Looking for a little saw advice

My wife and I are about to install a hardwood floor and we're looking to purchase a saw for this project as well as future projects. This would have been an easy decision until my father-in-law complicated things by saying that I would never regret buying a radial arm saw. So I've done a bit of research and I'm wondering if a radial arm saw might be too much tool for me. I'm learning stuff as I go and I'm not afraid to learn how to use it, but it sounds like radial arm saw have to be adjusted often and Im not sure if that's something I'll be able to do accurately. Any suggestions or opinions would be great...FYI, I have other projects that will require miter cuts.
Thanks again, Darren
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How about a power mitre box?? Nice for small stock like flooring, molding, etc.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I recommend the $99 Ryobi table saw at HD. I used one for almost the same project you are contemplating.
Fact is, I got half way through the project using my radial arm say and a miter saw. The problem was ripping planks for the last row - it's not the easiest thing on MY radial arm saw.
Anyway, the table saw worked swell on the remaing parts of the project.
A radial arm saw is the saw of choice for a lot of projects - it's hard to beat its precision for shutters, cabinets, and the like. A cheap table saw can't be beaten for laminate flooring. For classic hardwood flooring (the long, 3" wide planks), a radial, miter, hand power, or table saw would work equally well.
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HeyBub wrote:

Lou
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If you're doing flooring, you will need to do many crosscuts and a few rip operations. A radial arm saw would do those cuts and much more. The problem with radial arm saw is a good one is expensive and big and heavy only for stationary work. If you have projects outside of the house this will not be practical. It is also somewhat more dangerous and intimidating than other saws doing some cutting operations. A table saw could do both rips and crosscuts as well and the smaller ones could be moved from jobsite to jobsite. Best of both worlds is a table saw set up for rip and a sliding miter saw.
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A 12" miter saw to do crosscuts. A compound type is optional. A "slider" will add $200+ to the price, which you probably don't need. And a bench tablesaw to do the rip cuts. If you have more money a contractor saw with a quality fence would be a nice upgrade. I've been woodworking for over 40 years and have not yet used a radial-arm saw. Quality blades are about $100 each. Miter saws and table saws are fairly easy to keep tuned up.
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I've long wished that i had gotten a table saw rather than a radial arm saw as my first big tool purchase. For the flooring, a miter saw is a better bet.
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Bob F wrote:

You can't rip with a miter saw.
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wrote:

Sure for a short piece. I will rip what can and then finish the radius (outside bull nose corner) with a jig saw. These are short pieces of wood flooring.
There is a serious danger, though! Not all rips are secure against the saw fence (tapered cuts for the final inch or two of wood flooring).
My finish blades don't *recommend* the blade for ripping :-/
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Oren wrote:

Ah, okay. My flooring planks were four feet long. Ripping 10" at each end still left more than two feet to do with a jig saw.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote in

Get an inexpensive but not super econo 10" miter saw. You'll love it if most of what you do is not ripping. A big plus is it's easily portable. I used it for 98% of cuts on laminate floor I did.
I just used a jig saw for the few rips I had to do. The edge was covered by molding anyway. Might be hard with a jigsaw if it's 3/4" hardwood though. Besides, the rips were not straight since the walls were not straight (big surprise!). To do that on a table saw (or radial arm I guess), you would need a taper jig.
The Borg has a Hitachi for $99 on sale (locally here anyway) that is usually 139.
http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId6704-67702-C10FCE2&lpage=none
Be sure to use a carbide tipped blade if lamanate. A steel blade will last 10 cuts before it starts blue smoking. Carbide tipped should be what you use standard anyway for almost everything.
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On Apr 17, 12:16pm, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I had a radial arm saw and I sold it. As others have said this job i is something best done with a powered miter saw for cross-cuts and a table saw for ripping. The radial arm saw I had did not do anything that I could not do with the miter saw and the table saw. Just my opinion.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Same here, I actually gave it away because no one wanted to buy it. They are tedious to keep aligned and don't do anything that other much more portable saws can do. There is a good reason you don't see them displayed in stores.
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I wish that had been true when I bought mine.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

You will have to crosscut mostly but you will also probably have to rip. Therefore...
1. A miter saw by itself won't cut it. 2. A radial saw will do both. It is easier used to crosscut rather than rip 3. A table saw will do both. It's forte is ripping but crosscuts OK.
If it were me I'd get a decent table saw AND a miter saw. The two should be purchaseable for about what you'd pay for a radial saw. Of particular concern with the table saw is the fence...it should be sturdy, adjust easily and - most important - be repeatable; i.e., it should ALWAYS lock parallel to the blade.
BTW, you sneaked in under the wire...I now filter all news messages that include "gmail" in the From line. Most of the mountain of SPAM in usenet is originating from Google/gmail.
--

dadiOH
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dadiOH wrote:

Ditto. My first big tool was a Craftsman RAS. Now I also have a table saw and a compound miter saw... which are the two that get used the most. My RAS mostly exists as a surface to lay things on. But I hate to get rid of anything I've bought, so I keep the thing.
--
Mortimer Schnerd, RN
mschnerdatcarolina.rr.com
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Thanks for all of the excellent information everyone. I think I'm going to go with a table and miter saw. For the miter saw would you recommend just a regular one, or a compound or a sliding compound? I don't know that I'll ever do any beveled cuts, but maybe.
Also, I'll need to raise the subfloor 1/4" so I was planning on using sheets of 1/4" plywood and attaching it with screws, is this advisable? If so, which kind of screws would be best? And will either of these saws be able to handle big sheets like that, or will I need something else?
Thanks again for all of the great responses thus far.
Darren
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On Fri, 18 Apr 2008 09:53:57 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I just finished (finally!) laying down 1600 sq ft of engineered hardwood plank flooring. This included two sets of stairs. I already had a table saw, which was about the only way to rip down the planks in any easy, accurate and quick fashion. I also bought a dual bevel, compound, sliding, laser-guide, miter saw (Bosch 10") for the job, which I intend to keep around. This was a fairly expensive miter saw, but I am glad I went with it. The planks were 4 1/2" width and with some of the angles I needed, I don't believe a non sliding 10" saw would have made it.
When it came to doing the stairs, where exact cuts were needed to fit exactly up against the stringers all those adjectives that I used above to describe the miter saw made the amount I paid for the saw worth it. Most cuts on stairs were at very small. off 90 degree miters, and similtaneously cutting on a bevel. Lining up the miter angle accurately using the laser (and a tread tool) made a big difference in the final look of the job and the ease of getting the job done in a reasonable time.
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bye bye.
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