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December 05, 2020, 02:58:28 AM

Author Topic: Radial Arm Saw  (Read 974 times)

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Offline Jamier

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Radial Arm Saw
« on: December 20, 2019, 05:25:35 AM »
PB, I have an opportunity to get an old Craftsman radial arm saw. I’ve never used one but I can see some advantages, specifcally, very long square cuts, much longer than I can make with my compound miter saw. The downside is that it is very much a “shop tool” and would require, more or less, a permanent place, and it is not a small tool. Do you have any experience using one and do you think it’s worth making a place for it? Can It do things that a combination of other tools cannot?

Jamie
« Last Edit: December 20, 2019, 05:28:54 AM by Jamier »
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Offline Paul Birkeland

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Re: Radial Arm Saw
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2019, 07:27:19 AM »
If you don't have the space for something like that, I wouldn't take it on.  Radial arm saws can be useful, but a table saw that folds up can be far more convenient to store while you aren't using it.
Paul "PB" Birkeland

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Offline Jamier

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Re: Radial Arm Saw
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2019, 08:27:38 AM »
PB, thanks for your thoughts on this. The only reason I gave this consideration is that it’s free. I can make the space for it but, I really don’t want something that large sitting around unless it gets a lot of use. I already have enough stuff that I should be getting rid of.

Jamie
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Offline galyons

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Re: Radial Arm Saw
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2019, 06:02:51 PM »
...but I can see some advantages, specifcally, very long square cuts, much longer than I can make with my compound miter saw... 

TMI Warning!!! IME there are two days of satisfaction with a Craftsman RAS, the day you acquire it and the day you pawn it off on some poor dupe.  Perhaps the vintage 100 series is somewhat an exception to that reality.  A Craftsman, yes, will make long cuts, but consistently square is probably not possible. You can painstakingly align the saw in all axes, but the moment you pivot to rip, mitre, or bevel, it will almost never return to square alignment. They were poorly constructed of cheap materials to be peddled as impulse purchases to indiscriminate hobbyists.

Raymond DeWalt invented and popularized the RAS for the trades.  Emerson, (the contract manufacturer for Sears) fired the starting pistol for the race to the bottom to make cheap consumer targeted RAS $#!T.  If you look at vintage ('50-60's) AMF DeWalt's they are constructed to withstand a direct  nuclear hit.  Many are still in use today. (Mine is about 1959 vintage.) Once Black & Decker bought AMF, they joined Emerson in making ever more crappy saws.  Depending on your use and definition of long cuts, a quality table saw, compound mitre saw or sliding compound mitre saw is, IMO, a much better choice than any post 70's consumer RAS. 

I have and use my RAS and it consistently earns its footprint in the shop.

There is a reason Craftsman RAS's dominate the used for sale market. It is not just because they were produced in massive quantities.

Of course, as in all things, YMMV!!

Cheers,
Geary




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Offline Jamier

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Re: Radial Arm Saw
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2019, 06:43:20 PM »
Geary,

     Thanks for that info. This saw is pretty old and needs some work and probably a new motor. After thinking about it I have decided that it’s a project that I really don’t want to take on. Thanks for your help on this.

Jamie
James Robbins

Offline Paul Birkeland

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Re: Radial Arm Saw
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2019, 06:02:38 AM »
I'd also add that a track saw can be exceptionally space conserving and far easier to use on a 4x8 sheet compared to a table saw, especially if it's just you doing the cuts.  On the downside, you need a sacrificial working surface.
Paul "PB" Birkeland

Bottlehead Grunt & The Repro Man

Offline Jamier

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Re: Radial Arm Saw
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2019, 07:08:11 AM »
Yeah, I have a Bora track and it is remarkably good even with the extension. The saw plate wants to push the camber adjustment on my saw off by a few degrees which can be a PITA. I have to check that every time I make a cut. I have a Dewalt 368 and it really doesn’t want to adapt to the plate so I probably should get a different saw for this task.

Jamie
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Offline 2wo

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Re: Radial Arm Saw
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2019, 05:45:22 PM »
I would pass on the arm saw as well, I have one and it has been pretty much completely replaced by my chop saw. Anything more is better done on a table saw or for the limited work I do, just a pattern guide and Skill saw...John
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Offline Jamier

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Re: Radial Arm Saw
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2020, 08:17:50 AM »
Geary,

     My neighbor came home from Arizona with a circa 1950’s De Walt MBF. He was cleaning out his father’s house and thought that I might want it. Other than the need for some TLC, the saw is in fine working order. Is this similar to what you are using? The thing is built like a tank, literally, and has no play in any of the adjustment planes. The bearings are smooth and quiet. It has 18 inch travel, but what is the actual cross-cut maximum?

