb cuts etc. on one of them beasts. For my box work that I do, I find a table saw to be needed and I use my Incra 1000se miter guage to do all miters. If it works for you to be tablesawless, it ain't broke so don't fix it.

Corey
 

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Hi Corey

Just today I was using the RAS to cut some setup blocks for a new tool (Katie dovetail jig, KJ-1) http://www.sommerfeldtools.com/products.asp?id=164
the blocks are 1/2" x 1 1/4" x 2 1/8" MDF and I needed to put in a dado slot that was 3/16" wide and 1/4" deep and a dado slot on the back side that was 7/8" wide and 5/16" deep this type of job was to small for the router or the table saw, so I did it on the RAS because it's easy and quick and safe because my hand is not moving over the blade or by it other than the handle on the RAS.
It's the only saw I have that I feel safe cutting small parts on, but it could be I have use it for so long.
But I do use hold down sticks when I need to cut with in 1/2" of my hand,but if I need to get down and dirty I will use the band saw.
Like Today I had to make some parts out of Alum. stock for a mate on the band saw ,that was a hard job, I had to use a Alum. block 2" x 2 1/2" x 3" and cut 5ea. L- brackets 3/16" wide x 1/ 5/8" long legs x 5/16" thick .
But you're right if the RAS is not your cup of tea it should not be used.

Have a good one mate :)
Bj :)
 

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That's right Bj, if you are afraid or not comfortable with a tool you shouldn't use it. I try not be get to at ease with any tool cause they all can reach out and bite you at any time but you do have to have a certain "comfort" zone with a tool. Have a good one.

corey
 

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I don't own a TS & have no desire for one. I bought my RAS new in 1958. It is a DeWalt built by American Machine & Foundry. A 1 hp 120/240 volt motor using a 9"blade. I rip without difficulty sheet goods or anything else my heart desires. I no longer do mouldings using instead my router table for this duty. I have a CMS that is on a wheeled,collapsible stand that leans against the wall out of the way. It was a gift. It has a universal motor & I do not like the sucker up next to my head howling away despite ear protection. Damned things should be banned for that reason alone. Those who are frightened by an RAS are often people who have never owned one & need to take what TS owners say on forums with a grain of salt. There is one operation that is dangerous: Namely ripping without the kickback device in place & then during the rip process, the piece walks away from the fence, the operator then reaches with his left hand to push the work back to the fence, the work pinches the blade & as a result, kickback, which takes the operator's hand into the back of the blade....the operator now has no left hand.
I still have everything that I was born with & a good reason being
that when I bought the saw, I also bought AM & F's book on proper safe operation of the saw.
I too hang a router on my RAS....& with a turntable, makes it easy to machine polycarbonate bit inserts for the table insert in my router table.
I also have the sabre saw attachment for the RAS. Comes in handy because I do not have a jig saw.
9" blades are becoming difficult to acquire. Fortunately Freud still make them in Italy & it is a quality blade at a reasonable price.

Lee
 

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Pending on what type of "job" you need it for. As has been stated above, not every tool is for every person. I prefer to use a TS for ripping extremely large pieces. I use my miter saw for smaller pieces. Again, personal preference and the most important, what you are most comfortable with using.
 

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I don't know exactly what type of woodworking You do. I have everything that you have and i also thought that it was ok without a table saw. Then i got a ryobi bt3ooo for Christmas. I found that for cutting board to width.or putting angle cuts on the table saw was quicker and more precise than ever before. also, forcutting duplicate pieces, it is the only saw where i can set the fence and cut multible pieces and all are exact
 

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i've never used a RAS, but to me the best part is the fence on my table saw, combined with stop blocks on the miter gage, you can get extrememly precise cuts and more importantly- perfectly matching pieces.

I know for the projects I've done, I spend 90% time in front of the table saw, especially now that I've added a router table to the extension wings. i do most of my dados now with the router table since I can use my table saw surface and fence to support larger pieces without changing blades- just drop in the router- esp for plywood dados since I have a plywood sized bit.
 

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Most people choose a table saw as their first saw purchase because it will perform a great variety of jobs. There is no question that cutting sheet goods is easy on a table saw. Dado cuts are quick and accurate. With the addition of some simple to build sleds and jigs you can make highly accurate miter cuts, taper legs with ease, cut tenons, raise panels, create box joints and more. While a radial arm saw can do all of these things the cost is usually lower for a comparable table saw. On most table saws the fence is the weak link in the design; it is always worthwhile to purchase a high quality fence. The additional cost will be quickly offset by the time savings in doing set ups. Overall, it is a matter of personal choice between a table or radial arm saw. I found the cost savings appealing and went with a table saw.
 

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oldnewbie said:
I have a radial arm saw, band saw, scroll saw, and 2 routers. What can I do with a table saw that I can't do now? Everything I see talks about using a table saw. Am I missing something?
Hey, I asked the same thing a few years ago. I bought my Craftsman RAS in June of 1976, and I just rebuilt it, although it was mostly a tabletop replacement, and a tuneup. It served me fine for many years as an all-around saw. But, you have to admit, it gets tiring to switch it back and forth from ripping to crosscutting.

I got a Ryobi BT3100 TS 2 years ago, and until recently, I really only used it to rip. The RAS was reserved just for crosscuts (and crosscutting dadoes on long lumber, which would be difficult on a TS due to balance/support). I also bought a decent miter saw, and it is mostly used just for miter cuts. Having 3 saws is great!

On my latest project, I used the sliding miter table on the Ryobi, which is what has caused this saw to have such a cult following. Amazing! It has an accessory clamp to lock the piece to the sliding table, and that made it really simple to do some complex cuts.

For me, if I had to have only one saw, it wuld still be the RAS, I believe, only because I have so many years of experience on it. But I am really getting to like the TS for its strengths, and I could see that if I had started with it, I would claim it as the one saw to have.

I'd like to have a Powermatic TS some day, but I can see myself still using the little Ryobi model. I'll need a bigger shop by then, though!

Lee
 
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