Jamie
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Offline galyons

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Re: Radial Arm Saw
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2020, 12:03:52 PM »
Hey Jamie,
Please don't get me started!! These things are as bad as an audio addiction!!  ;D  That is a great little saw!  Built like a tank, well a mini tank, at least. The MBF is from the AMF era. (AMF owned Harley Davidson from '66 to '83. Just a side note, in case Doc is snooping!)  I would grab that saw in a heartbeat.  Is it on a stand, cabinet or just a base? It will crosscut 15" of 1" stock. (Brochure attached)

I have 2 MBF's. (Plus 925, 1030 round arm, 1511 and 7790). One gets used regularly. The other needs motor bearings, not a tough task, I just haven't taken the time to order them.  The saws get mostly used for building audio equipment chassis and speaker boxes.  The 925, later version of the MBF is set up with a blade for cutting aluminum. The 1511 for dados.

There is a forum dedicated to the Dewalt RAS's, http://forums.delphiforums.com/woodbutcher.  Three things are necessary to get the most out of a RAS.
  • Proper Alignment
  • Appropriate Good Quality Saw Blade
  • Flat and Level Table Top & Fence

If you want to chat off list, feel free to email  [email protected]

Cheers,
Geary

VPI TNT IV/JMW12.7i/FR1 MkII Soundsmith retip >Eros TH+ Otari MX5050 IIIB2 > Eros + ANK Dac2.1 > BeePre >Paramount 300B 7N7 > EV Sentry IV-A

Crack 7N7 > Sennheiser HD650 & AKG K240 Sextetts

Thorens TD124/Ortofon RMG-212/SPU >Seduction > Smash^Up> Paramour 45 MQ >K12's

Offline Doc B.

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Re: Radial Arm Saw
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2020, 12:40:05 PM »
It's nice to hear that some AMF ownership era products are well regarded. Harleys from the AMF ownership era are considered pretty substandard. AMF made all sorts of related (!?!?!?) items - bowling pins, missile silos, pretzel benders, nuclear reactors...
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
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Bottlehead Corp.

Offline galyons

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Re: Radial Arm Saw
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2020, 12:52:15 PM »
It's nice to hear that some AMF ownership era products are well regarded. Harleys from the AMF ownership era are considered pretty substandard. AMF made all sorts of related (!?!?!?) items - bowling pins, missile silos, pretzel benders, nuclear reactors...

Especially the Italian connection bikes!!!

Cheers,
Geary
VPI TNT IV/JMW12.7i/FR1 MkII Soundsmith retip >Eros TH+ Otari MX5050 IIIB2 > Eros + ANK Dac2.1 > BeePre >Paramount 300B 7N7 > EV Sentry IV-A

Crack 7N7 > Sennheiser HD650 & AKG K240 Sextetts

Thorens TD124/Ortofon RMG-212/SPU >Seduction > Smash^Up> Paramour 45 MQ >K12's

Offline Jamier

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Re: Radial Arm Saw
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2020, 04:22:11 PM »
Geary,

     I’m glad to hear your positive opinion of the saw. I have the saw on it’s base only. I plan to build a stand/table for it and put it in a place where it is always accessible and ready to use. Could they have chosen an uglier green paint for that? The thing is remarkably well built. You just don’t see that kind of quality of construction today. I will definitely email you when I set it up. I have never used an RAS, so I will have some questions and I am grateful to have input from someone with more experience than myself.

Jamie
James Robbins

Offline Doc B.

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Re: Radial Arm Saw
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2020, 09:31:28 AM »
Especially the Italian connection bikes!!!

Cheers,
Geary

There is a woman named Stacie B. London who runs an Aermacchi 250 at Bonneville and has set a few records in the 250cc pushrod motor class.
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President For Life
Bottlehead Corp.

Offline galyons

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Re: Radial Arm Saw
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2020, 10:29:00 AM »
There is a woman named Stacie B. London who runs an Aermacchi 250 at Bonneville and has set a few records in the 250cc pushrod motor class.

That is cool. Love to see"moto d'epoca" still bringing joy!  I am really not too knowledgeable about the bikes.  Aermacchi was the Italian company that was bought to expand the Harley line to smaller bikes to compete with the Japanese.  That was generally not considered a success.

My exposure was mostly through the Dellorto carbs typical on Italian motors. I ran them on my Porsche 356 and a 914 autocross car.  Still have the 356, but restored back to stock. Wish I still had the 914!!

Cheers,

VPI TNT IV/JMW12.7i/FR1 MkII Soundsmith retip >Eros TH+ Otari MX5050 IIIB2 > Eros + ANK Dac2.1 > BeePre >Paramount 300B 7N7 > EV Sentry IV-A

Crack 7N7 > Sennheiser HD650 & AKG K240 Sextetts

Thorens TD124/Ortofon RMG-212/SPU >Seduction > Smash^Up> Paramour 45 MQ >K12's